Friday, January 30, 2009

Vegas: January 28

The afternoon event was the Bodies Exhibition which was a weird but really interesting "show". It was also quite educational as I learned a lot about the human body. We had our usual dinner at Bally's Steakhouse where Joe and I planned the rest of the evening. I happened to walk by a lady selling individual roses for $10 each. Yes!

So at 7:30pm for the second night in a row, Joe and I were seated at the very front. I could literally jump right on stage (and believe me, I've dreamed about doing that). The concert started again and at one point Donny looked down and saw Joe and I and actually said "What are you two doing here again?". Even Marie looked down and saw us and pointed at Joe's forehead.

Near the end of Marie's solo part, just before she sang Pie Jesu I stood up and held my little rose up. She looked down and said "is that for me?". The whole showroom did their "awwww" and I felt like a teenager again. She joked about having eight kids and being single. Boy if I even thought I had a chance....she gave me a hug and I stole a kiss from her. I'll never forget that moment.

At the second meet and greet, we were one of the first people in. Donny's first words were "there they are!". We got some more nice pictures and promised that we would be back, although it probably would not be for a while. But it was the time of my life. Thank you Donny and Marie.

Vegas: January 27 (Bedtime)

Our original plan was to watch Jersey Boys the next night. But Joe and I were talking about what a wonderful time we had at Donny & Marie. We joked about going to the show again, and spending $280 each again. Then we decided it wasn't a joke and at 1 in the morning we called the Flamingo Box Office and ordered two more tickets. Hey, we kept going back to Bally's Steakhouse because it was so good, why not go to a show that we enjoyed? I joked to Joe that Donny and Marie were going to flip if they saw us in the front row again.

Vegas: January 27

After our usual lunch, we went to the Price is Right Live show (for the third time!). Unfortunately neither of us got on the show, even though the dreaded $130 tabletop wine cooler was one of the items up for bid. Oh well.

Dinner time was spent at our favorite restaurant, Bally's Steakhouse, with our favorite waiter, James. He has been at that restaurant for 33 years, and he's shared many stories of the past greats entering the doors, Sinatra, Dean Martin, etc. I'm really glad that Joe and I discovered this restaurant.

And so, it was at about 7:30pm that we made our way to The Flamingo Showroom so I could justify spending $280 to watch one show. I laughed at the fact that Joe had seen the show twice already, spending $150 and $280 respectively. And then the curtain opened and I saw Marie Osmond. And my jaw dropped and the world stood still. She looked absolutely beautiful and suddenly I was transported back in time 30 years ago when my Grandma and I would watch the Donny & Marie show on TV. I had a little crush on her back in those days and it was so wonderful to bring back those memories. While she may have had weight problems in the past, she just looked simply HOT. Wow. And she could sing too, not just her usual hits but she was very diverse. Who would have thought that during her Broadway medley she would sing All I Ask of You from Phantom of the Opera (my favorite musical of all time)? She also sung Pie Jesu, one of the most haunting pieces ever. Marie Osmond singing opera? Well she could, and she did very well. I felt like a screaming teenager at times and even a few times she would look at me and smile. Joe even got a kiss on his bald head from Marie (one of her trademarks near the end other show).

Now to justify spending $280, there was a meet and greet afterwards. I managed to get one or two poses, and politely asked to kiss one of my childhood idols on the cheek. She said yes.

Oh yeah, Donny was there too.

Vegas: January 26

After waking up a number of times in the night due to my stomach flu (or whatever it was) I wasn't in the best of shape (in fact this occurred through most of my trip) and didn't start our day until the early afternoon. We didn't even go to an afternoon show, and ended up playing a bit in the Flamingo. We opted for a simple Fatburger for dinner (great for my upset stomach but you only live once). At night we did catch two shows. First there was Louie Anderson, another act that I've followed for many years. I've always liked his sense of humor. Then we caught Mystere, one of the original Cirque du Soleil shows. As usual, the acrobatic feats were amazing and I really enjoyed it. With the exception of Criss Angel Believe, all the Cirque shows are highly recommended.

Vegas: January 25

I totally underestimated the drive to Bellingham and almost missed my 9:45am flight to Las Vegas. I ended up being the second-to-last passenger on the plane but I managed to settle in just before liftoff. I got to the hotel by about 12:30 and had lunch with Joe. After lunch we decided to see Nathan Burton and his Comedy Magic in the afternoon. It was a pretty enjoyable show. Afterwards we decided to go to the Rio before our next show. We had dinner at the Voodoo Lounge. Wow, what a view! The restaurant was located on the 50th floor, with perhaps one of the best restaurant views of Vegas. There was also a patio that allowed us to see the best city in the world.

At this point I will note our first big expense....FOOD! While there was the normal "steak" fare, the various $35-$50 cuts of steak that are everywhere, I looked at the "Australia #8 Wagyu Beef" and so did Joe. The last few times we never got a chance to eat REALLY good steak. We found out it was $15 an ounce! Joe went easy and opted for 5 ounces but I went for 8 ounces because, well, I had to. And the steak was worth every penny. Absolutely delicious. Afterwards Joe also ordered Bananas Foster for dessert, which came with a nice fire show. It was quite the experience that ended up being $300 for the two of us! Bleh, it's Vegas.

After dinner we went to the Penn & Teller show, which I'd been dying to see for a long time. I've enjoyed their magic for many years and I finally got the chance to see them live.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Last Chance Harvey

At last, a somewhat happy movie! I'd been "cursed" with a number of terribly sad (but well-made) movies and really wanted a good pick-me-up movie. Tonight's selection fit the bill and once again demonstrated the great acting abilities of both Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson. It was a short but beautiful story, perfect for my holidays.


I'm off for 9 days! It's a well-deserved rest for me after all the stress both at work and at home. I will spend four days in beautiful Vancouver before making my way to Sin City for some more shows. I'll be joined by my cousin and her husband, as well as another coworker. It will be fun. Maybe this time I'll get to play Plinko.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Was there a full moon tonight? I just had one of those weird days at work, things happening that usually don't happen. Well, there's one more 8-hour shift before my mini-holiday at my favorite place in the world. All will be well I hope.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Goodbye Grissom

Amidst all the events happening all around me, there was also the fact that tonight was the CSI episode that signalled William Petersen's last show as a regular. After 9 years, it was time to move one. The show just won't be the same without him, even if they are "replacing" him with Morpheus, oh I mean Laurence Fishburne.

The ending was somewhat of a surprise, as I kind of expected him to end up with Lady Heather. But this one made sense too.

And now back to reality.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


There is a lot of negativity in the world today. The world economy is at an all-time low and there are no signs it will pick up in the near future. Nothing is certain anymore and all one can do is to wake up each day and see what happens.

I've tried a lot not to think about all the bad things. I'm blessed to know some wonderful people who have shown me the positive side of life. For them, the glass is still half full.

Today I spent some quiet time (well, that happens a lot) at my favorite hangout, thinking about the past, present and future. It's hard not knowing what even tomorrow will bring, but let's hope it's something positive.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Golden Globes

While not as prestigious as the Oscars, I decided to spend a quiet evening at home to watch this year's edition, if only to see the one award that was more deserved than anything else: Best Supporting Actor. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house when it was announced that Heath Ledger won. The other awards were OK I guess. It looks like I should see Slumdog Millionaire, since it won pretty much every award it was nominated for.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Yesterday Once More


It's tough for the regular moviegoer to predict the Oscars because what I consider a good performance is not necessarily what the Oscar pickers consider a good performance. Besides, I haven't watched all the movies this year. Nevertheless here are my picks.

Best Picture

I hear a lot about Milk and Frost/Nixon but I never saw them. I'm going to make it easy and predict a mini-sweep for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Best Actor

I think it's time for Brad Pitt to be recognized for his great work. It was a unique role that he did very well.

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett is one of the most underrated actresses around. While she has been recognized for her stunning performance as Elizabeth, her performance as "Mrs. Button" was just as amazing. She will have to compete with that Ms. Streep but who knows.

Best Supporting Actor

If Heath Ledger does not win then I may consider to never watch a movie again.

Best Supporting Actress

I have no idea.

Marley & Me

After seeing two pretty sad movies (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Seven Pounds) and a pretty bad movie (The Day the Earth Stood Still) I thought that tonight's selection would be a nice pick-me-up. The beginning was rather funny, although I did take a little nap (not due to the movie but rather my lack of sleep the last few nights). But the ending was quite sad. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable film, although I must say I was somewhat puzzled by the pairing of Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Regrets, I've Had a Few

Maybe, just maybe, the cold and snowy weather has finally gone away for the time being, and I can have time to reflect on all that has happened in the last few weeks. Would it have been different if it wasn't snowing and people weren't stranded? Could things have turned out better? Unfortunately, what's done is done.

Sunday, January 04, 2009


So far the year has been uneventful. Wake up, work, sleep (and some eating in between). With my afternoon/evening shifts it is tough to pursue a social life, which is unfortunate. Plus I'm now trying to get accustomed to all the paperwork that is a part of River Rock (and there is a lot of that). I don't have a lot of time to wind down before I have to get to bed. But I've decided to take some time off end of January.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

The Day the Earth Stood Still

After ending 2008 on a high note movie-wise by watching The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Seven Pounds, 2009 was a disappointment as I went to watch Matrix 4. Keanu Reeves really needs to stop making all these sci-fi flicks because he is obviously typecast. I'd swear they took scenes from his previous movies (Matrix, Johnny Mneumonic, etc.) to make this really bad adaptation of the original movie. There was nothing memorable other than the fact that I finally saw the trailer for the new "old" Star Trek movie.