UPDATE from Becca: Councilman Zone left Becca a message to let her know some fantastic news. Thanks to the outcry of support and concern about the lack of air conditioning at the kennel - Safety Director Martin Flask has ordered two air conditioning units to be shipped from Columbus to the Cleveland Kennel ASAP. These will hopefully be installed by the weekend. WE MADE A DIFFERENCE, thank you! If we all work together, changes can really happen :) All it takes is positive energy, unity, and focus on productivity to make a difference!
The next step is to push the city to finally build the new kennel they've been promising for years. We can totally make this happen. I love Clevelanders who are passionate about making things better for these animals that deserve so much more.
The Cleveland Kennel is in dire need of help. There is no air conditioning and the dogs are sweltering in these horrible conditions. Please call or email city officials and (respectfully) ask them to help. These dogs deserve so much better.
I think about Gilly, Charlie, Dixie, Lucy & Sophie, all of our dogs that came from that kennel. I want to make it better for them, and for all the dogs who find themselves there now.
The following are who to contact: Director of Public Safety Martin L. Flask 216.664.2200 http://www.city.cleveland.oh.us/CityofCleveland/Home/contact/department?code=60 Mayor Frank Jackson 216.664.3990 http://www.city.cleveland.oh.us/CityofCleveland/Home/contact/mayor City Council: Terrell Pruitt firstname.lastname@example.org 216.664.4944 ZACK REED email@example.com 216.664.4945 Joe Cimperman firstname.lastname@example.org 216.664.2691 Kenneth L. Johnson email@example.com 216.664.4941 Phyllis Cleveland firstname.lastname@example.org 216.664.2309 Mamie J. Mitchell email@example.com 216.791.8683 TJ Dow firstname.lastname@example.org 216.664.2908 Jeffrey Johnson email@example.com 216.664.4231 Kevin Conwell firstname.lastname@example.org 216.664.4252 Eugene R. Miller email@example.com 216.664.4743 Michael D. Polensek firstname.lastname@example.org 216.664.4236 Anthony Brancatelli email@example.com 216.664.4233 Kevin J. Kelley firstname.lastname@example.org 216.664.2943 Brian Cummins email@example.com 216.664.4238 Matt Zone firstname.lastname@example.org 216.664.4235 Jay Westbrook email@example.com 216.664.4230 Dona Brady firstname.lastname@example.org 216.664.3708 Martin J. Sweeney email@example.com 216.664.2942 Martin J. Keane firstname.lastname@example.org 216.664.4239
i've been in vegas for close to a week. everything starts to look and sound the same. blaring dance music at the pools. casinos that smell like cigarettes. hotel lobbies that smell like perfume. people wandering around with cameras and ill-behaved kids. ugly carpet. rude 20-somethings. sad old people sitting at slot machines.
can you tell i'm ready to come home?
but yesterday we randomly picked a casino and got to experience some un-vegas type stuff. the luxor is an egyptian themed casino. we walked in hoping to grab lunch and ended up at "taco's and tequila". it was awesome! there was a mariachi band and the fish tacos were great, as was the spicy apple margarita. who knew egyptians liked mexican food?
we walked around, trying to find the criss angle gift shop to buy something for my sister, but it was closed. we decided to walk over to madalay bay and check out the shark reef aquarium. on the way there we found a giant statue of lenin, with no head, covered in pigeon droppings. not something you'd expect to see in a mall in vegas.
the shark reef was great. we got to see a giant octopus and some beautiful jellyfish. nice to be out of the casinos and doing something different.
we settled in to the new hotel. it's got a neat modern vibe and it's right by some of the big casinos. we walked over to bellagio and of course i took a lot of pics. then we decided to try the slots.
we chose the wheel of fortune slot machine. i had $5 of carol's money left, so i started with that. i ended up winning! $25! then i played with our money and i won another $40. we had a lovely waitress who brought the free drinks and we tipped well.
we went to an asian restaurant (noodles). it's located near the gambling table set aside for koreans. interesting how they have tables for different nationalities. the food was "meh", but fun to sit and people watch.
the pool at our hotel is on a roof, about 20 stories below our room. in the evening it's full of 20-something kids getting drunk and screaming. so i'm going to sneak down this morning to get a few laps in, before the youngsters show up. yeah, i said youngsters.
i wasn't excited when i heard we'd be staying at the trump in vegas. but the husband needed to be close to the convention center. and his work is paying for the stay. so no biggie. i had mild reservation only because donald trump is a bit of a conservative, obnoxious tool. but how bad could his "5 star resort hotel" be?
we arrived monday and the tv was broken. it was fixed and then it broken again, every day, in new and different ways. it was comical. and we ended up getting comped for $100 because of it. the manager was always nice about it, and i never bitched. i just called down and reported the problem. i got to know the tv repair guy and joked with him about it each day.
the bed is the worst bed i've ever slept on in any hotel. the cleaning people left a bag of garbage on our bed one day. they took our dirty kitchen wears (plates, glasses) and never brought replacements. the food is HORRIBLE. but whatever, we're here for dan's work.
the pool staff people are lovely. spending 3 days there, i got to know the waitress and then girl handing out towels. i tipped them quite a bit. i enjoyed my poolside daybed, swimming, mimosas, etc...
yesterday was my 3rd and final day at the pool. a new waitress was working, a bit snotty. whatever, i'm there to swim and soak up the lovely dry heat. (thanks arthritis & fibromyalgia i've got a tan!) i spent all morning there, went to my room for a break and some AC, then headed back for lunch. a turkey sandwich and red sangria. yum!
i started lunch and the waitress handed me a bill for $90. i said, "wow, that's an expensive turkey sandwich!" and laughed, thinking it was some silly mistake.
she explained that it included the cost of the day bed. i explained that it was supposed to be comped. she explained that she didn't know and it was the end of her shift, so could i just sign it? i explained that fuck no (in my head) i would not sign it because it was wrong.
so the explaining wasn't working and i asked to speak to the manager. she huffed off. i put down my sangria and prepared to talk to the manager. i wanted to be nice about it, because it was just a silly mistake.
here's how the conversation went:
manager: you needed something?
me: oh yeah, there's been a mistake, this daybed rental was comped by the hotel manager.
manager: that was for yesterday
me: yesterday was when the kid puked in the pool and it had to be shut down.
dick manager: well we comped you for yesterday, you have to pay for today.
pissed of me: huh? that doesn't make sense. i was at the pool for an hour, had a mimosa and the kid puked. what am i being comped for??? how do you comp for a comp that was ruined by a sick kid?
asshole manager: you are being comped for the drink and the fruit salad.
livid me: that doesn't make a lick of sense. really. i'm done with this. you can have the daybed back.
smirking manager: oh, i'll hold the daybed for you, incase you come back.
incredulous me: no thanks.
smirking asshole manager: i'll hold it for you.
about to explode in a fit of rage me: there's no way i'm coming back.
fucker mcfuckface manager: i'll hold it for you.
this is when the tears of anger started. thank god for large sunglasses.
so instead of smashing his smirking face with my iPad, i got up, left my drink, and walked over to a nice family that has just arrived and were desperately looking for shade. i asked them if they'd like my daybed, as i was done using it. they were so excited. i pointed to the manager and said, "if you need anything, just ask him for help." and i walked away.
and as i walked away, i saw his smirk disappear. and in my head, i laughed and laughed.
and then i got to the room, cooled off, and called the hotel manager to let him know that his pool manager had not only charged me for a comped day bed, but that he made me cry. the manager was horrified. he went through our bill and explained that the comped day bed was actually a $50 credit on our bill. which made sense. he asked for the managers name and said that he should have taken the time to look at my bill, or at least handled it better.
he offered to move up to some fancy penthouse suite for the night, but i declined. i said, "i'm not here to get things comped. i know some people are obsessed with that. i just want to pay for things and have them work and i want things to be fair. i don't want to be treated with disrespect. i'm 42 years old and in that time i've never sent a meal back or filed a complaint. i'm not picky or fussy. i just want things to be fair and ok. thanks for the upgrade off, but we leave tomorrow, so no point in moving."
today our actual vacation begins. dan's done working. we move to a nice little hotel (vdara) on the strip. tons of suff in walking distance, like the bellagio & the cosmopolitan. i can't wait to check out the new hotel and the pool, of course.
after dan gets some rest, we're going to have a blast. we want to go to freemont street at night. i'm going to zipline there! we're going to try and find the in & out burger near UNLV campus and a dive bar that doug stanhope once recommended to me (the double down.) we might take a tour bus to a nation park.
oh, here's a funny letter that "the trump" sent to an online style writer, who mentioned his toupe in an article. (maybe he'll send me a letter!)
some more fun with trump!
here's the store where you can buy a pack of gum for $4! or you can go to pay, hear the price and say "no thanks" (fuck that noise!) and walk out.
trump merch, including his own cologne for men. if it's anything like the perfumed scent in the lobby, i'm guessing it's called "failure".
the croque madam breakfast with Mornay sauce was excellent.
hey wait, there's no grilled tomato on my damned sandwich! i asked the waitress about it and she said the menu was wrong and needed corrected.
this is a pic ginny snapped yesterday. she's been a great doggie aunt! she's sending pics and a video of gilly snoring in bed next to her, head on the pillow like a little human. charlie is now totally comfortable with her and she's getting to rub his belly.
this may seem small, but it's huge for me. being on vacation and not worrying about dogs, it's a gift. our vacations in the past were filled with worry over sick elderly dogs. so being able to spend 7 days away without worry, that's a big deal.
i'm so grateful for ginny taking the time to send us little updates. i'm incredibly grateful to have young, healthy & happy dogs.
i can go spend my day by the pool totally relaxed. well, i might be concerned about kids getting sick in the pool, but otherwise it's RELAXATION TIME.
i picked this slot machine to try my hand at gambling. i picked it because it's the name of dan's favorite beer, and monkeys are cool. i spent around $25 dollar and of course didn't win any money. i did win small amounts on spins, so i sat there for quite a while. it was fun to play and people watch. but slots are boring and gambling is dumb.
thank god, i've found something bad that i'm not addicted to!
i had a lovely bloody mary in the hotel lobby, along with crab cakes for lunch. and great people watching. vegas is so damn weird.
i snapped this pic because it's the first time i've worn anything sleeveless in years. it makes me want to keep losing weight and get more tattoo work on my arm.
this is something i never thought i'd say: i cannot wait to get home to start back exercising! more swimming, more spinning, and a weight class on sundays. huzzah!!!!
speaking of that, time to hit the pool. at least i'm getting some exercise in vegas.
so i started the day at 5am, catching up on emails. ordered room service for the husband and i. called the front desk to report the tv being broken AGAIN, for the 3rd time in 3 days.
talked to a manager who offered to move us to a fancier room. i said no thanks. she asked if there was anything else she could do. i asked if she could comp my daybed at the pool. (a whooping $50 fee.) she was happy to do so and i was happy to have gotten my first ever comp.
my morning view
i got to the pool when it opened at 8am. tipped the girl who took care of me the day before (missed her yesterday when i left.) i drew a sketch on my iPad, read a chapter of the jenny lawson's memoir, then got into the pool and swam about 10 laps.
my sketch of me reading a book (on my iPad) from the cabana
there were a few kids in the pool. a little dutch boy who was learning to dive and very cute. a funny little japanese kid who said he liked the flowers on my arm and told me he was learning to swim from his dad. cute kid.
the view from floating on my back in the pool
my fingers were turning into prunes so i got out. sat in the sun for a few minutes. got back in my little daybed and the waitress brought me my first mimosa. i thought, "this is just awesome!"
sketch with color!
at that moment, i noticed my favorite lifeguard girl choking, and her clothes were wet. i thought, "this doesn't seem good!" i saw my little japanese friend and his dad walk back, and the kid was crying. the lifeguard spoke to them and he said the kid was ok. so i went back to my mimosa and another chapter of my book.
warning: anyone suffering from emetophobia, STOP READING NOW!
the waitress came out with the big bowl-o-fruit and then the (wet) lifeguard came over. she said, "um... yeah... the pool is going to be closed for 4 hours while we shock it... that kid just threw up in the pool."
so i tipped the waitress (who brought me a 2nd mimosa) and the pool manager said i could come back tomorrow morning for another free day in a cabana. so i got my fruit bowl to go and made my pilgrimage to the circus circus casino. click here to see the kabillion pics i took.
it's a weird old casino. not in the best shape. it wreaks of cigarette smoke & failure. i play $5 of carol's money on a slot machine with cats on it. then $20 of our money on a machine called "golden monkey" (dan's favorite beer!) i won a little bit (maybe $10) and played until i lost it all.
then i walked around, took a ton of pics. i made my way up to the "adventure- dome" and got to see a weird trapeze show.
i want a zoltan for our house
i was taking a pic of this zoltan machine and a maintenance guy started moving it to a new spot. i turned around to take more pics and here's the conversation that ensued:
maintenance dude: you sure do take a lot of photos!
me: yeah, i'm totally afraid of clowns!
confused maintenance dude: well... i guess you came to the right place...
i was going to go run around some casinos or something, but i think i'm going to sit by the pool and read, swim, have a mimosa, etc... i just love being out there in the 103 temps. which is bizarre. but i stay shaded (unless swimming) and apply tons of sunscreen (not going to screw up my tattoo.)
i'm readin jenny lawson's book and LOVE it. if you read one thing by her, read this post on her blog. she might be my patron saint/long lost sister. she's not only hilarious (and a cuss mouth), she also deals with anxiety, depression, and a chronic pain condition. hello??? i am so much relating. and reading her memoir, i'm laughing and snorting and laughing more.
the husband & i went to dinner with his bosslady and had a good time. we went to holstein's at the cosmo and of course i didn't get the burger or milkshake that they are famous for. i did get a blood orange cosmopolitan & crispy pork on steamed buns. delicious!
poolside fruit bow with super fresh ice cold fruit & basil. so good.
how a nerd hangs out by the pool: mimosa, MCA, moleskine journal and lots of sunscreen.
i'm obsessed with the glittery lights & beads in the lobby of the hotel.