las vegas - the beginning

Excalibur Hotel & Casino you know...I never expected to be in las vegas. I also never meant to forget my computer mouse. I *really* miss my computer's mouse.

It's been an exhausting few days. A 6 am flight, a three hour time difference, ogling mountains (!) and omg, a trip to china in just a mere five whole days. I am surprisingly, not yet armed with a single list. But that will be short-lived.

I'm here in Vegas for a gigantic broadcasting conference for broadcasting and news geeks as well as multimedia and postproduction folks. It's interesting. This afternoon you could definitely tell who were the news crew and who were the post-production booth people (i.e. me). The boothies were grimy and sweaty and tired of having to listen to the 100 ft X 100 ft booths go "Check. Check. Product X blah blah feature feature" on their enormous sound systems all.day.long. The newsies were still walking around in suits and heels looking vacant but perky. There is something slightly artificial about a crowd of fifty newspeople who just crawled off a plane and still look like they spent three hours sitting in make-up. Why can I never crawl off a plane looking that way? I always leave with airline pillow marks on my cheek and a weird cramp in my hand for sleeping on it strangely.

Though there are obvious downsides to doing shows (like exhaustion and non-stop busy-ness for days on end), I'm still blown away by how amazing (and in other cases, how terrible) booth design is, the coolness of some of the products and the sheer size of some of the booths people are putting together and the grace with which it all seems to come together.

We checked out the strip last night (at least until we dropped from exhaustion). There is a large component of tack, and neon lights, and people shilling hooker calling cards at you from every direction, but in other cases (like Paris) it's startlingly beautiful. When you walk into the casino in Paris, beyond the Eiffel Tower and the Champs d'Elyssees (sp?) in the dim darkness of the night outside, you can't help but be blown away by the beauty of the sky blue ceiling. The complete outdoor sky mural that makes you feel as if you're sitting outside at a french cafe gazing up at the clouds, oblivious to the clang and din of the casino that surrounds the cast iron fence and the lovingly brewed lattes likely laced with amaretto.

It's neat to be here. But I still miss the comforts of home. Hotels that try to be miniature cities in and of themselves just can't replace your own space.