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Desert Mirage

I am currently in Las Vegas, because I am an idiot, or a masochist, or both.  There is just no good reason for a person with Summer SAD to “vacation” in Las Vegas in June, but that’s what I did.

My husband had to come here for business, and because he is always extremely busy with his start-up, I decided to come on out with him. He’d be too busy working to spend time with me, but the drive to Vegas and back would give me more time to hang out and talk to him than I get in the average week, so it seemed well worth it.

Until it was 106 fucking degrees in the fucking shade and the fucking hotel room won’t cool the fuck off.

I used to spend parts of my summers in Vegas. My grandparents lived here when I was a child. Mornings would start early to get some good play time in before it got too hot.  My grandfather would walk me to the local playground so I could play for a little while before the metal slide got literally too hot to use safely. Then we might walk over to 7 Eleven for a Slurpee. If I didn’t get a Slurpee, there would probably be coins left on the ledge outside the house for me to get something from an ice cream truck later in the day. They sold the house when I was 8 years old and left Vegas for a cheaper town in the middle of nowhere Nevada to retire. I drove by the house yesterday. My grandmother would be horrified to see the condition that the current owners have it in. The huge sagebrush field that I explored is now completely littered with 2 story suburban cookie cutter tract homes. Overall, it felt surreal to be there. I had planned to call my father while parked out front, but decided I didn’t really like it there, so I meandered on my way.

I stopped at a store to look for a new purse (my current one is falling apart) but had no luck with that either. Upon exit of the store into the overbearing heat, I headed back to the car when I sign across the parking lot caught my eye.

Rita’s Ice Custard Happiness

Ooh, ice custard. Do I want that?
Of course you want that. It’s happiness.
Well, yeah, but should I have it?
What “should”? It’s happiness. Go get some happiness.
It probably isn’t any good. It’s probably too expensive.
It’s Happiness, it says so right in the name, plus The Beatles say Rita is lovely.
I don’t think it is the same Rita.
Whatever, come on, people are always accusing you of being too negative. Go get some happiness. Be a person that deserves happiness.
Fuck you.
HAPPINESS
Serious, fuck you. Alright, fine, I’ll go get some fucking happiness.

So I drag my heat exhausted ass across the hot black top toward Rita’s Ice Custard Happiness. So. Hot. I have to walk around the building when I get there, the sign was on the back of this little section of strip mall that is floating out on the street side of the parking lot. I pass the Subway that is next door, and get to the front of Rita’s Ice Custard Happiness and am greeted by a “Coming Soon” sign.

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Fresh Air

When I wrote about being in Vegas, I forgot to mention something that was really interesting to me about The Cosmopolitan.

I hate smoking. It drives me totally crazy. Well, I don’t mind the idea of smoking. Go do whatever the fuck you want. I just hate the smell of it. I hate the smell of stale smoke leftover on smokers, or on myself if I’ve been in a smoky place, and I really am made utterly miserable when I am where I can smell somebody actively smoking.

There was a time when it didn’t bother me. I became sensitive while I was pregnant. I became sensitive to damn near everything while I was pregnant, and I vomited for 8.5 months. It was gross and miserable. Smoke was one of the major triggers (as was the smell of mint). More than 16 years later, the reaction has eased, but it never went away.

So, I hate being near smoking, and find it very difficult to be actively social with smokers, because even if they are very courteous about not ever smoking near me, they always stink to me.

I am not actually in favor of laws banning smoking in establishments, as I believe that should be up to the business owner, but I do enjoy the benefit of those laws, and have lived for a very long time now in places where I am not asked whether I want to sit in the smoking or non-smoking section when I enter a restaurant. The culture shock of being back in Nevada always catches me a little off guard. I drive into Vegas and think, and often say, “Why don’t we come here more often?” but 10 minutes in a casino and I remember exactly why I don’t go there more often.

Which brings me to the point of the post (thought I’d never get there, right?).

Something about the air system at The Cosmopolitan was amazing. The smokers there didn’t bother me at all. Yes, I could smell smoke if I stood immediately next to a person with a lit cigarette, but at a few feet away, the smoke was not reaching me. I don’t know how they do it, but I wish every place was doing it.

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