Just me. (lara7) wrote,
Just me.
lara7

My trip to Vegas- the handy bullet point list version

It's been 3 weeks since I went to Las Vegas for the big Rockabilly fest, so it's kinda pointless to write about it in detail now. So instead, a bullet point-type list:

1) like Ella Fitzgerald in her final years, Ruth Brown is in her 70's and has to sing sitting down, yet still has an amazing set of pipes. However, Ruth Brown is way cooler because she was in a John Waters film (Motormouth Mabel in "Hairspray"), whereas Ella, sadly, never was.

2) "Rockabilly Hall of fame" perfomer is often code for "Washed up has-been".

3) Girls from Japan in retro vintage clothes with bleached blonde Marilyn Monroe hair are both beautiful and creepy. And there were quite a few of them.

4) If the line is long at the bar and you want a drink, go play slots or video poker. by the time you've spent your $3, the waitress will have come by for your drink order (drinks are free whilst gambling) and if you're really lucky like I was , you win $10, meaning your drink actually cost you negative seven dollars.

5) many young Rockabilly fans know how to dance "The Stroll", drive cars 20-30 years older than they are, and have tattoos that their fathers' other brothers might have had. This can be weird and off-putting until you realize that Viva Las Vegas is exactly like the SCA, only set in 1950-1962 America and without the hitting each other with bamboo swords part.

6) Vegas is like Disneyland, except with drinking, gambling, and hookers. Once you get used to that, you can embrace the artifice and be less appalled at the whole spectacle of it.

I also went to a ghost town, Rhyolite, that in its heyday was a train stop and had something like 10,000 residents. Many of the buildings were concrete, so there's a lot left to see there. Rhyolite also boasts a standing "bottle house", which was apparently a common old west construction method- in the desrt, wood is expensive, and if the train didn't stop there, building materials were hard to ship in. So people would use bottles in place of bricks, turning the necks inside the house and the bottom to the outside.

Also outside of Rhyolite is something called the "Goldwell Open Air Museum", which is basically a "crazy Belgian out in the desert making sculptures" type of outsider art environment. It was way cool. My new default LJ icon is a photo of one of his creations. Also present in the dozen or so sculptures is a 40ft woman made of cinderblocks painted pink and a miner being followed by a penguin (?!), as well as something called "The Last Supper" which looks spectral and nothing at all like the traditional depictions.

I have photos here:
http://ref7.lib.umbc.edu/lara7/vegas/

look for pics starting with "GOAM" if you wanna see the "Goldwell Open Air Museum" pics- Rhyolite and bottle house pics are also neat as well.
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