Dear Diary,

Vegas is HOT!

It is a good primer for what lay ahead Barstow and Burlesque in the Mojave Desert. I spent three and a half days sleeping on Joey Aria’s fold out bed in his suite away from home (NYC). I was exhausted! As I am certain you can imaging from my last post. I slept a LOT!!!! Between sleeping I had dinner with Joey at Hamada a great Japanese Restaurant, and lunch at Cozumel, as usual Joey and I shared at least one Mexican meal, he’s the one who has taught me how to eat spicy food. After lunch, I dropped off some Exotic World Posters at a shop, and continued to work on the Friday Night Meet and Greet with the most challenging internet access one can imagine. Thanks to many friends who will remain nameless to protect them from corporate punishment for sharing their accounts, I was able to retrieve and send e-mail is a most curious and hobbled together fashion.

So, if I was not sleeping and sleeping and drinking lots and lots of water, I was spending time talking to Classic Burlesque Stars and Legends on the phone pounding out the final details for the Friday night event. For me is was all too thrilling to be calling on the likes of Tura Satana, Kiva, Kitten Natavidad ,Bambi Sr., and Liz Renay. I had been speaking with them from Pennsylvania, NYC, and now from Vegas over the last few weeks, my phone bill will convert these minutes into dollars (ouch!). The show was falling into place, I just needed a great stage manager and to stop performers from the usual pre show shenanigans! Now I just had to figure out how I was going to get El Vez from the Ontario airport to Barstow and set up for the show at the same time.

Joey secured tickets for myself, Scott Ewalt and Jeff Gardener to go see him in Zumanity . You see my dear friend Joey Arias has landed the job as the emcee in show that is described as the “darker side” of Cirque Du Soleil, and they could not have made a better choice. In the course of the show I saw him be everything and everyone I know him to be, a ringleader, diva, provocateur, jester, seductress, harpy, and vixen! Well, actually he is a lot more than that, but how great to see him being himself in his best gender fuck expression, in a multi million-dollar show, designed by Thierry Mugler! And all in front of Middle America! I never thought Joey would be performing to the Mid Western and Southern audiences but he is, and they LOVE him! How Joey ended up being the Barney of Gender Fuck is more that I can answer, and I say gender fuck because he is beyond drag and is a She Monster unto himself. (This being said in the most loving and caring way). I could so easily go on and on about Joey Aria.. I was sad that he didn’t really sing in this show as he is an amazing vocalist, but the show was beautiful and there were several mind-blowing acts. The costumes needless to say were astounding and the lighting was superb.

After the show we went to a birthday party for one of the cast members to a place called the Champagne Bar, from the name one would assume that one was going to be in a very posh and swanky place but indeed we were in a very fab and authentic old Vegas dump with gold and red-flocked wallpaper and old posters of Marilyn (Monroe) on them. People smoke too much in Vegas and are allowed to, and it bugs me. I hate smoking, I used to smoke and I am OVER it. I met many performer people who work with Joey and in other shows and have all grown quite fond of Joey, I am happy to know that he has developed a very nice community of friends during his two-year stint (this far) in the heat of the desert. It was 4:30 and the party was in full swing and I was beat, I asked Elliot if he would give me a ride home as I was tired and needed to take a nap; as my friend Miss Indigo Blue would state it. Well, a nap is about all it amounted to, as I had to get up and take care of a few more logistics as today was the day I was heading to Barstow.

I had some hair-brained idea that I was going to take the Greyhound bus to Barstow. Some romantic notion that was better as a daydream than a reality. I thought that planning ahead and purchasing a ticket before was smart! I was told to arrive and hour before my departure, I arrived earlier actually. The scene I arrived to was classic, some drug addict in withdrawal or just plain old OD’ed right in front of the station and an ambulance pulling up to assist. I had just been joking about that to the taxi driver just before we arrived at the station, I had said “Just watch! It will be me the meth addicts, transients, game losers and seasonal farm workers at the station.” That will teach me to create my own reality!!!! Anyway so I manage to get out of the taxi with my three bags (despite the four boxes I have already sent back to Seattle over the last three and a half weeks). I end up standing in line to get my actual ticket, you know the one I already purchased so smartly and to check my two bags. So much for saving time, I stand in line for over an hour speaking to two very nice 60 year old Korean ladies who were visiting from San Francisco who tell me all about migrating to the states in the 60’s and how shocked they were by American life when they arrived and lived in the Haight!

Finally the front of the line. Only to be told I have to go stand in yet another line and that I must take my bags with me, and the bus leaves in 5 minutes. That is when I realized that the line I saw when I came in over an hours ago, are all people waiting for the same bus I am taking, and they too are holding prepaid tickets. The boarding starts in a mass of confusion and people are running and jumping over each other’s suitcases, children are being separated from their parents, and it makes me think of footage I saw of people trying to get out of Saigon the night before the collapse. The bus driver slams shut this weird security door, the likes of which I have never seen, something out of a cattle shoot, and the driver says “the bus is full!”

Next scene people fighting swearing. Oh God, I am one of them! Driver jumps back on bus, puts bus in reverse without closing the baggage compartments, baggage falling out, but taking off anyway, my finger jabbing in a man’s chest the man who is unfortunately for him wearing a greyhound shirt and the words “This is Fucked UP” coming out of my mouth. A more than agitated phone call later to the executive producers of Miss Exotic World (Laura and Luke ) try to help me trouble shoot, it is evident I must rent a car. Too much heat, too much baggage, and a really bad mood, and I must find a taxi in the worst part of town 45 minuets I mean minutes later I am in a taxi back to the hotel where I started; a very kindest and efficient concierge helps me find a great rate on a one-way rental from Vegas to LA. I am on the road and in a much better mood. Thank God!

2 hours and a few minutes, later I am in Barstow!

As Greyhound has no information on where to direct complaints on their sight, I suggest…

Unsafe Driving

To report unsafe driving by a Greyhound bus, contact the National Clearinghouse for Bus Safety at 1-800-SAFE-BUS.

more soon!