Friday, April 24, 2009

All you need is "Love"

It’s been a busy week. And we’re more than ready for the weekend. No big plans this time. Just staying home and doing some chores around the house and the backyard.

The results of last Sunday’s AIDS Walk are in. AFAN raised over $401,000 and more than 8,000 people participated. A pretty successful and fun event and all that for a very good cause.

I forgot to mention that last Saturday we also saw Cirque du SoleilsLove” at the Mirage. We invited George’s mother to join us and decided to enjoy an early dinner and nice stroll along the Las Vegas “Strip” before the show. Again, the weather was perfect for a nice walk and it was too much fun to play tourist again.

“Love” was definitely different. If you expect to see a typical Cirque du Soleil presentation with amazing, gravity-defying acrobatic performances then you may be disappointed. This is by far a more visual feast than anything else. There are a few acrobatic acts but they seem rather repetitive and tame compared to the breathtaking stunts one sees at the other Cirque shows on the “Strip,” like “Mystère” or “O.”

“Love” is entirely driven by the music of the Beatles, which has been completely remastered and surrounds each and every guest in this venue with an incredible sound system. The venue, by the way, was originally the Siegfried and Roy Theatre, but was completely redesigned and specifically retrofitted for this show. Some songs just sound amazing. If you’re a big Beatles fan than this will be definitely a totally new experience.

Like I said before, this show is a visual feast which is hard to put into words. We concluded that the designers of this show were surely high on something when they have conceived this project. Some scenes are shall I put it...trippy. At the same time it’s astounding how amazing some of the effects were created with rather simple methods.

All in all, I have to say that this is not my favorite Cirque du Soleil show. But I recommend it for it’s artistry, creativity and vision. If you love the music of the Beatles than this is a must-see.

And yes, there is a message that makes the people feel uplifted when they leave the show.

All you need is Love.”

Below are more impressions from our walk on the Las Vegas “Strip,” which I took before the show.

This was also Elton John’s last week in Las Vegas. After five years of performing at Caesars Palace, his “The Red Piano” show closed on Wednesday. Kinda makes this a historic shot of sorts.

Detail of the facade of the Forum at Caesars

George and his mother

Awww...don’t we just look so cute together?

The following photos show the surroundings of Caesars Palace, the fountains, gardens and statues

The pictures below were taken at the Bellagio, their conservatory and the spring flowers display with live butterflies and the pool area

The photos below were taken immediately after the show. They’re depicting the audience mingling inside the foyer of Cirque du Soleil’s “Love” at the Mirage Hotel & Casino

Monday, April 20, 2009

AIDS Walk Las Vegas 2009

The Aid for AIDS Nevada (AFAN) held its annual AIDS Walk event yesterday. For 19 years this organization has not only helped raising awareness of the disease and helping men, women and children affected by HIV and AIDS, but has also helped raising money to continue helping those in need of care.

George and I met our friend Margaret at the starting point of the walk to register and take in the festivities surrounding this event. It was the most gorgeous morning with lots of sunshine, blue skies and a gentle breeze. In other words...the perfect condition.

It was a huge gathering of people. There was plenty of free food, beverages and entertainment. The comedian/magician duo Penn & Teller kicked off the walk and off we all went. Hundreds and hundreds of people, if not thousands, coming together for a good cause. Families with children, friends, many had their dogs with them.

Along the route through parts of downtown Las Vegas, bands were playing a variety of music. Rock, country, even some Taiko drummers showed up. The Sin Sity Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence also showed their support. Of course. They are one of the most active volunteers and fundraisers.

All in all, it was another perfectly spent Sunday. Fun was to be had by everyone.

And not one single religious nutcase in sight, always wanting to condemn us “sinners” to the eternal flames of hell. But I’m sure they’re all going to be around when the gay community celebrates Gay Pride in just a few weeks.

And it’s already so hard for these religious folk to choose whom to save...uh...pick on first. This being “Sin City” and all.

The AIDS Walk started at the World Market Center in downtown Las Vegas

The World Market Center features the most unusual architecture

The Bonneville Avenue underpass

Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto

Here are some of the “Sisters,” posing with the walkers

George and Margaret

George and my humble self

The “Duke,” the mascot of the local baseball team...I think

One of the many rest stops for the many dogs, providing water to drink and play in and providing a chance to sniff each other out

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bill Maher Again

The following is from the April 3rd, 2009 broadcast of HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher." Like I mentioned in an earlier post, we just love Bill Maher.

Of course, the other seemingly limitless expanse we've endangered lately is the ocean, which we are killing. Why? Because the Bible says God gave us dominion over the earth, which is taken to mean that God was saying, "This is your rental car. Taketh it and beateth the shit out of it!" "Who careth? It is a rental!"

Did you know that there is now floating in the Pacific Ocean a 3.5-million ton island of shit made up of all the indestructible crap we toss away, the stuff that will never break down, like Styrofoam and old Clorox bottles. And it's twice the size of Texas. That's right, the Pacific Ocean now contains more white trash than Texas!

Marine biologists call it the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch," and say it is so out of control that it can't be cleaned up, and it's going to be with us forever, just taking up space and killing wildlife. Like a giant Sarah Palin.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Our Easter Weekend

George and I had a wonderful long Easter weekend. We both took Good Friday off for running errands, getting the car serviced, making a heavenly quiche and a sinfully delicious devil's food cake. On Saturday we just dabbled around the house. George's mother invited us and his sister, along with one of her new neighbors, to spent Easter Sunday at her place. We colored eggs, had yummy sandwiches and other munchies and just enjoyed this amazing spring weather we're having in the desert right now.

Afterwards George and I strolled through our neighborhood park, the Pueblo Park in Summerlin, to take in the last rays of sun before it was setting behind the Spring Mountain Range.

Of course, pleasures like these had to come to an end eventually. So here we are again, back in the rat race. Oh, and me having to visit the dentist office for root canals and new crowns.

Oh joy!

Anyway, below are random photos from our Easter weekend.

The most amazing quiche...ever!
Above: early morning sunshine in the kitchen. The next three photos show flowers in our backyard and the glass hummingbird feeder.
Just driving around town. These two pictures below were taken while on the freeway close to the “Spaghetti Bowl” near downtown Las Vegas.
The photos below show George relaxing in the garden of his mother’s garden and her little chihuahua lady, Lucy.
The photos below were taken during our afternoon stroll through Pueblo Park. Everything is blooming and sprouting, including all these drought tolerant plants. It’s amazing how green and colorful the desert can get amid this arid climate.