Friday, April 29, 2005

Career Spring Fair Or: How I Felt Like a 400-Pound Hooker on a Gay Cruise.

So I was informed by one of my new readers through my wife that Western, my college of past, has a Career Day whereby a bunch of Really Important People come to campus and tout their businesses. I thought that since my day wasn't long enough, I'd try to attend and try to find some jobs. The friendly website advised making 25-35 resumes, to which I scoffed and made 15 copies of two kinds of resumes - one with an emphasis on video production, and the other emphasized a general video/retail/prostitute that I was. I ended up handing only two away, and neither of them really seemed interested. They were just holding on to them to "check" if there were positions available.

So I'm walking from booth to booth, explaining my situation as if they could give me some piece of advice, or at the very least buy me a bag of chips or something.

"Hi. I graduated with a video production degree (filmmaking degree just sounded too... creative.) and I was wondering if there were any opportunities with your company, as far as marketing, documentation, blackmailing of high-ranking executive members..."

"Yeah, we're Boeing. We don't do that. Fuck off."

"Hey, can I have this cool booklight?"

"Sure. Good luck!"

So went the day, me trying to sell myself as some video production wizard to a bunch of governmental branches and retail oriented places. The Costco guy suggested that since everyone worked up, I should apply for the warehouse job and then work my way into corporate. Target wanted me to sign up for a management seminar, to which I said, "I have babies, so my schedule's pretty tight". She probably recoiled because she thought she heard scabies.

Peace Corps offered to send me abroad, where I could teach indigeous people how to make a DVD, but I told them again, I have a family, and I was going to be a snooty American who will deprive other people from a Third World Country how to do a batch edit on Final Cut Pro. One guy from one of the lesser known government agencies was kind enough to say that he's been wanting to do some video, but hasn't had the grant. He took my email just in case he gets a grant. I will be waiting ever so patiently by my keyboard for his reply.

And that was pretty much that. I retreated, defeated and feeling like the nerdy geek who's been turned down by all the girls at the dance, and scanned the indexed cards on the bulletin board. One that caught my eye was about video production for Sound Transit, and it sounded like a pretty decent gig... until I came home and looked it up. I might not qualify because I'm not currently enrolled as a student, which really sucks. Oh well. At least I have my booklight.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Canyon Hobby.

Alex was throwing pebbles over the Grand Canyon. Hikers below were running.

Monday, April 25, 2005


One of the chocolate shops at Bellagio. It was a flowing chocolate display.

Yoga Bear.

Zoe was so tired that she keeled over and slept. Passerbys hissed at us for allowing her to do so.

Like a Rock.

A shot of Grand Canyon. Yeah, I hiked that mother.

Hum Vee.

Alex and Zoe in a $30,000 Humvee at F.A.O. Schwartz. This is definitely the only time they'll get to sit in it.

Zoe and Me.

Me and Z at the Gardens. My arms were so buff from carrying babies during the trip.

Frowny Girl.

Zoe doesn't seem to be particularly fond of heights.

First Night Activity.

Grandma and Alex watching the Fremont Street Experience. Yes, it is nighttime.

It's so Preeeeeeeety.

Wife and Zoe by the Conservatory Garden at Bellagio. Some things were evidently trying to pee on them.

I Shot myself and I like it.

Me and Z-Bear by the Hoover Dam.

Canyon Smile.

Not a great picture, but love his expression.

Night Shot.

One of the few shots I took of Vegas. Yes, it's true, you see bare asses on billboards everywhere. A lot of body parts actually, with the faces hidden.


My Homegirl be Representin'.

Nursery... or Zombie Babies?!?

Zoe gets a little ride from a doggie and help from Grandma, trying to get away from those freaky ass babies behind them.

Show me Your Peanut.

"Hey kid, got a beer on you? I'm dying in this thing!"

Train of Thought.

Alex playing at F.A.O. Schwartz.

Pretty Potty...

This is a quick shot of the public bathrooms inside the Bellagio. It's so sweet that I wouldn't imagine emptying my waste anywhere else.

Dam Nation.

This is a photo taken from the Hoover Dam... Of the Hoover Dam. Damn!

The Kids Are All Right.

I know that's a saying from somewhere, but I don't know where. That makes me a scholar.

First of all, sorry for misspelling "travelogue" in all but one of my entries. I suppose Spell-check was built into blogger for a reason.

So I'm here to discuss the kids in general, because it forces me to realize that these little knee-biting (Zoe is learning to gum people anyhow), snot-nosed (they both have colds), rugrats (Mostly Zoe, but she's learning to cruise fast!) also happen to be children of mine, not just really noisy housemates who don't pay rent and expect you to clean up their poop. But that's just the fun stuff.

Alex has a few new developments, the main one being able to bust a move when he has to. This boy will outdance any sucker - as long as its a Wiggles song, of course. He doesn't do it dependably, and his dances are infrequent and short, but when he hoofs it, boy. Travolta better watch his ass.

I also discovered the boy's finer sense of humor - he seems to think it's funny when I speak in a different voice, mostly like Henry the Octapus (see Wiggles.). He'll crack up, which further encourages me to do really bad accents of Baritone caliber weirdness. Other things that make him laugh? Torturing his poor little sister. He's also learning to drink from a cup, which would last for a few minutes before he's completely water logged, then he starts doing other things with the cup like dump it out, or take a mini-shower with it. He's doing pretty well considering no one really taught him that. Just wants to be like us, I guess.

He'll also ask for "Bubble" by name, and point to the bottle of Blowing Bubbles on top of the fridge. It's all fun and games when you bring it down, but when you try to put it back up, you had better learn to detach an appendage or have a bus full of clowns to distract him, because this boy doesn't like his bubbles taken away from him. He'll have a full-tilt tantrum, rest for a while, walk to the kitchen again, point to the top of the fridge, and go, "Bubble?"

Zoe has the greatest little laugh in the world, the kind of infectious burst that just makes your day better. Her laughter can be achieved by tickling her, surprising her, or attacking her with your head. Just driving my head into her tummy will cause her to go into a giggling fit. She's also profoundly curious, and will try to put everything foreign in her mouth. She is the living reminder that the vacuum has a function in this household. She's also getting some swiftness in her mobility. One moment she's in the living room and the next she'll be right at your feet, eating Alex's leftovers. Then she'll flash you a grin.

We're also finding out that Zoe loves playing on our bed. For some reason, when we put her on the bed, she'll brighten up and crawl around at hyperspeed, squealing and squeaking all over. If you pounce in front of her to prevent her from going over the edge, she'll just laugh and bounce the other direction. It's good to have this something that is just for her, since we feel like she doesn't get enough personal attention whatsoever.

Zoe also got a chance to experience grass for the first time, which is a rather non-eventful event. She'll sit there, look at the grass, move her hands around in it, move her legs around, and sit there some more. It's cute to watch, but I think only if you're a parent. Also, this weekend I exercised my right to be a bad parent by not applying sunscreen to my babies when we went for a walk. I wanted to find out if they had my tanning genes or not. I never used sunscreen before in my life, I just turned dark. My wife is quite dark as well, though I think it's simply because she wants so desperately to be just like me so her genes mutate to mimic mine. Copycat.

But yeah, the kids are great. Getting over their colds, and doing their jobs wearing us out. Whee!

Alex and Grandma are looking at the Fremont Street Experience. It's actually at night too.

Vegas travelogue: Days Four and Five.

The Last Stretch

Exhaustion had set in pretty heavily by the fourth day - the babies weren't waking up for an earthquake, let alone a parent. At this point, Zoe was pretty much fighting and screaming and kicking whenever we got her into the car seat, and Alex just wanted to be held all the time because he was just so tired. My mom wasn't well rested herself, having been harassed in the middle of the night because of the hotel - more on that later. I started out cranky because some guy next door was threatening to call security because my son was playing with the door, and waking him up at 9 in the morning. Dick.

We started out at the Bellagio, since we didn't get a chance to hang out there on Tuesday night. The conservatory garden was quite the sight to see, even this time round. That is just one swanky ass hotel. I even told my mom to go check out the bathrooms because they were so nice. Marble and just really sweet decor. Just too awesome for words, really. We hit a few other hotels, nothing really particular about our pattern of walking - we just did a whole lot of it.

The showcase mall was always fun, with the Coke and M&M's store. We skipped the Coke store in favor of the candy store, and just breezed through it rather quickly. My mom, Zoe, and I ended up wandering the store together, and into the 3-D show which was free and short. But since there didn't seem to be a way out, we ended up watching it anyhow. Zoe does not like 3-D, with or without glasses. She climbed up my face a bunch of time when the sound effects and chair effects came on, and I basically had to console her while crossing my eyes to see the 3-D effect. That pretty much gave me a headache for the rest of the day. In the same building, we also ended up taking the employee elevator to the parking lot. Don't ask.

When we went back for the babies' naps, my mom requested once again to speak to the manger. Basically, some check-in clerk somehow checked my room in the correct dates, and my mom's room in 3 days later or something, so essentially the room she was staying it was showing up as an empty room. So at 1 in the morning, people were trying to enter the room, and then the front desk called up and harassed my mom further about being checked in. So after talking to the manager some, he realized that it was the hotel's fault so we got two nights free for one of the rooms.

During the babies' naps, I went downstairs with my wife to gamble a little and yes, this was the first time since coming to Vegas when we got to actually gamble. The kids have just been with us all the time, and they really frown upon people who drop coins into slot machines while holding kids. I blew $20 on slots and felt immediately violated, despite convincing myself that that was all I was going to lose. I think it was just losing it that fast that threw me off. My wife had better luck - which is primarily based on the fact that I have no luck at all, so she has more than usual.

When we returned, Alex was still out - so much so that we were in the room watching TV and he didn't even stir. So my mom and I went back down, and she gave me a few rolls of nickels to play with. I decided that that was more in my vein of risk-taking, so I tried out video poker and actually dug it. I had some feeling of control in video poker whereas I had nothing in slots. So we played some more and when back up for the kids. We didn't leave the hotel again till almost 8.

We caught the tail end of a free show at the Tropicana at 9, and then walked around some more. Visiting Excalibur and the Luxor. I had my age guessed by the jester at the Former, and she pegged me as 35 years old, 7 years older than I actually am. I comtempled suicide, but decided that I was actually too young for that. My wife rejoiced quietly for not being too much of a cradle robber. And for my prize, Alex got some funky neon orange bear. My mom attempted to stump the jester, but she got her age spot on. Which was little consolation to me.

At the end of the night, we were just worn to the bone. Our bodies were pretty much walking to one destination to the next, but we ourselves were somewhere else. We got back to the hotel even later, at around midnight. My wife and I gave it a last hurrah by hitting the casinos again, and I broke even at video poker, actually making a nickel profit. So that was cool. My wife was so tired that she gave up early.

The next day was exciting because the first thing in order was to hit the car wash, since it was open at 8am. So we did, my mom and I, and having to fork out $11.95 for a rental car wash was about the most retarded thing ever. We got that done, drove to the airport, and luckily for us, the babies slept through the plane ride. The Shuttle express didn't know how to drive us back, but we got back eventually.

And I can now stop writing about this trip.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Vegas Travelouge: Day Three.

Sore Asses and Baby Deafness

Don't be like me and try to drive to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas if you're travelling with children. There are less painful ways to torture yourself and your children.

We started the day slightly later than we wanted, hitting the road at around 8 in the morning. Our first stop was surprisingly closer than expected - Hoover Dam was merely less than an hour away. We stopped at the cafe and had some breakfast, while enjoying the Dam for what it was. A big thing that was holding water back. My fear of heights was tested as I gripped the ledge with my free hand while taking photos with the other. It was kinda neat, I suppose. I snuck in a few photos here and there whenever I wasn't holding a baby.

The drive there wasn't hard - after all, it was pretty much straighforward, with a few turns here and there. The roads were so long and similar, just miles and miles of desert, that I ended up going a little faster than I was supposed to and go ticketed. But my admission of guilt with my comment about "really wanted to get there with two babies in the back" helped reduce it to a $50 fine, rather than $160. which would have sucked.

When we got to the Grand Canyon, it was already about 5pm, Arizona time. We looked over the edge while I clung onto Zoe till she squeaked, and my mom kept reminding me to stay away from the edge. No kidding, there isn't much between you and the bottom of the Canyon. The railings that were present were at the right height to flip you over if you did lean too far over or run into it, so that you could land on your head instead of your ass. Not that it matter how you landed anyway. My favorite sign posted was that "Most who die have gone beyond walls or railings." So evidently, some people do die from looking at it, or at the gift shop...

The stupid village was already closed, since most of the visitors to the Canyon don't drive that far and plan ahead, and we were only there for about an hour and a half before we left. The second observation point that we went to had no railings, and that was fun. Kids were like half a mile from the edge.

A stop at Wendy's, and we tried to trick the babies by making no further stops. It worked for about half the way, but the third hour in, babies got mad. He screamed and cried, She scream and cried, and together in unison, they both screamed and cried. My ass was starting to fall asleep, but we drove on all the way back to Vegas, never exceeding the speed limit because I didn't want to be the idiot to get two tickets in a day.

By the time we got back, we were peeling ourselves out of the van and the babies were worn out from being angry at us. A bigger problem awaited us: The minivan had hundreds of dead bugs in the front and the interior had cheerios, wrappers, and a dead hitchhiker. The car rental place would charge for a dirty vehicle. D'oh!

The babies fell asleep rather quickly, after my wife and I pretended to be logs and ignored them. That was fun.