Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Through Hazy Eyes: Day One, Part 1

My eyes popped open, it was just after 5 AM. Holy hell, I’m going to Vegas today. Mrs. Head woke up about 15 minutes later to me radiating anticipation somewhat like how I imagine Ted Kennedy radiates the smell of assorted spirits. She had to trundle off to work for a few hours, while I stayed back to do the “What am I forgetting” freak out packing ritual. I wanted to sleep some more. I knew that I should sleep some more, but my feverish brain was not having any of it; Vegas was only a few hours away.

The trip definitely could have started off better. After leaving the laptop bag containing all sorts of various trip necessities at home and fully annoying my brother who had to go back and get it for us, we finally made it through security without me being arrested or detained. This was primarily due to the fact that Mrs. Head had the “if you say anything about the lighter policy and get us in trouble I will stab you in the throat” look on me like a tractor beam. Of course, she was right to give me such a look. Let them have their policies; we’re going to Vegas, dammit. Once we boarded the plane, we had the best plan ever: Get some shut-eye during the 2.5 hour flight. That also, it seems, was not in the cards. Directly behind us sat two of the most misbehaved and ADD-addled kids I have come into contact with in recent memory. They would not stop kicking the back of our fucking seats. I was going to scream at their mother to make them settle the fuck down, but it turns out she was about the same age as they were and was saddled with the same issues, only she was trapped in the body of a 40 year old, so I obviously wasn’t going to get anywhere on that front. I also had to remember that I promised Mrs. Head that I would not get myself arrested or detained, at least until we arrived and were away from the airport. Leave them to their seat kicking; I’m going to Vegas, dammit.

Mccarran Airport was not quite like I remembered it, which I should have expected considering the last time I was in Vegas was in ’01. On that trip we picked up our baggage and headed out the doors into the waiting air-conditioning/body odor of a taxicab. This time it was one door to get a taxi, another door for a shuttle. We tried the shuttle route first and were told it would be 30-40 minutes. Fuck that, let’s get a taxi. We ran out and jumped in the long snaking line that was the overloaded taxi stand and were greeted with the news that “the line is back there”. Huh? I tried to look. You couldn’t even see the end. I think at that point I would have had to take another plane to Nepal or something to get my spot in line. After uttering a larger and more profuse “fuck that” we headed back to the shuttle stand. At this point we were hot, sleepy, and becoming increasingly cranky. We landed at 2:30 and didn’t get to the hotel until 4 PM. Yeesh, I was seriously hoping this trend would end soon.

Thank God for the Golden Nugget. Despite its age and less-than-optimal location, my spirits immediately lifted as we made our way to the front desk. Its liberal use of creamy white goes well with the abundance of gold and dark woods everywhere, and the wonderfully huge windows everywhere lends the place a slightly tropical feel right in the middle of the desert. I had reached my oasis. As we walked past the café/restaurant on our way to the front desk, I thought that I spied Chris Halverson out of the corner of my eye and mentioned it to Mrs. Head. She said I should go back and see, but I declined citing reasons of not wanting to interrupt his meal along with my desire to bail trousers and air out my genitals (I cross-referenced this with his trip report and it turns out I had indeed spied my first blogger. He was apparently enjoying a Rueben at the time).

As we arrived at the front desk, I could feel a do-or-die moment approaching, the $20 front desk tipping attempt. When attempting something for the first time, there are always the usual questions…..Will I pull it off correctly? Will I be scoffed at and exposed? Should I really be doing this? As stated in a previous post, I’m well versed in the art of greasing palms (cocktail waitresses, bouncers, and bartenders galore), just never at the front desk, and for some reason it was making me very anxious. So, on my continual mission to impress the Mrs., I sidled up to the desk with my $20 folded and ready underneath my AMEX. As I handed it over I made mention that since we were on our honeymoon (wink), any upgrades that they could offer us would be most convenient.

The girl didn’t even blink. For just a split second I thought I fucked the whole thing up.

She proceeded to let us know that we would be upgraded to a deluxe room free of charge and we could even choose our view. Heeding Felicia’s advice about the noisy Freemont Street Experience we opted for the Mountain View. I made a quick note to thank Pauly profusely for the advice and we were off to our room, a king smoking that was quite nice considering how cheap it was.

After some genital airing and a quick shower, Mrs Head and I looked at each other. We had reached first peak on this roller-coaster, that moment when you are hanging in space and it really dawns on you that you are about to head downwards at a high rate of speed.

I whipped out the phone and spreadsheet and dialed JoeSpeaker.


“Joe Speaker! It’s Human Head, what’s the happs?”

“Hold on, dude, I gotta call you back, I’m in the middle of rolling the dice!”

Oh boy, here we go.

[to be continued]