Howdy, my peoples!
For those of you who know me, the dashing and happy gent in the gif above should look familiar. For those of you who do not, you may be confused as to what is going on in said gif.
Well, the lad in the gif is me, and I am happy. Why am I happy? I’m happy for two main reasons. First, I just crossed the 400-subscriber barrier! I’m incredibly happy about this, and so you get a gif of me dancing. Hooray, 400 readers! Second, I was in Las Vegas this past weekend celebrating two of my best friends’ 30th birthdays (shout-out to Harrison and HemmerDong). We attended a pool party while there, and the gif above resulted from said pool party. It was a great weekend, and it resulted in a great gif. And the experience in Vegas brings me to the LAS VEGAS Edition of the MezzaDigesta! Let’s go!
Three Vegas-Themed Things Joe Likes This Week
1) Las Vegas - the world’s biggest wet campus
When I was at Stanford, a major trait of the campus that was held in high-regard among students was that it was a “wet campus” - or, that students could take alcoholic beverages anywhere. This made campus life particularly fun. Students could carry beverages between dorms, or en route to a fraternity party without fear of a citation from a campus officer. Frat stars particularly gung ho about beer pong or Snappa could play outdoors in broad daylight and not get punished for it. And groups of friends could get together and play a game of Slosh Ball (kickball with kegs of beer) in peace.
Well, Las Vegas is a wet campus’s wet dream. You can bring alcohol anywhere in Vegas, as long as it’s not in a glass container. Everywhere you stroll on the Vegas Strip, people are carrying beverages, and most of these happen to be adult beverages. Heading from the blackjack tables at the Bellagio to dinner across the street? Bring a roadie. Didn’t have time to finish your greyhound at dinner before the Lady Gaga show? Not a problem, Becky.
Vegas is a wild place, and it’s pretty fitting that you can continue the party from point A to point B while you’re there.
2) Jumbo-sized drinks!
On those walks from point A to point B mentioned above? Odds are you’ll find loads of drinks like the ones pictured here. People in Vegas love buying massive, super-sized cocktails. I’m not sure where else in the States might have a massive-drinks-per-capita that rivals Vegas. My first thought was Disneyland - but those souvenir drinks are typically jumbo lemonades or Coke’s for the little ones. Maybe New Orleans? But I’ve never been there so I can’t say for sure. Regardless, I can say for a fact that people in Vegas really enjoy big ol’ drinks.
These things are diabetes in cocktail form. They are a disapproving facial expression from your dentist with a giant straw. They are so unwieldy - seriously, who needs a drink this big? I’m guessing that the percentage of people who are happy with their decision to buy these after finishing them is lower than 50%. Are there any legitimate practical reasons for buying these? Why do people feel the need to buy these in Vegas? In any case, I like ‘em.
3) Vegas is a melting pot for America and the world at large
On a more serious note, one cool thing about Vegas is that it combines all of the cultures and people of the US (and on a wider scale, the whole globe) and throws them all into one place. And I think that is a legitimately notable quality of the place.
People travel to Vegas for all sorts of reasons. Some people are simply sight-seeing and go for vacation. Others go to gamble and hit the casinos. More recently, going for club nightlife has become popular. Of course, there are the residency shows that are unique to Vegas, like a Celine Dion or Cher or Britney Spears performance. A lot of people travel to Vegas to pursue hobbies, whether they be car conventions or e-sports tournaments. Tons of professionals flock to Vegas for conferences.
What this leads to is a wide range of people, mostly visitors, in one city. It means a lot of people who don’t normally interact in the same place. It forces people to mingle with others who typically operate outside of their bubbles. And I think that’s really cool! It also makes for such interesting people watching and observing. As someone who loves to simply sit and observe, I’m fascinated by people watching in Vegas and by trying to guess people’s reasons for being there.
Four Vegas-Themed Things Joe Dislikes This Week
1) Cigarette Smoke everywhere
With the like section out of the way, I must say that putting together the list of dislikes was definitely easier this week. It’s pretty easy to list things that are a little unlikable about Las Vegas, Nevada. And for me, that list starts with cigarette smoke. It’s impossible to avoid cigarettes in Vegas. They’re everywhere. Casinos are smoking zones, so people can puff on tobacco while getting their gambling fix. People extend this lawlessness elsewhere, so it’s not rare to have people lighting up next to you in a club or at a show. Odds are that you’ll have a hotel room faintly smell like cigarette smoke on at least one Las Vegas trip.
Add all of that up, and your clothes the morning after a night out will probably reek of cigarette smoke. Not great, Bob!
2) Lights and colors and stimulation and distractions everywhere
The fact that Vegas casinos and hotels are designed to distract and to incorporate boatloads of elements that will distract is quite well documented, so I’ll avoid a lengthy exploration of that topic here. What I’ll do instead is recount two anecdotes from my most recent trips to Vegas which illustrate that all of these distractions and stimulants do their job very well!
On a trip to Las Vegas earlier this year for a bachelor party (hi, Brian and Joe), the group of friends I was with ended our night out at a club at around 3:00 am. We stumbled out of the club at this time. In my drunken stupor, the first thing I saw in front of me were the bright and enticing lights of Eggslut, a popular breakfast sandwich spot that recently opened in Vegas. And did my drunk, easily manipulated, weak self wander its way over to that line and pound a breakfast sandwich? You bet your ass it did.
This past weekend, my friends and I ended our night out at a club at around 3:30 am. (If you’re thinking that club nights are a theme of my Vegas trips, you’re not wrong.) We hopped in a car back to our hotel and entered the lobby. A number of people I was with wanted to gamble before leaving the next day. I know deep down that gambling in Vegas is a losing proposition for me. I’ve done it a few times and lost each time. But, in my drunken stupor, did I join my friends, gamble for an hour, stay up until 5:30 am, and lose? You bet your ass I did.
3) Trains of girls linking hands to get to the bathroom, bar, or dance floor at a Las Vegas Club
Death, taxes, and flocks of girls holding hands to make their way places in Las Vegas clubs. The number of times I tried to get somewhere this past weekend only to be blocked by 8 women holding hands was truly staggering. “Hold on!” they yell. “We can’t lose each other!” they reason. And look, I get it. If Becky loses Cindy for 5 minutes while Becky is trying to take a selfie with the Chainsmokers, then the night is pretty much ruined. I totally get it. But as someone personally impacted by this phenomenon and blocked from my destination time and again by these ladies, I wonder if it has to be like this. There must be a better way!
4) Overpriced drinks
Look, stuff in Vegas is expensive. It’s something you understand before arriving. But even so, $13 Bud Lights and $25 Vodka Sodas still hurt a little bit. On Friday night, a baseball bet I thought was a lock and would net me a cool 40 bucks crashed and burned at the last minute. My very next purchase was a $21 Gin and Tonic. That sequence of events just hurt me in a very deep way, ok?
One Vegas-Related Musing
So I’ve attended a couple of pool/day parties in recent trips to Vegas. These parties consist of thousands of young adults drinking and listening to dj’s in swimsuits in the sun for hours. That pool water has to be one of the grossest and most infectious concentrations ever, right? I shudder to think of the type of stuff that goes on in those pools. I might go hop in the shower again right now.
Three Vegas-Themed Song Recommendations from J-Bone
Given that my recent trips to Vegas have heavily consisted of seeing electronic music dj’s in da club, I’m going to recommend three of my favorite EDM tracks of all time below! Hopefully this selection provides a fresh dance tune or a throwback jam to carry you through today.
1) Afrojack - Take Over Control feat. Eva Simons
This song was one of my first gateway tracks into electronic dance music. Afrojack was one of the first dj’s I listened to who merged catchy vocals with fun, dance-y beats in a highly addictive manner. The number of times I listened to this song in the 2011-12 range with friends is too many to count! A great jam.
2) Duck Sauce - Barbra Streisand
When this song came out, I remember being just so immensely happy. It’s such a cheerful song. It still cheers me up on the rare occasion that I remember to play it. Props to Duck Sauce for putting together such a joyful track.
3) Boys Noize - Yeah
Boys Noize is probably the DJ I’ve seen perform live the most over the years. He is primarily known for being a master live dj and mixer, unlike chart-topping producers like David Guetta or Kygo. The guy certainly knows how to put together an incredible live set. This track, “Yeah,” was a staple of his back when I used to see him a lot. It always brought tons of energy and positivity through the crowd. A great one!
And that’s all for the Vegas edition of the Digesta, folks. Hope you enjoyed reading about Sin City through the lens of Joe. And be sure to watch out for those girl trains blocking your way the next time you’re in a Vegas club!
Sending everyone good vibes,