Sunday, June 22, 2008

Four Days in Bizarro World

I've had a great four days in Las Vegas at TAM6. However, when I'm not at the conference, I keep getting daily jolts of the alternative reality that is Las Vegas.

As I finished a solitary supper last night, my waitress said "Have a lucky evening!" I was momentarily nonplussed. The last person wishing me to "get lucky" was my college roommate as I headed out for a blind date. I felt like Lisa Simpson in the Bart vs. Australia episode where she sees a movie facade reading: "Yahoo Serious is Young Einstein". Her reaction: "I know those words, but that makes no sense!" It took me way too long to remember why other people come to Las Vegas, and finally mumble something like, "Uhhh.... thanks! You too."

My first walk through the casino floor gave me flashbacks to med school physiology class, where we learned about the complex lining of the intestines. This convoluted lining results in an extremely high surface area for maximal absorption of nutrients from the stuff passing through. Ever since this class, the bowel has remained my mental metaphor for every resort I've ever visited. The relentless absorptive area here is easily Disneyland class.

Gambling has never been much of an attraction to me, especially since Psych 101. My daily passage through the casino floor to the convention center takes me by hundreds of humans voluntarily spending the day in Skinner boxes. This is a very creepy place.

It is also a very hot place, getting up to 107° F today. Fortunately, it cools off at night. I had a nice breeze while walking back to my hotel after a show -- with the wind chill, it only felt like the low 90's.

My evening walk also took me by the Bellagio Hotel. It was nice to finally see the fountains that launched a 1000 Mentos.

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