So one day, you’re walking down Vegas Boulevard and…

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Oh man, I can’t *believe* I forgot to blog about this… I think I Tweeted, but 140 characters does this no justice.

So picture it if you will. Las Vegas Boulevard just a week or so ago.

I’m over at the Mirage because I was hungry and wanted the fare offered at the Carnegie Deli***.

I swear, I am a New York Jewish girl, because I gotta have their chopped liver salad. Just *gotta* have it!

So after finishing my meal and losing a few bucks to the slots, I decided to walk.

I always have to take some time to walk Vegas Blvd to see how it has changed. Plus, you get a whooole different view of The Strip at street level.

There I am walking north on the strip headed toward Fashion Show Mall with a destination of the Trump Hotel nestled in behind the mall, when I see a little alcove-like thing in the wall around the Mirage.

People are lined up there and I figure, well, it’s some Vegas thing, a mostly naked show girl, an “amazing double” dressed up as Michael Jackson (only I just saw him a couple hours ago back at the Bellagio) or a Three Card Monte game, who knows.

I was not prepared for what I saw.

Not. Prepared.

I come around the bend and see this lush green inset in the wall with a railing.

Ok, you know when you go to a cathedral or a really large Catholic church and they have the Virgin Mary Grotto? With the statue and the railing and the somber tones?

Yeah. It was like that.

Only the statue people were worshiping was this (click for full size):

If the imagery isn’t immediately clear to you, that’s a golden rendition of Sigfried and Roy and a white tiger, festooned with fakey shards of crystals shooting out of the cement moorings.

Oh man, everyone was snapping photos like the red carpet. They’d put the kids in front of this thing, or the lady would get in front and the guy would take the photo then the guy would get up there and the lady would snap away, and then the whole family would crowd in there.

People were beside themselves to get photos with this statue.

In a non-ironic way.

Well, I found a break in the crowd and grabbed a couple iPhone photos so I could show The Good Man and we could look at this later and ponder just WTF.

I have no answers.

Other than that’s Vegas, I suppose…

***Not intentionally, but we ended up having an “old home” week in Las Vegas. We went to Garduños to fulfill longing for the food of my youth, then later I took The Good Man, a Brooklyn boy, back to the Carnegie for a monster Reuben (corned beef, if you please).

Keeping that eye sharp

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I had a phone call recently with my photography teacher. She’s invited me on a photo field trip with some of her more advanced students (more details to come) and I’m oh so very honored and excited!

So, in preparation, I gotta keep that ol’ eye and technique sharp.

Lacking for much inspiration yesterday, I went for a walk around my yard.

You know, I don’t usually look at what is going on in my own yard unless there is something blooming or very unusual.

But even in winter there is some beauty to be had.

Here’s a few shots from yesterday (click on photo to see large version):

Our gnarled, unkempt rose bushes that still manage to put on beautiful roses all year round.

Remember my persimmons? They are still hanging in there long after the leaves are gone. That is a persistent fruit!

The neighborhood wild animals really like that the persimmons are ripe. This keeps them thriving so they can continue to knock over my trashcans every night. *sigh*

Lemon tree in my neighbor’s yard. Freakishly large lemon!

My landlord *hates* the clover, and yet every year, the clover defeats the landlord. I understand why he hates the clover, it chokes out everything…but it is kind of pretty too…

Our next door neighbor was so happy when he moved in and saw the yard. He was fired up to plant a garden. Then he got crazy busy at work and the poor tomatoes languished.

(the light was so interesting that you can actually see my reflected outline in the tomato skins if you look close at the large photo)

And finally, there is this. My insane muse, my hungry observer, the cranked up feline sitting in the window yowling at me while I worked. Nice background music….not.

I have the powa!

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Watch out for me. I am potent. I have powers even I don’t understand.

The power of mah mind.

Oh yes.

See, on Monday, I went for a walk over at the Stanford Dish, a pretty grueling up and down hilly walk that knocks the wind out of me and makes me sweat. Generally The Dish humbles me very much.

It’s hard for me to complete the Dish. It takes effort. A lot of effort.

On Monday, I had to stop five times during the journey to catch my breath. It’s embarrassing.

Exercising at The Dish is rather popular with the beautiful and healthy people of the surrounding Palo Alto area (home to Stanford University, rich AND smart people), so as I go schlumping along, I often encounter blond, beautiful and much more attractive than me-type people.

So, there I was on Monday, a nice day, walking along in my old faded yoga pants, a loose shirt and a grimace. I’d already wheezed up the first hill and made my first stop as my lungs were burning.

But damnit man, I was *doing* it.

As I continued to walk at an ok pace, I was passed by a young man wearing one of those shiny new tight, moisture wicking, Nike logo emblazoned shirts. He’d paired this with fancy running shorts, sparkling white shoes, fresh iPod strapped to his arm and the perfect runners stance. Hell, he didn’t even have the rictus you see on the face of most joggers.

No. He was a blond chiseled sample of running perfection. Elbows bent at the perfect angle, strides the right distance. All perfect. He passed me (wide, middle aged, out of shape) with a snotty air and as he cruised past me, he gave two dye job blondes with store bought boobies a long, meaningful look.

Ok, I’m not too proud to admit it. I got snarky. In my head.

“Loser! I hope you trip and fall! I hope you get a cramp in your leg! I hope you gas out on the next hill!” I thought to myself.

Then he was gone over the next rise and it was me and the Bee Gees on my iPod shuffle. And another hill to climb.

So I trudged along.

Fifteen minutes later, I caught up to the guy.

He’d gassed out. He was walking. Slowly. I passed him. I didn’t even look his way. I just kept walking. Smugly.

Later, I encountered a woman who was really pert and fit. She was walking ahead of me on a hill where I had to stop twice. She stopped not at all.

“Well aren’t YOU so fit!” I thought in my tacky brain. “Bite me! Just….oooh, I hope you get tired! Oh no, you are soooo healthy!”

And when I finally got to the top of the hill, guess who I found standing there, breathing hard?

She’d made it all the way up the hill, but then had to stop.

I passed her too.

Oh the mind power of a snarky out of shape girl with determination on her mind!

I smited them down!

Or…maybe…The Dish is just a really challenging route.

You know, I always thought that whole tortoise and the hare story was a bunch of bollocks. A story told to slow pokes like me to engender some sort of hope.

But maybe…just maybe, there is some truth to that fable?