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Las Vegas Lifestyle Discussion of all things Las Vegas. Ask questions about hotels/shows/etc., coordinate meetups with other 2+2ers and post Las Vegas trip reports.

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Old 07-01-2016, 03:45 PM   #101
hfrog355
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Re: June 18ish to 26maybe - A local's vacation

Solid read. I need to get some more local food input for my trip coming up - gonna have a car this time around, so I'm looking forward to getting off the strip a little.
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Old 07-01-2016, 04:52 PM   #102
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Re: June 18ish to 26maybe - A local's vacation

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Solid read. I need to get some more local food input for my trip coming up - gonna have a car this time around, so I'm looking forward to getting off the strip a little.
Definitely. There are so many unbelievable off-strip places it's great to venture out and try them.

I'm out of town this weekend but I'll have an update Monday. I haven't forgotten about you guys. Don't worry.
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Old 07-01-2016, 05:44 PM   #103
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Re: June 18ish to 26maybe - A local's vacation

This is pure gold, awesome read Spike!
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Old 07-02-2016, 09:17 AM   #104
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Re: June 18ish to 26maybe - A local's vacation

Great read, will be waiting for more stories.
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Old 07-04-2016, 04:04 AM   #105
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Re: June 18ish to 26maybe - A local's vacation

Thursday, June 30 -

It's time for the wife and I to get out of town. It seems weird sometimes - vacationing in a place other than a vacation spot. My biggest complaint has always been around my vacation time. As previously mentioned, I'm from Boston. My wife is from Boston. Most of our family lives in Boston or the surrounding suburbs (father-in-law is in a rural town outside of Albany). So whenever we get vacation time, we're expected to go back to Boston to see friends and family. This wouldn't be a big deal, but as soon as we say "Hey we're coming back for 6 days", every single minute of that time gets booked, and it no longer becomes a restful vacation. Instead, we're fulfilling obligations. Fortunately, my dad understands this and really doesn't give too much of a **** if we're out or don't see him every minute of every day. My mother-in-law, on the other hand...

My wife has had a certain obsession since about September. An avid reader of places like TheToast (RIP) and other female-oriented sites, she latched on to a new fad that has only been gaining in popularity for the last few months. Recently, when she got her bonus check, she said "I don't care how much this costs. We're going." Excellent. So we book our trip - take a red eye Thursday night (land Friday morning), arrive at the hotel, rest up, shower, etc., then head on out to the main event. Stick around town until midday Sunday then fly back, giving us the 4th as a day off to rest and relax. Sounds perfect.

Problem 1 - our flight was so delayed, they started showing the information for two flights later at our gate:



Problem 2 - these dudes were mean-mugging me in the waiting area:



Problem 3 - I used to love JetBlue (and the fact that they fly out of Terminal 3 is a MAJOR bonus), but their customer service seems to have taken a ****ing nose dive off of a cliff lately:



Problem 4 - Our flight was supposed to land at 5:30am, which means we'd be able to scoot from the airport to our hotel without traffic. Instead we landed at 8am. Which means we're trying to go from mother****ing JFK to mother****ing Times Square in rush hour. On a Friday. In an NYC cab.

Problem 5 - Getting to the hotel at 9am and having to beg for a very early check-in isn't fun. Fortunately, the front desk agents were super accommodating and had a room ready. Checked us right in without issue.

We took a quick nap before going out for lunch. I love the way the daily special was priced:



My wife's obsession that I had mentioned? Well, we're here:






My wife has been going ga-ga for Hamilton ever since she first heard the recordings last fall. She's been trying to get me to listen to it for the longest time, and I really just haven't had any interest. We bought our tickets right around the time that basically every major player including the playwright/Alexander Hamilton (Lin-Manuel Miranda) announced they were leaving the cast in early July. Then, the Tonys happened, and Hamilton won something like 12 of the 16 for which it was nominated. It could have been a clean sweep, except there were some categories where multiple people from the show were nominated for the same award.

I don't typically do musicals. They're not my thing unless they're really well done. I've seen a bunch but really the only ones that I genuinely liked prior to this were The Producers and Book of Mormon. But this show - oh my god - this show. We spent about $2500/ticket for this thing because demand is so high, and I can honestly say two things: 1) If I had tried to sell my ticket at the door to someone standing around, I probably could have sold it for $6000+. I'd be getting divorced, but I could have sold it; and 2) It was worth every. ****ing. penny. What an unbelievable show. It's going on tour next year, and if you want to see a really well-done production, or if you just want to impress a lady-friend, buy tickets. Seriously. Buy tickets.

If you're wandering around Times Square and you can't find the Richard Rogers theater, just look for the building right across the street:



The next day, we went out to the Museum of Modern Art. Meh. The best part about the day: I was able to make this joke...

Spoiler:


(Editing to add this part):

During our downtime in the hotel, we were watching some terrible TV with Las Vegas' second biggest mistake:



A Vegas native and UNLV grad. UNLV actually removed a giant banner they had of his face from their school of business building because people kept defacing it.

I said he was our second biggest mistake. Our biggest? This ****ing nitwit:



She was an ELECTED OFFICIAL who said ON THE ASSEMBLY FLOOR that people can use saltwater and baking soda to cure cancer:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...n-cure-cancer/

I hate her so much, I almost moved to her district simply so I could run against her. Fortunately, her term limits were up. She ran in a Congressional primary and finished 3rd. It won't be the last time we hear from her, but at least we can get a little bit of respite.

The wife and I took the father-in-law out to dinner at a place called Mas (Farmhouse). The food was unreal, but I always worry that super fancy dinners like that are kind of wasted on me. I don't have the palette they do. But in the end, we left happy and full, and I got a great idea for a blog (someone can steal this because I'm honestly too lazy to do it): Start an Instagram food blog. But instead of taking pictures of the meals, eat the food first, then post pictures of the empty plate with comments like "You guys would have loved this one". No? Well, made me laugh, anyway.

The flight home was miserable: After spending the extra money to upgrade to the Extra Space seats (which, honestly, is wasted on my stumpy 5'4 legs - but I like the expedited security line and getting to board first), I had the rudest staff ever, a little kid behind me who kicked my chair constantly even after I told them to stop, and a TV that didn't work. Not my best look. However, it was pretty standard, and since this an LVL thread and not a NYC thread, I'll post a pic I took leaving the airport:



And remember - if you don't see this sign in your cab going from the airport to the Strip, you're being ripped off.

Last edited by Spike McAwesome; 07-04-2016 at 04:11 AM.
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Old 07-04-2016, 04:54 AM   #106
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Re: June 18ish to 26maybe - A local's vacation

I've never been a big fan of the 4th of July. I'm still not, to be perfectly honest. It just doesn't appeal to me. But for a few years when I first moved out here, it was one of my favorite things. Not just because fireworks are semi-legal in the area, but because the nights that we would spend lighting them off were fantastic.

My first July 4th, a friend of a friend was in town and had been hired by Converse to shoot a video. The concept: Stuff a pair of Chuck Taylors with fireworks, light it off, and make it look like a "Salute your shoes" thing. Yeah, I don't get it either... but we get to play with fireworks. I'm in. So a handful of us go to an empty lot behind a small business area, load up the shoes, set it off, and go to town. I have the video of it somewhere but I don't know that it's interesting enough to post. It was fun as hell to do, of course. But for a non-participant to watch... I don't know. But that little taste of explosion gave me a great glimpse into what the 4th could be like. As we were walking away from the site, a couple of people were lighting off smaller fireworks and throwing it over the wall into the business area next to the lot. We turn a corner a see the sign: "ACME Lumber Yard". Nicely done, stupid.

The following year, we heard about a great setup: There's a dried up lake bed outside of Boulder City called the Eldorado Dry Lake Bed. Every year, a few thousand people would drive out onto the bed, set up a mini camp, and spend the entire night shooting off fireworks, drinking, doing whatever. Someone described it as a mini-Burning Man. I didn't see nearly enough tits to be able to make that comparison, so I usually say it's like an overnight NASCAR tailgate party. Whatever it was, it was a hell of a lot of fun.

The dry lake bed is just as it sounds:



Flat, dry earth with little to no plant life. It seemed like it stretched for miles, but I honestly never saw it during the daylight hours. Every year, we'd drive out to Pahrump to buy fireworks (in late May/early June)**, and on the 4th of July, we'd load up a bunch of coolers with drinks (separate cooler for water and my sodas) and head on out. Typically, those who were drinking would get a room at either the Railroad Pass or old Hacienda so they wouldn't get a DUI on the drive back home to Vegas. The worst part is if someone was coming late, trying to coordinate with them as to how far down the highway to drive before turning off into the lake bed... there were no signs and no safe ramps to use to get down there. You just had to aim your car and hope for the best.

**I said we'd buy our fireworks in May or June. Basically any and all fireworks are legal in Nye County (Pahrump) or at the Moapa Indian Reservation. Las Vegas/Clark County bans nearly everything except things like sparklers, etc. As it gets closer to July 4th, the Vegas cops and highway patrol will sit on the road between Vegas and these neighboring areas. If you're caught trying to bring fireworks into the city, it could be major trouble. So the trick is to go out early enough that there are no patrols going on.

Our collective favorites were the Jumping Jacks:



You'd light these little bastards, they'd shoot sparks and spin around on the ground, then shoot off into one direction or another. But that was the fun of it. You'd never really know in what direction they'd go. Everyone got hit with one of these things every year, but we couldn't get enough of them. I nearly lost my **** when one flew directly into my car, but fortunately it died out before it lit anything on fire. That could have ended poorly. After the first year, we realized that lighting off one is fun, sure... but dumping 50 in a paper bag and lighting the bag on fire is fun and terrifying and amazing and extremely painful all at once. So needless to say, we'd dump 200 in a bag and go ape****.

Some of the other campers were far more organized and coordinated than us. Some had RVs. Some built bonfires. Some had the foresight to bring chairs. We were impetuous and young and really only cared about blowing **** up. Everything else was an extraneous expense that only took away precious fireworks money. One of those highly-organized groups set up not too far away from us (or so it seemed - the desert can make things look deceptively close). They had a giant bonfire going, set up chairs around it, had an RV for all of their camping needs - the works. My buddy Steve loaded up a bag of these Jumping Jacks, ran like hell over to their bonfire, and threw the bag in. As he's heading over there, me and the rest of my friends can hear this other group shouting "No! Stop! Get away!" but we can't figure out why. I mean, he's just throwing something on to the fire that would sizzle out and die within a matter of seconds. Steve's running back as fast as he can and I'm talking with Brad trying to figure out why this other group was so panicked. All of a sudden, "KA-BOOOOOOOOOM!" The bonfire explodes like a Michael Bay special effect, with "Oooh" and "Aaaah" coming from the crowd (but you still won't get an Oscar, you ****ing hack). I went over to ask them what happened. Apparently the point of the bonfire was to detonate a handful of propane tanks they had laying around their property. They wanted to watch them explode. They did not, however, want to watch a spry but very drunk dude from Detroit explode. Fair enough.

The other group took off and their bonfire burned down to ambers. Brad decided it would be a good idea to walk barefoot across the still-smoldering remainder of a once-mighty bonfire. He power-walks over them, throws his glasses off into the distance and screams "I'VE NEVER FELT SO ALIVE!!!" He does it again and again until the fire burns out completely. Then I hear "****. Aw ****. Dammit. ****...." I walk over to try and find out what's wrong. Turns out, Brad really really needs his glasses to see. And he really really can't find where he threw them, or in what direction. The sun is starting to come up, and his glasses seem to have vanished. He has a back-up pair at home, and there's another friend sober enough to drive his car back in to town. But for now, Brad is Blind Brad. Or Blind Drunk Brad. He was so hammered, he couldn't even make it into IHOP for a post-explosion breakfast. Steve, however, tried ordering by pointing to the menu and saying "See this? I want everything to the right of that." I caught the waitress in time to cancel his order of several hundred dollars and got him pancakes instead.

Unfortunately, Boulder City stopped these shenanigans a couple of years ago in favor of their own ho-hum fireworks show:

http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/bo...g-dry-lake-bed

I've gone back to being a 4th curmudgeon, not really caring for the festivities. I understand why people enjoy blowing **** up. I understand why people go out of their way to do it. There are just too many idiots around. It's currently 1:40am local time on the 4th (meaning, the night of the 3rd/morning of the 4th). The people in the house behind me have been shooting off fireworks sporadically for the last 3 hours. It wouldn't be so bad except there's always just enough of a break between explosions to make me think they're done, then "BOOM" and it scares the piss out of me. Plus, it's a neighborhood. I guarantee I'll go outside tomorrow and find the shells of fireworks all over my property because someone else decided they're too lazy to move to an empty lot away from civilization. Hell, there's a high school within 3 minutes of here. Go to their football field and shoot them off there. And I really feel bad for the vets with PTSD who may be living in these neighborhoods. You'd think they'd be able to feel safe in their own homes, but some chuckle**** has to ruin it for everyone. /rant

So remember, if you come to Vegas to shoot off fireworks: Buy them early from a neighboring county; find a vacant lot/non HOA area to shoot them off; drink a lot but listen when people yell "No! Stop! Get away!"; and keep your glasses on your face.

Or don't. I'm not your ****ing mom.
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Old 07-04-2016, 08:08 AM   #107
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Re: June 18ish to 26maybe - A local's vacation

Hahaha bravo bravo!!!
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Old 07-04-2016, 01:23 PM   #108
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Re: June 18ish to 26maybe - A local's vacation

Spike for prezident!

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Old 07-05-2016, 06:53 AM   #109
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Re: June 18ish to 26maybe - A local's vacation

I used to have a house in Spring Valley....

Nice thread
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Old 07-06-2016, 06:58 PM   #110
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Re: June 18ish to 26maybe - A local's vacation

Probably the best thread on 2p2...
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Old 07-06-2016, 11:14 PM   #111
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Re: June 18ish to 26maybe - A local's vacation

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Probably the best thread on 2p2...


Definitely the best on LVL.


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Old 07-07-2016, 03:08 AM   #112
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Re: June 18ish to 26maybe - A local's vacation

Thanks for reading guys. I have a couple of other tales of shenanigans up my sleeve, but I did just have to text my friends and basically plead "Errr, what stories am I forgetting?" I know there are some (even some where I wasn't around, but I've heard them so many times, it feels like I was). Plus on Friday, I think I'm going to venture to a place that none of you would ever dare go, unless you were kidnapped and dragged there against your will. Plus I've got a week-long trip to Reno at the end of the month (for work) but I can take a few pics up there. So I've at least got a little more content coming. Maybe I should do a tour of all the former/closed poker rooms around town. There's enough of them, that's for sure - Aliante, Sunset, Tropicana, Hooters, Silverton, M, Circus Circus, Texas Station, Plaza, Eastside Cannery, Rampart, Tuscany, Gold Coast, Ellis Island... there may be more.

This is sort of off-topic, but did you guys hear about the false alarm at UNLV today? At about 2:30, their emergency notification system sent out a message saying "ACTIVE SHOOTER ON THE UNLV CAMPUS. SEE unlv.edu/whatever FOR MORE DETAILS". This message went out via text, email, phone call, Twitter, and Facebook. People were losing their minds. A few minutes later, a text came through with "ALL CLEAR". But still, no new information came through. More and more people started to ask questions, and nothing was coming from the UNLV police. Someone on Reddit said they saw 15 or so cop cars in front of the UNLV day care center. And still, no new information.

Roughly an hour later, UNLV sent a message that basically said "False alarm. We were testing the system and accidentally sent out a real message. But hey, kudos to LVMPD and the fire department for such a rapid response!" As it turns out, someone saw the message about an active shooter, and tripped the alarm at the day care. So the false alarm triggered a second false alarm, both of which had to be investigated. That's what caused all the delays. Weird afternoon.

I admit that I don't typically pay too much attention to the meetup threads in LVL, but maybe I should. If Gobbo does another dinner meetup before the beginning of the semester, I'll make a cameo for sure. Or if there's a 2p2 meetup at like an Orleans nightly tournament or something. I should probably try to make myself less of a shut in, though it is a dream to live on a walled-in compound. My dad grew up on something like that. Four buildings (two single-family homes, two duplexes on the same piece of property) where all of the family lived together. Granted, this was in Boston (Jamaica Plain) in the 40s and 50s, so not exactly removed from the rest of society. If Pahrump wasn't so far away from Vegas, I'd buy three acres there tomorrow and start building.

I also admit that I've been a bit distracted lately. I mentioned a meeting we had a work last week - and I've been thinking about it a lot. I don't want to go into too much detail in case anyone from my workplace is reading (which is highly doubtful, but you never know), but I will say that both my wife and my dad are trying to push me in a certain direction. On the surface, it seems like such a bad idea. Maybe there are benefits I'm just not seeing yet. I don't know.

I did forget one quick little story from New York. In Times Square, they're starting to get those super annoying characters, dressed in full costume, demanding cash if you take a picture with them. If you've been to Vegas in the last couple of years, you've seen these guys on the Strip and Fremont. They're relatively harmless, but can get nasty if you gawk/take a picture without tipping. The big difference between these people in Vegas vs. NYC: The ones in Vegas actually put SOME kind of effort into their costumes. The NYC people buy those cheap pajama-looking get-ups and a $5 mask made for kids and demand that you take a picture with them. I saw a guy in an Iron Man costume that looks it was dragged out of a $1 store bargain bin a week after Halloween - some kind of cheap Chinese knock-off that just barely got around copyright law. Absolutely disgraceful. Step up your game, NYC!

When the wife and I were in some store, I overheard two employees talking:

Guy 1: "I moved here in 1990, and the city's so different now man"
Guy 2: "Oh yeah?"
Guy 1: "Seriously. Those ******s in the costumes harassing people on their way to work? No way that **** would have gone down 20 years ago."
Guy 2: "(nervous laughter) Heh, yeah I guess."
Guy 1: "Yeah man. The pimps would have murdered their asses. Straight up."

Oh NYC, you charming place, you.

I've always said that NYC would be great if it wasn't filled with ****ing New Yorkers. Just like I think LA would be paradise if there were some kind of plague that wiped out 80% of the population and got rid of the goddamn traffic. And yes, I'm a real hit at parties. Woop woop.

This little story doesn't deserve its own post. In fact, it's not all that funny unless you've been there. But it's a central story to my little crew, and Steve can't even begin to tell it without bending over from laughter. After you read this little tidbit, imagine a half-drunk, short white guy from Detroit trying to tell this story, spewing out the words between fits of laughter and wiping away tears.

Palace Station used to run a great graveyard special (maybe they still do - I haven't been there for a graveyard snack in years): Burger, fries, and a beer for $3.99. One night, after a long pai gow and dice session, me and seven other guys decide to grab this special. It's late, we're all starving, none of us have to work in the morning (or care if we're actually awake), it's cheap - let's do this thing. We all order, we're all yucking it up, and it doesn't take very long before the burgers are served. What they advertise (and what we're expecting) is a burger with a fresh bun, lettuce, tomato... typical non-fast food burger. Something like:



When the food actually comes out, they start putting the burgers down in front of all of us:

Me: Burger was as advertised. No problems.
Friend 1: Burger was as advertised. No problems.
Friend 2: Burger was as advertised. No problems.
Friend 3: Burger was as advertised. No problems.
Friend 4: Burger was as advertised. No problems.
Friend 5: Burger was as advertised. No problems.
Friend 6: Burger was as advertised. No problems.
Steve: Some fat ****er must have stepped on this thing, run it over with a rolling pin, and then sat on it. This sucker was flat. I mean completely flat. Imagine a burger 1/10 the height of what you're expecting. I don't know what's worse - that someone cooked a burger like that; that the waitress brought it out anyway; or that Steve, after composing himself, actually ate it. In a weird moment of "Why the **** not?" we all had a good laugh and kind of rolled with it. Theoretically, we could have complained and asked for another one. But for some reason, Steve decided to devour the flat burger as-is: theoretical ass prints and all.

Again - imagine that taking 20 minutes to tell. It loses its charm after a while, but it's still something that comes up nearly every time we all get together.
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Old 07-07-2016, 03:15 AM   #113
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Re: June 18ish to 26maybe - A local's vacation

Quote:
I did forget one quick little story from New York. In Times Square, they're starting to get those super annoying characters, dressed in full costume, demanding cash if you take a picture with them. If you've been to Vegas in the last couple of years, you've seen these guys on the Strip and Fremont. They're relatively harmless, but can get nasty if you gawk/take a picture without tipping. The big difference between these people in Vegas vs. NYC: The ones in Vegas actually put SOME kind of effort into their costumes. The NYC people buy those cheap pajama-looking get-ups and a $5 mask made for kids and demand that you take a picture with them. I saw a guy in an Iron Man costume that looks it was dragged out of a $1 store bargain bin a week after Halloween - some kind of cheap Chinese knock-off that just barely got around copyright law. Absolutely disgraceful. Step up your game, NYC!
You haven't been to Hollywood & Highland here in Los Angeles the place have been overrun with the Steve's burger version of these drugged out costumed zombies for at least the last decade if not longer
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Old 07-07-2016, 03:49 AM   #114
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Re: June 18ish to 26maybe - A local's vacation

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You haven't been to Hollywood & Highland here in Los Angeles the place have been overrun with the Steve's burger version of these drugged out costumed zombies for at least the last decade if not longer
This is correct. I probably should spend more time in LA/SoCal. Seems like every time I go, I just get more and more annoyed about how many people there are, how expensive everything is, how crazy busy places are... I was driving from like W Hollywood to Downtown LA for something, and hit a traffic jam at 10pm. No accident, no construction, just general traffic. Blew my mind.
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Old 07-07-2016, 02:56 PM   #115
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Re: June 18ish to 26maybe - A local's vacation

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I should probably try to make myself less of a shut in, though it is a dream to live on a walled-in compound.
My dream as well. I can get 80 acres in Arizona in the middle of nowhere for not much money. Someday...

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If Pahrump wasn't so far away from Vegas, I'd buy three acres there tomorrow and start building.
You could always get your hoe card and get a job at the Chicken Ranch.
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Old 07-08-2016, 12:07 PM   #116
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Re: June 18ish to 26maybe - A local's vacation

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You could always get your hoe card and get a job at the Chicken Ranch.
"Hey baby, you ever been with a fat man with an MPA? Wait no, it's not an STD it's a Master's in Pub... okay see you later."

Update coming tonight/tomorrow morning with some poker and a room I guarantee 99% of you have never heard of before, let alone played at.

Also, I'm playing the 2pm Rio $235 tomorrow (Saturday). If there are 2p2'ers around, come say hi.
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Old 07-08-2016, 02:25 PM   #117
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Re: June 18ish to 26maybe - A local's vacation

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Originally Posted by Spike McAwesome View Post

When the food actually comes out, they start putting the burgers down in front of all of us:

Me: Burger was as advertised. No problems.
Friend 1: Burger was as advertised. No problems.
Friend 2: Burger was as advertised. No problems.
Friend 3: Burger was as advertised. No problems.
Friend 4: Burger was as advertised. No problems.
Friend 5: Burger was as advertised. No problems.
Friend 6: Burger was as advertised. No problems.
Steve: Some fat ****er must have stepped on this thing, run it over with a rolling pin, and then sat on it. This sucker was flat. I mean completely flat. Imagine a burger 1/10 the height of what you're expecting. I don't know what's worse - that someone cooked a burger like that; that the waitress brought it out anyway; or that Steve, after composing himself, actually ate it. In a weird moment of "Why the **** not?" we all had a good laugh and kind of rolled with it. Theoretically, we could have complained and asked for another one. But for some reason, Steve decided to devour the flat burger as-is: theoretical ass prints and all.
That is pretty ****ing funny, actually. The waitress and cook staff must have been in on the joke. Steve is crazy for eating it..I'd be worried it was teeming with E Coli or something..
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Old 07-08-2016, 02:46 PM   #118
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Re: June 18ish to 26maybe - A local's vacation

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Also, I'm playing the 2pm Rio $235 tomorrow (Saturday). If there are 2p2'ers around, come say hi.
I'm hoping to, but not sure I can get the rental car in time to make the 8 hour drive. How would I recognize you? Most guys with the crazy hooker ex-wife all look the same.
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Old 07-08-2016, 05:51 PM   #119
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Re: June 18ish to 26maybe - A local's vacation

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Originally Posted by pig4bill View Post
I'm hoping to, but not sure I can get the rental car in time to make the 8 hour drive. How would I recognize you? Most guys with the crazy hooker ex-wife all look the same.
While most of us look like we're strung out and shell-shocked, I think I've come out of it relatively okay. Short hair, short but unkempt red beard, glasses, and a shirt with the state of Nevada and "Home" written inside. Hopefully that narrows it down enough.
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Old 07-08-2016, 08:59 PM   #120
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Re: June 18ish to 26maybe - A local's vacation

Crap. My plans for tonight got ****ed because PokerAtlas is only right about 50% of the time. Instead, my buddy and I are going to the Stratosphere to run their 7pm if anyone wants to harass the two of us. Not a terrible tournament and they used to give free pizza at the first break. Don't know if that's still true, but I'm here to GAAAAAAMBOL with my hunger.
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Old 07-10-2016, 04:32 AM   #121
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Re: June 18ish to 26maybe - A local's vacation

Thursday, July 7

Work hasn't really been blowing my skirt up lately, so I don't think there's much of a reason to recap the day. I'm apparently being sent to Reno twice this month - once next week for a single day, and then the entire last week of July. I don't think the wife will be able to join me, but it looks like there's some decent poker action up north. I can take advantage of that during my downtime.

After work, the wife suggests we go to the gym. I mean, it makes sense. The gym is the place normal people go to get/stay in shape. And the wife wants to get back in shape. Apparently, me saying "Round is a shape" isn't good enough.



I spend quite a bit of time on a treadmill but it's my first day at a gym in quite a while. I call it quits after an hour. The wife gets done around the same time, but she's far more adventurous than I - hitting weights and some other **** that look like medieval torture devices. After getting home, showering, and contemplating what exactly I did to make my wife hate me (why else would she punish me this way?), my buddy Joboo calls. He wants to go play cards and wants to see if I'll join him at the TI for the 10pm. Why not? Just because I have to work in the morning shouldn't distract me from being a degenerate that night.

View from the parking garage:




A little chip pr0n:




Not bad for a Thursday night:



The TI tournament runs as a typical sub-$100 donkament that tries to have a player-friendly structure, but kinda misses the mark. The blinds in the first eight levels (there are never antes) are:

25/50
50/100
100/200
200/400
Break
300/600
500/1000
1000/2000
2000/4000
Break

What it translates to is: after level 2, there's one denomination of chip in play (25) that is basically useless for two levels. After level 5, another chip falls off (100), and yet another after level 6 (500). Now, obviously this can be used for making more exact bets or building a bigger stack of chips, I don't know. This bugs me. I'd rather every chip be "useful" towards the blinds until the break hits. If they changed the first four levels to:

50/100
75/150
100/200
150/300

it would make the greens useful for all four levels, players would get an extra early level added... it just makes more sense to me than the way they do it now. Plus it means a double color-up after level 8. It can be a bit of a mess. In the end, I bust 8th when I shove 20k at 3000/6000 with 99. Unfortunately, the monster stack to my left who had 60% of the chips in play had JJ and held. I get home and get to bed shortly before 3, which gives me four hours to sleep before work.

Friday, July 8

I get a bug in my bonnet to go play this one particular tournament. It's awful, the casino is terrible, the staff is incompetent, but it was the place where I started cutting my teeth on live tournaments when I decided to take this more seriously. I've played at a bunch of the rooms around town and played some terrible tournaments at places like the Tuscany and Bill's Gamblin' Hall (RIP), but when I really wanted to make this a steady hobby, THIS was the place I went. Joboo reluctantly agrees to come, but there's a problem. PokerAtlas lists the tournament for one time, but the casino website says another. And if the casino website is to be believed, the tournament started right when I got home from work. We decide we don't want to late reg (and risk being alternates) at a tournament that very likely starts you off with 20 big blinds to begin with, so we compromise for an old standby: The Stratosphere.

I've talked about my affection for the old 11pm tournaments at the Strat before. The first time I won a tournament outright was there (QQ v KJ all in pre as a 6:1 chip leader). I even cut the first date with my now-wife short to go play in one (it was a great way to end the evening if **** was awkward). Alas, the 11pm no longer exists so we have to hope there's a decent enough crowd for the only daily tournament they have left - the 7pm.

Yes, there are better 7pm tournaments in town. Especially on a Friday night. The Orleans would be top of the list, then Aria and about a dozen other places before the Strat. But I knew that I'd be playing the 2pm deepstack at the Rio on Saturday and didn't want to do back-to-back (potential) 14 hour tournaments. I figured we'll do a more turbo tournament Friday night, and grind Saturday. The staff is competent and nice, and the room is clean. Plus, free pizza at the first break.

Took this on the drive over - the Lucky Dragon casino is coming along nicely:


(In case you haven't heard of the Lucky Dragon - http://www.reviewjournal.com/busines...s-vegas-market)

Bob Stupek's Vegas World is alive and well!







The loudest slot machine in the world, located directly next to the poker room:



This got about 29 players when everything was said and done. I busted 10th when a short stack shoved for like half a big blind, I shoved over the top with AKo, and someone who just barely had me covered tanked for about a minute before calling with 66. Shorty shows K7o, but a 6 on the turn seals our fates. Joboo busts immediately after me in an attempt to make me feel like less of a loser. Or he just runs awful and lost with KK to JJ all in pre.

Saturday report coming next. It has my (least) favorite casino of all time, plus some of the stories of playing there.
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Old 07-10-2016, 05:53 AM   #122
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Re: June 18ish to 26maybe - A local's vacation

Saturday, July 9

The wife (I should probably start being more creative with her name - Mrs. McAwesome maybe? Or is it dumb to give someone a nickname that's twice as long as their actual name...) is meeting up with her friends for a day of food, quilting, and whatever it is the hens do when they get together. I don't ask too many questions. But before meeting up with everyone, she wants us to check out the international supermarket over on Decatur just south of Tropicana:



(Giggling)



Every aisle is supposed to have food from a different country - a German aisle, a British, like 4 Japanese, an Italian, etc... I say "supposed to" because I found one aisle with Vietnamese, Thai, and Chinese food all together, but I digress. Definitely a cool place to check out but it's doubtful we'll go there for our daily needs.

The WSOP Twitter account assures us that the 2pm $235 deepstack will fire as normal today... the Main Event won't delay things whatsoever. I grab my **** and head on out. I realized that, after posting earlier where I'd be and what I'd be wearing, I had turned myself into a real-life Pokemon like that PokemonGO **** with which Reddit is currently obsessed. As long as no one is throwing balls at my face, I think I'll be okay.

I show up around 1:30 and the line is huge. This could be a problem. After 45 minutes in line, I'm about 10th from the window. A Canadian looks at me and says "I'll give you $20 if I can cut you in line". I hesitate for a millisecond, and the guy in front of me says "Sold!" and gets $20. The Canadian turns to me and offers me $20 as well. I try to turn him down, but have you ever tried saying "No" to a Canadian? It's damn near impossible.

My new benefactor is next in line, and the line steward tells everyone to get their players card, ID, and cash ready. The Canadian suddenly goes into a panic - he can't find his passport! A window opens, and the guy in front of me is ushered over to register. I start to wonder if I should give the money back if I get to a window before our friend from up north, but crisis averted! He has found his passport and all is well!

Finally, it's my turn. I get to the window and say I'd like to register for the 2pm tournament. At this point, it's about 2:15, but whatever. This sucker runs deep enough that I don't have to worry. The cashier says "Which one?" Fair enough, I don't know the entire WSOP schedule. It shouldn't surprise me that there are multiple tournaments running at the same time. I explain that I'd like the $235 tournament. Again, the cashier says "Which one?" Now, I'm just flat-out confused. Apparently, someone thought it would be a super awesome idea to run two tournaments at the same time for the same buy-in. One is a deepstack, the other is a turbo. Someone had just come to the window next to me to complain that they were given a ticket for the wrong one, and I can't imagine they were the only one upset by the scheduling error. I request the deepstack before hearing if the person next to me was ever reached a reasonable conclusion, and go to find my seat.



Unfortunately, this tale does not have a happy ending. Midway through level 4 and I've barely won a pot. I open with AsKh and get called by one player - a quiet but seemingly competent player on the big blind. Flop comes J high, all hearts. Yadda yadda I shove the 4th heart that hits the river, and I get snap-called by AhQh for the flopped nuts. I just don't have the ability to fold the second nut flush apparently.

It's nearly 4:00. I realize my ****hole tournament is supposed to start at 5. But can I make it to North Las Vegas in time? Of course I can, I drive a Scion! Those suckers can go damn near 60 miles per hour!

I hit the highway and stop in for a quick bite:



Not a bad burger. Don't go out of your way for it, but it's really solid if you ever find yourself in that area for any reason. I guess the CSN campus at Cheyenne is up there.

I exit the parking lot, make a couple of turns, and then I see that oh so familiar sign. The sign that I have arrived in North Stabtown and will be playing cards at the one, the only...

Spoiler:


The Poker Palace! Just look at the luxurious accommodations!



Or the state-of-the-art sports book! They just got HD TVs about 6 months ago!



If you're hungry, try one of their gourmet meals!



Okay, they actually have a restaurant that's supposed to be pretty goddamn good, and there's a snack bar that should be open on weekends but is currently closed (more on that in a moment), but I saw this little set-up and it made me laugh.

I walk in around 4:45 because the website said the tournament started at 5. A dealer comes over and says "Oh you're here for the tournament? Great! Registration will start in about 20-30 minutes and the tournament starts at 6:30". I explain that I thought it started at 5, and he gets a look on his face like Al Bundy smelling one of Marcy's farts. "**** that ****ing IT guy scumbag ****ing *******. I've been telling him for ****ing months to ****ing change it to 6****ing30 and it's pissing me off. I come in an hour early for ****ing what? Ugh". I back away slowly and say I'm going to kill some time. I realize there are a couple of other places up this way where I still need a $1 chip. Off I go.

First stop:




The Silver Nugget has been the star of at least one episode of "Las Vegas Law", the reality courtroom drama that followed the attorneys from the District Attorney's office around for a few months and captured some of the cases they tried. In that episode, an older couple was carjacked and maybe assaulted. Not a bad show, but I'm really hoping that my time on reality TV is over and done with.

I walk in and it's a typical smoky, dark, local's place. There's one blackjack table open, but I notice a crowd gathered. It's a $3 minimum table with one player. The floor is watching the table like a hawk. There's a security guard directly behind 3rd base. I round the corner and I see what all the commotion is about - the one player has about $500 in red in front of him, betting $30 on each of two spots. No lie, this is probably the biggest action they've seen in this place in years. During the dealer shuffle, I realize that the floor isn't watching the player, she's watching the dealer. He must be BRAAAAND new. Might even still have the price tag on. I ask for a $1 chip and the dealer looks at me, then looks at the floor in a panic. She can tell it's for a collection, and digs out a few to find the cleanest one. I appreciated the effort and went on my merry way.

Oh, is DJ Ronnie D (or Ronnie O) from the Jersey Shore? Someone with that name was appearing at the Silver Nugget at some point, and that sounded like a Jersey Shore name.

Next stop:




Which is right across the street from:



Las Vegas' only full nude AND full alcohol strip club. If you've never been to a strip club here, you may not know that the City of Sin doesn't allow full nude clubs to serve booze. But, that law was passed after the Palomino opened, so they've been grandfathered in under the old law (or, lack thereof). Jerry's nugget is... really amazingly nicer than you'd ever imagine. Clean, nice fountain out front, hardwood floors on the non-gaming area, good sports book. I was legitimately impressed. I've been inside there before to play cheap dice, but didn't really pay attention. I may need to look into this place more. It may be a diamond in the really, really rough.

As I was walking back to my car, a man who appeared homeless and very haggard came walking towards me from the other direction. In his hand, I swear I thought I saw him pull out a revolver. ****. He's staring at me. Double-****. Now he's looking behind him and around for other people. **** **** ****. Oh I'm so getting robbed and maybe killed. Should I call my wife? My dad? Should I just pretend to take a call and try to walk past without paying attention, even if he does call me over? I panic. I freeze. I regret not taking up that black stripper from Little Darlin's on her offer. And then, it happened.

Spoiler:


I make a U-turn and head back to the Poker Palace. Then it hits me - I've never really been this far north on the Strip (this is all on Las Vegas Blvd), so maybe I should keep going north and see what lies ahead.



Going north:



Further north (looking to the east):



Even further north:




I pass Nellis and I'm approaching the speedway. I turn around, starting to worry that I may not find another place to turn around before hitting the really open road. But, at least now we all know - if you keep driving up the Strip, past all the world-famous resorts, past the glitz, past the glamor, past all reasonable civilization, is nothing. And it made me realize that the entirety of the Las Vegas valley is surrounded like this. It doesn't matter which way you go. It all leads to this.

I make my way back to Poker Palace, take my seat, and I'm greeted with the ugliest and most beat-up chips in town:



The yellows are 25. It's possible they used to be green and have just been worn down over time. The blacks at 100 and purple at 500 are nearly indistinguishable from one another on the table, as half the lights above us have burnt out.

The tournament is $20 with an OPTIONAL $5 bounty. If you have a bounty, and you knock someone with a bounty out, you get their chip. If you get knocked out by a player without a bounty, you get your $5 back. No one at my table has the bounty chip, so I opt to skip it. There are unlimited add-ons during the tournament. $5 for 1000 (up to $20 at a time). There's another add-on for $10 at the break, but I unfortunately didn't make it that far this time.

The play in this tournament can only be described as "Online player who mis-clicks every single time". I just couldn't believe some of the **** I saw. One hand in particular at 100/200. I make it 600 to go with JJ (min raise was standard, by the way). I get five callers. Awesome. Flop is Qh8c5s. Not my favorite, but two players check to me and I bet 1800. The player to my left and the button call, the other two players fold. Turn is Tc. I check, player to my left checks, button shoves for like 4000. I fold, guy to my left INSTA-calls and triumphantly flips over A5cc. Button shows KQ. River is a brick and button takes it. As the guy to my left is leaving, I look over at the button and mumble about that dude calling a bet of 1800 on the flop with bottom pair and a backdoor draw. The button laughs and says "All night. It'll be like this **** all night. Gimme my money."

I'm not crazy about being this short, but the very next hand I'm glad to see KK. I am even gladder to see someone raise pre, so I go ahead and shove. Original raiser calls and shows JJ. A J on the flop makes me unhappy, so I opt to add-on/re-enter/whatever they call it for $20. Shortly before the break, I bust when I shove 9bb with TT and someone wakes up with AA. Oops.

At the break, they typically color up the yellow chips. But here's the rub - the break goes on for as long as it takes for them to color up the chips. Sometimes it's five minutes. Sometimes it's ten. One time, it was damn near 40. None of the players could figure out what was taking so long, but we were banished from our seats while the color-up was going on.

I don't know if it was on purpose or just pure coincidence, but it seemed like the breaks from the poker tournament would happen at the exact same time as the breaks for the snack bar employees. Every. Single. Time. Fortunately, we didn't have that problem this time since the snack bar was closed for the entire time I was there.

Once, they gave a dealer a try-out during our tournament and had him deal a down with the floor watching. He wasn't bad, honestly, but I've never been used like that before.

Another time (back in the day), a dealer once turned to a black player and said "Give me one of your bananas". She was, of course, asking him to throw in a yellow chip to ante up. Maybe you have to be just slightly racist to understand why her comment could be construed as super racist. Made me laugh like a maniac, so I learned something about myself that day.

I've played with legitimate homeless people there before. One guy was bragging to the guy next to him about how much money he made picking up cans. After busting, he was asked if he wanted to re-buy. He almost cried and said "I ain't got that kind of money man!"

One time, a woman who was brand new to poker was at my table. She didn't speak English very well, and was always mumbling her one-word responses. I emphasize the "one-word" part because, when someone doesn't articulate very well, it's very hard to hear the difference between "call" and "all". She wouldn't say "all in". Just "all". The dealers never corrected her, either. They just asked her to repeat herself six or seven times before they figured out what she wanted. Shortly before the break, a player to her left got up and left the table. This woman won a pot and started stacking chips, and somehow managed to incorporate this other player's stack into her own. It wasn't a small stack either. When this player got back, he obviously went into a bit of a tirade. The game was paused while security tapes were checked to try and figure out how much he had. Then they just guessed and gave him a pile of chips that hadn't been in play previously. The new player got to keep her ill-gotten chips.

In short, if you ever find yourself wanting to play poker at the Poker Palace, I can give you a piece of advice. Take the claw end of a hammer, and circumcise yourself instead. I guarantee it'll be less painful than ever having to play a single hand at the Poker ****ing Palace.
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Old 07-10-2016, 10:04 AM   #123
Da_Nit
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Re: June 18ish to 26maybe - A local's vacation

So awesome I knew it was going to be the poker palace. I remember reading about that on the old AVP site. They had a couple of locals that would hit up and report about a bunch of rooms, "Las Vegas Mike and South Point Perry's Excellent Adventure". I think they hit this place up on one of there trips.

So cool you hit up Jerry's, love that place, ghetto but looks nice, awesome diner, independent sports book which I gave them huge props for. Plus Bonitas, Palominos and homeless skid row all across the street.


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Old 07-10-2016, 10:09 AM   #124
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June 18ish to 26maybe - A local's vacation

Also I can't stand Silver Nugget that place stinks, I'd rather hang out at Bighorn which is a dump but people seem to like it. That being said do you have a chip from Bighorn or Lucky's?


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Old 07-11-2016, 03:00 AM   #125
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Re: June 18ish to 26maybe - A local's vacation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Da_Nit View Post
So awesome I knew it was going to be the poker palace. I remember reading about that on the old AVP site. They had a couple of locals that would hit up and report about a bunch of rooms, "Las Vegas Mike and South Point Perry's Excellent Adventure". I think they hit this place up on one of there trips.

So cool you hit up Jerry's, love that place, ghetto but looks nice, awesome diner, independent sports book which I gave them huge props for. Plus Bonitas, Palominos and homeless skid row all across the street.
It's kind of hard to miss the Poker Palace if you're doing a donkament report around town. At $20, it's one of the cheapest buy-ins around, especially now that the Plaza no longer has their $5 tournaments. What they fail to mention, however, is that the $20 add-ons are unlimited, so that "$20" tournament can quickly devolve into a $160 before you know it.

I was going to get a picture of Bonitas, but there was a group of a half dozen Hispanic men and women (employees?) walking in. I'm a creep, but I'm not THAT much of a creep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Da_Nit View Post
Also I can't stand Silver Nugget that place stinks, I'd rather hang out at Bighorn which is a dump but people seem to like it. That being said do you have a chip from Bighorn or Lucky's?
I've been to both places, but I did not get a chip at either one. I hadn't started my collection when I went to Bighorn. And with Lucky Club, I had a weird experience the one time I ever went. It was a Tuesday or a Wednesday, around 10am. I had a meeting up that way at 11 and over-estimated how bad traffic would be. With time to kill, I walked into the casino with the intention of playing blackjack or dice and grabbing a $1 chip (before I realized most places will just give you one from the cage if you ask nicely). They had one BJ table in operation... with a $25 minimum. Obviously it was empty. I was so dumbfounded, I just wandered aimlessly, and left empty-handed. I still can't figure out the logic behind a $25 minimum on a Tuesday morning at the Lucky Club. Maybe if they had a $5 table open as well, okay.

I should probably just turn this into a blog thread at this point. A continuous trip report that's half low-limit poker, half stories from 8 years ago probably won't continue to be relevant in LVL. Unless a mod or someone is willing to change the name of the thread (is that a thing?).

I mentioned to my wife that this thread got at least a little bit of popularity. She said "Oh no, are you going to quit your job and become a professional blogger?" I quickly said no, that's silly. But maybe... maybe it's not such a bad idea. She saw I started contemplating it, and said "Goddamit. At least promise me no vlogs". She's in luck, as I am completely unfamiliar with video editing software.

... for now.
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