Thursday, April 05, 2007


Yesterday I took my usual lunchtime walk and had some observations.

Though I work in a big building that accommodates lots of people there actually is only a rather small full time staff. There are about 160 full time employees here. The hotel we are attached to employs thousands, but not us. We are owned by the same major corporation, but when the individual pieces were purchased for some reason it was decided to keep all of them as separate companies each with their own HR department and different rules, insurance, and health plans. We do the DoorMart thing and bring in tons of ‘temp’ workers for shows, but they are hourly and thus do not get benefits.

So, with a small staff, we just have a small employee dining area. There are three vending machines and about eight round tables, a TV and three microwave ovens. I usually bring in leftovers from home, heat them up and eat at my desk. We get free lunches when there is a show, which is about a third of the time. The hotel does have two food courts, and employees get half price at different places on different days, so sometimes for variety we go up there to eat, but mostly its leftovers. I guess it’s a guy thing, but I don’t mind eating the same stuff for several meals in a row. B wants variety, but I make a big batch of spaghetti periodically (I do almost all the cooking at home) and do not mind bringing it in for lunch over several days, and having it for supper when I get home too. Monday I hit the organic store and bought bags of good veggies and steamed them, and had nice veggies for several days. So when I cook I usually make a lot so as to have more meals on later days.

After eating I try to get up and go walk. The other programmer here also has gotten into the habit and we wander off together. Yesterday we went up along the canal upstairs and then out the front door upstairs and headed off to the left. Usually we head right, over the bridge and down to TI to wander, but for some reason picked the other direction today. I don’t remember ever walking that way before, across some bridges over the driveways and outdoor canals and down to a narrow sidewalk along the Strip.

Oh, that last paragraph seemed rather strange – how many people could say ‘went up to the canal upstairs’ as if it were perfectly normal? I do it just about every day, and so it does not sound strange to me unless I type it and then say to myself ‘how long has this seemed normal to me?’.

Anyway, while rounding the end of the canal we had to thread our way through a big crowd of people. A gondolier was making the end turn and as they always do had stopped to sing. We stopped to listen also before continuing. Some of them sing quite well, some are just so-so, this particular guy was great. Loud, a nice voice, and he really seemed to enjoy singing. I hope his tips reflect that.

But as we tried to walk away I had a hard time getting around all of those people. Then out on the sidewalk there were even more – it was about 80f, sunny, (do I need to say sunny all the time? Come on, it’s always sunny) clear blue sky (OK, that’s a default here too) and really nice. There were a LOT of people wandering around. Since it wasn’t really hot, and it is getting into Spring, more people coming figured out it would be warm here and brought along t-shirts and appropriate clothing. Not as nice as a few weeks ago when so many women were wearing bikini tops, but that will probably start up again when it starts getting hot. (yes DM, 80 is not hot: over 110f is hot)

As I tried to push myself through the crowd, all of whom seemed to be going north while I was heading south, I marveled at the number of them that stopped to gawk and take pictures, further blocking the crowd. Come on people, it’s only a volcano and waterfall, it’s only the Eifel Tower, it’s only a pirate ship. What are you stopping to look at? What are you, tourists or something? I’m trying to walk here! (sound like a New Yorker?)

I then had to admit to myself; yes, they are tourists. And they are taking pictures. And I live in the middle of this and it’s all normal to me. I wonder if the guides at the Grand Canyon think the same thing; ‘oh G, another day at work, is it Friday yet?’ and just look at the surroundings as normal, or the bartenders at the strip clubs faced every day with naked women, or the staff on cruise ships faced with another day on the ocean. The way I walk by the canal and the big room painted with clouds in the ‘sky’ and singers and people painted up as white statues and consider it normal and boring.

So in saying that, yes, I appreciate the tourists. If you want to stop in the middle of the damn sidewalk and take a picture then go ahead and do it. It’s because of you that I can live here in the middle of this full time. Without you Vegas would be a hick gas stop in the middle of the stinking desert. Well, sorry, the desert doesn’t stink, it’s just the attitude that does. But you know what I mean. Please, come and take pictures and spend your money so that I can keep my job and enjoy the sunshine and good restaurants and half naked Pirate girls and singing gondoliers and fountains that dance to music and all of the other things that you don’t see anywhere else. Thank you (but please don’t stop right in front of me when I’m trying to walk).

OK, enough. It’s not Friday, but I was moving photos from the camera to the computer last night and came across some that B took yesterday. It seems that E has taken on the posture of a teenager while watching television. I don’t know what was on, probably Elmo, but maybe Spongebob.

All I could think of was ‘oh, my back’ but she was probably comfortable.

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