I arrived in Las Vegas last night. I'm here for work, which means that I am here chaperoning teenagers. Because I'm a consummate professional, that means no drinking or gambling, though I have reserved the right, through a blanket, anticipatory apology, to swear -- especially while driving.
This, of course, does not mean that on some night off I can put on my watermelon-colored, Catherine Malandrino dress and go somewhere -- anywhere without kids (still no drinking, but I don't like to drink anyway unless I'm with people I trust -- really, just with Jeff -- because then I know I'll get home safe).
That isn't to say Vegas isn't about kids -- just about adult kids. The place reminds me of Disney World, Epcot, an airport, and Casa Bonita rolled into one. First of all, it's all so big. I mean the scale -- everything looks like it's been built to one and a half scale. I feel Lilliputian walking along the strip, or pulling up to my hotel.
Then there's the hyperreality of it all, if I can borrow a word from the great Umberto Eco. Everything is so realistic, in only that artificial way that realism can suggest. But that same realism suggest surrealism -- especially when you realize that you are actually being just swept along in this place -- literally. Everywhere there's an elevator, or an automated walkway -- they just take you from venue to venue, most of the time before you even know you are leaving one to go to another.