Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

This seems to be the closest thing to a vacation I ever get.

I’ve been to Las Vegas more in the past 12 months than in the preceding 12 years.

I’m not really a gambler, so I always kind of feel like an imposter, and yet circumstances as of late seem to keep sending me back.

Someone I know through the blog hooked me up with a pass to NAB, so I’m leaving tomorrow and coming back on Tuesday (I’d stay longer but I’ve really got to try to drum up some work for next week).

I normally go to Vegas with The Blonde, who makes for great theater but is a bit stressful to travel with. This time I’m going by myself, which should be fun just because it means I’ll be able to spend part of the trip actually relaxing by the pool without worrying what trouble I’m going to have to deal with next.

“You’ll have a great time,” my friend said when I told her why I’d be missing the Blasters concert a group of us had planned to attend Saturday night. “You’ll tear the town up – just like Hunter S. Thompson.”

“Um, yeah” I said.

A nice sentiment, as we’re both huge fans, but Vegas isn’t the same town as it was when Thompson terrorized it.

It’s not the 70’s anymore and the strongest thing I’m going to ingest is a watered-down vodka tonic.
The Dunes is gone, and while the Flamingo’s still there it’s a moldering hulk with a half-assed remodel awaiting a date with the wrecking ball so that we can have yet another themed resort hotel/casino.
One cannot – anywhere in Vegas, or Nevada for that matter – get a steak for $1.99 and I’m pretty sure that Hunter S. didn’t have to bring along Flat Stanley.

When another friend heard that I was going to Vegas, she insisted I take along Flat Stanley for her kid’s school project.

“You know, just take Flat Stanley’s picture in a variety of interesting places, but you have to be in the photo or it doesn’t count.”

“I’m traveling by myself. How am I supposed to get in the photo?” I asked.

“You’re a college graduate, I’m sure you’ll figure it out”.

So now my plans to do not a lot (besides gawking at all the cool NAB stuff and lounging by the pool) have changed and I have to spend at least part of the weekend cajoling complete strangers into taking our picture at various locations around the Strip.

One thing I’m sure of, though. Flat Stanley will be a hell of a conversation starter.

Filed under: Non-Work

9 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    “You’re a college graduate, I’m sure you’ll figure it out” is the best line of dialog I have encountered this month.

  2. Erin Taylor says:

    In know this is a stupid question, but what is Flat Stanley?

  3. Peggy Archer says:

    Anon – thanks!

    Erin – Flat Stanley is a kid’s story about a little boy who made himself flat and mailed himself around the world. The school project is to pass Flat Stanley around to see where he goes.

    I’m not sure what the point is (and I’d never heard of F.S. either, until about a year ago), but the website’s here:

  4. Meg says:

    Let us know if the highlight of the NAB is Regis Philbin being inducted into the Hall of Fame (VBG)
    And yeah, Flat Stanley should be a great way to open conversations with complete strangers.

  5. The Film Guy says:

    I have tried to get to NAB for YEARS, but either didn’t have the money, or it didn’t fit in my schedule, or both.

    I’m jealous

  6. Carly says:

    It may not be a $1.99 steak, but I find both the Rio buffet and the Bellagio a must on every Vegas trip.

  7. Pat H. says:

    The Flamingo is in its way out? Wow, Mister Siegal’s Castle in the Desert, gone. That’ll be weird, especially for fans of Tim Power’s Last Call… I hope that book gets made into a movie, someday.

    You should make a girlfriend for Flat Stanley and pose the two of them all over Vegas, out for a night on the town!

  8. Norman says:

    So here’s the totally sucky thing. I just posted this about my NAB trip ( and checked your blog out and you’ve already created a more interesting blog than I ever could.

    Oh well, some’s gots it, and somes don’t.

    NAB is a total geek fest, by the way. I normally talk story, but tonight I was standing in a line outside the Sony party and found myself in a conversation about 5.1, 10.2 and other types of soundtracks.

    Geek Fest!!

    I leave Tuesday night to go back to the land of Reality — L.A. Hmmm, never thought I’d say that.

  9. Mark says:

    Saw your post that you were NAB bound, so I looked for you the whole time I was walking the convention floors Monday and Tuesday. But no luck.

    Sorry we didn’t hook up.

    Of course, not knowing what you look like or your real name didn’t help.

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