What Actually Happened in Vegas Sunday, Mar 29 2009 

The inspiration for this entry comes from a quote that Lisa said at dinner last night:

“He swung at Grant and Grant punched him three times in the face and Grant and Alexa ran and hid and you went to to the IP and Beth and I were dancing with Mormons!”

Vegas.  In a nutshell.  That sums up that night so well.

That night was so crazy, we hadn’t really figured out exactly what went down until last night.  Alexa and Grant, who live in DC, flew up to Boston for the Duke game, so we grabbed dinner at Not Your Average Joe’s.  This was the first time that the five of us had hung out together since the Vegas trip.

Here’s what happened that night:

We went to XS, the brand-new nightclub at the Encore (we were there for its second weekend open!).  I think I’d go so far to say that it’s my favorite club in Vegas.  Just gorgeous.

Here are the five of us after quite a bit of dancing:

Here’s the video of us (which NEVER gets old!):

And now, the trouble:

There was a weird guy at the club who wanted to get with one of us — we weren’t really sure which one.  He tried to move in on us and Grant told him to back off.

That’s the guy on the left.

After that, the guy did the weirdest thing.  He stepped back, and from about 10 feet away, just STARED at the back of Grant’s head with an intense expression in his eyes.  He didn’t move for at least 30 seconds.

I started to freak out.

And then, apparently after I left the club and Lisa and Beth were dancing with Mormons (who weren’t drinking and made comments about a “hotbed of sin”), the guy took a swing at Grant.

He missed.

Grant punched him three times in the face.

Security kicked the other guy out!!!  They must have seen the first attempted punch.

And THAT is how you end a night in Vegas.  Well, I kid, I kid.  That’s way too early for a night to end in Vegas.  We ended up staying up all night before jumping on a 7:30 AM flight back to Boston.

Top 25 Photos of 2008 Saturday, Jan 3 2009 

Here are the 25 best, weirdest and funniest photos of 2008 — the ones that I think best represent the year.  God, this has been a cruisazy year.  Enjoy!

Arrival in Albuquerque, New Mexico!

I had a really difficult winter, mostly due to a rocky relationship, a bad breakup and being unable to shake a cold for two months.  My mom invited me to come to New Mexico with her and it was EXACTLY what I needed.  It was a time to heal.

I loved the color of this car.

Callie and I attempt to smile with our eyes, Tyra Banks-style, while at Ned Devine’s.

Lisa and I celebrate our Irish heritage in the form of Guinness, Jameson and Bailey’s on St. Paddy’s Day.

I quit my job of nearly two years!!  Here I am on my last day with my wonderful friends Jackie, Nadine, Esther and Michelle.

The weekend before I start my new job, I meet Josh.

This is the start of a crazy friendship and the first of our many, many adventures.

While out in Faneuil Hall, I befriend a bachelor party and end up jumping on their bus with them, partying till dawn.

In Las Vegas at Madame Tussaud’s, Lisa, Alexa and I give Hef a good time!

I then get stuck inside Frank Sinatra.

Ever sat in a guy in a wheelchair’s lap as he spins you around on the dance floor?  I now have.  This was also at Tryst.

This is probably my favorite picture of the year.  It’s definitely the funniest.  This is me and Lisa in Vegas at 7:00 AM after leaving Drai’s and walking back to TI while high-fiving random onlookers and yelling, “Vegas!” then going to play Blackjack for a few more hours.  This is around the time Lisa lay in the alley next to the IP.

Yeah…no explanation needed.

I spoon Beth (under the tarp) on the Esplanade in Boston on the Fourth of July.  It rained for part of the day.

Beth tries to help me discreetly change from shorts into pants on the Esplanade as Janelle looks on.  Yeah, we kind of failed at the “discreet” part.

If you’re napping, you might as well keep up the patriotism and the pimpin’.

This picture is so embarrassing.  I was convinced my hand was on his left outer thigh, NOT HIS RIGHT INNER THIGH.  I nearly died when I saw this — and Lisa, Beth and Janelle nearly died of laughter.  We met this guy at the Blackthorne in Southie and he went to our high school 15 years before us.

I reunite with my wonderful college roommate Kelly Anne at our friends Sean and Shannon‘s barbecue at their beautiful new house in Bridgeport.  (Sean and Shannon have since gotten engaged, which excites me to no end!)

The night before our shared birthday, I run into Hans at Mantra in Boston.  We’re smiling pretty big despite our disastrous weekend a week before.

Me and my lubly Sars on my birthday at 28 Degrees.

Me and my wonderful friends on my birthday.  These are some of the people most important to me: Kara, Carissa, Surina, Sars, Josh, Callie, Lisa and Beth.

I attend Barack Obama’s September rally in Manchester, New Hampshire — what an amazing experience!

I needed a popular, smart, topical and preferably political, yet not overdone (aka Sarah Palin), Halloween costume this year.  I fretted that I wouldn’t be able to find a good one — and then the PERFECT character swept into the news and into my life.  Ashley Todd.  One of my best costumes.

My first night in Buenos Aires and I’m getting licked!  Maxi unsuspectingly gets me when I was expecting a normal, smiling picture.  That’s a genuine expression of shock on my face.

Poor Louis…in Buenos Aires, food poisoning and parilla do not mix.

Carissa and I get borderline violent at Shabu Shabu Kaze in Chinatown.

Beth and I celebrate the arrival of 2009.

Stories like this are why I need to stop drinking. Monday, Dec 15 2008 

This story is so weird…

Well, yesterday, my friend Josh and I went to go see The Slutcracker in Somerville.  It’s a burlesque version of The Nutcracker, and it was fantastic.  It used the same music, but had a different, much more sexual storyline.

Here are just a few tidbits:

  • Drosselmeyer is an eccentric old lady, and instead of a nutcracker, she gives Clara a dildo.
  • Instead of a Christmas tree growing, a giant red-and-white-striped peen appears.  Predictably, Clara licks it nonstop, and it then shoots snow out of it.
  • The Russian dance is done by three dominatrices with whips.
  • There is an AWESOME pole dance.
  • The pasties!  The pasties!

After the show, we had some Indian food and martinis at Diva (the show was in my former ‘hood of Davis Square in Somerville), then grabbed one of those beer-slash-energy drinks from the liquor store (AND some beef jerky — goodbye, vegetarianism for us both!), then hopped on the T to go back downtown.

We went to one of my favorite bars in the world, and due to the nature of this story, I won’t be revealing the name of it…but if you live in Boston or know me well, you can probably guess.

At the bar, which is hopping on Sundays, we each grabbed a frozen Bellini and hung out.  Before long, one of the bartenders came up to us and asked us how we were, started chatting.  We talked for a few minutes and he went back to the bar.  Josh and I looked at each other.

“Do you know him?” I asked.

“No.  That was kind of weird — he acted like we were friends.”

“I know!”

After a bit, I went up to get the second round.  I ordered them from the same bartender who came to chat us up earlier.  Expecting to pay well over 10 bucks a pop, I took out my wallet.

“No, it’s all set,” he said with a grin.

“Really?” I was dumbfounded.

“Yeah.  Enjoy them.”

I tipped him and went back to Josh.  “Um, he gave these to us for free!” I crowed.  “I LOVE free drinks!  How awesome is that?”

“That was your cue to introduce yourself,” Josh chided me.  “He’s straight.”

“Are you kidding me?” At that bar, most of the bartenders are gay.  And hott.  But gay.

“No.”  Josh nodded at the guy.  “That guy’s definitely straight.”

Well, after that, we drank our Bellinis a bit faster than usual.  I then went up to the bar again.

“Two more, please,” I said to my bartender with a smile.  “I’m Kate, by the way.”

“I know,” he said.  “We danced together for about three hours at [our mutual friend]’s birthday party.”

I NEARLY DIED RIGHT THEN AND THERE.

Yes, I remembered this guy.  And maybe it wasn’t for three hours, but boy, did I do a lot of dancing with him at a club downtown.  And yes, I was hammered out of my mind that night.  I don’t usually get that bad, but that night, I had been on a date and had gone through a lot of wine before even arriving at the party.  The birthday became as muddled as the mojitos we were drinking — one of my very few blackout nights of recent memory.

Oh, God — yes, I remembered this guy.

You think that that would be enough of a lesson to stop drinking then and there.  Well, I was with JOSH.  Do you know what happens when I go out with Josh?

Here are three typical nights out for me and Josh:

  • The first time I meet him (the weekend before I started at my current job, where he also works), I go to a party in Jamaica Plain expecting to have one drink and drive home.  I end up playing (and winning) Beirut with him for hours before passing out in a recliner, bag of chips on my lap.  I wake up next to Josh on the couch with a giant picture of my ex’s naked centerfold in Playgirl (seriously) on the laptop.  In a house full of lesbians.
  • After deciding to go out for a veggie burger in the Back Bay, we end up drinking for hours, picking up college students and then getting lost in Beacon Hill looking for John Kerry’s house so we can play Ding Dong Ditch on his door.  Thankfully, we’re too drunk to find Louisburg Square and instead go to another bar, getting a pitcher of Sunset Wheat for each of us.
  • When taking out a new coworker for dinner, we end up hopping from bar to bar to bar…and out until 4:00 AM.  On a Tuesday.  On his first week in the office.  On an earlier date, we take out a visiting coworker from our UK office, end up having two oysters and three martinis each for dinner, and I end up inviting the whole bar to “the after-party” at my Somerville apartment.  Nobody came, thank God.

Combine that with free drinks from the bartender all night, and even some free food, and you have a recipe for disaster.  Yep, before long, Josh and I have had six Bellinis — EACH.  I’m chatting up the whole bar and telling stories that would make the cast of The Slutcracker blush.

And even after all that, I get a text message from the bartender late that night, telling me he’ll call me tomorrow.  (Apparently, I put myself in his phone as “Kate McIS SO HOT”.)

And he called me just now.  According to the context of the conversation, we made plans last night to hang out today…yeah, I have no recollection of that.  I told him that I couldn’t believe that he wanted to talk to me, ever, considering that the two times I’ve seen him, I’ve been shitfaced and making an ass out of myself.

But he didn’t care.  He doesn’t care at all.  He wants us to hang out.

The moral of this story is pretty obvious…STOP DRINKING, KATE.  Stop drinking to the point of blacking out.  Stop trying to match Josh drink for drink — he’s a guy, and that’s a contest you can’t win.  Free drinks do not equal a challenge.  Especially when alcoholism and addiction run in your family.

My company party is Friday (Lord, help us all), and I plan to go easy on the drinks there.  It won’t be easy — the venue has FABULOUS cocktails and there will be an open bar.  But it will probably be more entertaining to watch everybody else, and God knows that that’s probably what I need the most right now.

A Buenos Aires Thanksgiving Saturday, Dec 13 2008 

I’ve done Thanksgiving in a few different places — Florida was nice; Florence was AWESOME — but my Thanksgiving in Buenos Aires ranks among the greatest of all time.

Buenos Aires has a great group of Couchsurfers, and two of them, Romi and Belle, put together a great gathering at Romi’s house — which happened to be right in Palermo Viejo, a quick walk from my hostel.  The BA Couchsurfing group always has events going on.

We had dinner, everyone was SO warm and welcoming, I made friends from Argentina, Ecuador, Sweden, Colombia and all over the US (there were three Americans in our group!), we hung out for a while, and we went to a club (at 4:30, which I WISH you could do in Boston!!).

Here are the best pictures:

Andres (Ecuador), Louis (Chicago), Jorge (Colombia), Maxi (Buenos Aires) and Romi’s dog!

Christian (LA), a sunburned Kails and Belle (Buenos Aires)

The beginning of odd pictures with Maxi.

I LOVE THIS PICTURE.  Seaman (Sweden), Belle, me, cruisazy Christian and Romi (Buenos Aires) — I think Romi looks just like Lily Allen.

Seaman, Fanny (France) and Elia (California).

Yeah, I don’t even know…I thought we were taking a normal picture!!!  (I do love this guy.  So crazy.)

Club time!

What a great night.  This evening is testament enough to why you should sign up for couchsurfing, no matter where you’re headed on your next trip!

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.

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 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…

Las Vegas Itinerary Sunday, Jun 1 2008 

As you’ve likely heard by now, I’m heading to Las Vegas in a few weeks.  It’s my first time visiting — though I already feel like I know the Strip backward and forward.  (At my old job, my clients went to Las Vegas a lot and I worked with a lot of the promoters there.)

I’m going with Lisa and a few of our other friends.  We’ve been planning out our itinerary meticulously, and it looks like we’ve got it nearly finalized.  (And while I’m very lackadaisical when it comes to travel, Vegas is one place where you need to plan an itinerary in advance so you get the most out of your trip.)

We’re going within a few weeks.  Here is our itinerary:

Friday:

–Kate and Lisa arrive at 4:00 PM and check in at T.I. (formerly Treasure Island).
–After primping, exploring the immediate area and checking out the Sirens show, either grab dinner at Isla at T.I. or grab a cab to the Hard Rock and eat at Pink Taco.
–Hang out at the Center Bar.
–Check out the casino, maybe playing a tad of Blackjack or Roulette.
–Dancing at Body English until late.

Saturday:

–The others arrive at 10:00 AM.
–Head down to the Paris and have brunch at Le Village Buffet.
–Walk around and explore the casinos and attractions nearby, including the giant Victoria’s Secret at Caesars Palace.
–Back to T.I. to primp and get our hair blown out for the night.
–Lisa and Kate have dinner at Tao, then get drinks in the lounge.  (Simultaneously, the others have dinner on their own and go to Ray Romano’s show.  Yep, Ray’s still a family friend of hers.)
–Everyone meets up at Tao Nightclub and dances until late.
–I’d love to go to Drai’s, the after hours club, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen!

Sunday:

–Brunch at the T.I. buffet.
–Walk around the Venetian and check out the canals and shops.
–Visit Madame Tussaud’s.
–Head over to the Wynn to explore.
–Back to T.I. to primp.
–Dinner package at the Mirage.  I’m hoping for Japonais, but it will probably be somewhere else.
–See Cirque du Soleil: The Beatles LOVE at the Mirage.
–Head over to the Wynn to go to Tryst (likely just Lisa and Kate).

Monday:

–Brunch somewhere.
–Relax at the pool for much of the day, cocktails in hand.
–Get ready for the night and primp.
–Dinner at the Grand Lux Cafe at the Venetian.
–Head over to the Rio.
–CHIPPENDALES!!!!
–Hang out at Flirt Lounge and possibly also Voodoo Lounge for the view of the Strip.

Tuesday:

–Peel ourselves out of bed and grab flights home.  Land at Logan at 12:35 AM.  Work the next day.  Yikes.

There is so much that I want to do in Vegas.  After I do this basic trip, I kind of want to go back for a regular, 2-night weekend and just stay at the Palms the whole time.  We’re not getting to the Palms this time, but at least we’re getting to check out T.I., Hard Rock, Paris, Venetian, Wynn, Mirage and Rio at the very least.

We also got a pretty good deal.  We booked our tickets about a month and a half ago and got both the flights (switching in Dallas) and four nights at the hotel for $609 total.

I’m hoping to get a lot out of this — but most of all, I hope to get some incredible stories to tell!  I’m also hoping for a celebrity sighting or two — George Michael and Sarah Silverman will be there, but I swear, if I run into Wayne Brady, I will likely faint.

Good times are coming!  🙂

Oh my God, I actually crashed a bachelor party! Sunday, May 18 2008 

Red lipstick has always served me extraordinarily well.  It’s weird, but a lot of great things have happened because of my wearing red lipstick.

Last night was no exception — and it led to one of the craziest adventures I have EVER had!

My friend Holly’s birthday celebration was last night.  We met up at Kingston Station, had some drinks and proceeded over to the Hong Kong (where, honestly, I hadn’t been in quite a long time).

We had some scorpion bowls; we danced to 90s hip-hop; we checked out the mostly unremarkable crowd.

(Great quote from earlier in the night:
Me: “I hope we meet some hot guys tonight.”
Esther: “At the Hong Kong?”
Me: “…Yeah, you’re right.”)

And then the bachelor party arrived.

There were about 20 of them and they were dressed in red and blue baseball jerseys, either the “Jerk Sox” or “New Turk,” and they each had their nickname on the back.  The bachelor himself was decked out in a sombrero.

I went over to them and started chatting.  It’s wedding season, and whenever I spot a bachelor party, I always go talk them up.  It turns out that the groom was getting married in a little over a month and they had a full weekend of festivities planned.  (They had strippers at the house earlier.)  They also had a party bus outside.

The guys were awesome.  All of my friends talked to them a bit, but I was spending the most time with them.  (One of the guys told me that he had a girlfriend but that whatever I wanted, however my tastes fell, I could have my pick of the entire group!)

After about an hour or so, Holly’s group had mostly dispersed, and the guys were ready to move on to the next watering hole.  Then they started telling me that I should totally join them.

None of the other girls wanted to join me, and even though it went against any safety training I was EVER taught, I decided to join them.

Just me and a busful of guys.

Well, I got on the bus, grabbed a beer from the overstocked cooler, and joined in the fun, telling stories, throwing back drinks and dancing.  The guys were hanging from the bars like monkeys.

Check it out:

Lapdance!  Wouldn’t be a bachelor party without one!

There are a few girls in the back of this picture.  They picked up another group of girls to come with them as well — but I think it goes without saying that they weren’t nearly as fun as me.

 

There’s the groom in the sombrero.

Yeah, no comment.

But the guys at the Hong Kong did get pissed at him for wearing sunglasses inside.

 

I couldn’t resist.  I had to take a picture.

This guy was really cool.  We talked for a while, and it turns out that he is in the same industry as my new job!  He’s now working as a consultant, pulling in crazy money and working abroad.  It was FANTASTIC to hear about someone doing that.

This guy was just fun.

And now for the red lipstick.  I’ve found that guys always LOVE it.  There are certain biological reasons for this (I won’t go into details here, but Google it and you’ll find out some surprising information).  At any rate, it’s always a hit.

They told me to give the groom a kiss on the cheek, just to leave a mark on him before his wedding, so I did.  And pretty soon there we had escalated into all-out red lipstick war, and everyone was covered in it.

Yeah.  The guys wore it.

They put it on and they loved it.

It was a sea of red.

We dropped by a bar in Beacon Hill, but the line was too long, so we decided to just ride in the bus for a bit (while still doing acrobatics on the poles), then head back to Allston, where one of the revelers lived.  The group of girls joined us there, though they didn’t stay at the house for long.

One of the guys was really into wine, and I attempt to be somewhat into wine, so he ended up pouring a really nice Zinfandel, my favorite varietal.  (NOT White Zinfandel.  We had this argument with all the guys.)

I had to get a shot with the groom.  He was a really good sport, despite what they put him through all night.

I love this picture so much.  And doesn’t the guy on the right look like Joel McHale from The Soup?

I stayed there for a few hours, telling stories, dancing, singing songs, trading travel stories, trading drinking stories.  And it wasn’t weird at all being the only girl there.  In fact, it was exhilarating.  I was the center of attention (and you know how much I love that!).  They weren’t weird about it, either — though they kept trying to outdo each other whenever they were in front of me.

I have to say, they were such fun guys.  I had a blast hanging out with them.  They told me that I was the coolest girl ever for being spontaneous and actually coming on my own, without a buffer group.  Again, they were awesome.

I returned the favor by not overstaying my welcome and catching a cab back as the sun was rising.  The guys were due to play paintball today.  What a great bachelor weekend!

Looking back, I’m still kind of surprised I did it.  I mean, that’s exactly the kind of thing they tell you NOT to do.  Well, I trusted these guys, and I know that’s not a valid reason, but it was the truth.  And they turned out to be AWESOME. 

I’m off to find a new tube of bright red lipstick, because mine has worn down to a nub.

I HAD A FANTASTIC TIME!!!!!

The Pickup Artist Sunday, May 4 2008 

Oh my God, let me begin by saying that I just got back from a nightmarish commute home from the bar.  I left Hynes at about 12:15 AM and immediately got a Red Line train to Alewife at Park Street.

Between Harvard and Porter, the train just stopped for 15 minutes.  Just stopped.  As I listened to song after song on my iPod, I watched everyone get aggravated, especially since the sound system wasn’t great and we couldn’t decipher any of the announcements.

After that, the train spent several minutes lurching a few inches, then stopping, then lurching a few inches, then stopping.  It felt like we were trying to get over bumps.

They let us off at Porter, telling us that all trains were out of service.  This was one stop away from where I needed to be!

I knew getting a cab would be nearly impossible during this time of night, even on Mass. Ave., so I waited for a bus.  (This is major for me, considering that I have NEVER taken a bus in Boston that wasn’t a temporary shuttle.)  A bus never came.

I hopped into a cab with two other people trying to get to Alewife and I just had the driver drop me off on the corner of my street and Mass. Ave., walking the rest of the way back.  The other passengers were amused when I pointed out where I had seen Owen Wilson earlier today.

But I digress.

I met the WORST PICKUP ARTIST OF MY LIFE tonight.

I went to Match in the Back Bay with Esther, Lauren and Laura.  The place has a nice atmosphere, though the martinis aren’t strong at all (I had two and I didn’t even feel a buzz) and the prices are a bit high.  They could also stand to spend extra money on the bathrooms.

The bar was really crowded, so I went to get a drink on my own first.  I squeezed in next to a guy who looked like a young Sean Penn with black hair and a goatee.

Guy: “You are so beautiful.”

Me: “Thanks.”

Guy: “I love your eyes.”

Me: “Thank you.”

Guy: “I’m Michael.  What’s your name?”

Me: “Lisa.” [Sorry, Lisa!!  It was the first name I could think of!]

Guy: “I live right here.  Where do you live?”

Me: “You live in this bar?  Funny, I grew up here, but I now live at a watering hole down the street.”

Guy: “I love the shape of your face.” (Starts leaning over and brushes his goatee against my shoulder.  He repeats this twice over the course of our conversation.)

Me: (Nothing.)

Guy: “I love your lips.  Can I talk to you?”

Me: “Well, this is a bar, lots of people, lots to discuss, yay!”

Guy: “Can I see you again, Miss Ulley?” (He had leaned over, reading my partially obscured ID.)

Me: “Listen, as awesome as this conversation is, I’m going back to my friends.”

Guy: “When will I see you again?”

Ugh.

Right after me, Esther went up.

Guy: “You look like my cousin.  My cousin is hot.”

After that, Laura got hers.

Guy: “I love you.”

When Lauren went up, she made sure to stand far, far away.

Ugh.  He could have at least bought us a drink.

I’m really in the mood to go dancing again.  I haven’t been in months.  Maybe next weekend.

We have reached a new low. Sunday, Apr 6 2008 

Last night, Lisa and I went to the Liberty Hotel, better known as the former Charles Jail.  So much can be said about our night (running into guys from speed dating six months ago!  Really obvious prostitutes!  Doctors from Seattle telling us to move to the West Coast!), but one part sticks out the most:

The worst pickup line.  EVER.  And it was said to me and Lisa in total seriousness.

“I’m a radiologist.  I can see through you.”

Yeah.

The best part is, I saw the same guy trying to pick up a different group of women a while later, so I leaned in and said, “He’s a radiologist — he can see right through you.”

“I’m a radiologist, too!” one of the women snapped.  She then proceeded to spill her drink on me.  I’m not sure whether it was an accident or an intentional maneuver.  Geez.

Overall, it was a great night, and it was nice to go somewhere that wasn’t completely trashy, somewhere that had a theme (jail!), and somewhere where we could dress up and fit in well.  I highly recommend a visit to the hotel and both Alibi and the bar upstairs!

Oh, also, we came up with a few “alibis” of our own: Lisa was a jazz singer and I was a designer for the new Mandarin Oriental.  It worked until one guy asked if we were sisters and I said “yes” at the same time that Lisa said “no.”

Runner-up bad pickup line of the night: “Your dress is so shiny, I had to come over and talk to you!”  That guy lasted until he brought his friend over, whom we had met at speed dating six months ago.  There is NO way that that guy was between the ages of 22 and 32.

Highlights of St. Paddy’s Day 2008 Tuesday, Mar 18 2008 

St. Paddy’s Day is one of the many reasons that I am so happy to be living in Boston today.

I don’t have too much to say about the festivities of this year, so I’ll just let this picture speak for itself:

Yeah, that’s me and Lisa with Willie at the Burren in Davis!  Willie from Reading, whom I have known since the first grade!  He moved to my neighborhood a few months ago, so I’ve seen him around from time to time.

I love this picture.  You can see how glad we were to run into each other.

(I also told Surina about the time in the eighth grade when Willie told Lisa that he was going to crucify her and she freaked out until he told her that he meant the wrestling move, not an actual crucifixion.)

Here are the highlights of the night:

  • Lisa and I spent a while talking to a guy who is actually planning a trip to Somaliland!  I have NEVER met anyone who has even heard of Somaliland, let alone planning a trip there!  Somaliland is a region of Somalia that is SAFE, wonderful and so much better than Somalia that it has declared independence — only nobody in the world will recognize it as its own state.  (And how did I find out about this place?  Lonely Planet’s BLUELIST!)
  • I had fun with green eyeliner.
  • Lisa, Surina and I went to Diva for Indian food before our night out and had our usual tasty meal with horrible service.  And I had wonderful coconut and apricot naan.
  • At the Burren, we were sitting right near the ladies’ room and watched a guy walk in by mistake, then come out, holding his hands up in panic.  We laughed for a good ten minutes.
  • We met a guy who teaches science at Parker, one of the middle schools in Reading!  (My sister went there, but Lisa and I went to the other one.)  And he knows our friend who teaches there!
  • Apparently, when a guy walks in with a handlebar moustache, it’s socially acceptable to just point and yell “STAAAAAAAAACHE!”
  • Lisa can jig just as well as her Irish mother!

As always, a great time.  It wasn’t the epic evening that last year was, but it was also a Monday and not a Saturday.  It was relaxing and fun.

A bad drunk ruins things for everyone. Sunday, Feb 10 2008 

I went out to the Hong Kong in Boston this evening.  It’s one of my favorite dive bars.  The occasion was that my friend and former co-worker had left our company and she was celebrating with friends.

As I got there — at around 9:30 PM or so — there was one girl in the group who was substantially more drunk than the rest of us.  She was GONE, and it was pretty early in the evening.  She hadn’t paced herself.

Yet again, I have a horrible cold.  When she reached out to shake my hand, I gave her a wave, a thumbs-up and a Japanese bow, as I didn’t want to shake her hand.  She seemed to be seriously offended nonetheless.

The next hour was normal.  We hung out; we ate the Hong Kong’s signature Chicken-On-A-Stick-For-A-Dollar, and we had a good time.  This girl had a good time.  Then I mentioned that Martin Scorsese had a recent casting in Boston.  God, if I had only known a day in advance!  He was looking for women to be extras as nurses — and women with natural hair, no highlights!

I haven’t gotten highlights or dyed my hair since I was 17!  I was a perfect candidate to be in Martin Scorsese’s latest film!

Anyway, I talked about Massachusetts’ new and prominent role in the film industry, and we had a great conversation.  Then, the girl had to speak up:

“You look like a piece of shit.”

“Excuse me?” I said.

“I said that you look like a piece of shit.  Your hair looks like a piece of shit.”

I was dumbfounded.  “Don’t you know that that’s a mean thing to say to someone?”

“You look like a piece of shit.”

She then proceded to tell my friend Michelle’s boyfriend, Tim, that she liked him but she didn’t liek me and Michelle.

God, can you believe the nerve?  And, apparently, she hadn’t had very much to drink.  My friend, Holly, told me that she and her boyfriend had broken up recently, and she had been acting out in reaction to the boyfriend.  He never treated her well.

Seriously, though, does that make it an excuse for her to turn on the rest of us, including me, a girl she hadn’t met until this evening?

Watch what you drink.

After that incident, my friends and I were so disgusted that we headed to Boston Rocks.  I had never been to Boston Rocks before, but it fit my expectations — largely suburbanites who make their annual trip to the clubs in Boston.  Good music, though — we had the best time singing DMX’s “Party Up”!  “Y’all gon’ make me lose my mind, up in heah, up in heah…”

Earlier in the evening, I had to literally pull her off the bouncer.  She kept hugging him, jumping on him, wrapping herself around him.  And he kept signaling us to pull her off him so he could do his job.

Seriously.  THERE IS A TIME AND PLACE FOR THAT, AND IT’S CALLED COLLEGE.

We’re too old for that.

Donnie Wahlberg Birthday Pictures Tuesday, Sep 25 2007 

Although I wrote about our adventure to Donnie Wahlberg’s birthday party at the Estate in Boston, I never took posted the pictures. Here they are:

At age 38 or so (I think), Donnie is starting to look kind of rough.
I still can’t believe we didn’t realize Jordan Knight was there until the pictures were posted on PerezHilton.com!

Best of Boston Sunday, Sep 2 2007 

I was going to make this into three separate entries, but with the craziness of my life, I’ll have to consolidate them to one.

First of all, Lisa and I went to Union, who continued their Restaurant Week menu through the end of the month.

Holy God, our waiter was gorgeous.

Lisa tends to laugh uncontrollably at inappropriate moments. I don’t, but as soon as SHE starts laughing, I never stop. Therefore, whenever our waiter came by to talk to us, we would both be nearly in hysterics and our waiter smiled sheepishly. Then we started talking with him, and it turns out that he’s a pretty cool guy (and not just unforgivably gorgeous). After that, we saw him as a person, not just a perfectly sculpted piece of meat who looked just like a young George Clooney with a bit of Stamos thrown in. We like ’em tall and dark.

Besides the waiter, Union was awesome — definitely my favorite restaurant so far. Everything was great. The food — oh, the food! — is upscale New American food, or, more simply, really upscale comfort food. In addition to their nice entrees (I had coriandar-dusted sea scallops and she had barbecued salmon), they’re known for dishes like their gnocchi, burger, sandwiches, NICE brunch, and just a lot of familiar food that they manage to recraft as fine dining. The food was great. My favorite course was the appetizer, prosciutto-wrapped plums, which made it seem, between the texture and the meat, that you were actually eating steak! We both had smores tarts for dessert.

The atmosphere is great, as well. There are these awesome black round leather banquettes where you can fit five people, and the lighting is great, there are little, bright-colored single flowers at each table, and there’s even a bit of rustic wood. It sounds like it wouldn’t match, but it works. It works quite well.

As for the service, it was fantastic. Our waiter was great, and when I mentioned how L’Espalier felt robotic and weird, he told me that he knows someone who works there and they have to follow all these strict rules and start out keeping only 50% of their tips. Yikes! He said that at Union, they’re pretty much allowed to do their own thing. You could tell — he seemed himself. I still have to say that I give Excelsior the highest marks for doing everything and seeming like they’re never there, but Union is a close second.

Also, I saw an ex across the room. Not pleasant. I had previously mentioned on this blog that I was going on that particular night, so it’s certainly no fault of mine.

Lisa and I went to the Hong Kong for some karaoke afterward (“I would walk 500 miles” and “I Touch Myself”) and, as usual, we met a pair of guys, and, as usual, we overheard them discussing who would go for whom, and, as usual, the unattractive one picked me. ALWAYS!!

This past week, we found out about quite an unusual event. DONNIE WAHLBERG, former New Kid on the Block and brother of Marky Mark, was having his birthday party in Boston, and it was open to the public!!

We had to go.

The party was at the Estate, where Mansion used to be (not that I had previously been to either) and there was no cover until 11. The club is really opulent — chandeliers everywhere, including the bathroom stalls, red velvet couches, and scenes from old movies were playing on screens. The drinks were astoundingly expensive, which sent us on a search to find guys to buy free drinks for us.

We quickly learned that it wasn’t nearly as easy as when we’re at Sissy K’s, one of our more frequented places, where the guys are all from the suburbs and the drinks in question are $1.50.

We started asking, portraying it as a bit of a joke (when it really wasn’t), and one guy told us to find the “little guy in a suit” named Sal, and that he’d hook us up.

We started going up to every remotely small guy in any combination of clothing that could be considered a suit and going, “Sal?” If he stared blankly, we moved on.

We eventually came up to the guy who we had described as a “little dark Ryan Seacrest” and went, “Sal?”

He broke into a huge smile and said, “Hey, how have you guys been?”

Hilarious. I love when people try to act like they remember you when they actually don’t — and when they SHOULDN’T, because they’ve never met you!!

We talked to him for a bit, and we were a bit too polite to outright ask him to hook us up with free stuff. Later, though, we were talking with this guy who had really long hair and the girls giving away free beers loved him, so they hooked us up, too.

Donnie himself only spent around 30 minutes at the club. We tried our hardest to get up to the VIP platform, but the bouncers were EXTREMELY adamant about keeping us as far from the stage as possible. We got yelled at. A lot. We did get a few good pictures of Donnie blowing out his candles. (He looks ROUGH. It was his 38th birthday.) Sadly, Marky Mark wasn’t there, but Jordan Knight was.

We then went to Chau Chow City to gorge ourselves on chicken fingers and crab rangoons. My sister lives right by there, so I called her, but she was sleeping.

Overall, Lisa and I agreed that, even though we hadn’t met any more New Kids (I met Joey McIntyre once, and she’s met him a few times), the night had been a success.

I haven’t slept this week at all, and I’ve been a complete grouch because of it. It was SO fantastic to sleep in today. Now it’s 1:30, I’m still in my pajamas, and I’m transferring my music from my old computer to my new one (finally).

I love my new computer, by the way. It’s a Dell Inspiron 1521, and it is nothing short of SUBLIME. I love it, I love it, I love it!

On Friday night, my new roommate, Jessica, and I had no plans, so we decided to go to see The Nanny Diaries, which is now playing at the little Somerville Theater in our neighborhood. We had both heard that the movie wasn’t supposed to be that great, but we both enjoyed the book and liked the cast.

We also decided that, as this is the only movie theater we had ever been to (except for the one where I went in Florence) that actually sells BEER, we had to get some. We got Harpoon UFOs and wristbands.

The movie was pretty good — we both enjoyed it. It was no The Devil Wears Prada, and Laura Linney’s no Meryl Streep, that’s for sure, but it was a fun girly popcorn movie. I felt like they included a lot of parts from the book but only briefly, and it probably seemed rushed and random to people who hadn’t read the book. For example, they included the parts with the crazy cokehead Park Avenue mother who threw cake frosting everywhere, and the part when the grandmother showed up, but both were for less than a minute.

I did love that Donna Murphy was in it (she’s the ballet teacher in Center Stage, one of my favorite movies of all time) and I thought she and Scarlett Johansson looked like a realistic mother and daughter.

After the movie, we decided to hit up Johnny D’s. Johnny D’s is one of the best-known places in Davis Square, and I was surprised that people came from all over, including a woman from Reading, and I actually know her son! I was expecting the Somerville/Cambridge/Medford/Arlington crowd, but it was much more than that.

Johnny D’s is famous for its live musics, with shows almost every night. It also has a nice jazz brunch that I’d like to check out. There was a well-known blues singer that night, Jeff Pitchell, and he and his band were great — a lot of fun. Great music.

What will always stick out in my mind the most, however, is one particular dancer.

The club wasn’t that crowded, but a good amount of people were on the dance floor by the middle of the night. This included his “groupies,” as Jessica and I dubbed them, three (sadly) overweight and unattractive women in various degrees of skimpy clothing who were dancing like crazy and singing along to every song.

One of the women — oh my GOD! She was, I’m sad to say, quite homely, and she wore a short-sleeved see-through flesh-colored lace top over a black tank top, and an incomprehensible denim skirt. The skirt was quite short — shorter than mid-thigh — and had two layers of ruffles at the bottom, one denim, one white.

She proceeded to dance like crazy the entire night, drinking and flaying her arms around, becoming more and more wild.

That’s when her skirt began to flip up.

She was wearing white Hanes Her Way undies, and they were CLEARLY visible to the entire bar. She kept turning and turning, and the skirt kept flipping halfway up her butt.

“This is like a car crash,” said Jessica. “I can’t look away.”

“Aren’t those supposed to be her friends?” I pointed out.

Well, we left a few hours later, and she was still going strong, still showing her ass to the masses. I have no idea if she ever even noticed.

Poor girl.

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