THIS is the trip report. Sorta.

This is the trip report. Sorta. The time between returning from Vegas and writing about Vegas has been filled with report cards and corrections, navel-gazing, organizing family holiday plans and preparing for last night’s school holiday pageant. I’m so tired right now that the best I can do right now is a kind of point form mishmash.

Mistakes I won’t make again:

  • Flying in Friday. Yeah, getting an extra bit of sleep looks good on paper, but it’s not like I actually got any  thanks to the kid-before-Christmas feeling and an early flight. Missing the Thursday night get-together is not something I’m going to do again.
  • Checking my bag on the way home. Of course, it was mishandled and mislaid. There’s no joy in watching them turn off the luggage carousel. Luckily, the bag turned up 20 minutes later, but it was still an hour of my life I’d like to get back.
  • Thinking that I can get my WPBT fix in 2 days. Next year, Thursday to Monday minimum.
  • Missing the opportunity to show my support as Brad, Blood, Dan, G-Rob, Special K and DrChako ran the half-marathon. I am impressed and inspired by what they and other bloggers are doing to improve their health and themselves. Inspired enough to get back into the pool and on the bike. The knee thanks you.
  • Not playing any PAI GOW!

High points:

  • running into Pauly at San Francisco airport. We were on the same flight to LAS, and it was good to get an early blogger hug and chat!
  • laying in bed Saturday morning, chatting with my roomie, Maigrey. Our Saturday mantra of I will not let anyone get in the way of me having a good time today, not even myself proved effective beyond words. I can’t speak for her, but my Saturday was pretty fabulous from start to finish!
  • the group photo.  For one brief, shining, laughter-filled moment, many of the people I hold dear were in one place at one time. Can’t wait to get a copy (hint, hint….OhCaptain? Astin? Who do I need to send alcohol/gifts/etc to?).
  • CUPCAKES!
  • Getting to move something from the “I really want to do this someday” column over to the “holy fuck, that was incredible!” and “when can I do it again?” columns.
  • speaking of things I’ll do again – brunch at Wicked Spoon. While the food was good, the company was way better.
  • watching Iggy wear flashing devil horns
  • watching Brian blush as he said “titties” for the second take.
  • it wasn’t a 15-course meal, but dinner at The Pub on Friday night had me sitting around a table with some of my favourite people. I didn’t have nearly enough time to talk to Special K, Falstaff, and Suzy, but I treasure what little I got.
  • mocking the dealertainers at the Imperial Palace. I know that there is a push to leave the IP behind, but I have to admit I kind of like it. It’s real. Aria might look better, but the IP was livelier on the Saturday night. When things are rocking, I like that I can sit at the Geisha and see/hear my friends at Pai Gow and craps knowing that other friends are in the poker room just beyond them.

 Regrets:

  • What do you get when you combine some unrealistic expectations, unfavourable comparisons, hormones, disappointment, a vague feeling of being excluded, lack of sleep, alcohol and Red Bull? Trust me, it is not pretty. One text was all it took to tip me right into a morass of life tilt. Definitely not how I wanted to end Friday. I owe a huge debt to DrChako for for pulling me back by sitting me down with a well-made cocktail then firmly and gently reminding me that I do this to myself. Thanks babes; I’m pretty sure that was not on your list of fun things to do that night.
  • It’s a known fact of WPBT gatherings that there is never enough time to connect with everyone as deeply as you’d like. The list of people I wish I’d had more time with is long. Too long. I’m making a promise to myself to get to as many smaller gatherings as I can in the next year, make more phone calls and write more emails. I miss you.

File under what the ?

  • sitting in the Pub on Saturday, having dinner with StB08, Chilly, Shelly, and Maigrey when the rodeo opened. The American anthem started up, and without missing a beat, every cowboy in the place stood up, placed hand over heart and started singing. One woman at the table near us brushed away a tear as she sang. Did a quick check, and no, my table mates were still seated and watching football so I didn’t have to deal with the I’m a foreigner so do I still have to stand dilemma and could just observe. It was surreal to say the least.
  • I found myself actually enjoying watching the rodeo.

Poker

  • Played a little NLHE on Friday night at a blogger table, but stopped when I dropped a buyin.
  • Think I finished around 41st or 42nd on the tournament on Saturday. I could have done better if I’d had more faith in pocket sixes, as all three times I was dealt them, they turned into a set.
  • Both of those points only serve to reinforce that 1) I don’t care about poker and 2) it may have been the reason I started going to the WPBT gatherings but it sure as shit is not the reason why I still go.
  • speaking of the tourney, kudos to the blogger babes who ITMed! Every time I checked, half the remaining playing field was estrogen-based, which pleases me no end.

Thank you:

  • Keith.
    I had actually convinced myself that I was OK with not going; he knew I really wasn’t. And he knew how much I was stressing out while I was waiting for the mammogram and ultrasound test results. “Life is short”, he said as he offered to fly me down. As he put it, we don’t know what’s going to happen, but if it only costs a cheap plane ticket to ensure there are no regrets, then let’s throw some money at it. The test results were negative, but it was a reminder of how quickly life could change.
  • Maigrey
    Heather, thank you for letting me stay gratis. I am so happy I’ve had a chance to get to know you better over the last year, and can’t wait to hang out with you again!
  • April
    You make herding cats look easy. Thank you yet again for making it happen.
  • DrChako, Iggy, BrainMc, Pauly, and _________ (I know I’m forgetting people)
    The conversations I had with you guys were among the high points of my trip. As Tom Waits would say, you’re the same kind of bad as me. I love it.

I know I’m missing something, but I took no notes this time and only have 6 pictures on the phone. Every year I document less and experience more, which is great until I take into account the increasingly failing memory.  Middle age kinda blows.

6 Comments

  1. OhCaptain’s the man you want to talk to about the group photo. Mine were from bad angles with too much interference. Salvageable, but I’m sure his are superior.

  2. “What do you get when you combine some unrealistic expectations, unfavourable comparisons, hormones, disappointment, a vague feeling of being excluded, lack of sleep, alcohol and Red Bull?” sound like being human… I can relate.. well except the hormones thingy.. imagine me with hormones? Jesus.

  3. I got every bit as much as you from our time together, if not more. Glad I made the trip report!

    -DrC

  4. Great recap. I echo your thoughts about poker being the initial driving force but it’s not the priority now. I also agree with the documenting less and experiencing more.

    I had so many fantastic moments over the weekend and I’m glad you were part of them. Your comments about the IP are spot on. You can hang at the bar and still know your friends are still in your line of sight. It makes it so easy to pop over for Pai Gaw, PAI GOW!, poker, or have fun ass conversations about such universal subjects as “titties.” I don’t know who got a bigger kick out of that, you or Iggy.

    For next time, we’re on for riding on Sunday and the order for red velvet cupcakes still stand.

  5. Next time we’ll go window shopping again like last year. I think I piled into way too many set activities and didn’t even get time to rage solo.

  6. I share your WPBT life lessons re: travel plans. Ditto ditto ditto. Biggest regret: I missed the group photo this year!!! BAH!!! Got to the poker room just as everyone was coming back from the photo *cries*

    And… “Every year I document less and experience more, which is great until I take into account the increasingly failing memory. Middle age kinda blows.” <—– THIS!!!!

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