Category

las vegas

10 Years, 10 Friends, 10 Days: The Mothership

By | friends, guest posts, las vegas, links, memories, milestones, road trips, take me away, the malibu, the places you'll go, travel, what have you been doing for the last 10 years? | One Comment

utah

Guest post #4 is by my mom. I’m glad she took a little while to elaborate on the series of brief posts I wrote about our cross-country drives back in 2004 because it was the perfect opportunity to post a few more photos from back in the day when blogging pictures was pretty much nonexistent. =) Also, “Blinded by the light.” That is all.

My guest post is about a series of blog posts that Lisa made during January 2004 and April 2004. As I looked over Lisa’s blog, it occurred to me that the posts I should share are those that involved our travels. I love to travel and I hope I passed a little of that gene on to Lisa.

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In January 2004, Lisa decided she would move to Vegas to live with my brother, Frank, his wife, Kim, and their four kids (the little cousins). Of course, she would need her car, so the only way to get there was to drive. One small problem…Lisa didn’t want to drive alone. This began our cross country adventure.

NJ to Las Vegas — Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6 (February 2004)

graceland

We decided we would take Route 40, so we set off making our first stop Blacksburg, VA, to meet up with a few of Lisa’s sorority sisters. We spent five days together encountering rain, snow and fog; we discovered Graceland is closed on Tuesdays and hiked down a canyon in Arizona.

canyon

We shopped for western boots in Texas and travelled a bit of the famous Route 66, stopping at a car museum along the way. Watching the tumbleweeds occupied a lot of our day in New Mexico and Arizona, and finally, we drove over Hoover Dam – a sure sign that we were almost there.

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As it turned out, Lisa spent three months in Las Vegas and said it was time to come home. You know what that meant. Mommy had to drive Lisa and the Malibu back to Jersey.

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Las Vegas to NJ — Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5 (April 2004)

Being one to take every advantage of a situation, I decided we would take a more northern route this time. It was spring so most of the snow in Colorado should be melted. We headed up to Utah and into Colorado. We made our first stop in Vail at the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa. The next day we set out for Pike’s Peak to ride the cog railroad, but the car was having a lot of trouble getting out of its own way at 9,000 feet. We were sure the Malibu was in need of repairs. We departed Vail and while we were doing 45 MPH down the highway, we watched the signs tick off the altitude telling us we were descending to a more oxygen rich atmosphere. We were so happy that the Malibu had enough oxygen to continue our journey.

cog wheel

Driving along Route 70 in Kansas at night, we hit a piece of truck tire which prompted us to pull into the next gas station and check for leaks under the car. Back on the highway, a huge tumbleweed crossecd the highway and I was sure it was a cow! It was time to stop for the night. We made a short stop in St. Louis to ride the tram to the top of the Arch and took a boat ride on the Mississippi River.
I’m so glad Lisa took the time to document our travels every night. I just read each day’s account and it brought back all those memories.

arch

Although I have spent more wonderful days with Lisa than I can count, I would have to say that these ten days were among some of my favorites. I’m glad were able to zigzag through some of this country’s beautiful states together!

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Keep travelling, Lisa! It makes for wonderful blog posts! Congratulations on keeping us laughing for ten years! I love you!

blinded by the light

10 Years, 10 Friends, 10 Days: The Little Cousins

By | concerts, conversations, events, fabio the hamster, guest posts, hot lead singers of bands, las vegas, links, little cousins, lj, memories, milestones, music, ruling at life, what have you been doing for the last 10 years? | 4 Comments

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{2004}

Guest post #2 comes to you from two of the four infamous little cousins. There are actually a lot more little cousins in my family, but I’d bet money this blog wouldn’t exist right now if I hadn’t spent three months living with these cousins in Vegas back in 2004. They were a constant source of entertainment and my inspiration to write every single day while I was out there. Sometimes I posted three times a day just because they made me laugh so hard.

Courtney: Shortly after moving out to Las Vegas, NV my siblings and I were informed that our cousin Lisa was going to be moving in with us for a while.

Kristin: I will always remember when my mom told us that Lisa was moving in with us. We could hardly wait for her to arrive, and all of us kids thought we were so cool, having our big cousin as a houseguest. We were all CRAZY excited, but we didn’t know how awesome it would be. Just the prospect of having our older cousin living with us was cool enough. Like the nerds Courtney and I were, we ran around the block bragging to our neighbors/friends that Lisa was moving in.

Courtney: My little sister’s room was quickly transformed into sleepover central when the bunk beds were put in along with a sweet TV with TiVo, (and, of course, Fabio the hamster).

Kristin: One of the best nights Lisa told us that she had a surprise for us and that she was taking us out for the night. After finding out we would be leaving soon, Court and I scrambled to figure out what to wear.

Courtney: My mom dressed me up in an outfit I would absolutely regret wearing later that night. Let me paint you a picture, I was wearing jeans a black t-shirt with a purple sparkly oversized cardigan. I looked like a Grandma.

Lisa: Oh, you don’t have to paint a picture. Here you go. =)

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Kristin: Lisa did our hair and makeup, and then we were off. Lisa brought us into the House of Blues restaurant, where we ate delicious food and had some killer Banana Pudding for dessert.

Courtney: As we were finishing up dinner, she surprised us with tickets to the Simple Plan/MxPx concert.

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Kristin: It was the best night EVER! When Lisa surprised us with the tickets, and we FREAKED OUT. It was the coolest thing, and we were OBSESSED with Simple Plan.

Courtney: We had been obsessing over Simple Plan for months. Obsessing includes buying trucker hats, patches for the hats, buying posters, buying wrist bands, and blasting music in the car.

Kristin: It’s true. We were OBSESSED with Simple Plan. It was an amazing show, but Courtney passed out for the last band, MXPX. We laughed so hard, because it was so loud, and so exciting, but Court was sound asleep.

Courtney: I didn’t fall asleep for the entire last band! After shrieking and screaming lyrics while Simple Plan performed, it was time for MXPX to take the stage, and it turned out I couldn’t hang. MXPX, quite literally the loudest band ever, were awesome, but I found my mind and body had different things in mind. I wanted to dance and yell, but my body decided that falling asleep during a concert was a better idea—and that was just sad. While I never actually fell asleep, I remember sitting back on the seat for one song because I was so tired.

Kristin: Whatever, Court.

Courtney: Upon arriving home, we proudly told our parents that we were partially deaf from the loudness of the concert, and then proceeded to fall asleep while Lisa wrote a blog entry about our excursion.

Kristin: All in all it was probably the coolest thing we’d ever done while living in Vegas.

Courtney: It was my first real concert and Simple Plan was definitely some of the best performers I’ve seen live.

Kristin: There were a ton of other perks that accompanied Lisa living with us. Courtney, Ellie, and I convinced my mom for a few weeks that Fridays were OPTIONAL school days, so instead of school we went to the Fashion Show Mall.

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Courtney: We would tell her, “Friday this week is optional! I swear we’re watching movies in every class!”

Kristin: Lisa drove us around Vegas while we screamed the words to countless Sugarcult and Simple Plan songs.

Courtney: There really was nothing like screaming “Stuck in America” by Sugarcult to the guards at the gate in our neighborhood.

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Kristin: Looking back now, that was most likely TOTALLLY embarrassing for you L, BUT IT WAS AWESOME for us.

Lisa: Not as embarrassing as the day you idiots started ripping the security stickers off the CDs at Barnes & Noble and throwing them through the detector to set the alarms off. Or the day you wouldn’t stop going up the down escalator at the mall and then I had to take you to Build-A-Bear

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Kristin: Lisa drove us to the movies, she took us out to eat, and she took us to SKYZONE! Wall-to-wall trampolines, you can’t find anything much more awesome than that. We would look forward to Lisa taking us there all week. And once again we thought we were so cool every time Lisa took us out somewhere.

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Courtney: We wouldn’t have done half of the stuff we did if she didn’t live with us. We would have never discovered the trampoline place, or have gone to the concert, or play American Idol by the pool with heels on. It would have been dull without her there.

Kristin: Samantha’s room was the THE PLACE to be in our house, because that’s where Lisa was.

Lisa: The craziest things happened in that room. I mean, what are we doing here? Am I singing into the TiVo remote?

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Kristin: She showed us the ways of TiVo, and introduced us to “America Dreams”, as well as countless bands and songs we’d never heard before.

Courtney: The best nights were when “American Dreams” would be on and all of us girls would be glued to the TV for the hour it was on, or when Simple Plan would debut their new videos on MTV and we would watch them over and over again. It absolutely amazed us that Lisa could rewind live TV — we never had TiVo before.

Kristin: We also watched and giggled as she posted on her LiveJournal every night. The stories on the blog about Vegas never get old. Fabio the hamster is a classic, and it still cracks me up every time.

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(Here is a picture of Fabio the hamster, a brief mention of him potentially being in imminent danger, a long post about him being in imminent danger, and a short post about him being in imminent danger.)

Lisa: You know what else was embarrassing? The fact that I drove around with that stupid tumbleweed in the rear window of the Malibu the entire time I lived there.

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Kristin: I must say though, that the most memorable thing that happened while Lisa lived with us was the dildo incident.

Lisa: Nothing is more embarrassing than the fact we are suddenly discussing a dildo on the front page of my blog right now.

Kristin: I am confident in saying that it was the FUNNIEST moment of my life. I went to college in 2008 and one night we were telling funny stories, and of course, I told the dildo story. I wanted to tell it just right, so I got onto Lisa’s blog and read it from there. Everyone lost it. I could hardly read it though the tears I was laughing so hard. It was just so ridicules. Dinner screeched to a halt when our neighbor, Shelli, came busting through our front door and started shouting for my parents. Everyone though Samantha and Amy must have died or done something terribly wrong, but it turned out that they were outside on their motor scooters with a giant dildo in their hands. Lisa and I decided to stay and eat, but the laughter and screams of outrage from my dad clued us in. We both just sat there laughing while listening to all the yelling.

Courtney: I love that Lisa blogged while we were out in Las Vegas because every time I get bored I’ll click on one of the many Fabio stories, or other memories from Vegas and smile. It was one of my favorite places to live and I love reading about all of the crazy and silly things we did.

Lisa: Here I am blogging in Vegas. Can’t say much has changed. I sit on the couch now. =)

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Kristin: Looking back through Lisa’s blog is like reliving Vegas and all the adventures she took us on. And half the time the stories were so crazy that no one believes them until we steer them toward her blog. That year in Vegas was the most fun out of them all, and I’m not just saying that. It really was, and I miss it!!!! Everyone stay tuned for the crazy stories to come when we get the old group back together and party in Vegas!! (WE HAVE TO DO THIS.)

Lisa: Oh, that is definitely happening. If only so I can document the entire experience right here. Thank you guys so much for this. You two, Sam and Franky are the best cousins a girl could ask for, and I miss you! I can’t wait to see you in a few weeks. =)

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{2012}

Five Five

By | holiday fun, las vegas | One Comment

I celebrated Cinco de Mayo not by indulging in a limey margarita, but by getting a good laugh while stopped at a red light this afternoon, as I caught a sideways glance of a shirtless Mexican-looking individual wearing sombrero driving a purple Geo Tracker circa 1987 with a stuffed frog wearing a Santa hat on the dash. I say "Mexican-looking" because of the presence of a sombrero, not because I have any confidence in my ability to identify ethnicity out of the corner of my eye in a split second through sunglasses and tinted windows.

Cinco de Mayo always reminds me of my favorite Spanish words, which mainly include habichuela, mantequilla, asesino, and equipaje. (String bean, butter, murderer and luggage.) I guess I won’t be leaving the country any time soon – not with those language skills – but I will be packing my equipaje and heading to Las Vegas for a girls’ trip on Friday, so that’s exciting. Did you know vegas is Spanish for meadows? Well, it is.

Constant with a K

By | concerts, employment, fabio the hamster, hot lead singers of bands, las vegas, little cousins, lj, memories, music, not ruling at life, top notch communication blunders | 2 Comments

The other night I saw Jack’s Mannequin at the Norva. It made me think of my time in Las Vegas – sharing a bunk bed with my 10-year-old cousin, laying on the floor, idly tapping out some LJ entries to the tune of Andrew McMahon’s irresistible voice (still Something Corporate back then) while I casually sipped glass of wine. The window would be open, and the sounds of the little cousins chattering would echo through the house. It was funny, at first I hated how loud that house was, but when I left, I couldn’t stand the sound of silence for quite a few months. My idea of quiet became the muffled sounds of laughter and video games drifting up the stairs while the door was cracked and the cat kept trying to sneak in. The occasional witty comment I overheard was enough to keep me inspired and keep me writing whatever LJ work of art I was creating at the time. And Fabio the Hamster. He could keep me going all night long.

You know I used to keep a mini notebook in my purse? I used to write down interesting quotes and song lyrics and funny ideas all day long and then blog about them later. I concentrated so hard to writing these hysterically satirical posts that I usually forgot I was supposed to be figuring out what to do with my life. Those were the LJ’s golden days. I remember now.

You know what else I remember now? My favorite lyrics to "Konstantine" by Something Corporate.

"I had these dreams in them I learned to play guitar
Maybe cross the country
Become a rock star."

Before MySpace; before Facebook; before my vapid second blog about materialistic bullshit that requires zero creativity, the LJ was my constant source of inspiration. Sure, it made you laugh, but best of all? It made me laugh. Constantly.

There was no writer’s block, and there was no wasting all my silly thoughts in a one-sentence status update. Whatever happened to composing an entire thought? An entire anecdote? An entire story?

Maybe it’s because I spend my days at work writing proposals. It’s not the most creative writing, but it’s a lot of writing. Maybe I just get it all out of my system at work, and I don’t feel like writing for fun anymore. 

Speaking of writing proposals at work – today a person who was supposed to be feeding me some narrative for a program management plan sent me some text. As I read the first few sentences, I grew suspicious of the fact that it sounded extremely too general and nothing like the rest of his writing. Needless to say, I Googled "program management" and soon came to the realization that he copied the entire program mangement plan from freaking Wikipedia.

Anyway, maybe someday Something Corporate will get back together. And maybe someday, I’ll be inspired to bang out some hysterically satirical posts again. Maybe soon.

“Welcome to Lost Wages…”

By | food, las vegas, little cousins | 3 Comments

I’m in Vegas. I just just got off the plane a little while ago. I’m back in my old spot lying on the floor in Sammy’s room, getting rug-burn on my elbows while I putz around on the computer.

Technically, I’m here to help my grandparents move into their new house, but their furniture hasn’t arrived yet, so I guess I’ll be otherwise engaged.

The first thing I did when I got off the plane was go to In’N’Out Burger. Yum.

Lisa: “Let’s go to In’N’Out Burger! I’m hungry.”

Franky: “No! In’N’Out Burger is disgusting!”

Lisa: “Have you ever been there?”

Franky: “No.”

Lisa: “Idiot.”

Franky: “Do they have plain chicken sandwiches there with just ketchup?”

Lisa: “No, they just have burgers. You can get a cheeseburger with just ketchup.”

Franky: “No! I don’t want cheese. Just a burger with ketchup only. Do they have that?”

Lisa: “Yeah. Just order a plain hamburger with just ketchup.”

Franky: “Right. That’s the same as a plain chicken sandwich.”

Lisa: “How does that work?”

Franky: “A plain chicken sandwich has just ketchup.”

Lisa: “Franky, a chicken sandwich is chicken. A hamburger is cow.”

Franky: “Ooooooh.”

Wow. It’s great to be back in town.