Greetings from Las Vegas: Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian


As promised, I’m reporting from Vegas this week while I’m on vacation with my Dad and sister. The Vegas I’m writing about is the tamer version, you know, the one you experience when you’re vacationing with family. We arrived late Sunday night and checked in at the Orleans, which is located off the Strip. It was a little more expensive than the California or Fremont, but there are definite advantages to being closer to the Strip.  A cab ride into town takes 10 minutes and is usually under $12.

There must be two different high school sport tournaments going on in the area because  I’ve seen lots of softball and basketball kids in uniform wandering the casino, but never lingering at the slot machines. My sister, who turned 21 in March, has gotten carded twice and I haven’t gotten carded yet. Guess I finally look older than a high school student.

On Tuesday night, my Dad bought us tickets to see the Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian. I told my Dad to skip Cirque Du Soleil, which I’ve seen more than once, because I wanted to see this show instead. Now you can measure my dorkiness because I will admit, I’m a big Phantom of the Opera fan.

The Venetian has its own special theater for the show and they’ve built it to look as if you’re sitting in the audience at the Paris Opera House. This show is a condensed version of the Broadway version, while still keeping all of the original songs. I like the special effects they’ve added to the show, larger than life, much like Vegas.

So if you’re interested in a bit of musical theater, I’d highly recommend this show. Everyone with an inner dork should check it out.

Pictures: Universal Show Queen 2009

Universal Show Queen 2009 at the Hawaii Convention Center

So I finally went through most of my pictures. MOST of them and I still had close to 900 photos to go through. The Universal Show Queen pageant was held at the Hawaii Convention Center a few weeks ago and it was…well, EPIC.  I mean, just look at the picture above. She is wearing a dragon head and there is smoke coming out of it!

I was on my knees for SIX HOURS taking photos. The next day, my knees were totally bruised and sorry to say, but my ass hurt for days. The night was totally hardcore (and so were the contestants). Six hours of competing and wearing outfits that I couldn’t even move in, I give them all credit for that.

One of my favorite moments of the night was watching one of the performers act out a scene from the Golden Girls and then dance to Beyonce’s “Put a Ring on It” with Rose and Dorothy all as old ladies! Genius.

So here are SOME of my pictures from that night. Expression Magazine has the other pictures, so you’ll just have to wait for the July issues to see the rest of the photos!

Just click “read more” to see the rest of the photos, or visit my flickr directly.


We Must Still Dare to Believe

King of Pop Michael Jackson

“In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe.”

Universal Show Queen 2009 Winner Yuni Carey

Universal Show Queen 2009 Yuni Carey

This past weekend I was invited by eXpression Magazine to cover the Universal Show Queen pagaent at the Hawaii Convention Center. Pictured above is the winner, Yuni Carey, looking fabulous in her show queen outfit.  I’ll have a full write-up of the event once I finish going through the 900+ photos I took that night. Stay tuned!

I Think I’m Too Old for the 50th State Fair

Musical Express at the 50th State Fair

Ah, the 50th State Fair.

I bet it’s one of your first picks when you have nothing to do on a Sunday night. My friends and I got kinda pumped up about going. We thought we’d ride a bit and then maybe stuff our faces with carnival food. We skipped getting the wrist bands thinking we wouldn’t need ‘em, turns out ride tickets are expensive as hell and if you plan on riding more than 4 rides, you should definitely get a band.

50th State Fair - the Zipper

I hate to sound like a grandpa, but I remember the days when it was 3 tickets to ride the Zipper. Now it’s 5 tickets, I’m too fat to fit in the rides comfortably, and I worry about motion sickeness when I get on. Of course, I didn’t figure any of that out until AFTER I got there.  We rode TWO rides while were there. We decided to start off slow with the Musical Express, which was fine and had me making retarded faces every time we went around. Afterwards, we started feeling ambitious and decided to stand in line for the Zipper.  BIG mistake.

The three of us squished into one cage, I was smashed in so tight that my feet didn’t touch the ground (yes, I know I’m short), and all I did was yell, “OH FUCK! MY GLASSES” over and over again. After the ride, two out of four of us were sick and we spent the remainder of our time there sitting down, complaining about the high number of Intermediate school kids there, and talking about our nausea. How embarrassing. I remember the days when we’d shake the cages of the Zipper and stand in line over and over again to ride it. Well, those days are long gone.  I realize now that I’m at this weird age to being going to the carnival. Definitely not young enough to be in high school and definitely not old enough to be taking my kid there.  The highlight of the night? Playing those rigged, overpriced games and then sharing some garlic corn on the cob with Kimi.

Don’t get me wrong, I had fun hanging out with my friends.

Oh, but did I mention that a dog had diarrhea right by the exit, the owner didn’t even clean it up, and one of us stepped in it? Yeah.

Ferris Wheel at the 50th State Fair