Monday, June 03, 2002

Yesterday (Sunday) I hit all the sights I didn't see on Saturday. I finally saw Madame Tussaud's museum here, and got a picture of myself with Tom Jones. Unfortunately the digital camera makes all the wax figures look too shiny, but I can attest that when you're in the museum, they all look real. For about half the time I was in the museum I was in a group of 15 10-year-olds and their handlers as they took pictures of everything but the wax people. Damned annoying. After that, I spent about half an hour at the top of the Eiffel Tower at the Paris casino and took some great pictures of the Strip. Too bad this was at 3 PM; I bet the view at night is something. And I got to see the Bellagio fountains twice and the Buccaneer Bay Pirate battle. The latter was every bit as cheesy as the special effects show I saw six years ago at Universal Studios in LA, but shorter, funnier, and much less forced. When the pirates sink the HMS Britannia, the British crew jump overboard, but the captain goes down with the ship, standing stiffly at the mast brushing dirt off his uniform. After the pirates take their bows, the Britannia is raised, and you can see the captain still standing at the mast, waving to the audience. Liz wouldn't like it much, but I enjoyed it. I wonder if the British ever win the battle?

George Carlin was great, worth the money we paid. About half of his show was taken from his HBO special last November, a fact that he admitted at the beginning of his set; the rest was new material. Even the stuff I'd heard was just as funny live as it had been on TV. Liz really had a good time. I think she was in pain from laughing so much. The guy who opened for him was OK, but most of his jokes were stale. He had a guitar and did some funny parodies of artists whose names were shouted out by the audience. But for me he ruined his set by ending with some old bits and songs about the Clintons. Is it that hard to come up with new political jokes? I had enough of Monica and Hillary and Linda Tripp jokes four years ago. But I guess you don't want too funny an opening act for a comedian. Just like a concert: if you're the headliner, you don't want to be upstaged by the opener.

So far today I'm hanging out in the room catching up on my surfing. I'm doing my souvenir shopping today and maybe hanging out by the pool for a little while before I have to meet Liz and her colleagues to break down the booth at 4 PM. There's a chance we could be there most of the night if our crates are delivered late. I really hope that doesn't happen. I want to take Liz back to the Bellagio so she can see the fountains. I think she's having a good time here, but she's been so busy working she hasn't been able to see much of the other casinos. We'll have to come back here for a few days before we have kids. Otherwise we'll have to wait until we're in AARP. This is not a place to which I'd want to bring young kids. They aren't allowed in the casinos and there isn't much for them to do at night when you'd want to go out. This is a great place for a group of guys out for a bachelor party (or a bachelorette party, we saw many of those at the Mandalay Bay), for young couples without kids, or for the old folks gambling away their grandchildrens' inheritance. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

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