I want to party with John Kerry! Wednesday, Jul 30 2008 

I saw this picture on Boston.com today and it was too good not to post:

From the Boston Globe:

TMZ.com posted a series of pics of Senator John Kerry yesterday with an eye-catching caption: “Electoral College Girls Gone Wild.” The website said the shots of Kerry and a troop of tipsy 20-somethings were taken at a Nantucket house party over the weekend. Not so, said the senator’s spokesman.

In an e-mail, David Wade had this to say: “The caption is completely erroneous and insulting and it should be immediately corrected.” Wade said Kerry and two friends dined at the Straight Wharf restaurant and were walking down the dock when a large group on a boat recognized the senator and asked if they could take a photo.

Said Wade: “The group came off the boat and onto the dock, took a photo with Sen. Kerry and his friends, and then Sen. Kerry and his two friends immediately walked away. End of story.”

I love it.

You all know I would have taken a partying picture with the senator, too!

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SEXY New Birthday Dress! Wednesday, Jul 30 2008 

My 24th birthday is this Saturday, and I wanted to pick up a new dress for the occasion.  Something short, black and sexy, yet classy.  Something good for the club and borderline semi-formal but not too dressy to wear out with more casually dressed friends.

Well, I found the perfect dress — at Bebe at the Burlington Mall, of all places!  It’s the second item I have EVER bought at that store (the first was an AWESOME leather pencil skirt that I got half off while in college, and I’m sadly too big for it now).

I took some pics with my iPhone (to which I am ADDICTED) since none of my roommates were home.  Check it out:

It’s rutched all over most of the dress, which gives it an effect of a corset — it sucks all the fat in, while showing off your curves!

Also, it’s nice for me to splurge on a good dress this summer, since I’ve lost a good amount of weight in the past six months — thanks to my vegetarian diet!  (And YES, I will be blogging about that in detail soon!)

It’s such a hot dress…I can’t wait to wear it out on Saturday.

VEGAS! Day Five: Farewell, Vegas Monday, Jul 28 2008 

FINALLY, I’m up to my final Vegas entry!  Lisa and I left in the early afternoon, so there isn’t much in terms of pictures, but we had time for a few more things.

Like one last gambling session.  One last flirtation (with the hott manager of the TI buffet).  One last guy asking me if I was European.  (That is actually happening quite often lately!  In the past month, three people have asked me if I’m Greek!)

The buffet at TI is awesome — we liked it even better than Le Village.  This place goes crazy with desserts, and even though I’m not much of a dessert person, I loved the homemade donuts!

We came across the oxygen bar.  Well, did we need it?

Jet lag?  Check.

Stress? Check.

Sinus?  Check.

Fatigue?  Check.

Headaches?  Check.

Hangovers?  Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeck.

Well, it cost $15.00 and it really wasn’t worth it, but I will say this — before I went in, I felt a bit queasy (despite only having one drink the night before), and after I was done, I felt hungry for the first time in a long time.  Maybe it does help with hangovers.

Lisa gets oxygenated.

I get oxygenated.

Hell, why not?  One last inappropriate picture with Tiger Woods at Logan!

I went to bed at 2:00 AM that night and went to work the next day.  I actually had a good workday.  The day after that, however, I was walking to the T on the way to work and I suddenly felt nauseated — and I then vomited into the bushes.

I think it was the Vegas toxins still in me.  They had yet to come out.

Yeah, you really need a day to recover after Vegas.

To conclude, Vegas was FANTASTIC.  I couldn’t have asked for a better time.  It wasn’t a perfect trip, but it was pretty damn close.

I love traveling, but I don’t always connect with the places that I visit.  I went to New Mexico in February, and I went to the Cape for the first time this past weekend, and though I had a great time in both places, I didn’t really connect with them, despite thinking that I would LOVE them.  Both places are beautiful in their own ways and have so many wonderful things about them, but neither of them are really my scene.  (See, Hans, I told you I wouldn’t write about this weekend — and there I go!)  Both places seemed SO far from a decent city.  And the Cape’s not even rural!  I just NEED a city!  I CRAVE a city!  I freak out when I’m outside a city for too long!  I need to know that I can walk down the street to sushi or Starbucks!

Now, Vegas?  THAT IS MY MOTHERFUCKING SCENE.  The late nights, the parties, the delicious heat, the extravagance, the debauchery, the lack of rules — THAT is the kind of place I like!

God, I can’t wait to move to the Back Bay in a month.  I am SO excited.

Now, here’s the best part — I’m going back to Vegas in January!!  This time, a bunch of my friends and I are going.  It’s going to be crazy.  I’m already dreaming about returning to Tryst.

VEGAS! Day Four/Night Four: Recovery, Exploration, CHIPPENDALES!! Sunday, Jul 27 2008 

When I last left off, Lisa and I had just finished one of the party-heaviest nights of our lives.  Combine that with a mere four hours of sleep for me (and less for Lisa, who actually went back for more blackjack!) and you have the recipe for a very low-key day.

We decided to just walk around the Strip and see some of the things that we hadn’t seen yet.

This is the escalator at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.  It’s not fun with a hangover.

The fountains at the shops.

The shops were cool — very high-end with lots at which to ogle — but we kept taking breaks because we felt so tired from the night before.

Lisa is the Brutus to my Caesar.

Posing in front of the world-famous IP!!!!  We finally made it inside!

And posing outside the M&M Factory.

MEN IN KILTS at Mandalay Bay!  We had to get a pic.

Afterward, Lisa and I met up with Alexa for dinner at the Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay.  I had a veggie burger with pepper jack, avocado and asparagus.  Despite being too sick to eat anything all day, I ate a ton of it — it was so good.  (Would not recommend the zucchini fries, though, unless you like huge battered slabs of zucchini.  The sweet potato fries Lisa got were good.)

CHIPPENDALES!

The show was SO much fun, and quite unexpected, as well.  I was surprised how dirty they got.  Let it be known that if you get called up to be on stage (and believe me, I tried like it was my JOB), you will have guys feeling you up like crazy, as well as making you feel them up.

They faked one girl out into thinking that she had to put a condom on a guy (and it got CLOSE!) then at the last moment, had her do it on a banana instead.

I swear on all that is sacred and holy that the blond one in the top left of the picture kept checking me out all night.  Seriously.

And because everyone keeps asking me, they show their bums quite a few times, but no full-frontal nudity unless you’re one of the girls they call up on stage.

But I HIGHLY recommend Chippendales.  Highly, highly, highly recommend it.  So much fun!

But here was the best part ever, and one of my favorite Vegas stories:

Lisa went up to the bartender to ask if she could get ten ones in exchange for her ten.  Well, the guy actually gets OFFENDED and indignantly tells her, “It’s not that kind of show.”  Lisa, embarrassed out of her mind, returns to her seat, feeling like she’s too inappropriate for Vegas.

I just laughed for a good five minutes.

SHERRI SHEPHERD (from The View) WAS THERE!  She was very nice to take a picture with us.  And you can’t tell from that picture, but she recently lost a ton of weight and her body looks AMAZING.  You should see her legs!

It’s so funny because they called her up on stage and Lisa and I remarked that this woman looked just like Sherri, and it turned out to really be her!  They were filming The View in Vegas all week.

I said what what?  In the…

After the show, Lisa and I headed up to VooDoo Lounge, on top of the Rio, for the best view in Vegas.  The Rio is set pretty far back from the Strip, so the view at night is amazing.

Believe it or not, after that, Lisa wanted to go to a club!  We almost went to Jet, but after the night before, I felt like if I went to yet another club, I would very likely die.  We walked around T.I. for awhile, then headed back to our room.

Seriously, I would not have been in good condition if I had gone to yet another club.

So it was a low-key final night in Vegas, albeit with many hott men (and if only you could see hte professional pictures we got taken of us with three other Chippendales guys!!  I’m too lazy to scan them).  What a trip!

No — thank YOU for being a friend, Estelle Getty. Tuesday, Jul 22 2008 

I knew she had been sick with dementia for a long time, but I was still really sad to find out that Estelle Getty passed away early today.

I’ve been a huge Golden Girls fan since high school, and Sophia was always one of my favorite characters (but how can anyone not love them all?).  She had the best lines on the show. In fact, she MADE that show. I doubt it would have been a success without her one-liners.

After seeing the outpouring of sympathy and shared memories on CNN, YouTube and People, it reinforced how many people loved her.  My favorite comment from a fan: “Her little wicker bag should be in the Smithsonian.”

Here are some of my all-time favorite Sophia quotes:

Dorothy: “Why can’t you sleep on the couch and give Clayton and Doug your room?”
Blanche: “Are you crazy? What will the neighbors think if they see two men in my bedroom?”
Sophia: “They’ll think it’s Tuesday.”

Blanche: “I tried giving up sex.”
Dorothy: “I guess you fell off the wagon.”
Sophia: “And onto a naval base!”

Blanche: “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to relax in a hot, steamy bath with just enough water to cover my perky bosoms.”
Sophia: “You’re gonna lay in an inch of water?”

Dorothy: “Ma, I waited up until two in the morning for you, and you still weren’t home.”
Sophia: “Oh, yeah.  Me and Gertie went over to Wolfie’s to pick up guys.”
Dorothy: “I called Wolfie’s. You weren’t there.”
Sophia: “Guess who got lucky.”
Dorothy: “Oh, God!”

Dorothy: “Ma, where have you been?”
Sophia: “I always believe that when you’re in a hospital, you should go around and cheer the other patients up.”
Dorothy: “Oh, Ma, that’s so nice.”
Sophia: “Yeah, so I went upstairs to Geriatrics and sang ‘Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better.'”

Sophia (after losing her glasses): Dorothy, I’m going to my bedroom.
Dorothy: “Okay.” (She walks from the living room to the kitchen. Sophia heads in the wrong direction and goes outside instead. A horn beeps and tires screech.)
Dorothy (running in again): “Ma?…Ma?!…MA!!”
Sophia (coming through the front door): “Who the hell parked their Buick in my bedroom?!”
Dorothy: “Get in here!”

Dorothy: “Blanche, what exactly makes you think he’s your man?”
Sophia: “Who?”
Blanche: “Maybe the fact that I found him first.”
Sophia: “Who?
Rose: “What about the fact that he dumped you for me?”
Sophia: “Who?”
Dorothy: “Laszlo, Ma.”
Sophia: “Who’s Laszlo?”
Rose: “A Hungarian artist we’ve all been posing nude for.”
Sophia: “In the future, a simple ‘none of your business, Sophia’ will suffice.”

Blanche: “Ooh…I’ve got goosebumps. Mel’ll be here any minute.”
Dorothy: “Honey, why are you so jumpy? You’ve been out with Mel a thousand times.”
Blanche: “I know but now there’s more at stake — everything’s changed. It’s all new and exciting. In many ways I…I feel just the way I felt when I was a virgin.”
Sophia: “You mean the feeling isn’t gonna last long?”
Blanche: “Are you implying I lost my virginity at an early age?”
Sophia: “I’m just saying you’re lucky Jack & Jill Magazine didn’t have a gossip column.”
Dorothy: “Ma!”
Sophia: “Hold it, Pussycat. I’m on a roll.”
Blanche: “I’m sorry, Sophia. But I’m not gonna let your skepticism ruin my entire evening. Mel and I were meant to be together.”
Sophia: “I wish I could say the same for your thighs. God, I’m hot tonight!”
Blanche: “I’m not gonna stand for this.”
Sophia: “Take it, Dorothy.”
Dorothy: “But I’ll bet you’ll lie down for it.”
Sophia: “Well, that was just plain rude.”
Blanche: “Some people just don’t know when to quit.”

Sophia: “You know why I call you Pussycat, Pussycat?”
Dorothy: “Why, Ma?  Because you only gave me yarn for Christmas?  Because you fed me once and I hung around?  Because you used to put me out at night?”
Sophia: “Because I love pussycats, and I love you.”  (She kisses Dorothy on the head.  Dorothy is surprised and smiles.  The audience awwwws.)  “And you were the only one who could catch mice.”

Here’s a video of arguably the funniest episode of all time, the episode when Dorothy’s friend Jean, who is gay, visits the girls.  Watch the whole four-minute clip if you have time — it’s hilarious! — but if not, watch Sophia’s reaction to the statement Dorothy makes at 1:14.

This episode eventually leads to my favorite Sophia quote of all time.  The next day, they can’t figure out where Jean slept, since she didn’t sleep in her bedroom.

Dorothy: “Ma, did Jean sleep with you?”
Sophia: “Dorothy, there’s a lot of things I want to do before I die.  That’s not one of them.”

RIP, Estelle.  Thanks for the laughs.

At which age is one too old to keg race? Sunday, Jul 20 2008 

I’m not talking about the kind of keg race during which you binge drink.  That’s so dangerous.

This story is a few weeks old, but I’m glad that I FINALLY have enough free time to post something!  Here we go:

We were celebrating Beth’s return to Boston, so we decided to go out in style.  We dressed up, met up at my place and headed to the T.

Classy, no?  🙂

About halfway to the T from my house, we came across a yard filled with college students.  We heard everyone cheering, so naturally, we started clapping along and yelling, “Chug! Chug! Chug!” without even knowing what was taking place.

And then we saw that a guy was walking on a keg, the way that a cartoon character might run on a log submerged in water.  We started laughing — it was so random!  And I have never seen anything like that taking place in my neighborhood, much less between my house and the T!

The guys saw us watching and brought us over.  And several of them were VERY handsome.

“I’ve lived here for a year and a half,” I told the most attractive of the bunch, “and I’ve never seen anything like this taking place.”  It was pretty impressive — the entire yard was crawling with people.

“Oh, we just moved in,” he told me.  “That’s why.”

“Ah.  I see.”

“Want to try?”

“NO.  No, no, no, NO no no no no.”

They kept insisting.  We kept refusing — we were in short skirts and heels!

Well, after a while, an urge takes over.

I sucked in a deep breath and as Frank the Tank once did, decided, “I’ll do one!  I’ll do one.”

My friends thought I was crazy.

HA!!!  AMAZING!!!  I only made a few steps and I held onto the guy the whole time (I was terrrified of falling on my ass and cracking my tailbone), but it was a lot of fun.

And then Beth decided to step up.

And the dismount!

(I’m glad Beth survived.  Beth is living proof of Murphy’s Law, and the craziest things happen to her.  She even wrote her college essay about it.)

So here we are, ranging from ages 22-24, and still hanging out at keg parties.  But who cares?  We’re in our twenties!  We’re having adventures!  We’re indulging in the unexpected, and every minute is FANTASTIC!

I told the guys to give me a call sometime.  Nobody said, “Sure, what’s your number?” and I took that as a sign to leave.

We went on to have a very classy night.

VEGAS! Night Three: LOVE, Tryst and Drai’s Monday, Jul 14 2008 

And so our Vegas adventures continued.  Little did we know that Sunday night would be the most memorable night of all — a night that is right up there with Sh*t Show Night in Florence and The Collegest Night of My Life at Fairfield.

Also, I should mention that I’m not putting in NEARLY enough pictures to describe the night.  The best ones (and the nicest ones) are posted here.

We began our night by seeing LOVE, the Beatles Cirque du Soleil show at the Mirage.  And it was astounding — so amazing, so beautiful, so fun.  At times, it nearly brought tears to my eyes.

You have to see this show, even if you’re not a Beatles fan (but really — who isn’t, to a degree?).  My favorite numbers were the symbolic Something, the imaginative Octopus’s Garden, and the fun and brash Lady Madonna.

Lisa got this shot of the LOVE Theatre before the show began.

After the show, we headed to the Grand Lux Cafe at the Venetian for dinner.  It’s like the Cheesecake Factory, but upscale.

We then visited the Palazzo and the Wynn.  My God, they are both SO gorgeous and SO luxurious.  I would love to stay at either resort the next time I go to Vegas.  (I’ve since researched this and found that the Palazzo is the most expensive resort on the Strip and isn’t listed on any of the budget sites.  You can find deals on the Wynn or the Bellagio, however.)

This picture above is the interior of the Palazzo — so beautiful.

Of course, the Wynn isn’t exactly slumming, itself.

The parasol theme at the Wynn is lovely.

We got into Tryst with no problems — another great VIP host, more free drinks, and no line whatsoever.  You might think that because there was no line that it wasn’t exciting.  On the contrary.  Tryst is FANTASTIC.

I’ve been to clubs in the U.S. and Europe — superclubs, goth clubs, gay clubs, all-you-can-drink-for-15-Euro clubs.  And I can firmly say that Tryst is the best club to which I have ever been in my entire life.

Sunday is supposedly the night for 70s, 80s and 90s music, but it was more mash-ups than anything else.  I had always heard that Tao was the most visually stunning club, but Tryst was so much more amazing — red walls, red crocodile booths, accents in black and chocolate brown, and best of all, the waterfall.

Tryst is an open-air club with giant doors leading out to the patio and the waterfall.  That made it so great — it kept the music from getting too pounding, it led to a peaceful oasis (without having to walk miles to get there, like you had to at PURE and Tao), and it gave you breathing room.

In fact, Tryst was great BECAUSE it wasn’t as bloody crowded as PURE and Tao.  You had room to walk around, meet people and have conversations.  And you also had your dance floor.  It was PERFECT!

Of course, we got grabbed by a group of guys right away.  That’s to be expected, and that usually happens when we go out.  We chatted with them for a bit.  Then we got our free drinks (Grey Goose Lemon Drops and Cosmos, as always) and checked the scene.

Also — they have the best bathroom in all of Vegas.  You just have to see it.  (Lisa left the attendant 6.00 over the course of the night!)

As soon as we finished our drinks, I figured we could find a booth and some guys that would let us hang out with them…and possibly buy us a round of drinks at some point.

Well, all it took was a look.

I made eye contact with a guy in a booth, and he grabbed my hand and invited the three of us in.  We sat with them and talked for awhile; they got us a few drinks.

By then, Alexa decided to go back, so we got up to walk her out.  As we walked back, ANOTHER guy grabbed my hand and dragged us to where he was sitting.

And lo and behold, the Boston Bar Stars were sitting in their second booth off the night without even making an effort to do so.

Because we’re gangsta like that.

This guy was really nice.  He’s a local, from nearby Henderson, and we spoke a lot of French.

And we were dancing.

And Lisa was dancing.  (Love this action shot!)

And we were making new friends.

And meeting up with old friends!  We had hung out with this guy at Tao the night before!  He had the sweet retro dance moves of bopping with two fingers in the air.

Lisa does her best imitation of John from Agganis Driving School.

We were at Tryst until it closed at 4:00 AM — so we grabbed a cab to Barbary Coast to go to Drai’s, the hottest after-hours club in Vegas.

This is the only shot I have of the inside Drai’s!

I make a new friend.

He actually texted me for a while after Vegas.  (Josh also texted him a few times, pretending to be me.)  Kind of weird.

At 6:00 AM, we decided that for the sake of our health and our sanity, it was probably a good idea to leave.

We didn’t go without a fight, though.  Lisa really, really wanted to go to the IP — the Imperial Palace, or the crappiest casino/hotel on the Strip, yet greatly lauded by a friend of mine — and I would not let her.  It then appears that she resorted to begging.

6:30 AM and feeling fine!

Now, if you are a normal person, you would know that 6:30 AM after an epic night out is NOT the time to start gambling.

Well, we walked all the way back to T.I. — half a mile or so — and hit the $5 Blackjack tables.

I mean, I had spent about $3.00 the entire evening — $1.00 to tip the bartender for that one drink before joining the guys in their booths, and $2.00 to tip the bathroom attendant.  Everything else?  PAID FOR.  UNBELIEVABLE.

So playing $5.00 Blackjack for an hour and a half seemed like the perfect thing to do.  We had a great dealer and played by ourselves for most of the time, except when a guy around our age joined us for a bit.

By the time I made my second ATM run of the night and was alerted that I had insufficient funds, I took that as a sign to pack it in.

At 7:30 AM, we finally went back up to our room and crashed.

Four hours of sleep later:

You see that?  That’s how the end of a GOOD NIGHT looks.

Quite the Accent You Have Sunday, Jul 13 2008 

I just got back from Connecticut for a Fairfield reunion!  My friends Sean and Shannon recently moved in together in a house in Bridgeport.  It’s a beautiful house and a great place for hosting gatherings.  And it was a fun, fun gathering that they had this weekend!

Here’s a picture of me and my college roommate, Kelly Anne, who lives in Philadelphia now:

And (hey, what the hell?), here is us during our graduation ceremony two years ago:

(This is the heaviest I have ever been.  I’m about 17 pounds lighter now.)

At one point yesterday, Kelly said to me, “Your Boston accent has gotten a LOT thicker since college.”

Not the first time I’ve heard that, though college friends who have visited me at home have always said that my accent is much thicker when I’m around my family.  (Spend a few minutes with either of my parents and you’ll see why.)

Now, I don’t know if there’s anything exotic or different about the Boston accent, but a few guys we met in Faneuil Hall on Friday night seemed to think so.

Beth and I were chatting with these three randos in the street, and this is how the conversation went:

Guy 1: “Do I detect the hint of an accent?”

Me (looking at Beth): “Wow…you know, you are the first person to say that to me in quite some time!  Nobody notices anymore!”

Guy 1: “I knew it!  Where are you from?”

Me: “Guess.”

Guy 2: “South America?”

Me: “Nope…”

Guy 3: “Greece.  I bet you’re from Greece.”

Me: “I’ll just say that I’m from a beautiful country with beautiful people.”

Guy 3: “Spain!”

Me: “No…”

At that point, both they and I lost interest, and my friends and I resumed our walking alongside the crazies, tourists and hobos of Faneuil Hall.  It was actually a really fun night.

Death to Charlie Thursday, Jul 10 2008 

The day before yesterday, my CharlieCard – Boston’s MBTA pass, good for both the subway and the bus – stopped working. I tried swiping again and again, and it would only say, “See Agent.”

Well, since they got rid of tokens, agents are NEVER at any of the stations! What could I do?

I fake-swiped and sneaked through the turnstiles behind other people until this morning, when I bought a ticket good for five rides.

Now, why would my card just crap out on me? I’ve always had a monthly pass, and until a few days ago, it said that it was good through July 31st. It always renewed automatically.

Renewed through my former job.

Ah. That’s it.

At my old job, I always had my CharlieCard taken out of my paycheck before taxes. (My pass costs $59.00 monthly, so it probably saved me about $300.00 a year or so.) They would always pay for the next month on the 10th of the month, so as of February 10th, I would be fully paid through March 31st.

My last day at my old job was on May 8th and my first day at my current job was May 12th. (The job is going great, thank you!) I knew that since I missed the cutoff, my pass would be invalid for the month of June.

Well, without any kind of payment, it was valid for the month of June. I didn’t say anything.

And then it renewed for JULY. There were no charges on any of my credit cards or bank accounts, so I had no idea how it was being paid! Still, I wasn’t going to complain about free transit…

And then they must have discovered their mistake and stopped it immediately, two months to the day after I stopped working there. The benefit company probably has no way to contact me outside of my now-defunct email address at my old job, so I’ll never know.

Damn. I thought they would at least let the card expire at the end of the month.

I’m getting an iPhone. Wednesday, Jul 9 2008 

It took quite some time for me to make this decision.

The iPhone is awesome. I don’t need to tell anyone that — it’s obvious to anyone who has ever held one!

Of course, it’s a question of finances. I’ve been getting cell phone service through my dad, who is retired from one of the major wireless companies (not AT&T). Because he’s a retiree, he gets a great rate.

Now my dad has let me know that he’s cutting me off. I don’t mind. Really. 🙂 I felt guilty about mooching off of him. It was the one thing I’ve let him pay for. I haven’t let him or my mom pay for a thing since I moved out a year and a half ago. (And I moved out the very moment I could afford to do so.)

So I’ll be paying for a new wireless plan, no matter what.

Anyway, the iPhone is awesome, and I want one. And now it’s half the price and twice as fast, with a bunch of the kinks worked out from the first go-round. So now, more than ever, it makes sense for me to do so.  I’m doing much better financially than I was a few months ago (not that I was ever doing badly.  I was doing well, and now I’m doing GREAT!).

And I just got my economic stimulus check in the mail. That makes a big impact.

So I’ve thought, I’ve researched phones and I’ve compared plans.

I’m very excited to say that it’s time! I’m getting an iPhone when it comes out on Friday!

Now, getting it will be easier said than done. I need to wrangle myself off my dad’s plan, yet keep his plan intact. And I have no idea how easy it will be to get a phone itself. The phones go on sale at 8:00 AM, and there are two AT&T stores in Downtown Crossing, where my office is. I might get there early. If not, the huge new Apple Store on Boylston might have some.

My friend Andy tells me that there will be ample supply this time around. He also plans to get to the store in Framingham at 4:00 AM. Just in case. (In other news, he’s crazy.)

VEGAS! Day Three: Madame Tussaud’s Tuesday, Jul 8 2008 

Even before arriving in Vegas, we knew that Madame Tussaud’s would be one of the highlights of our trip.  And it sure didn’t disappoint!  While anyone can pose with a bunch of wax statues, we’re the Brood — so, naturally, we kicked it up a notch or eleven.

There are dozens of pictures — we have nearly 200 between the three of us — so I’m going to just post the absolute funniest of the pictures that we have.  (I’ve also taken care to omit the REALLY inappropriate ones.  Let me know if you want to see those!)

Enjoy!

3/4 of the Brood and Hef — complete with motorboat!

Me and The Rock — I kind of forget to keep one eyebrow down.

Boozin’ with Sean Connery!  (As you can see, we removed the props whenever we could.)

Blue Men!

We told this guy that he HAD to put on the wedding dress and marry George.

You can put on a dress and marry George, or just get it on with him.  Guess which one I chose?

Alexa: “I’ll curse YOU, Bambino!”

Tiger!  RAWR!

Alexa attempts to kill Arnold Palmer!!  Easily one of the funniest shots.

Alexa gets punched by Evander Holyfield.

Lisa gets on top of Britney.

I’ll include a nice one.  Here’s me and my idol, Stevie.  I think this one looks pretty realistic.

Lisa rocks out with Steven Tyler.  “BON JOVI!  BON JOVI!!”

Alexa as Blanket, Michael Jackson’s hidden child!

California Love with 2Pac.  Lisa’s wearing his bandanna.

SPIDEY!!!

I climb into Frank’s arms.

AND THEN I GET STUCK IN HIM!  I was laughing so hard, I nearly peed my pants…Lisa and Alexa were nearly falling over, too.

Lisa gives Judy Garland a high-five.

Alexa and Pavarotti — RIP.

I do something that I’ve wanted to do for a long, long time.

SANTA???

“What?  No way!  WE LANDED ON THE MOON!”

Dumb & Dumber

VEGAS! Night Two: Tao Tuesday, Jul 8 2008 

Back to the Vegas recaps!

For our second night out, the three of us went to Tao at the Venetian, both the restaurant and the nightclub.

This was our major dress-up night.  I wore the Cavalli dress I bought on eBay.  Don’t we look fabulous?  🙂

Absolutely EVERYTHING we had at Tao was amazing.  I had the black miso Chilean seabass, while Alexa had lo mein and Lisa had pad thai — all phenomenal — and the tempura we shared (avocado, string beans and onions) was light and delicious.  Our vegetarian spring rolls were hearty and chock full of vegetables.  We finished with an apple spring roll.

And then our waiter (one of the most cheerful waiters I have ever had) brought us free sake that went perfectly with the dessert.  “This is compliments of your personal assistant, Katelyn,” he said.

Meaning ME!  I made the reservation with the account from my old job.  They thought I was one of my clients, despite the fact that the name on the reservation was the same as the name on the account!

The bathrooms are only marked with “Yin” and “Yang.”  We figured out that “Yin” is for women and “Yang” is for men (just think about what rhymes with “Yang” and you’ll get it), though there are male and female statues designating which one is which.

We then decided to switch the statues to freak everyone out.

Hilarious as that would have been, the statues were WAY too heavy for us to move!

The dance floor at Tao.  The girl in the pink and black shirt on the bottom left is wearing the outfit that I wore on Monday!

Alexa took this picture of me in the club bathroom.  It looks really cool.

Alexa also took this picture of Tao Beach, the outdoor part of the club.

Apparently guys find these models (along with the ones in the bathtub, naked and covered with rose petals) sexy.  We found them weird and a little bit hilarious.

Eh, what the hell?  Here they are, too.

Sparklers heralded the birthday of none other than…

RANDY JACKSON!  (Karina Smirnoff and Rosario Dawson were also there, but we didn’t realize that until we read People magazine a week later!)

What was that old guy doing there?!  How about his trophy girlfriend?

Alexa left after a bit, but the Boston Bar Stars — Lisa and I — were there late.  Meaning an hour after the time when clubs in Boston are closed.

Lisa and I then went into the casino and people-watched for awhile, running into one of the guys from TBS’s My Boys, but not knowing who he was at the time (only knowing that he was famous)!

Tao was a LOT of fun, and it was definitely more visually stunning than PURE.  Our VIP host was great.  The only thing is that it took a while to get going.  It wasn’t until about 1:30 or 2:00 or so before the music got good — party hip-hop! — and Lisa and I got into our club groove.  Since we weren’t drinking much, it took us longer to get into that zone.

The crowd was a little bit strange, and again, there were so many more guys than girls.  At one point, we were surrounded by entirely guys in two concentric circles, like a Greek or Jewish dance!

The worst thing, though, was the wait at the bar.  We waited about HALF AN HOUR for drinks, and then decided that those drinks would be our last.  I can’t stand it when the bartenders only pay attention to the girls around you, and they ask them what they want, and the girls say, “Um…wait, what do you want again?” to all ten of their friends.  Sheesh.

I would definitely go to Tao again.  It’s definitely a sceney place on Saturdays — but also abominably crowded.

Keep in mind that if you go there for dinner, you can get into a separate, faster line at the club.  Not that we knew anything about that — we had our VIP treatment all the way!

And the adventures continue…

VEGAS! Day Two: Sightseeing on the Strip Saturday, Jul 5 2008 

Despite the late night, Lisa and I were jetlagged and awake by 9:00 AM.  Alexa got in around 11:00 AM, and in the meantime, we watched a bit of What About Bob?, coincidentally one of her all-time favorite movies.

First, check out our room:

T.I. is a FANTASTIC space to stay.  The price you pay is on par with aging casinos like the Flamingo, but the gorgeous rooms, the amazingly comfortable beds, the incredible location by the Wynn, the Venetian, the Palazzo and the Mirage and the AWESOME buffet at T.I. make it an INCREDIBLE bargain.  I highly, highly recommend it.  If you’re considering the IP or the Stratosphere or something else low-priced, come here instead.  It is so worth it.

After Alexa arrived and got settled in her room with her boyfriend, Grant, who was at T.I. playing poker for the past week (he plays full-time), we headed down to the Paris for brunch at Le Village Buffet.

Le Village was fun, especially since stations were based on regions in France (Alsace, Normandy, Brittany, Provence, etc.).  They also had the BEST scrambled eggs I have ever had.

I also had a tiny cheat on my vegetarian diet, which I’ve been following for five months — a baby quiche lorraine, one of my favorite foods, which has bacon in it.  I should start making it at home with soy bacon.

Alexa got these plates of desserts for the three of us to share.  Yummy cannolis.

Scandal!

Lisa gets hott for the card.

The Paris was really nice, but a bit too theme park-y for me.

We then walked down to the mall at Planet Hollywood.

The original Incredible Hulk was there signing autographs.

I pose with the dress Michelle Obama wore on The View earlier that week!

This made me happy — I never see the real spelling of my name anywhere!

We considered buying this for Beth, then decided against it.

If you know Lisa, you know that this picture was an inevitability.

After that, we walked to the MGM Grand, the Monte Carlo, and then one of my favorites, the Bellagio.

This is in front of the lake at the Bellagio.

The Murano glass ceiling at the Bellagio was amazing…

…as was the Conservatory…

…as was the world’s largest chocolate fountain!  (Just for future reference, they generally don’t approve of dipping your hand in and licking it.)  I loved the Bellagio!

The canals at the Venetian.  Much cleaner, calmer and better-smelling than the real Venice!

That night, we headed to Tao.  The adventures will be chronicled in later entries…

VEGAS! Day One/Night One: Arrival, Pirates, PURE Saturday, Jul 5 2008 

Finally, it’s time to post about our absolutely CRUISAZY weekend in Las Vegas!

Lisa and I arrived at about 4:30 PM on Friday.  (Alexa would be arriving the next morning.)  And because we’re so fabulous, we made sure to arrive in style:

In a limo!  It’s a great deal ($65, including gratuity, from Presidential Limo) because in addition to arriving in style, you get to bypass the long taxi line, you get a magnum of champagne (!) and tons of bottled water, which is so expensive in Vegas.

Lisa promptly began hoarding the bottled water.

I cracked open the champagne.  We got through about three glasses each on the drive to T.I.

I LOVE THIS PICTURE!!!  Our limo driver suggested stopping here, traffic whizzing around us, to take pictures of us.

We then drove up the Strip, which took a surprisingly long time with traffic.  T.I. is at the top of the main part of the Strip, right near the Venetian, the Palazzo, the Wynn and the Mirage.

Most of my pictures on the way there are bad, but here are a few good ones:

Caesars Palace (the lack of an apostrophe drives me INSANE!).

The insanely luxurious Palazzo, where I would love to stay if I had unlimited funds.

We got to T.I., checked in, and slipped the girl at the desk a twenty.  In turn, she hooked us up with a recently renovated room on the 28th floor overlooking the Wynn, the Palazzo and the fireworks-filled pirate show:

A bit tough to convey in pictures, but the view was great.

We then decided to head down to watch the pirate show.

I love this picture of the Wynn.  It was taken from the base of the pirate show, where we had prime viewing due to being guests at T.I.

Is the show appropriate for kids?  Well, it used to be perfect for kids.  Now, it’s essentially “Pirates vs. Strippers,” or “Sirens,” as they call those pirate hos.  There’s stripping, gyrating and bondage.  Of course, there were plenty of kids there.  It kind of pushed the limit.

Who wouldn’t want to be boarded by these hott pirates?

After the show, Lisa and I got dinner at Isla, the Mexican restaurant at T.I. (good food but not fantastic).  As we were eating, we were falling asleep — I had been up since 7:00 AM Eastern Time, and she had been up even longer, and though we napped a bit on the plane, we were EXHAUSTED!

We headed back to our room and took a 90-minute power nap, then dressed up, went downstairs to Starbucks, and each downed a latte.  We were NOT going to let a Friday night in Vegas go to waste.

And so we headed to PURE at Caesars Palace!

Yep, I broke out the red satin shorts.  Vegas, baby!

It is a fabulous feeling when you’re trying to get into one of the hottest clubs (if not THE hottest club) in Vegas on a Friday when there are hundreds upon hundreds waiting in line, and all you have to do is make a quick phone call and have a VIP host find you and take you inside, no line, no cover, nothing.  Thank you, Former Job!!!!!

The Pussycat Dolls Lounge at PURE.  Lisa made a great observation: “Aren’t the Pussycat Dolls supposed to be singers, not just dancers and strippers?”  Valid point, indeed…not much actual singing took place.

It was kind of cool, though.  There were girls on swings in the back.

PURE from the VIP section.  As you can see, it was so not the opposite of a sausage fest!

More sausage.  I thought clubs were supposed to keep a 4:1 girl:guy ratio.  That wasn’t even close to the case, no matter where we went!!

Us with our host at PURE, Brandon.  He was SUCH a nice guy — definitely the nicest of all the hosts we met over the weekend — and he bought us drinks and shots, took us to the VIP section, introduced me to hosts at the new Christian Audigier club that opened up last night at T.I….

DJ AM is the DJ on Fridays there — and his music was AWESOME.  It was a great mix of rock, hip-hop, Top 40 and mash-ups — and anyone who plays Ludacris’s “Ho” is gold in my book!  Lisa and I were on the dance floor, screaming out, “You doin’ ho a’tivities with ho tendencies, hos are yo friens, hos are yo enemies!” as a few guys crushed up against us looked on amusedly.

That brings me to something else.  The worst thing about PURE was how crowded it was.  It was even worse than Gypsy Bar.  At least at Gypsy Bar you could do something besides slightly wiggle.  The VIP section, though, was blessedly spacious, as was the deck outside.

Lisa and I pose on the deck, which was really nice.  They played mostly house up there.

The deck overlooks the Flamingo, Bally’s and the Paris, among others.

On the way back, we posed by the Trevi Fountain at the Forum Shoppes at Caesars.  I love this picture of Lisa (almost as much as I love her dress)!

We had a great time at PURE, but it wasn’t our favorite.  The pros were the music, the size (it was huge with tons of rooms), the VIP section, and Brandon being awesome.  The cons were how crowded it was, and the decor and outdoor deck paled in comparison to those at Tryst and Tao.  I would absolutely go back, though!

(I think part of it was that we were still so exhausted when we were there.  DO NOT FLY OUT TO VEGAS IN THE MORNING, ESPECIALLY FROM THE EAST COAST!)

We got back to our room and fell asleep instantly.  Our adventures would only continue the next day…

Wesley Clark and Election 2008 Tuesday, Jul 1 2008 

I supported Wesley Clark’s candidacy in the 2004 Democratic primary. Despite the fact that John Kerry was my senator, I decided to support Clark instead because I thought he would make the best president. He was a four-star general, a Rhodes Scholar who graduated first in his class from West Point, and most notably, he organized and ran the airstrikes on Kosovo without losing a single American life.

We’ve lost over 4,000 lives in Iraq.

Of course, I supported John Kerry as soon as he became the presumptive Democratic nominee, but inwardly, I always preferred General Clark.

I was pleased that he has been long rumored to be the Democratic running mate, either for Obama or for Clinton. Check out Newsweek’s analysis on why Clark would make a perfect running mate for Obama.

General Clark has been getting a lot of press lately, particularly from this video, in regards to comments that he made regarding John McCain:

(Click here to watch the video. I’m having difficulty embedding video today for some reason.)

Here were some of Clark’s original comments about McCain:

“I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands and millions of others in the armed forces, as a prisoner of war. And he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn’t held executive responsibility.

“He hasn’t been there and ordered the bombs to fall. He hasn’t seen what it’s like when diplomats come in and say, I don’t know whether we’re going to be able to get this point through or not.

“Well, I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.”

When I first heard that, I was shocked. I didn’t think that anyone would DARE to go in the direction that could remotely be considered as criticizing McCain’s military service. That’s the one place where you CAN’T go.

There we go, I thought. He was the most likely running mate, but now Clark can kiss VP goodbye.

Obama’s statement on Clark’s comments came a day later, through one of his reps:

“As he’s said many times before, Senator Obama honors and respects Senator McCain’s service, and of course he rejects yesterday’s statement by General Clark.”

Like he had a choice! Anything but outright rejecting this statement would have been grabbed by the right wing and dragged out from now until the election.

But I started thinking — and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that General Clark actually had some great points.

In every major speech Obama makes, he notes that we honor and respect McCain’s military service. I do, as well, and I’m sure that most Americans feel the same way.

But while saying that he, as well, honors that service, Clark actually confronts the elephant in the room: being a POW has nothing to do with qualifying someone to be president. Talk about McCain’s Senate record; talk about his service as a Navy commander. But think about all the POWs out there — does being a POW make them any more qualified to be president than the next guy?

No. It doesn’t.

I’m impressed that Clark actually had the gall to say that. It’s one of the untouchable issues of this election. And it needed to be said — sooner, not later. And even while pressured, he did not back down from what he said, and not due to stubbornness — he didn’t back down because he genuinely believed in what he said.

Clark is also correct that we need to base our vote for president on who has the best judgment. McCain always supported this war. Now, take what then-unknown Illinois State Senator Obama had to say about the imminent Iraq war in 2002, before it even began:

“Now let me be clear: I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. He’s a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

“But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.

“I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences.

“I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of Al Qaeda.

“I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars.”

This is astoundingly prescient. Obama was right, and this is exactly what happened.

However, as for the rest of his argument, it was largely useless. In terms of executive experience, Obama and McCain are similarly lacking in experience. For that reason, it seems like there was no point to making this argument. Newsweek’s Stumper agrees with me on that point.

The fact is, no job in the nation is quite like the job of the president. We are never going to find a candidate with the ideal experience, because if that happened, there would be no contest whatsoever. No candidate is perfect, and each candidate is lacking experience in specific areas.

In fact, if I’m allowed to get paranoid for a minute, I wonder whether this was an elaborate set-up for Obama to step in, refuse to enter the fray and look like the good guy. They picked the perfect person to say it — if anyone can criticize anyone in the military, it’s Clark — nobody in recent history has run a war as well as him.

Many believe that Clark just said goodbye to being Obama’s running mate. I’m not so sure about that — to quote my favorite phrase, all is not lost. This is because he made some valid points. And he’s also just proven that he can be quite the attack dog, which is the traditional role of the running mate. I strongly prefer Clark, but I also like Jim Webb and Kathleen Sebelius.

There’s a lot I have to say about this election — it consumes me. In terms of McCain’s running mate, I at first thought that I would be shocked if it weren’t Charlie Crist — but after hearing about how Crist has dodged so many gay rumors over the years, I would now bet a handsome sum of money that it’s going to be Romney. It’s July — the running mates will very likely be announced this month!