Last time I updated, I was fighting a deathly illness in the name of hedonism — I refused to be stopped in my tracks by a stupid virus when it was HALLOWEEN in VEGAS! As someone for whom cosplay is something of a religion (well, non-Anime cosplay, anyway)…there was absolutely NO FREAKING WAY I was missing out on the 3rd Annual Las Vegas Halloween Parade. I had such an insane amount of fun at last year’s event, that I was basically looking forward to the 2012 parade all year. I’m telling you — it’s one of the best parties in a city FAMOUS for its parties!!!
The parade is held downtown, and this year there was a big afterparty at the end of the route, just off Fremont Street. The Dancetronauts rolled their 100,000-watt soundsystem-on-a-spaceship into town, and a bunch of Burning Man artists had trucked their fabulous art cars and Mutant Vehicles down for the parade — the Soul Train was there, as well as the Magic Carpet, the Pedal Pub, the Praying Mantis and a bunch of other inordinately fabulous and outlandish vehicles. FUN! Even funner, that same night the venerable El Cortez hotel happened to be holding an Elvis Impersonator costume contest in the lounge, which is just down the street from the Parade’s end…so I figured I’d stop in there afterward and win. After all, I did just happen to get a fabulous pink Elvis costume as a birthday gift, you know! The prize was a $200 gift card to the El Cortez…which, if you’ve ever been in that hotel, you know is enough to buy the entire joint. I love seedy, down-at-heels Vegas casinos, and the El Cortez used to be one of my favorites. USED to!!!!!!
Last year, I rode the parade route on the fabulous people-powered Pedal Pub (an 8-seat bike with the seats all facing inward around a bar). It was fantastic!! This year, my friend Bam Bam invited me to ride along on his fabulous black-lit, neon-fur-covered, two-story, stripper-pole-featuring golf cart — how could I resist?! It was DEFINITELY one of the freakiest floats in the entire parade. Not only was there Bam Bam, in his magnificent top hat and glo-in-the-dark tails, and myself in my pink Elvess costume…but our crew also featured these two adorable blonde Polish raver chicks named Aga and Aneta, two transsexual strippers in little more than pasties, wigs and g-strings, and this fabulous new friend of mine who was wearing a full-body unicorn suit. Goooooooood times!
We rode “Bam Bam’s Gentlemen’s Club Car” (as it was officially named) through the streets of downtown Vegas, blasting EDM and waving merrily at all the people lined up along the parade route. Fabulously, most of the men along the route saw the giant bouncing titties of the transsexuals from a distance, and didn’t realize exactly at WHOM they were wolf-whistling — until we got up close, and then it was hilarious to watch their expressions. Interestingly, the parade rules were very strict about nudity — the municipal ordinance governing toplessness here in Vegas dictates that the entire areola and underboob must be covered in public areas. Well, these girls had on nothing but pasties!!! Their underboobs were shamelessly exposed…but no one complained, interestingly enough. I wonder if it had been real women, would they have been allowed to parade around like that? Conversely, I wonder if the transsexuals would have been able to take off their pasties without fear of reprisal?? I mean, come on — they’re still male tits (both still had penises)!
I didn’t have much time to ponder such existential questions, however, as the Elvis contest started shortly after the end of the parade. I hopped off the float and headed over to the El Cortez, accompanied by my friend in the unicorn suit, who had offered to come along and support me. A quick word about this new friend of mine — we’ll call him Fabian, since Martians are from Mars and Fabians are from the planet Fabulous. Anyhoo, this guy just moved to town to help run this fantastic new business venture with another friend of mine, and he is already one of my favorite people. First, he has a TON of body hair — including a bushy handlebar mustache. 2nd, he has a pet piglet and a pet goat — both of whom he uses in crazy, fucked-up photo shoots. 3rd, he has a TON of wacky costumes, which he ALSO uses to create bizarre photos and performance art. Basically, he’s the male version of me! The only bummer is, he’s about to embark on a month-long motorcycle trip from the northern border of India all the way down to the southern tip, to raise money to build wells in the Indian interior, so that the poor have clean water. So I won’t be seeing him much for the rest of the year. D’OH!!!
Aaaaaaaaaanyhoo, Fabian accompanied me over to the El Cortez for this Elvis contest, which started at 9pm. We rolled in at 8:50 — just in time to size up the competition and make friends with people in the crowd, in case it was one of those bullshit “audience applause” contests (which I despise). It all looked good: there were only 2 other Elvises, aside from the host, the hotel’s resident “pro” Elvis, who was onstage doing a totally mediocre version of some forgettable Elvis ditty. Fabian and I found seats with these two AMAZING drunk old ladies who took a shine to us — they didn’t normally like people, they told us, but apparently we passed the test. One of these venerable hags was allegedly ninety-one years old — and I believe it!!!
So the contest started, and it was utter b.s. from start to finish. They called up all the Elvises in the room, and it was just the three of us:
1. “Elvis the Cable Guy,” a portly redneck in a sleeveless denim Elvis jumpsuit and a “Git ‘R’ Done” ballcap.
2. Some fat shlub in a passable Elvis jumpsuit, with the hairdo and the glasses but no TCB necklace (which as every REAL Elvis fan knows is a must-have for any RESPECTABLE Elvis impersontor)
3. A pink-haired Elvis in an all-pink bodysuit, WITH a TCB necklace, RIDING A UNICORN!
Seems like an easy call to me, right?
WRONG!!!! Those hateful old fuckers at the El Cortez don’t know a superstar when they see one, apparently — of course they had to break it down by audience applause, so right off the bat Elvis the Cable Guy was eliminated (utter bullshit, as his costume was MUCH more clever than the fat guy’s). Now it was between Fat Elvis and Pink Unicorn-Riding Elvis (of whom EVERYONE was taking photos, I might add)………and somehow, Fat Elvis won! Pink Elvis was ROBBED of her RIGHTFUL VICTORY!!!!!!!!!
I’m a pretty sore loser, and so is Fabian (despite being a man of means who could buy and sell the El Cortez 100 times over, he really wanted to win)…so as soon as I knew I’d lost, I was out of there. I was sick, after all, and had to go back to that stupid car convention the next morning at 9am. But then the host called all the contestants back up onstage for a final sing-a-long of “Viva Las Vegas,” so in the interest of not being a total asshole, I went up there — as one of the shriveled old biddy “judges” shrieked “But NO UNICORN!!” at me. Geeeeeez, sorry to make a mockery of your classy Elvis contest, you miserable old shrew!!!!!
So I rocked out the finale, as the Fat Elvis winner mumbled and bumbled along — he didn’t even know the words to “Viva Las Vegas,” for Chrissake!!! Meanwhile, I know every single word, since I sang it on American Idol back in 2004 (here’s a link, but it only works in other countries since the haters who own AI won’t let you post clips on Youtube). Now I ask you…..who should have won that $200 gift card?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!
Aaaaaanyhoo, running around downtown all night in a skimpy slutty-Elvis costume probably wasn’t the best thing for my health…and BOY, did I ever pay for it! I was SICK as the proverbial DOG for around 10 days — no fun at all! Meanwhile, despite just wanting to lay in bed and cry, I had to drag my ass over to that damn convention. I wanted to call in sick, but the agency who hired me is based in Florida, so they probably didn’t have anyone out here they could call as a last-minute replacement, and I felt bad leaving them in the lurch. So SOMEHOW I sacked up and made it through the rest of the show…although all I got for my trouble was bitched at, since I was 30 minutes “late” the first day (really I was on time, but they expect you to arrive 30 min early, on your own time, so that the client can school you on their business and whatnot). Hey, it wasn’t MY fault — I actually WAS early, but the stupid registration people fucked up my badge!!! Anyhow, I have a feeling the agency isn’t done bitching me out yet…and I kinda want to bring up the fact that THEY’RE LUCKY I EVEN SHOWED UP AS SICK AS I WAS!!!!
Just another reason working trade shows SUCKS BALLS!
Anyway, it wasn’t like the trade show was the only thing I had to work while I was sick — my deluge of gigs pretty much continued unabated, so I was constantly running here and there, chasing a buck in between hacking up my lungs and hawking phlegm. As mentioned in my last blog, I just got hired as a sort of atmosphere model at the most FABULOUS nightclub in Vegas — I know, you never expected me to use the words “fabulous” and “nightclub” in the same sentence, did you?! But this place is different!! As mentioned, it’s a sort of twisted/dark/bizarre cabaret-type show/club, where you party and dance and stuff like in other clubs, but every 20 minutes or so some twisted fucker comes onstage and does an amazing, kooky, subversive, WEIRD performance. Also, the place is much smaller than the cavernous mega-clubs of today’s Vegas — it only holds about 700, and was built to look like a creepy old haunted opera house or something, with ornate banisters, crazy wallpaper, meandering hallways and all these creepy little nooks and crannies. As I said…it’s FABULOUS!
This super cool alt model I know from around town is the one who hooked me up with the gig, and I am forever in her debt. So far, I’ve been working 3 nights a week: on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, I go in around 10pm, put on my fabulous makeup and costume while bullshitting with all the other arty kooks in the dressing room, then from 10:30pm-2:30am I basically dance around acting weird, fucking with people, boozing and partying like it’s 1799. Fantastique!!!! The only bummer is that I was so ghastly ill for the first 10 days on the job, so I wasn’t really able to enjoy myself much, between my hacking up phlegm discreetly behind my lace fan (all that cigarette smoke and the fog machines can’t have been good for me).
The only OTHER bummer is, I was hired as “atmosphere,” which I totally dug — all I did was roam around the club, poking my head into all the nooks and crannies and fucking with people. The mood director even told me to be “non-verbal” — so I didn’t even have to TALK! It was great, and I came up with some very artsy, Cirque du Soleil-ish moves. But then, they decided that we atmosphere models were actually GO-GOs — so now we have to dance part of the night! I make no secret of the fact that I am the WORLD’S WORST DANCER, so if you had ever told me I’d be go-go-ing in one of the Strip nightclubs, I’d have said you were NUTS! But, here I am…and so far, no complaints. The manager did ask us to start out dancing more energetically at the beginning of the night, to get the party started….which I don’t mind (I’m ALLL about the extra workout), except for the fact that my costume entails 6-inch heels and a 10-pound wig loaded up with pearls, flowers, LED lights and feather dusters). Kinda hard to dance vigorously in…but somehow I managed! I’ll do anything to keep this fabulous gig — well, almost anything.
Seriously, I can’t gush about this nightclub enough. I tried to write about it on Yelp, but they removed my review since I admitted to working there in the first sentence of the review. Hello!!! But take it from me, it’s a really cool place. Even if you don’t like nightclubs, it’s worth checking out just for the bizarre performance art. There are some REALLY cool acts there. A lot of the performers are from New York, and find Vegas hopelessly square — which is TRUE! We *ARE* square, we just pretend to be edgy…and our bluff must be called! The boundaries must be pushed, or people won’t want to come here anymore. Get with it, Vegas!
So I slogged along sick for about ten days, and JUST as I was starting to get better, along comes this photo shoot I had scheduled out in the desert with a Canadian photographer who was visiting town for a hockey tournament. Just my luck, the weather turned miserably nasty the day of the shoot — windy and overcast and only about 58 degrees. BRRRRR!! There I was, naked as a jaybird, shivering so hard my teeth chattered and my nipples like to froze off. Thankfully, this photographer happened to be a doctor by trade, so he took pity on me and didn’t shoot the entire 2 hours, as he likely understood the stakes better than a layperson. As a bonus, I was able to pepper him with ENDLESS questions on the ride home about being a doctor in the Canadian healthcare system — something about which many Americans are very hostile. Well, I’m here to report that he LOVES his country’s system, and wouldn’t practice anywhere else. So, put that in your pipe and smoke it, you Obama haters. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh…..waitaminute…..THAT’S RIGHT! IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU THINK, BECAUSE THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN AND OBAMA WAS RE-ELECTED!
Speaking of the election, it was nuts. Nevada was a swing state, so we were subjected to a terrible barrage of attack ads during the months leading up to the election — lies, pandering and worse; enough to make you want to puke. Now, in case you couldn’t tell, I’m as liberal as the day is long…so I intended to vote for Obama, but wait until Election Day to cast my vote (here in NV we have Early Voting, and can cast our ballots weeks in advance at shopping malls…but I prefer to wait til the actual day). But then I started getting paranoid — what if I ended up in the hospital, or shoved in the trunk of some traveling Canadian photographer’s car, and wasn’t able to vote come Election Day?!!
At the last minute, I decided I’d better vote early — JUST IN CASE. So on the last day of Early Voting, I decided to stop by the shopping mall and make my voice heard. The only bummer was, my boss at the souvenir photo company made me work this DOG-AWFUL Barbra Streisand concert at the MGM Grand that day. :-/ Arrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!! Because the MGM is such a clusterfuck (the Arena there holds 17,000 people, so traffic is ALWAYS a nightmare), we had to arrive 2 hours early, at 4:30 in the afternoon…just to make sure we could park and everything. BO-gus! There was NO WAY I was sitting around that dank, subterranean photo lab full of half-witted cholos and teenage mothers for TWO HOURS, so I went down, clocked in, and then went back up to the garage, got in my truck, and drove back over to the mall to vote. Alas, because it was a Friday the traffic was MISERABLE…but I still made it over in plenty of time. But then, because it was the last day of Early Voting, the line was ENDLESS — I never realized how many civic-minded illiterate halfwits there are! To be brutally honest, looking at the line of voters, I kinda started questioning democracy…I mean….these are people who vote for BRISTOL PALIN on “Dancing With the Stars…” and now I want them electing the Leader of the Free World??? Well, lucky for me they made the right call this time…so I guess democracy is A-OK for now.
Anyhoo, back to Babs. I worked a Barbra Streisand concert once, back in 2007 or so, and it was pretty miserable even back then. This show was no exception — the crowd was something like 20% fabulous homos, and 80% cranky, miserable old yentas. I was feeling so shitty, and had pretty much lost my voice at that point, that my boss ended up letting me go home early..so thank DOG I didn’t have to sit around all night (it was a shockingly self-indulgent three-hour concert) waiting til the end. I would have gone NUTS! As it was, I only had a little time to rest before I had to head into the nightclub, suit up in my skimpy Marie Antoinette ensemble, and dance around in a room full of cigarette smoke all night!
Speaking of the club, the very next night after that happened to be the end of Daylight Savings Time. I’d never worked a job that ran after 1am before, and had always been curious how that worked — do they make you work an extra hour when the clock goes back?? And if so, do you get paid time-and-a-half for that hour??? I fretted over it all day before going into work, at which time I was pretty well resigned to working a back-breaking 5-hour shift……only to find out from a stripper colleague that no; late-nite or 24-hour businesses set their clocks back not at 1am, but at the close of business or the end of the shift — regardless of what hour that is. So, I worked my 4-hour shift as usual. Yay!!!
So anyhoo, back to being sick. The freeeeeezing photo shoot with the Canadian doctor almost put me over the edge again, but I went straight home and took a hot bath and ate oatmeal and stuff, to warm up again…so I was OK. The following day, I was supposed to have done a fabulous shoot out on the dry lake bed on a giant chrome horse made of old auto parts — but thankfully, the photographer cancelled. Don’t get me wrong; I could have used the money….but can you imagine how cold that chrome would have been????! As much as it pains me to say, I think that the 2012 outdoor nude shooting season is officially over now It’s simply tooooooo freaking cold anymore I do have one more nudie shoot lined up this Friday, but after that, I’m calling it quits til March. Hotel rooms and studios will have to do until then!
Now speaking of this deluge of work, it FINALLY slowed down to a steady trickle late last week, so I finally had some time to devote to my social life again! I went for a strenuous hike down to the Arizona Hot Springs with Fabian one day, which was awesome….and then another night I went out to see the Cirque du Soleil/Beatles show LOVE another night, with this extraordinarily kooky friend of mine whom we’ll call Fred. Fred is a math genius who became a professional video poker player — that’s right; it is possible to make a living (and a decent one at that) playing nothing but video poker in the casinos. The trick is to find one with a big progressive jackpot, and then play the shit out of it for hour upon hour — up to 20 hours a day — until you finally hit it. It doesn’t sound like much fun to me, but apparently some people get off on it. The upside to spending all that time sitting at a slot machine is that you rack up CRAZY points on your players’ club card — the loyalty cards given out by the casinos that track your play amount. So Fred always has TONS of comps for food and beverage…and the other week he called to say his comps were about to expire, so let’s go out to dinner and a show.
We hit up the Japanese restaurant at the Mirage for sushi and sake, and over dinner I learned that Fred harbors a most fantastical treasure: a photograph of someone I know and loathe having sex with a bulldog!!!!!!!! I won’t go into details here, for reasons of slander and libel, but suffice it to say that he came upon these photos (there are more than one, I think) by happy accident years ago, and they have been languishing ever since in a storage unit he keeps over on the east side of town. His only caveat was that his storage unit is “a total disaster,” packed to the gills and untouched for years…so these photos are going to be hard to find. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm!!! I immediately made a sincere offer to help him clean out the unit whenever he wants…for free…as long as he lets me see those photos!
Now, I know what you’re thinking — Fred is full of shit. Well, that’s possible (he IS a total kook)…but his claim was leant credence by another, totally unrelated story I heard about a month ago from a completely different person, who swore up and down that the bulldog-lover’s SPOUSE, whom I also loathe (to an even greater extent than the dogfucker) is ALSO a huge zoophile, who was known to have sex with a pet llama!!!!!!!! W……..T……….F is going on in Vegas, I ask you?????! All I can say is, I sincerely hope these rumors are true…although I do feel for the poor, unconsenting animals. But, seriously?!
Anyhoo, Fred took me up on my offer to help him clean out the storage unit (he says he’s been meaning to for years, so he might as well get around to it now)…so sometime after Thanksgiving, I’ll be going over there and seeing for myself if this bulldog nonsense is true. I CAN’T WAIT!!!
Now, in between all THAT rigamarole, I also had to deal with the frigging U.S. Gov’t bureaucracy, since my medical marijuana card is set to expire shortly. At first I was just gonna let it expire, since it’s prohibitively expensive (~$300) to renew…but then I was heartened by the news out of Colorado and Washington State, who LEGALIZED marijuana (!!!), and decided that I should pony up the cash in the interest of maintaining my “responsible medical marijuana user and advocate” shtick. The more of us there are, the better…ya know?
My first call was to Dr. Reefer, a local doctor who is known to dispense prescriptions for a hefty fee. That asshole owes me $300 — back in 2010 I paid him for a card, but he was arrested and incarcerated before he could complete my application process…so I lost all the money I’ve tried to get ahold of him over the past few years, even going so far as to try and get him to face off on “Judge Judy” with me…but apparently he’s been in prison this whole time, so it was all to no avail. Well, now I see his stinking billboards up all over town again, so I figured he’s back in business and I could give him a call. I’m SURE he would honor the $300 he stole from me! DO YOU HEAR THAT, PIERRE WARNER A/K/A DR. REEFER???
Alas, the lady who answered the phone said that the doctor is STILL in prison, but they are operating in his name in the meantime, and for another $300 they could hook me up. I DON’T THINK SO!!! They wanted $150 for the doctor consult, when ANOTHER lady doctor I know across town does it for only $80. Well……she USED to do it for $80; this time it was $100, and took FOREVER because she INSISTED on giving the visit a legit veneer, with a whole exam involving taking my blood pressure and temperature and checking my reflexes and all. ARE YOU SERIOUS, LADY??! JUST WRITE ME A RECOMMENDATION, ALREADY!!! To her credit, though, she was/is a total professional about it…and thankfully, my condition was on the approved list and I was A-OK to prescribe marijuana to. Yay!!!
Soooooooooo….that’s what’s been going on in MY life. How about yours???!