Norman goes to Vegas

So I saved up my money and went to Vegas for the long weekend. You can get cheap rooms and packages in January because it rains and the pools are either closed or cold, so the hotels assume you’ll spend more time in the casinos. I lost money at Roulette and Blackjack, but didn’t play Craps because I don’t understand the rules. When I lose my money I like to know why.

Anyway, with all my money going to the dealers I sure didn’t want to spend any more money to see Celine Dion or Barry Manilow… (Imagine paying over $100 to see the guy who wrote the famous jingle for McDonald’s?)…and apparently I didn’t lose enough for any of those guys in the jackets to come over and give me free tickets so I’d keep playing. I think I’d probably enjoy the Rat Pack show, but I saw Frank when he was alive and it just wouldn’t seem right.

So I wandered around looking for free entertainment, and stumbled across an Irish Pub called Nine Fine Irishmen in New York, New York. The house band there is called Ri Ra (Gaelic for “chaos”), and they played a great mix if jigs, rebel songs, drinking songs and traditional Irish tunes. (Although they could have sounded more angry when they sang “Come Out Ye Black and Tans”!)

Alana Musselman is the world class fiddler for the trio, and it turns out she’s from Cleveland and used to play with Tap the Bow. With her pierced nose and short hair, she seems much more authentic than those pretty girls from the Corrs.

I made another discovery in Vegas that I hope to bring back to Folkalley. I went to Wynn Las Vegas to see what all the hype is about. It’s nice, but in the restroom I was amazed. They have lined their urinals with absorbent anti-splash pads. That’s brilliant! They look like little automobile carpet squares and seemed very absorbent. That must make keeping the restrooms clean a breeze! I’d never seen them before but they make perfect sense. I’m not sure if they’re laundered or disposable and the lady at the front desk was no help with information. She kept asking me if I was a guest of the hotel or something.

Anyway…Viva Las Vegas.

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