Saturday, May 29, 2004

I think you will be a tad bit surprised by the events that I will record in this post. It's just one of the many twists in the summer season of "Prettydoc's World." So yesterday we packed our bags and said goodbye to fabulous Las Vegas. We had such a lovely time and are glad to end our trip on a relaxed note. We get in the Bellagio towncar and drive off to McCarran airport and the Boeing 757 that's waiting to take us home. We go all the way through airport security (this time I made sure to wear a bra that doesn't beep. It was so embarrassing to be felt up in front of everyone at DFW before my departure flight). Then we waited at the gate and my dad and sisters go to check out WHSmith. So my mom and I are just sitting at the gate and lo and behold the PA system comes on: "Due to thunderstorms in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area all of today's American Airlines flights to DFW have been CANCELED. Since this is due to weather, we will not be able to assist you in anyway. You are on your own, suckers!" (OK, so I made up that last sentence, but that's what it felt like.) So my mom jumps into the now very long line to make a new flight reservation and I call my dad on my cell to tell him what happened. My dad runs back and joins my mom in line. Then, a stroke of genius hits me. I grab my cell and call the American Airlines reservation hotline. I get on the phone with Anthony, the perky clerk, who happily offers me several flight times. I ask my dad when he wants and he says 3pm the next day. So I make the reservation and everything is A-OK. Meanwhile, the rest of the poor saps are still in the winding line not knowing if they'll get a flight. I love coming out on top! (Wow, I sound really evil right there.) So we stay in line and the AA guy checks us in, saving us valuable time later on. Well, while I was on the phone with AA, my dad had been on the phone with a hotel for us to stay in tonight. The hotel was not our beloved Bellagio, but The Venetian. They had been calling him for months to stay there and he thought that this would be a great opportunity to take him up on their offer. So we agree and get on the taxi and head for The Venetian. Our cab driver was incidentally a former employee of The Venetian and told us stories about how he helped build part of it, how he worked at the front desk, and how the owner didn't pay half of the construction bill. I remember staying at the Mirage years ago when the Venetian was being built across the street and hearing about how a construction worker had fallen to his death that day. Scary stuff. Well, we get to The Venetian and of course it has lovely architecture but once we got to our suite we saw that that's where the beauty ends. The shower was covered with black mold, the toilet didn't flush very well, and when I sat in the bed I felt as if phantom bugs were crawling on me. But we agreed we should not jump to conclusions, but instead give the Venetian a chance. So while my dad played downstairs we girls headed over to the pool and spa. The pool was dirty and covered with leaves and the spa was even more disgusting. The whirlpool was smaller than my bathtub and it was not shaped in a circle, so how can it whirl? The whole hotel just seemed strange. None of the staff was courteous, particularly in the restaurants. Perhaps we were spoiled my Bellagio, but when my dad caught up with us later raving about how loose the slots are here, we all begged him not to get too attached because we didn't want to come there anymore. We went for a walk outside to get out of the hotel and thought we'd cross the street to check out the Sirens of TI. TI is Treasure Island, which was known for it's Pirate Show. Well the Pirate show stopped a while ago and the name was changed to TI to give the resort a more "cool" image. The pirate show was replaced with the Sirens of TI where sexy sirens lure the pirates to their cove. So it's the pirate show with hot chicks. Well as soon as we get to the show, the PA system comes on: "Due to heavy winds, the Sirens of TI has been cancelled. HAHA, suckers!" We stop in our tracks, look at the sky and say, "What did we do to deserve this?" On the record, we felt no wind. What the hell were they talking about? For some reason, the world had decided to cancel everything. So we walked inside TI and then took the tram to the Mirage and walked around there and head back to the Venetian. The next day (Friday) we awoke, packed everything, said goodbye to Vegas (this time not so relaxed), and took the cab to the airport. Luckily we had already checked in so we went straight to security and got to the gate. Our flight was not on a 757, but instead was on one of the former TWA planes (you know the small rickety ones where there's no TV or radio and every seat sucks and the landings are never smooth and your bag doesn't fit into the overhead compartment because anything bigger than your fist can't fit in there.) But we sucked it up and got on the plane. We sat in the very last row, right by the propeller so we couldn't hear a thing. I couldn't even talk to the person next to me without shouting. I finally relax in my seat and look diagonally to my right and a gentleman is reading a magazine exactly in my line of vision. But not just any magazine, the guy was reading....PENTHOUSE!!!!!!! WTF is the MoFo doing reading PENTHOUSE on a plane?! So there in all it's smutfilled glory I'm forced to stare at unspeakable nastiness. So I try to block my poor mother next to me from seeing the magazine by turning and talking to her about random things. Of course, she can't hear me because of the goddam propellor so she looks right past me and sees the Penthouse. "Omigosh," she says, "That guy's reading porn!" I'm like, I know, I tried to keep you from seeing it. She's like, that's so gross! Well, then the flight attendant comes over cuz my dad couldn't fit his suitcase into the overhead bin because it's bigger than a fist so the flight attendant is all, sir you need to check that bag yada yada yada. Well, I'm all geared up to say, What about the perv reading porn on the airplane? when my dad finally fits his suitcase into the bin and the flight attendant makes her way down the row. As she walks by she says the spread-eagle centerfold and says to the perv, "What do you think you're doing?! You can't have porno on the airplane! Take it to the bathroom!" My mom looks at me and says, "What would he do with it in the bathroom? I don't get it." I'm like, Mom you don't want to know. Luckily the guy puts it up in the bin, but my mom and I still refused to go pee during the flight. The image just couldn't get out of our heads. So after our bumpy landing we finally made it to DFW. We get on the shuttle to our parking (which arrived 20 min after our flight did) and the shuttle is packed. So we all have to stand. While the shuttle is driving, it takes a sharp turn and I nearly fall into this couple by the window. The whole bus starts pointing and laughing at me (hey, it's the story of my life) and the woman says, "We may have to grope you" while her husband says, "Don't worry, I'm pretty soft to land on." I'm totally embarrassed and apologizetic, but everyone just keeps laughing. So we keep going and 5 min later I fall again but this time my dad catches me and the people on the bus were more worried than laughing. My sister starts saying, oh she's just tired from the flight and someone says, what did she fly the plane or something? Well that guy got shut up real fast. When I got off the bus my sister said, "Everybody on the bus gettin tipsy!" and my other sister kept pretending that she was falling on me. Finally we made it home where I was safe from thunderstorms, nasty hotel rooms, porn-reading perverts, and falling on buses. So now all I have to do is find the energy to deal with the wedding tomorrow. Oh, fcuk it.

On : 5/29/2004 11:43:57 AM gp (www) said:

i saw children of heaven.. i was right, very similar to la vita e bella.. but soo much cuter. very cute movie. =)

id like to go to las vegas some day.. but i dont think i could take it for more than a few hours. i met a guy the other day that used to work at the circus circus as a bouncer. he didnt realize the exact reason i was laughing so much, but he knows how ridiculous the place is. i think the cooler is a great las vegas movie. i never liked casino much or any of the card hustler movies, rounders, etc.

be well.
- gp

On : 5/29/2004 12:06:10 PM prettydoc (www) said:

Children of Heaven is a definite classic and one of the few Iranian films with a happy ending. I also recommend The White Balloon and The Color of Paradise. They are the two Iranian films that came out right before and right after Children of Heaven. If you watch them as a trilogy, you can definitely see a progression. I understand how the casino aspect of Vegas could get boring, but I don't participate in that so each day held a new adventure. I liked when The OC visited Vegas. It was the closest depiction to my own experiences. I think it's because they were underage so they had to occupy themselves in other ways.

On : 5/29/2004 11:04:40 PM gp (www) said:

where was children of heaven filmed? really beautiful backdrops and a fun, almost inwardly swollen city. they may have mentioned during the film where it was, but i dont remember. i think color of paradise is on my list. also by majid majidi?

On : 5/29/2004 11:53:08 PM persianguy (www) said:

Children of Heaven rox0red. Sorry about your whole "venitian" incident, God forbid you go a night under the conditions of all us simpleton non-bourgeois folk.

On : 5/30/2004 12:00:18 PM Will K (www) said:

Persian guy, Dont ever say "rox0red" again. Matter of fact dont bother opening your mouth ever again, even to breathe.
Maryam, please use paragraphs to structure your thoughts.
Your recent posts have been quite exciting, reporting on a world that truly belongs to you. Now if you could just break up the huge text dumps. :P

On : 5/30/2004 2:16:26 PM prettydoc (www) said:

Wow Will, that was really constructive (and I'm not being sarcastic). I appreciate it, and I have taken your suggestion and will use it. I hope persianguy does the same. gp, Majid Majidi is sort of like the Stephen Spielberg of Iranian cinema. He made Children of Heaven and the Color of Paradise. Jafar Panahi runs a close second and made The White Balloon and The Circle. The Circle was banned in Iran because it actually gives voice to the plight of women.

On : 5/30/2004 3:50:56 PM prettydoc (www) said:

Oh, and I'm pretty sure Children of Heaven was filmed in Tehran. That city has pretty distinctive gutters.

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