Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Viva Las Vegas: Part Deux

OK, this isn't going to be as much interesting as it is a practice in blogging more often.

So, in Vegas...

People at Todd's work like to eat good food, which I fully appreciate. We ate at Stack in the Mirage, Maggiano's at Fashion Show Mall, and Boulud Brasserie at the Wynn. Our meal at he Wynn was my favorite. I don't freak out at expensive food. It is one of the rare pleasures of this world. There is a magical quality to 5 star dining, which is why I was drawn to studying the culinary arts early in my education. As a true woman of leisure, I must attend a proper culinary school at some point... I need to get on that.

Todd's cousin Robbie is in the show "Spamalot" at the Wynn, and it was SO FUN to see him perform. He sings and dances for a LIVING. When I pointed that out to him he said: "I know, and I work like 14 hours a week." A sweet life. Robbie is a talented singer and dancer. He also has very muscular legs which were highlighted nicely in a certain number (he knows which one I mean...). He also gave us the backstage tour of all the costumes and props and amazing wigs that NO ONE is allowed to touch (not even the actors).

This is Todd being calmly bitten by the killer rabbit with the "sharp, pointy teeth". Robbie is helping the rabbit.

This is me holding the naughty, jiggly jello desserts from the "We're knights of the round table..." song.My face looks crazy in this photo, I must have wandered into an unflattering patch of utilitarian lighting.

It was funny to go to a "Broadway show" and have people there drinking beer from giant plastic "grails". We also got to see the actual albatross from the albatross skit. Robbie told us that the stuffed albatross was brought over from the UK for the Python's live performance at the Hollywood Bowl, but that they passed the endangered species act in the meantime and to take that albatross back across the ocean would be a criminal offense. So here it is at the Wynn.

On the last night we were there, HP (who was hosting the event) held a big bash for people who wanted to pay a lot extra, but since we were technically staff... It was held in one of the huge ballrooms and was decorated in a semi-swanky manner. The live performance was by none other than Bob Marley's son, Steve. Yeah, I didn't know about Steve either. But he sang good songs and all the ones you wanted to hear that his dad performed. For those of you who know me (and know me well) you know why I don't dance at dances or clubs. So I was a happy observer of the evenings festivities, and boy was I entertained. People generally don't dance well, add to that the fact that they are systems analysts, programmers, and other nerdly types. Throw into this mix, co-workers, alcohol, and reggae... and you have yourself quite an entertaining party.

Todd ended the evening with the largest shrimp we had ever seen. Everyone was dancing and drinking and ignoring the jumbo-est jumbo shrimp... only in Vegas. All in all, this was a great trip, one of the best. Good food, good accommodations, good shopping, everything I needed a vacation to be. It would only have been enhanced by family and friends, but having Todd all to myself was heaven. We enjoyed our time together, especially before we went to bed each night and we'd snuggle into our robes and gaze out at the artificial world before us. We felt like the King and Queen of... well of us. King Todd and Queen Carrie.

Todd has informed me that he will be going back to the Venetian in November. If anyone would like to join me, the details will be forthcoming...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Word on Phlebotomists...

Here's what NOT to say to the person drawing your blood:

"My left arm is better than my right, but I do have really small veins so my hand is usually a sure bet."

The phlebotomist hears:

"You can't do your job very well so let me tell you how this is going to go down..."

I can't figure this out. I am just trying to be helpful. Phlebotomists begin to sweat when they see my arms; while I am quite robust, my veins are puny, shy things that hide deep in my flesh... really deep. But throughout the past few weeks, I am beginning to see how the veterans are separated from the neophytes.

After my "I-have-small-veins" speech, the neophytes head straight for the butterfly needle (commonly used to draw blood from an infant's head... it's so small) and disinfect my hand, but the veteran will completely ignore me and tie off my right arm and begin sniffing out the best vessel. If the newbie decides to go for my arm they will draw the needle back and forth and side to side perforating my much abused vein and declare "I just... can't... seem... to get it." The master will poke the needle in way more forcefully than you think necessary, and immediately draw a vial.

Today's blood-letting was miraculous in many ways, but the best part of it was the phlebotomist herself: her name was Rose and she was as big as a house and as loud as a fog horn.

When we arrived at the lab there was a long line. If people are getting blood drawn on a Saturday, you know they HAVE to be there. The waiting room was small, and since Rose is most likely incapable of a whisper, everyone's "malady" was made known.

To the teen-aged girl, "Are you capable of urinating?" (They were still standing in the waiting room.) To us it sounded like: "ARE YOU CAPABLE OF URINATING!!?" After a mortified nod of the head Rose went on: "DO YOU THINK YOU COULD PRODUCE SOME URINE RIGHT NOW!!?" The poor girl went ahead, surprisingly not right there in her pants, and we then heard all the instructions on what to do with the sample and a reminder to wash her hands. The girl was unable to face us in the waiting room and waited for her mom outside.

The young boy before me was with his dad. Obviously, if a kid is getting his blood drawn it can't be that good. What we heard through the wall was: "ARE WE TAKING BETS TO SEE OF YOU'LL CRY!!?" Todd and I were agog and aghast buy this point and I was determined to say as very little to her as possible.

But by the time we got in there and she made a million phone calls on our behalf to make sure everything was going to be done on time, I was a fan of large-and-in-charge Rose. She proved herself to be a pro (a master!) and even managed blood out of my right arm. And then to seal the deal, she drew a smiley face on the tape covering my cotton ball... a smiley face. I am grateful Rose was there today.