I missed the entrance to the Mirage the first few times, but I found LOVE. That is, I saw LOVE, the Beatles show in Las Vegas this 4th of July weekend. More than some entertainment, this trip was, for me, a quest to find my life path again. As is often the case with life, I found what I was seeking, but in a most unexpected way.
So much happened this weekend: The 4th of July, the shuttle launched, N. Korea launched missiles, Ken Lay died, I saw LOVE and discovered a great secret about being happy. Oh, and a crazy guy ate 53 hotdogs.
Do these guys even know what is in a hotdog? Yetch.
Anyway, the secret to happiness I found is this: One’s life is greatly improved if one cultivates pronoia. Pronoia, the opposite of paranoia, is (for me) the belief that the little positive choices one makes, minute by minute are rewarded. My friend described it this way: A pronoid person thinks the universe is conspiring to give her/him positive things. This requires no religion. It just works. This is the hidden clockwork, the programming behind our reality. Sure, this may be a self-deception or a self fulfilling prophesy, but if it works, if it improves life, do it. Pronia can be a doorway to spirituality for those who reject organized religion. You don’t need to believe in Karma or God, just act with good will and stay alert to the rewards that result.
This weekend I choose to believe that as a result of some poor choices I: lost a lot of money, got very sick, was stranded alone 100s of miles from home due to an engine failure.
My pronoia then linked my good choices and deeds with the following good results. I: got some needed down time, formulated a life plan, saw some beautiful sights, got my car fixed for free, got the best advice of my life from a complete stranger, found a cheap beautiful comfortable non smoking room, saved $100 on my phone bill, saved $150 in home taxes, didn’t get fined for being late with a debt, found the cheapest gas in months, and so on.
The Cirque du Soleil LOVE show was fantastic, surreal, a circus for the senses. More than live music videos for the Beatles songs, LOVE told the story of the Beatles’ experiences with war, politics, relationships, drugs, fame and so on. Paul McCartney was at the premiere and was consulted on the creation of the show. The NY Times says,
“Since the two companies reached an agreement three years ago, the Beatles’ producer George Martin and his son Giles have been assembling a score that stitches together segments from more than 100 Beatles songs, taken from the original master tapes and remixed for souped-up surround sound.”
Hearing the original vocals from the song “Because” a capella, redone from the master tape in surround sound during the opening was, for me, worth the price of admission. There was a lot of work done on some of the medleys where the vocals from one song would appear over the instrumental tracks from another. Awesome.
During the day I snuck in to the Mirage pool area (reserved for hotel guests) and I hung out at the bar and under the waterfall, just taking it slow, waiting for the LOVE show that night.
Sure, I was sick and spent most of the time in Vegas in bed with a flu, but on the 4th I did buy my $10 ticket to stand in line and ride the elevator up to the Stratosphere. There saw one of the most beautiful sights of my life, the Vegas skyline with little fireworks going off here and there for hours.
That’s where I met the Bellabessa twins, Tina and Lorie, in polkadots. We had such a great time touring the city until 4 AM. Or did I dream that part?
Some tips: Signs that say $29/night in Vegas actually mean $90/night. A sign that says $7.99 buffet, means $16. ( You get the $7.99 deal only on Wednesdays, if you have a “Players Card” … and if you own an ostrich. ) Do this: dial 800 373-3411 for free 411 from your cell phone. Use that to call Hotels.com. They will likely find you a room in your price range. They did it for me on a busy holiday weekend in Vegas.
The first night I tried to find a place myself. I drove around for over an hour and found an expensive and seedy room where I had to call the police because a woman was lying on the pavement after a couple had a physical fight. ( She was doing most of the attacking from what I saw. She was okay, the cops got there in time. )
Using Hotels.com, however, I found a cheaper wonderful room (see photo above next to the cheap gas photo) and the sales lady even gave me directions over the phone while I was driving in Vegas to help me find the hotel after we booked it.
Here are some more random pics from my trip including a delicious sea bass at Sensi in Bellagio, and Zzyzx road which I spotted in CA on my drive home.