californiaflagnowriting

We's in California

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I went to Las Vegas and all I got was this louzy flyer for sex workers.

We've now been to Las Vegas, but we took no pictures. I thought that the only way to expose the real side of Las Vegas is not to surrender to it's sights and sounds and obey it's attaque sur les sens, but rather to pause and reflect, translating it's horror and paradoxical beauty through the medium of language and metaphor. And I forgot the memory card for the camera at work.

There are many different facets of Las Vegas that are constantly fighting with each other to leave a worse taste in your mouth than the one before. For us the aspect of Vegas that came out on top was the city itself, rather than something to do with the casino and entertainment industry. Las Vegas is the fastest growing city in the US, which basically means that the whole city is a large suburb. In the desert. The same house is repeated hundreds of thousands of times across the desertscape literally as far as the eye can see. As gas prices go up and up and up I have absolutely no pity for these people who have made their beds even after it's become obvious that this type of living will be unsustainable in the future. Then again each new house is only $150,000 instead of the $500,000 it would cost for one in LA so maybe they're not so dumb after all. It's just scary that this has become the new model for a growing American and Canadian city. Development, development, Walmart, development, development, Home Depot, development, development, megachurch, etc. It is unbelievably gross looking and must be seen to be believed.

It's hard to imagine the people who work in the casinos doing anything but working in a casino. They were definitely born to do just that. I'm sure that in hospital waiting rooms all across America in 1963 doctors were emerging from delivery wards and, after being asked by the husband wether it was a boy or a girl, would have say "I'm terribly sorry but it is neither. Mr. Johnson, I'm not sure how to put this but.....you've had a cocktail waitress.", at which point Mr. Johnson would rush into the delivery room and lay his eyes upon his new child Shyla, who would be clutching a used ashtray in one hand, and a half empty Miller Light with a dollar jammed in the top in the other.


There is one thing we didn't do in Vegas that I plan on doing at some point:

Go to this place.


No, not ELVIS-O-RAMA, the automatic weapon range. There are a few
friends I would love to see shooting any number of the guns listed in this ad. Since none of us (I assume) have spent any time with automatic weapons, and even if we were to join the Canadian army we would probably be given guns that look real then when the time came and the enemy were upon us we would find out that we were given super-soakers, I think this is an opportunity that should be siezed. The most memorable guns would the uzie, which would have to be fired with one hand only and in short bursts at a slightly downward angle, and the M3A1 greasegun, which I would like to see Jer shooting with his feet slightly more than shoulder width apart, knees bent with the gun held really low just below his waist, and the only thing moving when he's got the trigger pegged would be his cheeks.

I would love/pay to see that.

25 Comments:

  • I got the taxes done. Thought you would like to know. I'm having a big celebration party this weekend. BYOB and a couple for me too. My way of saying you are invited. RSVP.

    How are you making out with the IRS? Any questions just give me a call. Cheap consultation rates. I ended up owing zero. Maybe we could get you there too.

    By Anonymous w in w, at April 12, 2006  

  • Hmmm, This sounds suspiciously illegal?!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 12, 2006  

  • Since we only worked few weeks in the US last year we decided not to get involved with the IRS until 2007. Worst comes to worse we'll owe back taxes for those 3 weeks. I guess technically we could get hammered with tax evasion too. Oops. With all the paperwork to do for the DMV, getting our SSN, etc we just didn't want to deal with it yet.

    I'm having enough trouble renewing my Canadian passport from here. What a joke that's become. As for the BBQ, If I could I would be there with a stack of Alberta Grade A you could barely see over.

    By Blogger Gareth, at April 12, 2006  

  • In all seriousness, you may want to rethink the not filing move. Worst comes to worst is a little worse than you think. If you don't file, you can create a bunch of problems you really don't want. You think you're having fun now with the red tape? Just wait to see what happens if the men-in-black pick up on the fact you didn't submit. You won't be getting any more work visas if you get an IRS tag on your file, so all you'll ever get to eat is Alberta prime. Plus the IRS can hound you infinitely, as the seven year back moratorium falls off the table on unreported income. They can look for you in the year 2525 to collect back taxes, penalties, and accrued interest on unfiled income. Fifteen years from now that can amount to a pile of cash and legal bills. So if you thought you were hunting for eggs this weekend, or doing stations of the cross, or whatever, forget it. You're filling out IRS forms. Jesus will forgive you, Uncle Sam won't.

    You can skip the SSN part for now. Just file your tax return with a form W-7 requesting an ITIN which will act as a proxy for the SSN until you actually get the SSN. In this case you submit your taxes to the IRS at the ITIN form address, not the regular address listed on the tax form. And I won't even charge you for that little bit of advice. But whatever you do, file or you'll live the rest of your life penniless in flamingo city, and I'm not refering to San Diego. Sometimes it pays to be anal.

    By Anonymous w in w, at April 12, 2006  

  • bummer that you didn't think to renew that passport before you left. it's a HUGE pain in the ass to renew down here - especially when you've been here for less than a year and they expect that you and your cat's vet have been best buddies since before you got here. oi vey!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 13, 2006  

  • Yes, It has been a huge pain. My plan is to renew next time I visit Canada, hopefully they will let me back in!

    By Blogger Gareth, at April 14, 2006  

  • I don't know about flying into Canada from here, but when we cross the border by car, the Canadian customs people are never picky. A passport, a birth certificate - whatever, will do. Coming back down though - it seems like even a tattoo of your passport located slightly above the knee on your left thigh wouldn't be enough. They've already asked me four times if I've handed in my old green card and three times they've told me "Don't worry about it, I'll look into it. I'll talk to those 'idiots' in Spokane."
    Well let me tell you, the 'idiots' aren't just in Spokane! ARGH!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 17, 2006  

  • You aren't sure if they'll let you back into Canada? If recent experience is any guide I'm pretty sure Moamar Gadhafi could show up at the border driving a Hummer with Sadam baby in the passenger seat toting a rocket launcher and the major concern of the dude in the booth would be whether or not they had any cigarettes not for personal use. Have you noticed that the customs personnel in Canada are employed by the CCRA? There's the clue. Their mission, in all seriousness, is to collect taxes, at least when the spirit moves them to remove their ass from the form fitted chair. The concept of protecting the country from undesirable aliens is, in a nutshell, alien. Honest to god, the last woman I had firing the tough questions at me was two IQ points behind Anna Nicole Smith. Smile stupidly, claim goods under your limit, but with a value rounded to the exact cents, know the exchange rate coversion you used and you are in. What the hell do you need a passport for? Oh yeah. You want to go back.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 17, 2006  

  • the last U.S. boarder stop included interaction with america's top squad of individuals. The booth operator was chewing tobacco and spitting it into a mountain dew can. it wasn't all bad, he almost had all of his teeth.

    By Anonymous clitke, at April 18, 2006  

  • board•er /bd(r); NAmE brd/ noun (especially BrE)
    1 a child who lives at school and goes home for the holidays: boarders and day pupils
    2 a person who pays money to live in a room in someone else’s house

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 18, 2006  

  • anonymous=Captain Grammar

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 18, 2006  

  • you had to look that one up didn't you. congratulations. i imagine i was offending someone in your family. my apologies.

    By Anonymous clitke, at April 18, 2006  

  • Now boys...don't make me actually write a blog entry.

    By Blogger Gareth, at April 18, 2006  

  • dunce /dns/ noun a person, especially a child at school, who is stupid or slow to learn

    Write the blog.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 18, 2006  

  • Judging by the commentary we don't have to worry about bumping into Noam Chomsky as an author in this section either.

    By Anonymous chancesarent, at April 18, 2006  

  • Very nice! I found this great site that sells lots of cool stuff! Great deals and lots of selection. Thought you might be interested.

    http://www.thinkgeek.com/index.shtml

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 20, 2006  

  • Really? What kind of great stuff? You're right, I AM interested.

    (whew, no spelling mistakes)

    By Anonymous chris, at April 20, 2006  

  • Good job Chris! I must commend you on your tremendous mastery of the written word. This is not meant to be a critique but only a suggestion, you could have also used the word 'phew' in your comment in place of 'whew' and it would have been just as correct. Yes, I think that could have worked out quite nicely. Yes indeed.

    By Anonymous Noam Chomsky, at April 20, 2006  

  • i watched lots and lots of Barney and that relly helped me learnt to spell but my grammers not two good so thanks for the tip.

    By Anonymous chris, at April 20, 2006  

  • Hey no problem. Don't worry about what people like chancesarent have to say because they're just standing there with one finger up their ass. If you keep at it maybe one day you'll be a big time author like myself. It's good to be famous.

    By Anonymous noam chomsky, at April 21, 2006  

  • Thanks Noam. Loved your last book.

    Oh, and please stop posting as me, find your own snappy nickname.

    That post about Barney wasn't me at all.

    By Anonymous chris, at April 21, 2006  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Steve & Gillian, at April 21, 2006  

  • First of all, Happy Belated Easter everyone!

    Secondly, when did we all start taking ourselves so seriously? Gareth, I know this is not your fault and you're probably just busy working and doing your taxes like everyone else, but after checking in here today I gotta say that this week has been pretty disheartening as far as comments go. People seem to be getting all mean and crotchety with one another, pointing out people's grammatical errors and whatnot, and I think the spirit of what this blog was initially all about has been temporarily lost...it was about laughing at America's eccentricities and having a good time making fun of people who waste more money than you can shake a stick at on items like The Hummer and The Hummer Cologne. We've lost sight of the original vision.

    Finally, Chris is too old to have watched Barney...if someone's gonna start impersonating people on here the least they can do is get their facts straight!

    By Blogger Steve & Gillian, at April 21, 2006  

  • Hey Gareth, as I was going into Dafoe today a girl asks me where 201 Armes is... and I tried to show her where to go..like into machray.. take a left.. and I was like:
    "Are you late for an exam?" and she was all,
    "No, Anime Club" and then I said nothing. And then she said,
    "I've been trying to find it for an hour... I feel as lost as a character named Ryoki" Again I said nothing.
    But I guess lately I've been having to keep the ladies and Valkyries off with a two-handed, plus three broad sword.

    By Anonymous Jeremy, at April 22, 2006  

  • I have not been to vegas, but I have been to Reno, on Christmas Eve, when I was nine. There is something ultra depressing about spending Christmas Eve in Circus Circus, even when you're nine and that crap should technically be impressive. Anyway, I wanted to thank you for sending a gift for Sadie. I was so stoked to hear from you guys, and she loves baths, so the Bert's was awesome. Once I track down your email address I'll send you some photos of the little lady.

    By Anonymous erin g., at April 29, 2006  

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