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Viva Las Vegas & Rochester Trips...

On December 24th, I flew from Boston to Rochester for the first leg of my holiday/vacation. I spent the afternoon with my buddy Bruce, and the evening with my parents and brother. I also spent Christmas day with my family. In the evening, I went out to the Forum -- I somehow ended up with someone's baseball cap. Go figure!! If you are missing a red baseball cap with "08" in white lettering, please drop me a note! I brought it back the next day, but no one claimed it.

Friday, December 26th was Bruce's birthday -- we went out to The Distillery for his birthday. His ex-lover Michael came and joined us. Terry nor Al could join us due to their work schedule... We started the night on a good buzz and lots of infamous Distillery appetizer!! (Yum!) We then went to Motor for a few more cocktails, and that's where the birthday shots began. About an hour later, we went to the Bachelour Forum to complete the evening.

On the 27th, I had invited my friends to come out and join me at the Forum for a beer at 10:00pm. Prior to this, Jack Dyke took me to dinner at the Pink Elephant. It was a very good meal!! If you live in Rochester, check this place out!! Great food, low prices! A lot of folks showed up for the "gathering", including my former business partner Walt Dyer, Frick & his hubby, Jack Dyke & Steven, Jim Perrin & his boy, The Rochester Rams, and more! It was a good time for all... Chip got a wild hair in his butt to sing karaoke, so Bruce, Terry, Chip, Frick and I went over to Anthony's 522 to bark out a few songs and try to shatter the glass! On Sunday, the 28th I headed out to Bergen to visit John Wass' mother, and the to visit Walt Dyer and my cats in Brockport.

On Monday I flew out of Rochester heading for Las Vegas. The connecting flight was in Pittsburgh, PA. The flight was oversold, and I took US Airways up on their offer of a future free round-trip anywhere in they fly in the US and Canada, and a free lunch on them in exchange for taking a later flight. (I already suspected this would happen, as I could not reserve my seats from PIT to LAS and from LAS to PIT.) What I didn't count on was an eight hour delay at the airport... I could have gone to the Andy Warhol Museum (or something) if it was planned out properly. According to this Pittsburgh International Airport press release, they offer FREE WiFi access at the airport as of 09/13/2003 -- I couldn't connect to it though... :-( It would have made the wait more bearable... I managed to find some trouble to get into to keep me busy. I chilled at Pittsburgh International and had lunch/dinner at T.G.I. Friday's. I finally arrived in Las Vegas at 10:30pm PST. Only 9 hours late...



Upon arriving, first thing I needed was a stiff drink. John and I went to The Buffalo. The Buffalo is a Levi-leather club and the home bar of the Satyricons Motorcycle Club, as well as the BlackJack Bears. It is located across Paradise Rd. from Angles, at 4640 Paradise Rd. It is a Levi Leather bar for the most part. They usually have beer busts on Friday nights at 9:00pm and Sundays at 4:00pm. Being good, we only stayed for two drinks. It was back home to crash....

Upon awaking at 7am (10am in my normal time zone) *yawn*, I discovered that my "curse" had followed me to Las Vegas... Four inches of snow!! It has been five years since Las Vegas has seen this kind of snowfall, and it wreaked havoc on the city. I took John to work and spent the day sight-seeing and gambling. My modus operandi for Las Vegas is sight-see, gamble and drink. I think that's most people's M.O. is the same... Without last calls, nor clocks on the walls in the casinos, or the fact that the bars provide free alcohol (as long as you are gambling), the days blend into one big mess except for the highlights such as...

12-31-03/01-01-04: New Year's Eve / New Year's Day !!!

Some folks were nervous about a potential terrorist attack on Las Vegas (related news story here) but you can't live your live under a rock... John and I headed down to watch $500,000.00 in fireworks explode from the rooftops of the hotels on the strip at midnight! We parked at The Buffalo, and stayed for a few cocktails. We met a wonderful couple (Bruce and Robin) whom we agreed to meet at the Las Vegas Eagle on Friday night. Three minutes prior to the "big one", there was a special 100th Anniversary of the Silver State (Nevada) fireworks display as well! Crowd control and security was very, very high! Afterwards, news of the radioactive undercover police (who found a storage unit filled with radioactive medical equipment) and the bomb threats were released to the public. John and I hung out (and left our mark) on Las Vegas Boulevard at East Harmon Ave. to ring in the New Year.

Planning on going to Las Vegas? Do your research first: Las Vegas on 25¢ a day!!

Thursday, January 1st was a recovery day... My liver was trying to crawl out of my body to escape to greener pastures! I slept on and off all day, while watching the Food Network's all-day "Unwrapped" marathon. This show is a hoot! (Ever wondered where the tiny marshmallows in your breakfast cereal came from? Have we got a show for you! Each week, Unwrapped uncovers behind-the-scenes details on classic American food, from peanut butter and chocolate syrup to French fries and bubblegum. Join host Marc Summers as he explores the test kitchens and the secrets behind lunch box treats, soda pop, movie candy, and more. Unwrapped--the show for everyone who's ever worn a pair of wax lips.)


Ever wonder what it feels like to be "transported" on a transporter pad from Star Trek?? Well now I know! Last year when I went to Las Vegas, I opted not to spend $29.95 on the "Star Trek Experience" ride at the Hilton Las Vegas. I preferred to hang out on the mock DS9 Promenade and Quark's Bar & Grill for lunch. When I returned home, my fellow IBMers said I missed out on a great time!! This year, I decided to throw caution to the wind and coughed up the fee. Although it was as corny as I expected, the shuttle flight simulator and the transporter simulation were awesome and made up for the bad acting. John and I had a good time at the Star Trek Experience. I highlyrecommendd it. Starting in the spring if this year visitors of STAR TREK: The Experience will have the opportunity to participate in a new entertainment attraction called: Borg Invasion 4D.

Later that night John and I went to the Las Vegas Eagle to meet up with Bruce and Robin. It wasunderweare night. ;-) Robin almost undressed, but backed out at the last second and then decided that we should go to FreeZone, a bar where she worked. All my close friends know exactly where this night was going... If you are one of the straight persons that reads my BLOG, check this out for a chuckle and an idea of the rest of the night: "My week as a gay guy: A straight man's journey into Las Vegas' gay night life scene."

Saturday came soooooo quickly!! I go home (overnight flight) at 11:00pm!! Some more gambling and fun while I can before it's all over.... Surprisingly I did very well! I turned $50.00 into over $370.00. John and I hit up Caesar's for dinner and then it was off to the airport at 9pm. Surprise, surprise, surprise... Once again, the flight was oversold and they were looking for volunteers to give up their seat! Of course I would be more than happy to do this for another free round-trip anywhere in they fly in the US and Canada!! (Derek and I are going to Houston, TX later this month, we could save the $250.00/per person round trip ticket tost!!) So, I headed to Wild Wild West (one of my favourite casinos) -- it's small, locals play here, as do truckers! It's got a dumpy little hotel/truck stop conneted, and the staff are friendly! I ended up spending $300.00 (gaming) before I gave up and went to bed. Las Vegas always gets her money back before you leave... Just one of these days I want to hit a nice BIG progressive jackpot, or a "win for life" slot machine (they pay $1000.00/week for life!)

Sunday morning, I got a 6:30am wake up call. My voice wasn't sounding quite right, and my throat was sore (oh great!!!) I called a cab and went back to the airport and flew home... First class from Philadelphia to Boston!! First class is always so nice!!! I took the "T" back home to change into my Tux to go to the Imperial Court's Investitures benefit show. I was knighted by the Emperor as "Lord Chaz" -- very cool!!!

The remainder of this week was spent fighting off this damn cold. I slept 12 hours Monday and Tuesday, and stayed home Wednesday. I'm feeling better today, voice is coming back... This weekend is the Fetish Fair Fleamarket, as well as the holiday party for Starwood Hotels & IBMers.

It's bitter cold outside today.... Today's song: Cibo Matto - About a Girl




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