Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Travel Journal... July 6 thru July 14

6000 air miles, 4000 road miles, 7 States, 5 Phish shows.

Two Waitresses Named Athena... This is my next Truckin story! Molly and I met two women named Athena, within a 24 hour period, one in Las Vegas and the other in Arizona. One served us pricey cocktails at the Nectar's Lounge at the Bellagio and the other slung late night food our way at a Waffle House. Stay tuned.

Vegas cabbies... always a source of amusement and literary musings. What is Vegas without a Jesus Freak for a cabbie? "If you knew what I knew about God..." he rambled on as he drove to the Bellagio just before I rolled my eyes at Molly. Since I'm an existentialist, I didn't tip him. We had another cabbie who's sex I'm still trying to figure out. It was one of those maybe a guy-maybe a woman persons... just like Pat! He/she looked like Oliver, the wacky younger cousin with a blonde butt-haircut and wire rimmed glasses who joined the cast of the Brady Bunch late in it's run on TV. Anyway, the he/she was bitching about how slow and rough the summer has been in Vegas. But she/he also shared my disdain for California drivers. "They're the fuckin' worst," I told Oliver as I handed him/her a nice tip.

Vegas drinks... It was Molly's first time in Las Vegas, so we decided to get one drink in as many casinos as we could. We stayed at the Excalibur. Started drinking at my favorite bar in Mandalay Bay, before heading over to the Luxor, then Nectar's at the Bellagio, over the walkway to the bar at Paris, the tiki lounge at the Mirage, then New York, New York, where Molly won a few dollars playing the slots.

Random oddities... On my flight to El Paso I was sitting next to a former college quarterback turned Jesus Freak. He's a pastor at a church in South Africa and shared with me the socio-political-economical impact of post 9.11 Central Africa. Some of what I heard would scare you. Anyway... I saw the Water Show at the Bellagio and some lady asked me where the guys from Ocean's Eleven were standing at the end of that flick, afterwards we wandered into the bar at the Paris (I ended my Frenchie boycott). Unknown to me, but later that week, the Paris Casino would be hosting the annual Hooters Bikini contest. That's why the bar was bursting with a horde of scantly clad, extremely chesty, silicon-laded, fake-tanned, Sea Breeze drinking, Hooters waitress from all over America. What else happened? I saw a band called Tea Green Leaf after the Phish show in San Francisco. Bumped into random people all week that I met in Japan. Got lost in Arizona and ended up on Route 66 near Flagstaff. I ate at Waffle House twice (waffles and hasbrowns both times y'all), Denny's twice and Fat Burger (avoid the fish sandwich) once. Bought no less than seven burritos from random Phishy chicks in the parking lots. I told a Hare Krishna that Jesus loved him and Jesus told me to tell him to have a Margarita and move to Boulder. I lost $8 to Kat who whooped me in a watermelon spitting contest. I told her I'd give her $1 for every seed she could spit past my best effort. Ouch. I met a sheriff at a gas station in Scratchmyballs, Oregon. His name tag read: M. Gordon. I asked him what his first name was. And it is: Mike Gordon! When I told him the coincidence (bass player from Phish is Mike Gordon) he laughed and said, "My sister is one of those Phisheads. She tells people her brother is Mike from Phish all the time!" On the way to Vegas, there were security checkpoints set up a few miles outside the Hoover Dam, on both sides. Tom Ridge and my tax dollars working and making sure Al Qadea doesn't try to blow the dam! I was mesmerized by the sunset in the rear view mirror of the car as I watched the solar orb glowing with shades of reds and oranges disappear behind the shadowy mountains as I drove through New Mexico on my way to Las Cruces.

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