ASSOCIATES (vol. 6, no. 3, March 2000) -

Library Life:
A Column Of Eclectic Rantings


Katie Buller Kintner
Los Angeles Pierce College


     Ahhhh, spring!!!

     It is spring, isn't it? I mean, living here in sunny southern California, it is a LITTLE hard to tell, but I do see trees budding and my jasmine is blooming, so it must be spring!

     With spring comes spring break, which is exactly what it is here at my lovely employing campus. This is the time of year that staff is encouraged to take their vacations and enjoy the lovely weather. So why I am at work, doing nothing but writing my column? Because I hate to be told WHEN to take my vacation and I'm saving my vacation up for something that I couldn't do if I were still living in Wisconsin.


     Yep, a trip to that desert money vacuum is now on my list of semi-regular activities. Spouse and I go to Las Vegas at the drop of a dog off at the vets! It's a 5 hour trip from the beautiful San Fernando Valley and I can't wait. We're going again in April.

     So what's new in Vegas, you might ask? Well, the travel brochures talk about all the wonderful casino resorts like the Excalibur, New York New York, Venetian and Paris, but where can you find out about all the really important stuff the brochures don't tell you? Well, fear not----you can find all the juicy stuff out right here!

     To make this library-related, let me say that the University of Nevada-Las Vegas has a very nice library...I'm told.

     Now, let's get on to the goods! I'll try to list these in a "best-of" way that is so popular with the chamber of commerce people. So let's get to it!

     Best place to take a whiny child: the Hoover Dam. Drop them off...literally. Oh, all right, never mind that! Take the whiner to the M&M place on the strip. Get the child all sugared up then take them across the street to New York New York and put them on the Manhattan express roller coaster to watch the flying upchuck show.

     Worst place to take a whiny child: anywhere near me.

     Best show not intended to be a show: the guy hanging off the top of a 20 story hotel, threatening to jump. He had a bigger crowd than Siegfried and Roy.

     Best free show that is actually intended to be a show: I've taken a glance at the pirate show at Treasure Island and despite the presence of Spouse, was tempted to grab one of those cute pirates in tight pants and take him home with me as a spare.

     Worst show that's not intended to be a show: pedestrians vs. traffic on the strip. Bring your own upchuck bucket.

     Worst outdoor special effects thingy: that volcano at the Mirage is all glow and no show.

     Best way to put a permanent crick in your neck: the Fremont Street light show. Every night, several times a night, all the casino lights go out and everyone runs out onto the Fremont Street pedestrian mall to watch neon fish floating on the canopy. But I must admit, I did like the neon jet fighters zooming over my head.

     Best way to lose your lunch: There are many contenders for this one--there's that thing that goes straight up and then drops you a few hundred feet a second. There's also the Manhattan Express at New York New York that I previously mentioned, and apparently the gondolas at the Venetian may be in the running. But for my money, the champion is the Star Trek Experience at the Hilton. This virtual-reality ride through space is on a par with the Back to the Future ride at Universal Studios-Hollywood for causing its riders to think twice about linguini for lunch.

     Best place to recover from the Star Trek Experience: Quark's bar in the Hilton. But when I was there, Quark wasn't working.

     Best star's home: Probably Liberace's home is still the champ. If you remember Lee and his sense of fashion, then you probably have a feel for the decor of the house.

     Worst star's home: I haven't taken the star's homes tours for a number of years, but last I knew, Wayne Newton's house had this distinction. Think "White House"....behind a big wall.

     Best bingo: Being a bingo player, let me say this--there is no best bingo. Las Vegas, for all its hype and thunder, falls down badly on bingo. You can find 24 hour bingo at Arizona Charlie's, but the pots are kind of pitiful. The Gold Coast and the Frontier also have bingo but neither one was exciting. The Indian casinos do bingo well, so I just I'll just keep going to the San Manuel bingo parlor and not winning there.

     Best slot game: I am prejudiced. Having gotten totally addicted to the Monopoly Reel Estate slot machine, I am not in a position to say there is any better game out there.

     Worst slot game: Elvis. Elvis. Elvis. Elvis.

     Best convention: National Association of Broadcasters, but I'm prejudiced since Spouse is a tv engineer. The newest video and audio broadcasting and techie toys are shown there and I always leave the convention floor wanting something we could never afford in a million years. ("But honey, why can't we have our own special effects, blue screen thing that makes you look like you're riding a motorcycle through outer space?")

     Worst convention: National Association of Broadcasters because I can't afford anything there.

     Best place to relax after a hard day of dodging traffic on the strip: The Silverton Hotel and Casino because it's NOT on the strip. It's much smaller than the mega-resorts and has a homey, relaxed atmosphere. They also have the Monopoly Reel Estate slot machines. Ka-CHING!

     Best place to find my spouse at 3AM: Find the nearest Monopoly Reel Estate slot machine and he is glued to it.

     Best place to find me at 3AM: Sitting at the machine next to Spouse. Wish us luck!!!

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