Friday, December 21, 2012

There's nothing like a dive bar and a party full of comics to lift your spirits!

I couldn't bring myself to post yesterday. At first I thought I was just in a piss-poor mood and didn't want to spread it around, but then I realized it was more than that--I felt depressed. If someone had looked at me cross-eyed, I would have burst into tears.

It's the holidays. I know I'm not the only one who's finding the holidays to be particularly tough this year; last week's tragedy has put a pallor over everyone's spirit. And yesterday was the day where every depressing thought I could muster hit my mind at once. I'm so lucky in that I am blessed with not one, but two beautiful families and enough friends to fill the biggest showroom on the Strip. But instead of focusing on the joy they bring me, yesterday I was consumed with the sorrow I feel for many of them. My thoughts began a downward spiral.

Off the top of my head, I can think of four friends who will be spending their first Christmas without their mothers. That got me worrying about my own mother's health, even though at 78 she's looking good and goes to water aerobics three times a week. I can think of three friends who are seriously ill; one is on the list for a liver-kidney transplant. But a Christmas miracle--the call he's been waiting for--would require the passing of another soul. Another dear friend, Tena, will be spending the holidays alone for the first time in over a decade after the loss of her partner, Ed, who died in August. Then I got to thinking about my relatives who have passed--my father, grandparents, and Beautiful Aunt Joyce--and was ready to lose my shit.

The other day as I stood in line in K-mart, I looked at the cashier's name tag and thought, "Wow, you don't see too many black Courtneys." How Courtney didn't make the Top 20 Whitest Names, I don't know. I'm sure it would have if the list didn't include four variations of Kaitlyn.  Anyway, the woman in front of me was buying hundreds of dollars of Christmas decorations, and judging from her interaction with Courtney, she was a regular customer.  I jumped in the conversation, too, and learned that the woman's husband died recently and this would be her first Christmas without him.

I expressed my sympathy and then Courtney said, "I'm hoping her daughters surprise her for Christmas."  The woman explained to me that shortly after her husband's death she was contacted by her daughters in South America.  They had been kidnapped by her first husband when they were very young and despite years of effort, she hadn't heard from them since.  Oh, how I hope those girls show up--that would be a Christmas miracle where everybody wins.

So of course, yesterday I had to worry about that lady in line who I'll probably never see again, too.  It was one of those days.

The night, however, was a different story.  There's nothing like a good dive bar to shake some happiness into you, and last night Mike and I met my friend Kri and a bunch of other nice folks at Dino's Lounge on Las Vegas Boulevard, just north of the Stratosphere.  I've written about this place before, and my second time there was just as joyful.  Seriously, this is one of the best dive bars ever--right up there with The Deliri in Plattsburgh.

Dino's has karaoke on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and the singers are generally much better quality than the average karaoke bar.  The DJ was fantastic and last night he sang Elton John's "Mona Lisa's and Mad Hatters" just beautifully.

It would have brought joyful tears to my eyes, but I had to laugh instead as I remembered that for decades I thought Elton John was singing, "Rocket man.... Rocket man... burning all the Jews I've ever known."  Then I got to thinking about another mondegreen I recently heard of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds:  "The girl with colitis goes by..."  That's a good one!

We had to leave Dino's early to head over to a party at my comic friend Joe Lowers' house, where he had a spread complete with a 23-lb. turkey dinner.  It was packed with comedians and their significant others and there was never a moment when you didn't hear somebody laughing.  The sorrow that had filled me all day was replaced by joy.  And alcohol.  Yeah, probably had a little too many last night, but I enjoyed every drop.

I got an email from my friend Tena the other day with a photo of a beautiful newborn baby attached. The infant is Ed's new grandson.  Life goes on.  We'd be crazy not to enjoy it while we can.


The Vegas Flea said...

Glad you're feeling better Linda. I dislike the holidays for a number of other reasons, but that's a different story.

As far as last night, I see that Dino's karaoke starts at 10pm. So, what time was Lowers' dinner??? 1am?? You people are crazy, I tell ya! As you know, I miss about 90% of the stuff in Las Vegas because everything starts at freakin' midnight (10pm is midnight to me)!!

I don't know how you do it, but glad that you do!!

raydenzel1 said...

where is that mistletoe anyway? Ah, right here!
Pucker up and give me a Christmas smooch!

Taradharma said...

"We'd be crazy not to enjoy it while we can." Absolutely spot on, Linda. It's been the greatest trick of my life, knowing about and holding all the sadness in the world while still being able and open to experiencing all the joy. I know depression intimately, and I know the relief and lightness of coming out of it. So glad that connecting with your buddies and having a great time did the trick for you. It's still a beautiful world out there. And sometimes it sucks.

Crack You Whip said...

That is an amazing story about the daughters contacting the woman. Too bad you can't get followup on that...

Vegas Linda Lou said...

@ Vegas Flea: Yeah, the karaoke started at 10:00, and Joe's was a late party. Had to be late, after people were done performing. It was a blast.

@ Ray: You're too funny!

@ Tara: You know I love you.

@ Crack You Whip: Thanks for commenting! I went over to your blog--it's very cool and unique. I bet I'll be able to find out if that lady's daughters ever showed up--I'll just go back to Kmart and see if Courtney's working. I'll keep you posted!

Mimi said...

i can't imagine you feeling so down Linda, just shows how wrong I can be; we all have off days.
Glad you were pulled back up. And I love your last bit "We'd be crazy not to enjoy it while we can.", as they say round here "we'll never get out of it alive anyway"!