The international adventures of a singing, dancing zombie queen.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

On the way to Vegas.... I can't believe it's been a month!

Strange to think it was a month ago that John and I were in Vegas. I guess that's what happens when I wait for him to post the pics for bloggy motivation. Anyway, as I was saying in the caption to the pic above...

We'd gotten to Vegas the evening before, after a morning of getting vaguely lost in MacArthur Park in Los Angeles as we were trying to get away from the traffic laden highways. The morning in LA was actually a success in the end; despite our detour, we found a Walgreens and I pumped myself full of Airborne for the rest of the day, saving myself from the horrifying cold that my housemate's ladyfriend had been willing to share with us.
John and I finally got out of town and headed off through the desert. The plants were green and covered most of the sand, so that only small patches of the Mojave's signature aridity seemed visible. We stopped in Calico to visit the ghost town; it seemed like the right thing to do, despite having started later than expected. The wind was warm and dry, and it was lovely to stretch our legs. The entire town of Calico had been bought and was being run by Knotts Berry Farm... every building was either empty or a concession stand, and nearly all of the buildings had been rebuilt with fresh, smooth wood. John and I were rather disappointed in this, both of us having memories of visiting Bowie when we were younger. We both remembered the cemetery, and so we wandered over to the Calico cemetery. Unfortunately, it was locked, but John took some pictures from the gates before we headed back to the car. And I had an amusing time crawling up a dirt cliff in my heels; of course, there had been a road we could've driven up, had we realized. But in all truth, despite the thorns and the dirt sliding out from under my feet and into the insoles of my shoes, I really did appreciate those few moments of differing physical activity.
The best part about visiting Calico was that we saw real tumbleweeds. The kind you see in Western movies. They are super fast, and they are yellow like cornsilk, and super bouncy. Rather than just rolling along, they bounce at every touch to the compacted sand, twisting slightly as they rise into the air, and whirling the other way as they rise, like a backtwisted ball ricochets off of a young tennis star's racket. Except, of course, that he tumbleweeds don't rise very far from the ground; they seem stuck to it; tripping over their own shoes. We stopped in the sandy parking lot before packing back into the car, cheering on the tumbleweeds as they rolled towards the hills and the abandoned silver mine, where tourists leaned over a shute, trying to pan for gold that the Knott's Berry Farm may or may not have deemed necessary to include in the attraction's water.
We drove out of Calico listening to Nirvana's Nevermind, which John was correct in suggesting was good music for the desert. Who would've guessed that grunge works with or without the rain?
At the border of California and Nevada, we ran into the first casinos; a large cluster of oversized buildings poking out of the flat desert like a wart. We drove to the minimart to make a pit stop, but the only thing they were selling was soda and lottery tickets.
And it was packed. People were standing in three lines, each 10 people long, to play the California lottery. John noticed while I was in the loo that all of the employees were Eastern European because of their thick accents, which only added to the surreality of the experience. A near empty minimart, packed with serious-faced couples, singles and people with children under ten (most of whom were screaming), had driven out into the middle of nowhere to give their money away to another state.... and they didn't have any salsa.

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Dance & Fitness Faculty member at San Francisco Peninsula Community Colleges, Director, Choreographer & Featured Dancer, Founder of the Living Dead Girlz, and Owner of the Steele Dance Company, which provides entertainment for festivals, corporate events, conventions and private events. Teaching private dance lessons and creating choreography since 1997, Steele graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a Double Major in Dance and Comparative Literature and completed her Master of Fine Arts in Dance and Choreography at Mills College. She has toured all the major cities in Germany and performed at the Cannes Film Festival as the featured dancer in TRIP -- Remix Your Experience, a multimedia exhibition of film, live music and art. Steele has also performed as a featured dancer for RJ Reynolds (CAMEL) promotional events. Steele currently manages the go-go dancers of "Poor Impulse Control," who perform frequently in San Francisco's industrial, alternative, and rock venues.