Thursday, September 21, 2006

Back from the dead

My blog has laid here empty for a while, like a homeless guy sprawled on the park bench you see every time you walk past, uncertain if he's asleep or maybe dead, so you hurry past. I'll try to update at least once in a while with bits of Japan-related content, mostly poker stuff.

Vegas was wonderful and relaxing. Until now, when I have Vegased for a week, by the end of it I am tired of the gambling, the bright lights, the fictionality of it all, and happy to move on.

This time I enjoyed every day and would happily have stuck around for another week (or more) if I could have. The difference must have been the rental car. I was free to leave the strip, to drive out to WalMart and buy bluejeans for $20, huge tubs of multivitamins, NyQuil, antiperspirant bars, and other toiletries that are hard to get here in Japan. I listened to DJs banter to each other on the car radio as I drove around and found the In-and-Out Burger by the UNLV campus. I pulled in for a Double Double, fries and chocolate shake, eavesdropping on the college kids at the table next to me talking about comic book movies. Then I took surface streets out to the Red Rocks casino instead of the highway, getting caught in early evening traffic and seeing a lot of neighborhood strip malls and corner banks. I wandered the casino for a bit and then paid a mere $8 to see Superman Returns at the cineplex.

It was a dose of daily Americana and easy automotive freedom I hadn't had in ages, and it soothed me. I don't think I even gambled that day, other than 20 minutes of cheap video poker before the movie. With a car, I would probably not get tired of Vegas for a long, long time.

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