Pre-Nashville Friday Random Ten
August 11, 2007, 2:36 am
Filed under: Friday Random Ten, Las Vegas, Nashville, Rufus Wainwright, Uncategorized

1. Kelly Clarkson–Since U Been Gone

2. R.E.M.–Stumble

3. The White Stripes–Black Math

4. The Drones–Be My Baby

5. Marianne Faithfull–In the Factory

6. Jenny Lewis With the Watson Twins–Happy (Reprise)

7. Prince–Crystal Ball

8. Television–Venus

9. Prince–I Feel For You

10. Cheap Trick–Money is the Route of All Fun

If you happened to deduce from this that I am a confused aging punk who can occasionally give up the funk, you are probably correct.

It is finally beginning to sink in that I am not only heading out of town but am going to see Rufus Wainwright perform for the first time in two years. Better yet, he is performing at the legendary Ryman Auditorium and it will be my first time entering those hallowed doors, although not my first time in Nashville. Although I gave it some serious consideration and thought I might have had a shot at winning via my serpentine body movements, I get terrible stage fright and I am not about to give up my shot at an afternoon nap in order to be at the sound check. I therefore declined to enter the contest to perform the spoken part of “Between My Legs” with Rufus (scroll down on the link for details), but some of my fellow fanatics have entered for different cities and you can see their auditions here.

Not only is this my first solo excursion in almost a year, the last one ended in disaster when I flew to Minneapolis for a Scissor Sisters show at Myth that wound up being canceled when drummer Paddy Boom hurt his back. My hearing aids were acting up that weekend, I was exhausted, and the vibes were just generally off. I was so not myself, it was almost a relief when the show was canceled.

I adore traveling alone and wish I could do it more often. Navigating airports is a relative breeze without nervous, twitchy family members who shall go unnamed and other hyper, overly loquacious family members who shall also go unnamed. Well, that about covers both of them. Although I will go almost anywhere and still need to visit Seattle and New Orleans and any number of other places, the most fun is returning to places I have already been and enjoyed. There is something most relaxing and stimulating about the experience, which encompasses both familiarity and discovery. I can do things my way, go where I want without having to coordinate my schedule with another living being apart from the maid who cleans my room.

My absolute favorite place to visit alone is Las Vegas. When I am miserable, as in my last months of pregnancy with my daughter in 2000, I plan trips to Las Vegas and look up packages on Expedia. For some reason this always makes me feel better, although more often than not I can only window shop. I have always wanted to stay at Caesars Palace just because, but Fremont Street is perhaps the best place for a solo traveler because there are numerous things to do within a small area. At the opposite ends of the range, I recommend the Golden Nugget if you have a few extra clams to spare and the El Cortez if you are scrimping and want to be steeped in the local color. The El Cortez is the oldest original casino in Las Vegas, and it’s a great place if you want to dine with a stuffed monkey in the wee hours of the morning (Disclosure: I was not alone when I tried this maneuver, but don’t let that stop you).

The only difficult thing about traveling alone in Las Vegas is that it can sometimes feel awkward to be alone when almost everyone else seems to be in a group. This feeling can strike anywhere, but Las Vegas is particularly conducive due to the fact that it basically exists as a place for people to gamble and drink alcohol and just generally party 24/7. On the other side of that coin, the same thing can make it a great place to blend in, get lost in the crowd, and watch people make drunken fools of themselves. One way to get around the awkwardness of traveling alone is to bring a camera and take pictures, but do be careful and remember that photographing other people without their permission can be a risky enterprise.

When attending public events such as concerts, alcohol is a useful way of calming that pesky social anxiety and helping you become one with the crowd, so I was relieved to see the Ryman has a bar in the lobby. Although the combination of alcohol, country music, shopping, Rufus Wainwright and great thunderbolts of excitement may indeed be a potent one, these are the moments I live for and I reserve my right to drink and shop. Soon enough, I’ll be back in school and the grind, but for now my controls are set on “Enjoy” and it’s full speed ahead for the pleasure zone that is Country Music City, U. S. A.

3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

hello linkadelica,

just dropped by to check out the latest enty in your blog…

hope all is well.


Comment by chrisfiore5

I know what you mean about window-shopping travel. I do that all the time, and I get to take approximately 1 out of every 25 trips I mentally plan. I also have a recurring dream, a pleasant one, in which I am someplace I would normally be, and suddenly I discover I am only a short drive away from someplace really exotic. Like, in the dream I might be visiting my brother in Plainfield, and suddenly realize that I can drive to New Orleans in only an hour. Stuff like that.

Comment by Bubs

when I’m in Las Vegas I’m drunk & walking down east Sahara Ave with a 40oz in hand

Comment by Karl Bakla

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