That’s really sad, isn’t it?
One day in June, I spent a lovely Saturday with my friend. Our day included dim sum, Netflix, shopping, walking, Jenga, the park, slack lining, drinking, and a barbecue. So yeah, it was fun times. I think it may have actually been my first time having dim sum. I’m still amazed that I actually woke up early to go.
I don’t have Netflix. I’m not too cheap to get it, I just don’t feel like it would be worth it for me since I live with my family and have a bunch of stuff on pvr and not enough time to watch it. But I’m glad my friend has Netflix because it means I can get my Archer fix whenever we hang out.
A few of us went to the park that day and hung out. We stocked up on chips and strawberries and one of my friends brought a hula hoop. Except whoever made that hula hoop must have been really sadistic because it had ridges on the inside which made it painful to use. But we did it anyway. She also brought a slackline. Which is pretty much like a low tight rope walk kind of thing but wider. I’m terrible at it. I can barely even stand on the thing, let alone walk across it. A little kid came by and tried it and she rocked it. Because you know, that had to happen to make me feel worse about my inabilities.
We were going to attempt to play the Star Trek Catan game that my friend bought at Fan Expo. But we opened up the box, looked at the rules, tried to make sense of them, and decided this was not the time or the place for it. None of us had ever played Settlers of Catan before either and we kind of wished we had Ben Wyatt there to show us how. We will try eventually. But we just didn’t have the energy or the patience to figure it out at that moment. Instead, we used the box as a base on which to play Jenga. Because park Jenga is the best kind of Jenga. Even if the uneven ground makes the tower slanted. Because you know, we like to play dangerously.
The barbecue and the shopping and everything was fun, but one thing about that day really stands out above the rest. While enjoying the sunshine, we noticed earlier in the day that there was a yard sale. So naturally, we decided to go check it out. It would probably be all junk and all the good stuff would be gone by the time we got there because that was just our luck. But we thought we’d give it a shot. It’s not as if we had anything better to do at the time. This was before all the park excitement when we had time to kill before we met up with people.
At the yard sale, there were some random old books and games and records. None of which we wanted to buy. But they also had Star Wars glasses. For a dollar each. They were the kind that you used to get with meals at fast food places. Back when they were classy enough to give you actual glasses. So naturally my friend bought two of them.
But the best was yet to come. They had New Kids on the Block dolls. I didn’t even know they made New Kids On the Block dolls. How awesome is that? These were part of the “hangin loose” collection, where they’re dressed in casual clothes. Apparently there was a whole separate line where they were in concert attire, and you could buy a separate stage to go with it. Sadly, this was like right before my time. I grew up with Backstreet Boys and Nsync. But I still appreciate New Kids on the Block.
Unfortunately, they did not have the whole set. They only had three of them. But Joey, he was special. Because he was still inside an unopened box. That must be worth something right? So Joey came home with my friend that day. They didn’t have Donnie. Or he would have probably come home with her as well.
But yeah. Star Wars glasses and a Joey McIntyre doll. Best purchases ever! And all for just $7. Does my friend know how to shop, or does my friend know how to shop?
Bloggers in Sin City, Day 1
Upon my arrival at The Flamingo, I proceeded to spend the remainder of the day meeting more people and drinking. Because those two things go hand in hand, do they not? This was probably the first time I have ever hung out with a large group of people, none of whom I knew previously, and actually felt comfortable. We talked as if we were old friends. I’m not saying that I wasn’t awkward, because it’s safe to say that I probably definitely was. But I’m always awkward so that’s nothing new. I was already friends with a lot of them on Facebook, and some of them recognized me from updating my status all the time everyday. But since they’re all social media fanatics as well, no one was judging me for it. A couple people also recognized me as the girl who loved shoes. Apparently when I posted about Army & Navy, some of them thought I was actually buying army boots at some sort of military store. I had to clarify and explain what Army & Navy really was.
It was happy hour at Carlos and Charlie’s when I arrived, so perfect timing. New friendships were made and margaritas were drank. Larissa pretended it was Tom‘s birthday so that the waitress with the big boobs would come over and pour shots in his mouth. And she did. And it was awesome.
When it was time to check in, I met Megan, who I would be rooming with for the first and last day of our stay. Being the awesome person that I am, I used my Total Rewards card in order to get ahead in line. We went back down to Carlos & Charlie’s and had some awesome quesadillas.
At one point, we all seemed very depleted and worn out and we weren’t sure why. We were also all very on edge and upset about the fact that our phones were all dying. It would appear that when you’re a social media buff and your phone battery is drained, your energy level may also become drained. The solution? A phone charging party, naturally. And so a bunch of us got together in the hotel room to charge our phones, and as we did, we too slowly regained our energy.
My original plan was to go see strippers that night. Because why would I not go see strippers that night? But I wasn’t feeling it. Shocking, I know. There were only a few people who had originally wanted to go and the strippers we wanted to see were all the way on the opposite side of the strip. I mean maybe if I had more energy at the time I would have been all for it, but I decided my first night would be better spent wandering around our side of the strip and meeting more awesome new people. Besides, I had already seen Thunder From Down Under last year in Vegas and again this year in Vancouver. I’m thinking once a year should be what I aim for.
Instead, a few of us wandered around the strip and walked down to The Venetian where we contemplated taking a gondola ride but decided against it. We walked past Madame Tusseauds wax museum, where we took pictures with The Rock and Justin Timberlake. Next time I’m in Vegas, I want to actually go inside and take pictures with all the celebrities.
We later met up with others at Centre Cut Steakhouse in the Flamingo for martinis and bacon. Because who doesn’t love martinis and bacon? Especially when there’s three different kinds of bacon.
More people showed up as the hours went by. The group from DC took a limo from the airport, which somehow may have ended up being cheaper than the shuttle I took. I was jealous. Eventually I met Kitty and another Megan, who were my other roommates for the night. I think I ended my night watching TV and eagerly anticipating what the rest of the trip had in store for me.
So I’ve decided to sporadically write my posts about Vegas whenever I feel like it, in between posts about various other things. At this rate, I’ll still be writing them in the winter. But whatever. That works for me. Bloggers in Sin City was just full of so much stuff that I feel like I need to write like ten posts about it at least.
When I arrived at the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas in May, I was supposed to meet up with Jessica, a fellow blogger who I had never met, because our flights arrived ten minutes apart. So it made sense that we could just meet up, and make our way to the Flamingo together. Simple, right? Or so we thought.
I picked up my luggage at baggage claim 26. Jessica was at baggage claim 10. This is where the confusion began, because wherever Jessica was, the numbers only went up to 16. How was this possible? I was clearly at baggage claim 26. Had I entered some magical world like how Harry Potter goes to platform 1 and 3/4? I didn’t recall having ran through any walls or anything, so that couldn’t be it.
And that’s when we realized that we were at different terminals. Curse the Las Vegas airport for being so damn big. So we brilliantly decided to take the interterminal shuttles to meet each other. So we both went to the shuttles and got on them. At the same time. Going in opposite directions. It was too late to turn back. So I believe Jessica simply stayed on her shuttle and took a round trip to meet me back at terminal 1. Or was it 3? I don’t even know anymore. And yes, this was all as confusing as it sounds, possibly more so.
We wandered a bit and eventually had to go ask someone where the hell the hotel shuttles were. Upon finding them, we patiently waited until it came time to board. And then patiently waited while it drove oh so very slowly around the strip, proceeding to drop off every other passenger but us. Not only were we the last to get to our hotel, the driver even stopped to pick up people to take back to the airport before finally dropping us off at The Flamingo. Actually, she dropped us off a block away from the Flamingo because of “construction” or whatever. We hoped that this experience would not be indicative of the rest of our time in Vegas. It was unfortunate that our shuttle ride took so long, but if I was going to have to spend a ridiculous amount of time getting from the airport to the hotel, I’m sure as hell glad that time spent was with Jessica because she made it awesome.
You know how when a person is depressed, they feel lack of motivation and the things that they once enjoyed no longer interest them? I’ve kind of been feeling that way about blogging. It used to be easier. It used to be so effortless. Now sometimes it just seems like a chore. A chore that isn’t even necessary really. And so I keep putting it off. And no one knows when it will ever get done.
I don’t know why I feel this way. It’s not what I want. I do want to gain back that joy that writing once brought me. I want that excitement I once felt just thinking about it and looking forward to being able to write. Now and then it does cross my mind, but then I come up with excuses as to why I can’t do it or I don’t have time. And if I do happen to have a free moment, I fill it with other things. I’m always out doing something. And when I do have that rare time at home, I give up and concede that my time would be better spent watching TV. When the hell has anyone’s time ever been better spent watching TV?
So productivity as far as blogging goes is now at an all time low. I’m not really sure how to get it back up to a reasonable pace. And I’m not really even sure what a reasonable pace would be. But definitely more often and more consistently than I have been lately. Setting a schedule doesn’t really work for me. Randomness is how I function best. Although randomness hasn’t been working for me either as of late. You know how you tell a lazy person to get up off their ass and go do something? Would it be the opposite for me? Like I need to sit my ass back down and stop whatever I’m doing and start writing again?
When a person is depressed, they begin to wonder whether they even matter to anyone and what the point of their life is. Similarly, I wonder whether this blog even matters to anyone and what the point of it is. Is there a point? Although I’ve never actually cared about it having a point. And I have had a few people ask if I’m still blogging or say that they enjoyed some of my previous entries. But is that enough to motivate me to continue? It should be. But I’m not sure if it is.
Is it ironic that after I went to a blogging conference, I kind of stopped blogging? Not as a result of it, but coincidentally I suppose. I always blame time. I have no time. I was recently talking to a friend about how I didn’t understand how she had time for everything she does. And she told me that she doesn’t, she just forces herself to do things. Which I totally understand. I used to be like that. I still am, in many aspects, just not with blogging anymore. A lot of people would tell me that they didn’t understand how I had the energy to work full time, take classes, volunteer, blog, and still go out as much as I do. And the truth is I really don’t have the energy. I’m tired all the time. But I force myself to still do all the things I want to do. When something is important to you, you make the time for it. Right now I’m just wondering how important blogging really is to me.
If you’re a blogger or a writer, I’m sure you understand where I’m coming from. And it’s not even writer’s block. Or blogger’s block, or whatever you want to call it. Because I have ideas. I haven’t even written properly about Vegas yet. And you know how important Vegas is to me. Time remains a key problem for me. And the lack of motivation stems from me doubting my abilities as a writer. I feel like I used to be better than this too. I am better than this. So why won’t it show in my writing any longer? I know everyone has self doubt at some point, no matter how good they are.
I think I’m going to try and find the time for this. Try, being to key word. Wish me luck. Or don’t. Are people actually more likely to accomplish something if someone tells them “Good luck”? Does that really ever change anything or make a difference at all? Also this is very small life goal. Of course I could be putting my time and my efforts into bigger and better things than trying to start writing again. But whatever, I can choose to focus on this for a moment if I want to.
Well, it would appear that I have now written a blog post. Kind of wordy one. And possibly whiny. Is it whiny? I can’t actually tell. I’m hoping it’s not because I hate it when people are whiny. Does this fact that I just wrote a blog post mean that maybe I’m taking a step towards coming out of my blogging depression? Only time will tell.
On May 15th, I hopped on a plane to go to Vegas for Bloggers in Sin City. I took a giant suitcase that I didn’t actually fill up. Because clearly I needed to make sure there was ample extra space in there for any and all purchases I might possibly probably definitely make while I was there. I had done this before. I knew what I was doing. My dad was nice enough to drive me to the airport, which was great because I didn’t want to have to spend money on a cab before going, as I knew I’d likely be spending a lot of money on cabs in Vegas. And taking public transit with a giant suitcase, a carry on, and a giant purse? Doable, but not at all ideal.
I went through bag check, security, and customs pretty quickly. A lot faster than I was used to in the past. It seemed so much less stressful to travel alone, with no one pestering me about whether I have everything or warning me not to lose things or making sure we’re on time. Why did it take me this long to actually take a trip by myself? It’s something I would totally like to do more often.
Guess who got “randomly selected” for a pat down at security? Yeah, I’m used it. Although at this point I’m pretty sure there’s nothing random about it. My friend asked me if it was a hot guy doing the pat down. Nope. Instead, it was an old Filipino lady. She gave me a choice and said I could either go into that large scanner booth, or get a pat down. I opted for the pat down. Then she asked if I wanted the pat down to be done in the private booth. I said no, I was fine just doing it there. I wanted witnesses. Something about the need for a private booth made it seem like there would be more than just a pat down. If it isn’t enough that your shoes are already off, they make you lean against the wall, bend over, and let them look under your feet as well.
Customs was better than security. When the guy asked me what I was going to Vegas for, I said “A blogging conference.” And then he asked what that meant. He was like “Is that just like a let’s all meet up in Vegas thing?” and I said yes. And then he asked me what I blogged about. I believe my answer was something like “Just random stuff.” I wanted to say “I blog about awkward interactions with airport customs agents,” but I somehow felt that would not be the best response.
I was really bored while waiting for my flight, so I decided to text people and browse the internet. Because that’s what an iPhone is for, right? But the battery life on that thing is so shitty that I had to stop at some point or else it would have been drained before I even got on the plane. There was an “Everything under $20″ store right by my gate. Because of course there was. Why wouldn’t they want to entice me to start spending money before even getting to Vegas, where I would inevitably be spending even more money? I resisted for a while then decided to take a look. Apparently “everything under $20″ means, everything is $19.99. I decided to save my money for more important things. Like food and drinks and slot machines.
I flew with West Jet, which I thought was supposed to be a good airline. But for the first time ever, there were no TVs and not even any music on the flight. I mean understand that it was a short flight so there wasn’t much point in beginning to watch a movie. But I expected little TV screens with the option to watch a show. Nope. Despite my disappointment, the flight went smoothly and I arrived when I was supposed to.
And now I’ll stop boring you with the unnecessary details of my flight and proceed to actually talk about Vegas. You know, when I feel like it.
Last year, I came across a post on Laura’s blog Red Lips and Academics. I had never met Laura, but I enjoyed reading her blog. In this particular post, she had mentioned going to Vegas for a blogging conference. I thought that sounded pretty cool, so I decided to look into it further. And then I forgot about it. And then months went by and I saw stuff about it again popping up on my Twitter feed. And I began to debate as to whether or not I should sign up.
The event was called Bloggers in Sin City. Essentially, 68 strangers meet up in Vegas for three days. Did I want to be one of them? I did. I really did. But then I thought about my finances and whether or not it was for me. I’ve never been the type of person to be all social and join things. I hate being forced to bond with people. Whenever it happens, I always tend to rebel. But this would be different. No one was forcing me to go. If I decided to go, it would be my own decision. I looked through the registration page to see who the attendees were. And they all seemed pretty cool. They blogged, they loved social media, they seemed to share my sense of humour, and they just all sounded like really nice people. Why would I not go? I love Vegas, so why not?
And so I registered. Well, I tried to register. And somehow failed. So I emailed Nicole, who’s been organizing the event for five years, and we figured out my payment method and it was done. I wrote up my bio, looked through the itinerary, and then spent several months in eager anticipation. And then freaked out trying to figure out my flight and all those fun details. This was my first time trip traveling alone. As an adult, anyway. When I was like 11 or something, I went to visit my aunt and uncle in Halifax, and I had to wear a sign around my neck that said “unaccompanied minor” so that people would help me out. But this time, I was going it alone.
It was a mix of excitement and confusion when I told people that I was going. Some people would be like “Wow, that’s so brave of you to go to this on your own.” and others would be like “Wait, you don’t know anyone there? Why are you going?” I don’t really expect most people to understand. And that’s okay. It’s not like I went because I’m so Vegas obsessed and couldn’t find anyone to go with me. There are people I could have gone with. But this was more than just a Vegas trip. It was an experience and I got to meet a bunch of cool people who I wouldn’t otherwise know existed. And I’m really glad I did.
I spent five nights in Vegas on this trip. Which seems like a lot. For Vegas. I mean I suppose there’s only so much day drinking, overeating, and partying that a person can take. But the time just went by and I enjoyed every minute of it. It was filled with all sorts of epic things that I will never forget. We spent the first day drinking at the Flamingo and meeting people as they arrived. The next day, we got VIP bags and lanyards and played an awesome game of Cards Against Humanity. We had a welcome mixer at Serendipity 3, complete with food, drinks, 8 second hugs, and the most intense staring contest I have ever participated in. We drank and danced at Margaritaville to a band playing 80′s music. One of the best Thursday nights I’ve had.
On Friday, we had a pool party at the Flamingo. I don’t even know how to describe it other than it was awesome. For dinner, we went to the Spice Market Buffet at Planet Hollywood, where there was so much food I could hardly contain myself. Then we went to see “O” by Cirque du Soleil, which had a lot of crazy diving stunts by amazingly talented performers. After that, some of us went out and danced at a shitty club but at least it was a shitty club in Vegas.
On Saturday, we had a breakfast buffet at the Flamingo, and then I went to Minus 5 Ice Bar at the Monte Carlo. We had another buffet that night at Paris and the night ended with a rooftop party on top of Pure nightclub. Actually the night didn’t end there, it ended after following that up with clubbing at Act at the Venetian, and then getting lost trying to find our way out of the Venetian.
On Sunday, we had our fourth and final buffet and started saying our goodbyes. There were strong bonds and friendships made that weekend and no one wanted it to end. I went to In-N-Out Burger for the first time. I had a cheese plate at Otto at the Venetian. That day was filled with a lot of food and a lot of feelings.
I’m really glad I went and that I got to meet so many great people. This was the fifth and final year of the event, which I’m really sad about. I should have found out about it sooner. But some of us were talking about how there’s no reason we can’t just all end up in Vegas together at the same time next year, even if it’s not officially for Bloggers in Sin City. I will post more later about specific things that happened in Vegas. Because I can. Because I want to relive them. Because what happens in Vegas ends up getting blogged about. And now I’m sitting here in my post-Vegas depression. I’m not sure how long it will last but I’m beginning to think that the only cure is to go back to Vegas.