Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Adventures of Puke Girl and the Pittsburgh Fashionista

By Pauly
Las Vegas, NV

The title sounds like a Michael Chabon book. Rather, that was most of my weekend.

I originally booked a week in Vegas to write and do research. It happened to be the same weekend of a wedding that Nicky and her best friend Bean were invited to. Nicky wasn't interested in going, but Bean was in, particularly because the groom was her ex-boyfriend.

Since I already had a room booked, Nicky decided to go to Vegas, more to see her best friend since they life on opposite coasts and never get to see each other. More importantly, I have never met the illustrious Bean, whom I've heard so many stories about. I wanted to, and unlucky for me, it was right in the middle of my time away to write. Bad timing.

I was concerned whether I not I could write well in Las Vegas. And so far, I've proven to myself that I can be comfortable here for a short stint. There are some things about being in Vegas past the fourth or fifth day that most folks have a tough time adapting to. I know it's coming and get used to it.

I started out slow and rusty, but caught a good grove on my second day of writing. The third day was a short session, since Nicky drove in that afternoon. I managed to be way ahead of schedule with 17K words.

I finally met Bean on Saturday afternoon. She was exactly how Showcase and Nicky described her, as a neurotic Jewish hysterically funny fashionista from Pittsburgh. We met at a cafe and when the waitress asked what she wanted to drink, she quickly said, "Iced team with lotsa lemons."

Bean took a nap and I went to gamble. I won a few bucks playing poker in Excalibur then lost $150 at Pai Gow with Nicky. Kicked in the junk by a cold-heart humorless Asian dealer.

Bean woke up to get ready for LAX, the latest trendy nightclub in Las Vegas. I think it's kinda lame, even though I've never been. Any place with a line to get in is lame in my book. Paris Hilton is throwing a big party there on Feb. 15th if that's any indication to the off the charts numbers on your Hipster Geiger Counter. Anyway, Bean got on the list and she and Nicky went off clubbing, skipping past the unwashed masses in the long line that wraped all the way around into the lobby of the Luxor.

I managed to get out of that sillyness and played poker and Pai Gow at Mandalay Bay instead. I got Aces three times at Mandalay Bay within an hour. The odds of that happening are so high that the numbers are retarded.

I was up a bit when Nicky and Bean stumbled over to the poker room. They had enough of the meat market mentality of LAX and left to find me. Bean heard about the Hooker Bar and wanted to find hookers in Mandalay Bay, except they changed the bar that used to be crawling with hookers and made it a cheesy lounge with more lines, bottle service, and not a hooker in sight.

We settled on the bar at the sports book by the poker room for a cocktail. It's a great location to people watch, especially in a Friday night in Las Vegas at 3am. Bean wanted a Stoli-cranberry.

"Ask for lotsa lime," she said.

I did and the bartender gave me a funny look. I pointed over my shoulder to Bean and he nodded.

On Sunday morning I was up early catching up on email and figuring out my hoops picks. I liked Rhode Island, Denver, and Richmond. Went 1-2 and 1-1 in NBA games.

Nicky and Bean were going to go shopping, but Bean had blown her entire unemployment check on a "cute top at Barney's." Instead of shopping Nicky suggested Red Rock Canyon park. Bean was interested and we drove out there. Bean wanted to touch the rocks because I told her that we took Senor to Red Rock and that's what he did.

On the way back to the Strip, we stopped off at Red Rock so I could check the score of the Mavs game. We sat down at a $10 Pai Gow table and Nicky gave Bean a quick tutorial. When the session was over, Bean walked away the winner. She even got a straight flush. I wanted to die. I lost like $10.

Bean took another nap and said that her goal when she woke up was to find Elvis and/or go to Tiffany's. Nicky and I played poker while Bean slept. We both walked away up a few bucks and waited for Bean to awake. When she did, we drove to the Mirage because we figured Tiffany's would be closed by 10pm on a Sunday night.

Falstaff was at the Mirage playing Stud with people twice his age. He joined us for a drink at Revolution. There was a hot chick/stripper/go-go dancer in a pyschedelic dress shaking her ass in front of us.

Bean ordered a Stoli-cranberry with a splash of sprite.

"And lotsa limes," she emphasized to the bartender.

After a quick drink, it was off to find Elvis. But we didn't know where to look. The Elvis Museum was closed and these days, the suits that own the casinos are ignoring the gems of the old Las Vegas and making it Hipster Vegas. That's why you don't see Elvis impersonators running rampant down the Strip. Instead, you get parties with Paris Hilton.

Anyway, we went across the street to the Imperial Palace. They had dealertainers and erhaps Elvis was working. Sure enough, young Elvis was working. He didn't really look too much like Elvis and Bean was kinda disappointed.

Elvvis dealt black jack and there was an open seat. I told Nicky to take it. That'sw when Bean shrieked and pointed at the table.

"OhmyGod! Is that an Asian woman with a mullet?" Bean asked.

"OhmyGod, it is!" said Nicky.

On Monday morning, Bean flew back to Pittsburgh and Nicky drove back to Hollyweird in record time. I returned back to the grind. I spent the first couple of hours rewriting some of the stuff I wrote on Saturday. When I finally sat down to write new material, I struggled for a couple of hours. I had 4K forced words. I figured that I'd end up cutting out over 50% of those scenes anyway. But I just had to get them down on paper.

Schecky called to tell me he was dropping off some money that he owed me. I went out to the front lobby to meet him. We shot the shit for five minutes. It was a much needed break and it got me outside for a few minutes before I went back into my room and barricaded myself in the room from the sticky fingered maids.

I hunkered down and cranked out as much as I could. In about a twelve hour span, I ordered room service (Caesar's Salad and a blackened chicken sandwich), won two college hoops bets and two NBA bets, and cranked out 17K words.

From Thursday through Saturday, I completed 17K words. On Monday, I equaled that. Of course, I'd say maybe 1/3 is total shit and will get cut. But I managed to meet my goal of 25K words. I also passed the word count from my writing binge in November, where I managed to get 30K in about 2.5 weeks. The difference is the first batch is solid and I spent a lot of time on reworking a lot of that. I'm also thinking about cutting about 1/3 of the scenes in there too.

Anyway, I'm on pace to finish up exactly where I could get to... in the best case scenario. Once I can crank out 5-7K on Tuesday, I'll be in great shape and ready to sit down and rework the first part or Act I and trim 30-35% of it. I really cant wait to print it all up and spend time editing it in the coffeeshops in Amsterdam.

Anyway, after a long day of work, I went to play poker. I won a quick $110 at Mandalay bay against a crazy Asian guy. Then I went to the Excalibur where I won $200 from a woman who I swear to God looked like Lindsay Lohan's mom.

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