Utah is long—perhaps too long. You think about these things while driving through endless deserts and plains. It took us what seemed like forever to get across the state. That day's companions: Das Racist (Noah's hypothesis: It's a joke band; If you like the joke, you like the band. I just love that someone semi famous is shedding a little light on ethnic studies as a discipline. I have an E.S. degree, and whenever someone asks me what I went to school for they ask, "Ethics?" And then I have to say, "No, ETHNIC," and then I'm yelling the word "ethnic" all loudly), Cut Copy and some perfectly timed Dead Kennedys as we finally saw the lights of Las Vegas. The best part about the asphalt hill we were driving up as we entered the city was not that the lights went on forever, but quite the opposite: They started here, ended there—one spot would be a shine, the next would be darkness.
We spent our night off trying to pack in as much Vegas as we could. In the four hours we had until sunrise — when the sunlight replaces the neon glow, and the artificial people look less healthy — Noah and I took the blackjack plunge, first flirting with the tables at the Paris (which is pretty nice, not as nice as the others) and finally sitting down to get serious at Caesars Palace. I say "plunge'" because $25 a hand is just far too unreasonable for an Oregonian, let alone one who had not adequate mental preparation time for such a thing. We both went up a little bit and then fell. Hard. I looked up to see we were both down to our last chip. Our dealer, who was helpful but not very nice, had a disappointed look on her face. Then, all of a sudden, I got dealt 20, and Noah got blackjack. Then, it happened again. Then, the dealer busts. Just like that, we're back in business like EPMD. Chelsea walked over slowly, her feet destroyed from wearing nothing but heels for three days (it's a long story. Have I told you about the van? I should get to that). As soon as she realized that we were ahead, we got shit for not getting up and leaving. Perhaps she was right. We have had some terrible luck this trip. This was a new feeling though, tough to walk away from.
Big, gigantic shout out to Fatburger! That was the best Fatburger I've ever had. And, it was paid for with casino winnings, making it that much sweeter.
- Patrick Griffin