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List of Las Vegas Casinos that Never Opened
List of Las Vegas casinos that never opened Over the years there have been several casinos and resorts planned for the Las Vegas Valley that never opened. The stages of planning may have been just an announcement or groundbreaking. Asia Resort and Casino Where the Palazzo Casino and Resort currently stands (adjacent to the Venetian Hotel and Casino and the Sands Expo and Convention Center), an Asian themed casino was proposed but was rejected for the present Palazzo project. Alon Las Vegas A proposed luxury hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip on the former site of the New Frontier Hotel and Casino, announced in 2015. The project was put in doubt after Crown Resorts announced in late 2016 it was suspending its involvement in the development. Crown announced in December 2016 that it was halting the project and seeking to sell its investment. The remaining partner Andrew Pascal announced he was seeking other partners to proceed with the project. However in May 2017, the land went up for sale. The land was later purchased by Steve Wynn. Beau Rivage Steve Wynn, who had purchased and demolished the Dunes hotel-casino, had originally planned to build a modern hotel in the middle of a man-made lake. He later built the Bellagio with a man-made lake in the front of the hotel. The name was later used by Wynn for a resort built in Biloxi, Mississippi. Caribbean Casino In 1988, a sign for a proposed casino was erected on a fenced vacant lot on Flamingo Road. Standing near the sign was a scale model galleon. For several years, that was all that stood on the property. The empty lot was the source of many jokes by the locals until the ship, which was later damaged by a fire started by a homeless person, was torn down in the 1990s and the lot became the site of the Tuscany Suites and Casino co-owned by Charles Heers, who has owned the property since the 1960s. Carnival In 1990, the Radisson group proposed a 3,376-room hotel next to the Dunes, with a casino shaped like a Hershey's Kiss. Cascada A proposed resort that was to have been built on the site of El Rancho Vegas. The parcel is now partially taken by the Hilton Grand Vacations Club and Las Vegas Festival Grounds. City by the Bay Resort and Casino A San Francisco-themed resort was proposed for the site of the New Frontier Hotel and Casino. The project was rejected in favor of the Swiss-themed Montreux, which was also eventually cancelled. Countryland USA A country music-themed resort was planned for construction of the site of the former El Rancho Hotel and Casino. For some years, the El Rancho sign stood with the words "Coming Soon - Future Home of Countryland USA." Craig Ranch Station Main article: Craig Ranch Station A Mediterranean-themed hotel-casino for North Las Vegas, proposed by Station Casinos in March 2000. The project faced opposition from nearby residents, which led to the proposed location being changed to a vacant property on the nearby Craig Ranch Golf Course. Residential opposition to the new location led to the project being rejected by the Nevada Gaming Policy Committee in March 2001. Station Casinos still had the option to develop the project on the initial site, but the project was cancelled entirely in July 2001, following a weak financial quarter for the company. Crown Las Vegas Main article: Crown Las Vegas Formerly known as Las Vegas Tower, the Crown Las Vegas was to have been a supertall skyscraper built on the former site of a Wet 'n Wild water park. In March 2008, the project was canceled and the property was put up for sale. Desert Kingdom In 1993, ITT Sheraton purchased the Desert Inn casino, and had announced plans to develop the large parking lot into a Balinese themed resort to complement the Desert Inn. The project was never developed and the site is now the location of Wynn Las Vegas. DeVille Casino After building the Landmark Hotel and Casino on Convention Center Drive and selling it to Howard Hughes, developer Frank Carroll built the DeVille Casino across the street from the Landmark at 900 Convention Center Drive in 1969. Chips were made for the casino (and are sought-after collectibles), but the casino never opened. The building was renovated in 1992 as a race book parlor named Sport of Kings which closed after nine months. It became the location of The Beach nightclub, which was demolished in 2007 to make room for a planned 600-unit tower that was never built. The land sits currently empty. Echelon Place Main article: Echelon Place An announced project by Boyd Gaming planned to have a hotel built on the property of the former Stardust Resort & Casino. Construction was suspended on August 1, 2008 due to the Great Recession. In March 2013, Boyd Gaming sold the proposed site for $350 million to the Genting Group, which is redeveloping the project as the Asian-themed Resorts World Las Vegas. Fontainebleau Las Vegas Main article: The Drew Las Vegas Located on the Las Vegas Strip and originally known as Fontainebleau Las Vegas. Construction began in 2007, and the resort was to include a casino, 2,871 hotel rooms, and 1,018 condominium units. Construction on the $2.9 billion project ceased in 2009, the year of its planned opening. Investment firms Witkoff Group and New Valley LLC purchased the unfinished resort in 2017. In 2018, Witkoff and Marriott International announced a partnership to open the renamed project as The Drew Las Vegas in 2020. The resort will include a casino and three hotels totaling nearly 4,000 rooms, with the condominium aspect removed from the project. Harley-Davidson Hotel and Casino A resort themed after the motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson was proposed, complete with hotel towers shaped like gigantic exhaust pipes, but was never built. Jockey Club Casino The Jockey Club is a condominium and timeshare resort at 3700 Las Vegas Boulevard South. It was planned to have a casino, and chips were made for its use, but the casino was never opened. Kactus Kate's By April 1994, Gold Coast Hotel and Casino owner Michael Gaughan was interested in building a hotel-casino in North Las Vegas, at the northeast corner of North Rancho Drive and Carey Avenue. In January 1995, the city planning commission approved the rezoning of the land for use as a hotel-casino. The resort, to be named Kactus Kate's, would be built by Gold Coast Hotel/Casino Limited. The hotel would include 450 rooms, and the casino would be 105,000 sq ft (9,800 m2), later decreased to 102,000 sq ft (9,500 m2). The resort would be located directly north of the nearby Fiesta and Texas Station resorts. In December 1998, Coast Resorts, Inc. received approval from the planning commission for a use-permit relating to the undeveloped property. In November 2000, the planning commission unanimously approved a two-year extension on the permit, giving the company more time to decide whether it would build Kactus Kate's. Because of a 1999 Senate bill that placed restrictions on casinos in neighborhoods, Coast Resorts had a deadline of 2002 to build the casino. The hotel would measure over 100 feet (30 m) high, and Coast Resorts was required to notify the Federal Aviation Administration of its final plans, due to the site being located less than 1,000 feet (300 m) from a runway at the North Las Vegas Airport. In January 2001, Station Casinos purchased the 29-acre (12 ha) site for $9 million. Coast Resorts president Harlan Braaten said, "As we saw the competitive nature of that area intensify, in terms of the size of competing facilities, we just felt we would have to build something much bigger than we had intended to compete with Texas Station and Santa Fe Station. It was just going to be a very expensive project, and we didn't feel the returns would be that good." Station Casinos planned to sell the property as a non-gaming site. Las Vegas Plaza Main article: Las Vegas Plaza Not to be confused with the Plaza Hotel & Casino. This was to have been modeled after the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The project was announced shortly before the demolition of the New Frontier Hotel and Casino, where the new hotel would be built. Las Vegas Plaza was cancelled in 2011 due to the Great Recession. London Resort and Casino This announced project was to have been themed around the city of London, and featuring replicas of the city's landmarks. The project was to be built on land across from the Luxor Hotel and Casino. A second London-themed resort was to be built on the former land of the El Rancho Hotel and Casino. Neither project ever began construction. London, Las Vegas This was a proposed three-phase project using London as its design inspiration. When completed, the 38.5-acre (15.5 ha) property would have featured 1,300 hotel rooms, a casino, a 500-foot-tall (152.4 m) observation wheel named Skyvue (partially constructed), and 550,000 square feet (51,097 square meters) of restaurants and shops — all of which would be architectural replicas of various British landmarks and neighborhoods. The project was to be constructed on land across from the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, where — as of November 2019 — the partially-constructed Skyvue still stands. The wheel was to be "Phase I of London, Las Vegas". Montreux Resort This Swiss-themed resort was to have been built on the property of the former New Frontier Hotel and Casino, but was ultimately cancelled. Moon Resort and Casino Proposed by Canadian developer Michael Henderson, this is a planned 10,000-room, 250-acre (1.0 km2) lunar-themed casino resort. Gaming experts doubt it will ever be built in Las Vegas, simply because the space planned for it is too large for the Las Vegas Strip. NevStar 2000 Further information: Craig Ranch Station § NevStar 2000 Proposed by NevStar Gaming in 1998, the NevStar 2000 entertainment complex in North Las Vegas would have included a hotel and casino, but the project faced opposition from nearby residents who did not want a casino in the area. The project was cancelled when NevStar Gaming filed for bankruptcy in December 1999. North Coast/Boyd Gaming project In May 2003, Coast Casinos had plans for the North Coast hotel-casino, to be built at the southwest corner of Centennial Parkway and Lamb Boulevard in North Las Vegas. The project would be built on approximately 40 acres (16 ha) of vacant land, surrounded by other land that was also undeveloped. At the time, the North Las Vegas Planning Commission was scheduled to review requests for zoning changes and approvals for the project. The project was not scheduled to be built for at least another four years, after completion of a highway interchange at Lamb Boulevard and the nearby Interstate 15, as well as the completion of an overpass over nearby railroad tracks. Bill Curran, an attorney for the land owner, said, "We're going through the zoning changes now so everybody knows what's going to be out there." The North Coast would include a casino, a 10-story hotel with 398 rooms, a bowling alley, movie theaters, and a parking garage. In June 2003, the Planning Commission voted 6 to 1 to approve preliminary applications necessary to begin work on the North Coast. Boyd Gaming, the owner of Coast Casinos, announced in February 2006 that it would purchase the 40-acre site for $35 million. Jackie Gaughan and Kenny Epstein were the owners at the time. Boyd Gaming had not decided on whether the new project would be a Coast property or if it would be similar to the company's Sam's Town hotel-casino. At the time, no timetable was set for building the project. In March 2007, the project was put on hold. At the time, Boyd Gaming had been securing construction permits for the project but decided to first review growth in the area. Construction had been scheduled to begin in mid-2007. In August 2013, Boyd Gaming sold the undeveloped property for $5.15 million. Palace of the Sea Resort and Casino This was to have been built on the former Wet 'n Wild waterpark site. Conceptual drawings included yacht-shaped towers that housed suites, a casino resembling the Sydney Opera House and a 600-foot (180 m) tall Ferris wheel-type attraction dubbed a "Sky Wheel". It never left the planning stages. Paramount Las Vegas A casino and hotel and condo resort with more than 1,800 units that was planned by Royal Palms Las Vegas, a subsidiary of Royal Palms Communities. The project was to replace the Klondike Hotel and Casino at the south end of the Las Vegas Strip, beside the Las Vegas welcome sign. The resort was approved in October 2006, but an investor pulled out of the project in August 2007, and the land was put up for sale in May 2008. Pharoah's Kingdom Pharoah's Kingdom was planned as a $1.2 billion gaming, hotel and theme park complex to be built on 710 acres (290 ha) at Pebble Road and Las Vegas Boulevard, five miles south of the Las Vegas Strip. Construction was approved in October 1988, with Silano Development Group as the developer. The project would have an Egyptian theme, including two 12-story pyramids made of crystal, with each containing 300 suites. The hotel would have a total of 5,000 rooms, making it the largest in the world. The 230,000 sq ft (21,000 m2) casino would include 100 table games and 3,000 slot machines, while an RV park, mini-golf, a bowling alley, and a video game arcade would be located beside the casino area. Three of the project's various pyramid structures would house the 50-acre (20 ha) family theme park. Other features would include sphinxes, man-made beaches, waterways resembling the Nile river, an underwater restaurant, a 24-hour child-care facility, a 100-tenant shopping promenade, and a repertory-style theater that would be overseen by actor Jack Klugman. Additionally, the resort would feature an 18-hole PGA Championship golf course, and a monorail located within the theme park. The project would have one mile of frontage along Las Vegas Boulevard. Frank Gambella, president of the project, stated that financing was in place, with groundbreaking planned for March or April 1989. Gambella said the project would be financed by several entities, with the money coming from a Nevada corporation, suggesting the entities would be grouped together as an umbrella corporation. Gambella stated that the project could be opened by Labor Day 1990. The resort was expected to employ 8,000 people. Following the completion of the resort, Gambella said a complex of 750 condominiums would be built on the land along with 900 retirement-care apartments. The project was cancelled shortly after it was announced, as authorities became suspicious of developer Anthony Silano's fundraising efforts for the project. It was discovered that Silano and his associates hacked into the Switzerland bank accounts of Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos following his death in 1989. Silano pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges. Another Egyptian-themed resort, Luxor Las Vegas, would open on the south Las Vegas Strip in 1993. Planet Hollywood Resort (original plans) Not to be confused with the current Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. Originally planned to open in the late 1990s on the site of the Desert Inn, it was to be one of the largest hotels in Las Vegas. Because of the bankruptcy of Planet Hollywood Restaurants, the hotel was never built. However, in the 2000s, a group of investors bought the new Aladdin Hotel and Casino and remodeled it with a modern Hollywood theme. Playboy Hotel and Casino A proposed casino resort themed after Playboy magazine was rejected in favor of a nightclub and suites built at the top two floors of the new Palms tower. The planned location for the Playboy Hotel and Casino, on the Las Vegas Strip, was later used for the Cosmopolitan resort. Santa Fe Valley Main article: Santa Fe Valley Santa Fe Gaming, which owned the Santa Fe hotel-casino in northwest Las Vegas, had plans for a second Santa Fe property in 1996. The Santa Fe Valley would be built on a 40-acre (16 ha) lot in Henderson, Nevada, adjacent to the Galleria at Sunset mall. The start of construction was delayed several times because of poor financial quarters for Santa Fe Gaming, and because of the company not yet receiving financing for the project. Site preparation started in July 1998, with an opening date scheduled for December 1999, but construction never began. In 1999, the property was sold to Station Casinos, which sold the land a year later for use as a shopping center. Shenandoah Hotel and Casino A project by Wayne Newton. Although the hotel operated for a short time at 120 E. Flamingo Road, the management was unable to get a gaming license. After years of floundering it was sold to a Canadian company and became Bourbon Street Hotel and Casino. Silver City proposals By January 2000, Luke Brugnara was planning to build a San Francisco-themed resort on the site of the closed Silver City Casino. Brugnara intended to give Silver City a multimillion-dollar renovation, with plans to have a fully operational hotel-casino by 2002. In March 2001, Brugnara's request for a gaming license was rejected. In May 2002, it was announced that Brugnara had sold the casino while retaining six acres located behind the building. In 2003, Brugnara was planning to build a 24-story, 304-room hotel and casino resort on a portion of the Silver City property. The resort, to be named "Tycoon", was to be designed by Lee Linton, with an expected cost of approximately $100 million. Starship Orion International Thoroughbred Breeders (ITB) announced plans to demolish the El Rancho and construct Starship Orion, a $1 billion hotel, casino, entertainment and retail complex with an outer space theme, covering 5.4 million square feet (501,676 square meters). The resort was to include seven separately owned casinos, each approximately 30,000 square feet (2,787 square meters). Each potential casino owner was to contribute up to $100 million to own and operate a casino within the complex. The complex would have included 300,000 square feet (27,871 square meters) of retail space, as well as 2,400 hotel rooms and a 65-story hotel tower. ITB hoped to begin construction later in 1996, with a planned opening date of April 1998. Sunrise This was to have been located at 4575 Boulder Highway. Property developer Michael Mona Jr. built the hotel-casino and stated that he was going to break tradition by starting a "casino without a theme". He failed to get an unrestricted gaming license when suspicions arose concerning his associations with alleged organized crime figures. Chips were made for the casino, but were never used. The building was opened as Arizona Charlie's Boulder. Titanic In 1999, Bob Stupak was planning a 400-foot-high (122 m) resort themed after the RMS Titanic, to be built on a 10-acre (4 hectares) property he owned near downtown Las Vegas. The resort would have included 1,200 rooms, 800 of which were to be used for timeshares to help finance the project. That year, planning commissioners rejected Stupak's request to change the zoning to allow for a hotel. The project was later planned for the former site of the El Rancho Vegas on the Las Vegas Strip, but was rejected by the Las Vegas City Council. W Las Vegas Main article: W Las Vegas W Las Vegas was proposed in August 2005, as a $1.7 billion joint project between Starwood and Edge Resorts, with a scheduled opening in 2008. The project would include a 75,000 sq ft (7,000 m2) casino and approximately 3,000 hotel, condo hotel, and residential units. The project was cancelled in May 2007, after Starwood pulled out of the deal. Wally's Wagon Wheel Wally's Wagon Wheel was to be developed by Walter Weiss through his company, Magna Leisure Partnership. The project was proposed for 2200 South Boulder Highway in Henderson, between Wagon Wheel Drive and Roberts Road, near Henderson's Old Vegas western theme park. Manga Leisure Partnership purchased the 15.5-acre property in late February 1988. Weiss, at that time, had tentative plans for a western-themed, 112-room property known then as the Wagon Wheel Hotel and Casino. The Wagon Wheel was expected to cost $15 million, and financing had yet to be obtained for the project, which Weiss expected to open in early 1990. The project, which would include a 55,000 sq ft (5,100 m2) casino, was to be built in two phases. By October 1991, Wally's Wagon Wheel remained unbuilt due to difficulty obtaining financing. That month, the Henderson Planning Commission voted to give Weiss more time to make progress on the project. At that time, the project was to include 204 hotel rooms and would be built on 13.30 acres (5.38 ha). Weiss noted that the nearby successful Sam's Town hotel-casino opened with 204 rooms, and he believed his project would be successful if he opened with the same amount of rooms for good luck. By the end of 1992, Weiss had still not acquired financing for Wally's Wagon Wheel. At the time, the project was the largest of five casinos being planned for Henderson. The three-story project was to include 200 rooms, two restaurants, a theater lounge for country and western entertainment, and a large bingo room. Weiss stated that groundbreaking was scheduled for May 1993, with an expected opening in June 1994. The hotel-casino would employ approximately 600 people upon opening. Weiss met with nearby residents to discuss the project, and he had the original design changed to include a larger buffer zone between homes and the hotel-casino. In November 1994, the Henderson Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of Weiss' requested zone change as part of the redesign. The project, at that time, was to include a one-story casino and a four-story hotel with 400 rooms. In December 1994, the Henderson City Council rejected Weiss' plans for a 200-foot (61 m) buffer. In July 1997, the unbuilt project received its sixth extension from the Henderson Planning Commission for a use permit and architectural review. In August 1997, the Henderson City Council approved the sixth extension, but denied Weiss' appeal for a one-year extension, instead giving him six months to make progress on the project. Up to that time, $1.7 million had been invested in the project by Magna Leisure Partnership. As of 1998, the project was expected to cost $80 million and employ at least 1,200 people, and the proposed site had increased to 19 acres (7 ha). At that time, Weiss stated that he was close to obtaining financing for the project from a casino operator. The project was never built. Wild Wild West Not to be confused with Wild Wild West Gambling Hall & Hotel. As of 1993, Station Casinos owned a 27-acre (11 ha) site on Boulder Highway with the potential to be developed as a casino. The site was located across the street from Sam's Town hotel-casino. In January 1998, Crescent Real Estate Equities Co. announced plans to purchase Station Casinos, which had intended to sell the land prior to the announcement. By March 1998, Station Casinos was planning to develop a hotel-casino complex on the land, which was occupied by a vacant strip mall. The complex would be known as Wild Wild West, with local residents as the target clientele. Crescent's purchase of Station Casinos failed in August 1998, and Station Casinos subsequently slowed its plans to build the project. By the end of the year, the project had received approval from the Clark County Planning Commission for a 273,000 sq ft (25,400 m2) casino and a 504-room hotel. No timetable for construction was announced, and Station Casinos had already decided by that point not to start any new projects prior to 2000. Station Casinos sold the undeveloped land for $11.2 million to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in April 2004. World Port In 2000, Howard Bulloch, David Gaffin, and their partner Tom Gonzales transferred ownership of the Glass Pool Inn property to their group, known as New World, with plans for a megaresort. New World purchased several other nearby motels to accumulate a 77-acre (31 ha) parcel located on the Las Vegas Strip and east of the Mandalay Bay. In January 2001, plans were announced for World Port Resorts, a megaresort consisting of hotel-casinos, a convention center and a fine arts facility. The project was to be built on the 77-acre (31 ha property, a portion of which was occupied by the Glass Pool Inn. World Trade Center To have been located at 925 East Desert Inn Road. Leonard Shoen, co-founder of U-Haul truck rental, purchased the property of what had been the Chaparral Hotel & Casino in 1996, renovating it into the World Trade Center Hotel. A gaming license was applied for, but when it was discovered that two of Shoen's closest partners were convicted felons, the application was denied in 1998. He withdrew his application, and died in a car crash in 1999 that was ruled a suicide. Cards and gaming chips were produced for the World Trade Center Casino, but were never used. The property has since been demolished and is now a parking lot, part of the Las Vegas Convention Center Annex. World Wrestling Federation A casino resort themed after the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) was proposed for a property near the Interstate 15 freeway across from Mandalay Bay. The project never went past the proposal stage. The land where it would have stood is now Allegiant Stadium. WWF also proposed to open the project on the property once used by the Clarion Hotel and Casino, which was demolished in 2015 to become a parking lot. Xanadu In February 1976, the Clark County Commission approved the 23-story Xanadu resort, to be built on the Las Vegas Strip at the corner of South Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue. The resort would include approximately 1,700 hotel rooms and a casino, as well as convention facilities, a showroom, dining, and indoor tennis courts. The resort was to be developed by Tandy McGinnis – of Bowling Green, Kentucky – and his Xanadu Corporation, and would be built on 48.6 acres (19.7 ha) owned by Howard Downes, a resident of Coral Gables, Florida. The Xanadu would feature a pyramid design, and was expected to cost $150 million. It would have been the first themed mega-resort. Much information and many artifacts of the project are housed at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas library. The Excalibur Hotel and Casino ultimately opened on the property in 1990. See also Category:Defunct casinos in the Las Vegas Valley List of Atlantic City casinos that never opened
OBLIGATORY FILLER MATERIAL – Just take a hard left at Daeseong-dong…5
Continuing “Hey, Viv!”, I say, as we’re all being shuttled onto the bus which will take us to our hotel, “Toss me one of those miniatures, if you please. Yeah. Of course, Vodka’ll do. It’s bloody dusty round these parts.” Viv chuckles and asks if anyone else wants anything. He’s a consummate scrounger and somehow sweet-talked a demure and pulchritudinous female Air China cabin attendant out of her phone number, Email address, and a case of 100 airline liquor miniatures. That he looks like a marginally graying version of Robert Mitchum in his heyday and speaks fluent Dutch, French, and Italian might explain his success. I mean, a guy with four ex-wives can’t be all wrong, right? He’s a definite outlier in this crowd. We could be characterized as a batch of aging natural geoscientists who collectively, sans Viv, add up to an approximate eight on the “Looker” scale. Besides the years, the mileage, the climatic, and industrial ravages, it’s a good thing we all have expansive personalities, as most of us are dreadful enough to make a buzzard barf. But, save for Viv, no one presently here is on the make. Oh, sure; we’ll all sweet talk some fair nubile into a free drink or a double when we really ordered a regular drink, but we’re all married, most terminally, that is, over 35 years and counting. The odd thing is that save and except for Viv, none of us married folk had ever been divorced. That is strange, considering that the global divorce rate hovers around 50%, and we are often called to be apart from kith and kin for prolonged periods. However, we are always faithful and committed to our marital units and those vows we spoke all those many long decades ago. But, hey, we’re all seriously male and not anywhere near dead; and there’s no penalty for just looking, right? Continuing. We’re all loaded on a pre-war, not certain which war, by the way, bus which stank of fish, kimchee, and diesel fuel. We really don’t care even a tiny, iotic amount. It’s free transport, we’re tired of traveling, and not keen on walking any further than we absolutely have to. Viv has been passing out boozy little liquor miniatures, and I’ve been handing out cigars since I bought a metric shitload back in Dubai Duty-Free and somehow got them all through customs. We didn’t light up, as there was neither a driver nor handler present. So, we figured we’d all just wait on the cigars, and concentrate on having a little ground-level “Welcome to Best Korea” party until the powers that be got their collective shit together and provided drivers, herders, and handlers. We sat there for 15 long minutes. Being the international ambassadors of amity and insobriety, we started making noises like “Hey! Where’s our fucking driver?” and “I am Doctor Academician! Of All State Russian Geological Survey! How dare you make me wait? ” Suddenly, a couple of characters in ill-fitting gray suits and fake Rays Bans are outside the bus having a collective meltdown. Somehow, someone fucked up and put us on a ‘regular’ bus and not the ‘VIP’ bus. In other words, we got to see what the locals really got to ride around Pyongyang on instead of our supposed to be impressed by the bus that wasn’t there; but was now just arriving. A spanking new purple-and-chrome Mercedes long-haul bus shows up. It even has our group name emblazoned above the placard that normally tells where the bus is headed or who it is for: “’국제 석유 지질 과학 연합’ [Gugje Seog-yu Jijil Gwahag Yeonhab] or ‘International Union of Petroleum Geological Sciences’”. We are brusquely ordered off our present bus and into the opulent, obviously bespoke, bright yellow faux-leather interior Mercedes-Benz Tourismo RH M. It’s so new and so obviously a ploy to get us to think that all things here are so new and opulent, it even smells of that new car, ah, bus, aroma. “Well, we’ll take care of that soon enough”, I muse, as the bus is equipped with ashtrays and we’re going on the scenic route to our hotel, which is only 25 or so kilometers from the airport. However, it was announced that it’ll take us about 2 hours to get to our hotel since we need to see the city in its best light and get a feeling for the town if we should ever find ourselves lost and alone. We all know what’s going on. They’re getting our rooms ‘ready’ for our arrival and need some extra time to make sure everything’s all wired in and transmitting properly. “Guys”, I muse to our new handlers, “I’ve been to the Soviet Union, pre-wall fall. I stayed in places where I was definitely among the first westerners ever to grace their porticos. We’re a busload of natural scientists, of eight different nationalities, covering the economic spectrum from staunch capitalism to sociable socialism to hard-core communism. You even think for a second we’re going to spill any beans about anything you’d find interesting or useful? Think again.” In fact, it would become a running joke between us all to see what sort of fake bombshells we could drop into the normal conversation what would give the listener’s the greatest case of the jibblies. But for now, our bags were all loaded into the cargo compartment of this very, very nice, I must admit, mode of conveyance. Our handlers: ‘Yuk’, ‘No’, ‘Man’, and ‘Kong’, are all seated upfront and please with their latest tally of bodies. We have a couple of shady fellow travelers with the knock-off Ray-Bans and shiny gray suits that just appeared out of the woodwork in the back, seated by the loo, watching over all of us, and we’re going on a fucking city tour, whether we like it or not. We’re all present and accounted for. Let’s keep our camera in our bags for the time being as the drinking and smoking lights had just been lit as the bus fired up its new German-engineered and machined precision diesel engine. The bus rumbled to life and after a moment or two of checking that all dials, gauges, and indicators were where they were supposed to be; without so much as a cursory glance, we pulled out into traffic. Except there was none. Not another bus, pushbike, tap-tap, scooter, car, truck, hover-board, or motorcycle in sight. Nothing. Seems we were a big deal. They shut down the main drag so we wouldn’t be encumbered by such proletariat things like traffic jams or people-things cluttering the roadway, clambering for a look at the Western scientific cadre. So, away we whizzed, sans traffic and into the very belly of the beast, and onward; eventually, towards our hotel. Our handlers were very kind to point out passing scenes of interest. “Look, look! There’s the Potong River. Notice all the lovely birds, ‘eh what? See the Norwegian Blue? Beautiful plumage!” “See here, look. Here’s the Taedong River. Many forms of fish in the river. Maybe we’ll see some fishermen. If you like, we can stop, and ask them about today’s catch.” We all declined, as we were certain that the fish the ‘random fisherman’ we’d talk to was flown in fresh from elsewhere earlier in the day. Besides, we were comfortable. We had our drinks, our cigars, and we were leaving the driving to someone else. After being driven around the city and seeing all the wonderful monuments, like the faux Arch of Triumph, which looks exactly unlike its namesake Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile in Paris. The Arch of Reunification, a monument to the goal of a reunified Korea, which, by necessity, is unfinished. Then there’s the Tomb of King Tongmyŏng, where people are lining up, just dying’ to get in. Finally, we all called for our hotel, the Yanggakdo, after yet another mausoleum, the Kumsusan Memorial Palace of the Sun. Arches or tombs. Such a stunning array of monuments and places of less than moderate interest. We were interested in Mirae Scientists street (Future Scientists street). It is a street in a newly developed area in Pyongyang to house scientific institutions of the Kim Chaek University of Technology and its employees. But we were told that it was too late, there was not much there to see, we needed to express written permission to visit, and we’d be going there tomorrow or next week. We wheel into the parking lot of the Yanggakdo Hotel and are immediately unimpressed by the pseudo-Baroque concrete fiasco that appears to stand, wobbly, before us. It’s a page right out of the Soviet Construction-For-The-Masses Handbook. A cold, gray concrete edifice with multitudes of seemingly little, tiny windows. A perfect metaphor for our travels thus far; look at the expansiveness of Best Korean wonders, through this pinhole. However, we judged too soon. We were told to go inside and check-in, whilst our luggage would be de-bussed for us and handled by the expertly efficient hotel staff. The lobby was opulent, tastefully laid out in earth tones of facades of veneers of marble, granite, some garnet-mica schist, if my hand lens doesn’t lie, some Prepaleozoic anatectic migmatite, displaying intricate and intense plication, xenoliths, and graphic delineation of minerals by segregation through melting points. There was a gigantic well-appointed and well kept up aquarium, complete with snuffling sharks and nuclear-submarine sized groupers. Very handsome indeed. Impressions increasing slightly. Then we see that there’s a bloody casino on the bottom floor of the hotel, several bars interspersed throughout the hotel, and karaoke, of which I’m not terribly fond, but some of my European counterparts almost swooned at the prospect. There are a large pool and weight rooms/gymnasia, saunas and places to relax outside of one’s room, but still under the watchful eye of the thousands of ill-concealed video cameras at every turn. “Covert surveillance” may be a thing in Best Korea, but it’s a practice still leaves a lot to be desired. The Eastern Siberian Russians back before the wall fell were more covert with their obvious button audio microphones woven into the fabric covering the headboard of your Intourist bed than the Best Koreans here. Their cameras were ‘disguised’ as flower arrangements, overhead lights, and speakers inexplicably placed into things like standing ashtrays, refuse bins, and randomly placed holes in the wall. The floors were all covered with exquisite what looked to be hand-woven rugs of most vibrant crimson and gold; the usual Communistic colors. Always with some sort of floral pattern or pattern that’s supposed to be reflective of nature, as I was told. Evidently, for workers to remember what nature was as they don’t get out much with 14 to 16 hours workdays here in the Worker’s Paradise. Enough of the travelogue; we all wander up to the front desk, and each with their own passport in hand, request our reserved rooms. We supposed that we would all have rooms on different floors as the reservations were made, expired, re-made, juggled, rebooked, allowed to expire, re-jiggered, and finally formalized a scant week before we left the UK. Nope. No such luck. We were all on the 39th floor. The place boasts 47 floors, of which, the top floor is a revolving restaurant. Evidently, food tastes better when you’re rotating. However, it won’t spin unless you first buy a drink. We had that thing whirling like a NASA centrifuge after its discovery the second night. Yeah, all 12 of us are bivouacked on the 39th floor. A floor with approximately 30 rooms. I guess we could have played “Room Roulette” and see who got which room and who’s luggage. Or we could switch every day or two to drive our handlers nuts. Or, we could just take our assigned rooms, which were conveniently located one empty room apart. Meaning, no one had adjoining rooms. Why? Fuck if I know. We didn’t spend much time in our rooms, and that time was either sleeping or showering. We’d all meet at the bar, casino, restaurant, karaoke, bowling alley (all three lanes) or actual meeting rooms every once in a while when we thought we should get together and compare notes. It was the most inexplicable situation. Plus, we spent an inordinate amount of time waiting on the fucking elevators to take us to our room. These elevators, and if you think you’re going to get a batch of aging senior scientists to schlep it up 39 floor’s worth of stairs, think again; are the slowest elevators in the civilized world. And that was the consensus of scientists representing not only Europe and North America, but Russia as well. 15-25 minutes added to each journey, up or down; stopping on every floor, except 5, on the way down.. Jesus Q. Fuck, dudes. If you can’t construct a bleedin’ elevator that works better than those at the Sozvezdie Medveditsy Guest House in Lesosibirsk, Eastern Siberia; then I suggest you seriously rethink your plans for world domination and new world order. Grako and Erwin once, while waiting for the fucking elevator, figured out that we were earning some US$25 each just to wait for the lift to arrive and take us to our rooms. Every day. Sometimes several times per day. With that, we all agreed to toss our “waiting time” funds into a kitty and on our last day of captivity here, blow it all in the hotel casino. Whatever became of that would be donated to the Koreans we thought most deserving of our largesse. Would it be our handlers? How about the Korean Scientists we’d be meeting? The affable and most accommodating concierge? Or that plucky little Korean charwoman who was always on our floor and kept everything spotless, right down to our freshly laundered and pressed field clothes and newly polished field boots; done without our requesting or knowledge? Only time would tell. It could be a fortune or it could be bupkiss. Just like our expectations of the Heavenly Kingdom where we were currently sequestered. As it was, with our official protestations, they kept only photocopies of our passports as we roundly refused and threatened a full-scale karaoke battle right here in the lobby if they didn’t relinquish our passports immediately. I had broken out my nastiest cigar and was primed to offend. With that, we all had our keys and trooped over to the elevators for our first, of many, inexplicable waits. We made many uncharitable and potentially nasty remarks about the Anti-Western posters that made up some of the wall décor. Once we finally made it to our floor, we all fanned out to find our rooms. Viv found his first and was quite pleased to report to the rest of us that there was a “Welcome” basket in his room. We all hoped that we would be receiving one a well. I was in room 3914; which I considered a close call, but later only wondered as there was no 3913. Upon entering, I saw it was 1980s Hotel 6 opulent, but with an excellent over-city view. True it was late, dark, and the city was only somewhat lit up; I was looking forward to the view of the town in full daylight. The room had a ‘king’ bed; that is if the king in question was Tutankhamen, the stubby, Egyptian boy king. The bed had no mattress pad and no box spring but it was hard enough for my liking. Many of my compatriots didn’t agree and complained bitterly. They eventually received thin mattress pads for all their kvetching. There was an ancient Japanese color television, which only had 2 English language channels - Al Jazeera and the BBC, which was on a dated news loop. Watching the local channel is amusing though; the ads for ‘personal enhancements’ were hilarious, even without understanding a word of the language. There were a couple of chairs and a low table, built-in dresser drawers for our clothes, a rusty and probably unusable room safe with corroded batteries, a small table built out of the wall that would serve as my travel office, and would-you-believe, a rotary telephone; how’s that for nostalgia? There was an old-model radio built into the nightstand next to the bed. I was very surprised to find it not only received AM, FM but shortwave as well. I had brought along a pair of Bose headphones and during some rainy down days, spent many fun-filled, and I mean that sincerely, hours DXing from the comfort of my ‘enormous’ king bed. Beyond that, the room was very nondescript. Like any other of the millions of rooms in hotels around the world that unlike here, aren’t claiming a 5-star rating. I mean, it was clean, if not a little long in the tooth. But didn’t smell too terrible, even after I took care of that with my Camacho offerings. It was utilitarian, everything worked, even the water pressure, which surprisingly could strip off layers of one’s skin if you weren’t careful. The bathroom, though no Jacuzzi, had a large enough bathtub for the occasional soaking period. Western accouterments in the bathroom were also welcome additions. My knees can’t handle the traditional squat-holes any longer. There were an electric teapot and several brands of tea, but no coffee. A quick “Gee! I sure wish I had some coffee!” to the four walls and damned if 30 minutes later, a porter didn’t arrive to replenish my tea and courtesy in-room coffee… There was a small Japanese brand in-room refrigerator which I thought might house a mini-bar. Oh, no! It was actually a complimentary larder stocked with all sorts of Best Korean goodies. Multiple cans of Taedonggang beer. Several bottles of Pyongyang Soju, in various flavors ranging anywhere from 16.8 to 53 percent alcohol by volume. My fridge was skewed towards the right-hand side of the bell curve; the more heavy-duty boozy side. Evidently, my reputation had preceded me again. There was a selection of German-style wheat beers from the Taedonggang Brewery and the more familiar ales, steam beers, and lagers. There were some imported beers like Heineken, Bavaria, Pils, a couple of Japanese brands: Asahi and Kirin, and something called ‘Hello Beer’ from Singapore. There were also ‘sampler’ bottles of Apricot Pit wine, and a couple of high-alcohol fruity liquors made from constituents such as apple or pear, and mushrooms. There were also special medicinal liquors like ‘Rason’s Seal Penis Liquor’. That is going home with me unopened. There were a couple of bottles of local sake, called Chonju. Finally, there was a couple ‘samplers’ of homemade alcohol known as Makkoli. Plus there was something called ‘Corn Grotto’, which for the life of me, looks and tastes much like a very passable Kentucky Sippin’ Bourbon. I put our concierge on instant danger money the very next day. He’s yet to source me more than a fifth of the stuff so far. I found that there is a popular drink here which mirrors the Yorsch of Mother Russia. Beer and soju can be mixed to create *somaek’; a foamy, frothy, funky drink of many flavors, depending on the soju chosen. Is ethnoimbibology at thing? The science of how different cultures drink and the effects of drinking culture on different societies. If not, now I have another Ph.D. to pursue after I endow a chair at some likely Asian university. Anyways, in everyone’s room was a “welcome” basket, just chock full of Best Korean goodies. Postcards, stamps, ads for coin sets, stamp proofs and other goodies that could be purchased at the hotel. There was a field notebook, which I thought was a very nice addition, newspapers, cookies, crackers, biscuits, candies, fruit drinks, and some fresh fruit; although tamarind chewies and durian chips aren’t on my list of personal favorites. There were a couple of tour books, just chock full of staged photos. These were very nice as well, as so far, we haven’t had much time for shopping outside of government stores or smaller family-run shops in town or out in the boonies. A few of us were hungry and decided to see what the hotel had to offer room service-wise. Bupkiss. But, they did have a selection of restaurants. There is a Chinese restaurant, a European restaurant, and a Korean restaurant on site but they all serve the same food...a Best Korean attempt at western food. And it was weird being the only ones in the restaurant even though it was fully staffed. We grazed lightly and decided to do some late-night perambulations around our hotel. Our handlers admonished us to stay within the confines of the hotel, or see them if it was absolutely necessary to go walkabout. In the hotel, we were on our own. We found that there were tunnels in the hotel’s basement. The basement tunnels were a real bonus. There’s a bar with pool tables, a karaoke room, bowling, and a massage parlor, where I was beaten and pummeled into submission by tiny, diminutive, little Korean lassies fully 1/5th my size. It was wonderful. There was a hairdresser’s, who were completely befuddled by my shoulder-length silver-gray locks and full gray Grizzly Adams beard. They did provide a lovely shampoo/cranial massage though for the equivalent of US$2. There were a couple of shops selling Chinese goods rather than local stuff, which was sort of disappointing, a cold noodle bar, and another casino. No shops selling Korean Communist propaganda posters, as I wanted to augment my Soviet-era collection. Perhaps I’ll find something in-country later on. We were shocked to find that the casino had WiFi that was uncensored and we were able to access; after a fee of liquor miniatures and a cigar or two. We were supposed to have access to the global internet, not local intranet, from the universities that we would be visiting. However, all of that was under the heavily squinting eyes of handlers and guys in shiny suits wearing fake Ray-Bans. I still had my secret satellite internet lash-up available, but that was iffy, a pain in the ass to set up, and ridiculously expensive. However, it did work on the 39th floor and the times I used it instead of wandering down to the tunnels, no one appeared to be the wiser. Thus far. So typically, we’d just head to the basement casino with our laptops, iPads, and phones. Bam! Robert’s your Sister’s Husband, we could connect more-or-less free with the outside world; hence how you are reading this now. Herro! “Yes, I’d sure like another beer. This time a porter, if you please.” The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain. Or the more they put into locks, the easier they are to pick. Besides, we were told we’d have access to unfettered and free internet. OK, so we just found it for ourselves. Whaddya expect? We’re scientists, motherfucker, back off. Ahem. Back to reality. The breakfast buffet the next morning had a wide choice of Asian and Western food, although the choices seemed to be the same every day. The main event was to beat the Chinese tourists to the egg station every morning. Breakfast always included fried eggs, a limited selection of pork, kippered fish, potatoes, rice, fruit, and a very Titanium-dioxide-white white bread After a while, I took to going to the small market behind the lobby, buying some imported Chinese or Japanese nibbly bits and heading to the tunnels for a few breakfast beers before the long hard day’s work. It took almost a week, but I gained the trust of some of the workers in the tunnels and they showed me the on-site microbrewery at the hotel. It produced very passable, and very, very cheap beers of several varieties. Liquid bread. Beer. Is there nothing it can’t do? After breakfast our first day at the hotel, we were told to meet in the Conference Room “Il-sung” as we were going to have a ‘Welcome foreign imperialist scientists’ introduction and indoctrination. Besides our handlers and the shiny-suit squad, there were several Korean folks we didn’t recognize. These were students, scientists, and scholars from the Kim Chaek University of Technology, Kim Il-sung University, the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology; all hailing from Pyongyang, and the University of Geology from North Hwanghae Province. “Oh, marvelous”, Erlen remarked, “It’s going to be a bloody Chautauqua. We’ll be here all day.” “Well”, I replied, “It could be worse. We could be on a bus headed off on another unscheduled road trip.” As we found our seats, our Korean counterparts were busily setting up portable screens, like the ones your grandfather had for showing his 2.1 Googleplex worth of travel slides every Christmas or Thanksgiving get-together. They had a couple of ancient Chinese brand laptops that could have doubled for body armor, they were so thick and heavy. While they fiddled with running cords for the overhead projectors and 16mm film projector; yes, it was going to be movie time as well, the hotel’s restaurant folks wheeled in carts laden with scones, cupcakes, and other sweet sorts of bakery. Another cart was wheeled in with pump-pots of hot water, tea, and coffee. Usual scientific meeting fare. There was one final cart that made the day bearable. It held a pony keg of hotel micro-brewed beer on ice, with several dozen frosty mugs available for all who wanted to partake. There were instantly 12 mugs that were spoken for. I grabbed a cold beer and wandered around the conference room, sipping beer, chewing on an unlit cigar, and just trying to be pleasant to our hosts and their scientific guests. I was surprised when one North Korean professor, who spoke amazingly British-tinged English, offered me a light for my cigar. “Is smoking allowed here?” I asked. “Allowed?” he laughed heartily, “My good man, it’s practically a prerequisite.” “Here then”, I said, offering him a nice, unctuous Camacho, “Try one of mine.” Dr. P'ung Kwang-Seon of the North Korean University of Geology became my instant and lifelong friend at that moment. We had a very nice chat, much to the chagrin of the gray suit cadre, who could hear what we were talking about, but probably didn’t understand anything beyond every 8th word. After a while, we were asked to take our seats, after refreshing our drinks, and introduced to the group of Korean geoscientists we’d be interacting with during our stay here in Best Korea. I tried to record every name, but between the students, other scholars, and professors from the various universities, I decided I’d ask for a list of participants once the day had worn on. After all, they had all our names, references, and resumes if the thick folio they kept referring to was any indication. There were a couple of hours of introductions, as every one of the Korean geoscientists there introduced themselves, mostly through translators, told of their personal area of specialty, and their latest work. Most were what would be considered geoscientists, but oddly enough, not one that you would consider a petroleum geoscientist, however tangentially. There were geomorphologists, structural geologists, petrologists, mineralogists, marine geologists, engineering geologists, and seismologists. However, there were no stratigraphers, sedimentologists, paleontologists, or geochemists. We were all geoscientists, but apart from the obvious Korean:English disparity, it was as if we spoke different scientific languages as well. That would be our first hurdle to overcome. They had no oil industry here; none whatsoever, therefore why one would bother with the geosciences that fed directly into petroleum? That, in and of itself, would make it difficult to explore for oil in the country. Couple that with the fact that they’re so insular, think their version of ‘science’ is the best, at least that’s the official line, and think all other’s ‘science’ is capitalistic, substandard, and inferior doesn’t bode well for your country discovering anything either oily or gassy. We were having another conclave around the beer keg, ack, err…a ‘coffee break’ and I mentioned this fact to my scientific colleagues. “Guys”, I need input here, “We’re going to get precisely nowhere if they won’t even acknowledge that they have major problems from the start.” Ivan replies, “Very true. I’ve seen this before back home. You get a group so entrenched in their own little corner of science, they can’t even accept or acknowledge that others exist. Not only exist but actually know more about a certain problem than do you.” Dax joins the fray, “Sure, that’s very true, but who’s going to tell them this unfortunate fact? They could take that as a personal, national, and global insult. Imagine you’re at an international conference and a bunch of foreigners walk in just to tell you you’ve been doing it all wrong for the last 75 years.” I add, “Remember, though. These characters are scientists as well. I think it’ll be a good measure of seeing what sort of science and scientist we’re dealing with here. If they are truly researchers, they’ll listen to and evaluate what we say as for veracity and accuracy. If they’re just a bunch of Commie goons; no offense, Comrade Academician Ivan, they’ll get all pissed off, kick us out, and we get to go home and enjoy our triple Force Majeure pay.” Ivan walks over and deliberately steps on the toes of my newly polished field boots. “In Soviet Russia, field boots walk on YOU.” He laughs in his heavily inflected, and scary, Soviet-era speech… “Yes, I agree”, Joon adds, “But who is going to address this issue with our hosts? Perhaps one of our Russian comrades, as they are, or were, more politically aligned with our Korean friends and perhaps best understand the issue?” Ack speaks up, grinning maniacally, “No, I disagree. We should have the one person here who so encapsulates the ideologies and political leanings that they love to hate here so much. You know; the quiet, diminutive, and soft-spoken North American…” Dax recoils, “Oh, no! I’m not going out in front of this mob of ornery Orientals…” I smile wanly and tell Dax to cool out. “Relax, Dax. They’re talking about me.” “Oh, yes”, a collective group of voices replies, “Yes. Let out fearless Team Leader break the bad news to our Eastern Colleagues. That way we can gauge their reactions to being bounced around scientifically by a member of the Evil Capitalist Cartel.” “OK”, I reply, “I’ll do it. But be forewarned, my fine feathered fiends. I get stuck on a topic that’s not precisely my bailiwick, I’m going to throw your ass to the wolves. Remember, we’re all in this together.” Whoops, and catcalls were reduced to mumbles and ‘Aw, fucks.’. Chautauqua resumption was called and I asked for the floor. It was a bit off the agenda, but since they’ve been chewing the air for the last several hours, they understood it would be appropriate for us to at least try and get a word in edgewise. I downed my beer, and grabbed a fresh one as what I was going to say was going to be harsh, cut-and-dried, and rather pointed. But delivered in a pleasant manner. I hoped. This all had to be filtered through a series of translators, one for general conversational Korean and another for the more technical and scientific transliterations. I realized I was going to be up here for a while. So, I brought a cigar. One way or another, I was going to deliver our pronouncements and hell, I may as well be comfortable while doing it. . “Greetings and felicitations, my Eastern Colleagues. Let me first say how nice it is to be here in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea as part of the ….” I’m going to fast-forward through all the flowery bullshit and introductory happiness; I’ll going to just cut to the guts of the matter. “…Now, you do know why there has been virtually no oil, gas nor any other hydrocarbon related deposit discovered here in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea?” I asked by way of a rhetorical question. I sipped my beer and lit my cigar. In for a chon, in for a won. I let the buzzing subside on the side of our eastern counterparts. “Because, and please do not take this as insulting or derogatory, but as a statement of irrefutable fact, no one with the proper training nor experience has been looking. You’re historically guilty of applying the science incorrectly and letting dogma and politics guide your search, instead of the scientific method and the facts. Geology, like all natural science, is just as truth based on the facts for a capitalist as it is for a communist. Reality is not influenced by your beliefs, be they scientific or political, secular or spiritual, ‘trusted’ rather than ‘thought’; any more than by your wish that it wouldn’t rain today during a raging thunderstorm.” Little Boy over Hiroshima was dropped with less effect. Our Democratic People's Republic of Korea colleagues erupted into a chaotic mixture of stuttering, internecine yelling, accusations, and sputtering. Calling for decorum, I figured that since I was this far gone, I may as well push the plunger all the way to the bottom. “Gentlemen, I do not denigrate the science of geology as taught and practiced here in Best Korea.” I actually said that, sort of a slip of the tongue. Continuing, “However, one would not fish for Bluefin tuna from a rowboat in a pond with a fly rod. One does not hunt bear in the city with a slingshot. Just as one doesn’t search for oil and gas with mining engineers, geomorphologists, and seismologists.” I let that sink in and after the translation, they calmed a bit and wanted to hear the rest of what I had to say. I could sense a couple was less than thrilled with what I had to say, but forging onward… “One fishes for Bluefin tuna in the deep ocean with huge rods, reels and a specialist boat captained by someone with deep experience in hunting the elusive fish. One hunts bear in the proper environment, the taiga or forest, with the proper tools and guided by one with the education, learnedness, and experience to know how to make the hunt come out successful.” Hit them with some analogies they can relate to and digest. Now, go for the carotid. “Just like one does not hunt oil and gas without stratigraphers, sedimentologists, geophysicists, petrophysicists, and other oil and gas experts who have the education, experience, and knowledge to know where to look. Knowing which environment looks most conductive to hide your quarry, if you’ll pardon the pun, and how best to find them, the guys who know how to corral and de-risk them once you find them, and the engineers and technologists who know how to bring them to the surface so they can be utilized.” They had stopped being irritated and were listening in rapt attention. “My colleagues and I have spent the last few days going over, in detail the geology of your country. There is nothing we can see that would preclude the development, entrapment, and preservation of economic quantities of oil and gas. Ture, the geology is quite complex as is the structural history of the entire peninsula. That’s one other thing you will have to accept. Geology doesn’t give the tiniest shit about political boundaries. One must look at the big picture, and that doesn’t stop at some man-made borders. Ignore that fact at your peril, because if you continue to view the geology here as not existing across political boundaries, you are preadapting yourself for failure.” Drs. Ivan, Volna, and Morse make certain that everyone sees the ex-Soviets agreeing with the bushy-bearded, cigar-chomping American capitalist. “So,” I said, hoping to bring this little spit-balling session to a fortuitous close, “If we can have an agreement; scientific agreement, on these points, then I am certain we can find a way forward with not only this discussion but the program we can devise for the best Korean (notice phase shift?) geologists to take the project forward both scientifically soundly and economically successful.” My North Korean counterpart gets up from his seat in the conference room, goes to the keg, taps a couple of beers and walks up to the podium where I was standing. “Thank you, Dr. Rocknocker, for saying what needed to be said”, he spoke in perfect English as he handed me a beer. I grinned and gratefully accepted the beer. “Why, Dr. Chang Kwang-Su”, I said, as that was his name, “You old fraud. You do speak English; and very well, I must add.” “Yes, almost all of us do”, he relayed, “But, as you said, we are most reserved. We were more or less under orders of the ‘most illustrious’, to play coy, and act as if we spoke no English.” “I see.” I said, “I’ve worked in several FSU countries as well as Russia and saw that there as well. I guess old habits die hard.” “That they do, Doctor.”, he replied, “But, we must now tell you the truth. We knew exactly what you said is true, and we agree. We are not as totally insulated from the outside world as some suspect.” “Well, I was going on what your superiors related to us. Like the police that had all their toilets stolen, I had nothing else to go on.” I replied. “Ah, ha! Quite!”, he chuckled, “We had long suspected that we were lacking in certain areas of scholarship. What you said cements that fact as it was an independent conclusion. We can now present that to our superiors with the caveat that unless we bolster work and training in these areas, the hunt of hydrocarbon resources here will be for naught.” “I am relieved”, I said, truthfully. “I was slightly concerned that some might take umbrage to being told their science is not up to specifications. I tried to be the bearer of that bad news but deliver it gently. Here, I find you need that to use that as a truncheon to smack one’s boss upside the head and tell him that an upgrade is required. And fast.” “Ah, so”, he replies, “We are in total agreement. Now that is out of the way, we would appreciate it if you’d help in designing a course of study for up and coming local geoscientists. Then, we can go forward with a great plan to search for oil and gas here in…Korea. Correct?” “Absolutely”, I remarked, “You’ve got over 400 man-years of science and exploration expertise here in this room alone. Let’s shoot for the moon, so to speak. Let’s get you up to speed on scientific journals and articles that are available out there in all of academia and industry. Let’s get you communicating on a global basis. Let’s prove that you can talk science with global scientists and still not have it affect your political or nationalistic aspirations one little bit. Let’s see if we can drag you, figuratively speaking, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century.” “Doctor”, Dr. Chang remarked, “You are the embodiment of what we were always told what Americans are. Brash, loud, confident, and evil. Except for evil, you are American as we were led to believe.” “Hey, I take that as a compliment”, I exclaim. “You think that’s bad, I’ve got a bunch of earnest Europeans, raucous Russians, and a couple of cagey Canadians on my side as well. Before we’re finished here, we’ll have you ordering hachee, dining on Caldo Verde, snacking on salmiakki, drinking Russkaya vodka with Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, eating poutine, and rooting for the Packers.” “Doctor, I don’t know what half of that means, but I hope it comes to pass. It sounds most fascinating.” Dr. Chang chuckles. The rest of the day was spent with various groups crystallizing and breaking off from the main crowd; then reforming as different groups. This was good, as it showed an interest across not only national borders but across ideologies and scientific specialties. Most everyone here spoke English with some degree of fluency, so the translators were called in only occasionally. I made certain they were included in everything that transpired that day. I want everyone to feel ‘part of the team’. How better to show the classlessness of Western science to include everyone in on both sides of every discussion and activity? To be continued…
Many people who have played mafia 3 remember the ending: Lincoln throwing Sal out the window like the fucking badass he is his chat with Leo Galante, and him coming back to the church, But after that, it gets blurred. There are a couple of possibilities. Lincoln can kill his lieutenants and rule alone, after which >! Father James puts a bomb under his car!< or he can rule together with them. Or, if you want, you can leave town, and leave your most powerful lieutenant in charge. 5 different endings, but no one is sure which. Let's talk about the endings, and break them down so we can find the real one. In the "Cassandra" ending, Rival mob bosses go after her, she kills them all, the governor sends in the national guard and is shot on the steps of the town hall. Then the government pulls out funding in an attempt to bring her out, but a hurricane happens before then, and whoever isn't killed leaves the city. Some theorize she died in the hurricane but the cutscene at the end shows she's still alive, but she lives alone in an old mansion in the Bayou. Basically, New Bordeaux becomes a ghost town like Detroit In the scenes with Father James, he is seen speaking from inside his church, and there is another cutscene where he shows where Sammy's was, before it got torn down. You can see many cars in the background, and many people walking the streets. These wouldn't be here if New Bordeaux was the shell it was today, and the buildings aren't destroyed. So the "Cassandra" ending is not canon. In the "Burke" ending, Burke floods the city with drugs, gets killed during a war with the Haitians, and turns New Bordeaux into a total fucking shitshow with crime all around, kinda like Chicago Again, like I said before, many people out, many cars, Father James lives in New Bordeaux, etc. There would probably be less people out, and Father James would have moved away if New Bordeaux turned out as bad as they described it. He also talks about "New Bordeaux," when Burke bought himself a seat on the City Council to legally change it's name to Bourbon City." So we know that "New Bordeaux" is still called New Bordeaux, therefore Burke's ending is not canon. In the "Rule together" ending, Lincoln's mafia group expands across the southern US, he rebuilds the Hollow, buys up Frisco Fields, and opens a new theme park where Baron Saturday's used to be. If Lincoln Clay had that far of a reach, he would have found out John Maguire was doing a documentary about his war against the Marcano's and had him killed. Even if he didn't, 4 people running the same city just...."lived happily ever after?" well it might be 3, since >! in the Burke ending they said he had a bad liver and was supposed to live 6 months, so he would have probably died soon after.!< One of them would turn sooner or later...most likely Cassandra since she is one crazy motherfucker. Also for me, it seemed like Lincoln never really wanted to run the city, it was just about getting revenge. I know he said he had to, otherwise someone worse would come into power, but he could just give power to one of his lieutenants. Besides, Father James said he and Lincoln would be finished if he took over, and based on the Father James interviews, he talks about Lincoln in a good light. If he and Lincoln were "Finished" he would resent Lincoln and say bad things about him in the documentary. Lincoln also was said to have bought up Sammy's and turned it into a fancy bar, but as I said before, Father James in the present says that Sammy's was torn down. So the "Rule together" ending is not Canon In the "Rule alone" ending, Lincoln kills his Lieutenants, but is killed shortly after when Father James puts a bomb under his car He said he had to do it after Lincoln killed them, he knew he was no better than Sal Marcano. But Lincoln spent about a minute or so inside, before he came out. There's no way Father James could have rigged a car bomb that fast, and in the 60's no less. He didn't follow Lincoln, because his car was not outside when you leave. It could give the game the whole "Documentary" feeling, but as I said above, it wasn't really Lincoln's intention to run the city, let alone run it without the help of his Lieutenants. I also said above that Father James talked about him in a good way, but at the end Father James says he doesn't regret killing Lincoln. Lincoln never cared about wealth and power, he was also loyal to those who helped him. So the "Rule alone" ending is not canon The ending I believe is canon is the "Vito" ending, where Vito takes over, finishes the casino, and builds more casinos, arenas, hotels, and a new convention center, making it the "Vegas of the South" It's also the best ending there is. Sure, Lincoln is on the run, but he still has Father James' respect, Vito made it to the top and got the ending he deserved after 23 years of bad things happening to him. Plus, he turned New Bordeaux into a great place. Lincoln leaving the city is a bittersweet ending, kinda like the rest of the endings in the Mafia franchise. Plus, as you've seen, Vito is the only competent one of this pair, and was the only one here who was actually part of a "Mafia" group, so it makes more sense that Lincoln would choose him. This is why I think the "Vito" ending is the canon ending.
Should I tell my husband I was raped? And is my relationship with my mom over?
I was raped 5 years ago by a trusted "family member" and I just found out in mid-March. If I wasn't living this nightmare myself, then I couldn't even believe this is a true story. This is no tall tale and I am in desperate need of some input because I can not confide in ANYONE. The subject is too sensitive. Three months ago my mom's fiancee revealed to me that we had sex one night. I was beyond shocked and in denial because I remember the night so well. I had 2 vodka sodas at a restaurant while the three of us talked for hours (including my mom). Then walking back to the hotel we grabbed one of those tall frozen drinks on Bourbon Street. My mom and I shared it, but my mom drank most of it because by the time we were back to the room she was pretty wasted. Her and this man (lets call him Sean) were looking out the window and friendly-shouting at people passing down below. One thing to note-Is that this guy is quite large and a heavy drinker. He was not inebriated. I was tired and changed into pajamas, laid down, and went to bed. I wasn't sound asleep because they were making so much noise and I vaguely remember my mom being asleep on the coach in the living room. Sean had a separate room in the same hotel/condominium, but he wasn't even supposed to be there. He invited me to use his condo because he couldn't go and the reservation would go to waste. Then he told me at the last minute that his plans had changed and he was able to book an extra room. That was a red flag, but we ignored it because we recently reconnected with him after my mom dated him 50+ years ago when they were in high school. To make things even weirder he was the copy/printer guy at my office, which is how they reconnected. He invited me to use his condo in New Orleans and my mom was a "bonus." I figured he liked her and this was a way of becoming more friendly with us/her. That night I remember joking with my mom that I couldn't tell if he was after her or me. I figured he was harmless and just looking for attention. The next morning when I woke up I was surprised to not find my mom in the room. I remembered her being asleep on the couch. Several hours later (probably closer to lunch time) she came happily skipping into the room with Sean. They were going to eat and asked me to go. I'm not sure what it was but I had the most awful feeling like my mom had been taken advantage of because she was beyond inebriated. I wasn't. I remember all the details...but unfortunately not whatever happened after I went to sleep. Obviously, my moms a grown woman and I wasn't about to tell her anything. The rest of the trip was a blur. I spent 3 or 4 days in bed and only left the room twice after the first night for maybe an hour each time. Once (maybe day 3) to get beignets with my mom and Sean in the morning and spend time in the town square. And another to eat with my mom alone while Sean was at the casino. I knew I always had a negative feeling towards Sean but I always thought that it was because he basically date raped my mom. I never told her that because she seemed to enjoy his companionship and I didn't want to give her anymore grief. She had been through too much already. The next four years, my mom and Sean dated on and off. Broke up many times and had explosive fights. I wasn't much of a fan but I was nice enough. This past November they were traveling and she was going to fly home alone because the fighting had gotten so bad. In order to keep her from leaving he asked her to marry him. My mom seemed very happy for a short time. They returned and he bought a ring a few weeks later. As months went by my mom started to grow impatient because he had no plans to actually get married or even move in together. January to mid-March were pretty bumpy in their relationship. I invited my mom and him to my house to use our pool because the gyms had closed down and that is what they did for exercise. They got in a fight, and my mom proceeded to get out of the pool and later I found out that she walked home. It was during this time that Sean and I were alone. He was trying to convey to me how trustworthy he is (as if I would ever take his side in any argument that my mom and him had). He then went on to tell me "yea, I've never told a soul what happened in New Orleans." I pressed him for a while because I truly didn't know what he was talking about. He had brought up what "I did" in New Orleans many times before (at least a dozen) over the past 4 years and I would always respond "Really, Sean I'm so sure yea I was flirting with the guy on the street that I bummed a cigarette from." Thinking, really...guilty...you caught me...just another excuse for him as to why all women are not to be trusted. I honestly thought it was a joke because I didn't even flirt with anyone. I've been happily married for years and in a monogamous relationship with my husband for over 15 years. He then blurted out "We had sex." I was adamant he was lying. I couldn't conceive of it. I told him what I've already described here how I remember every detail of that night including putting on my pajamas and going to sleep. He spoke some more gibberish trying to justify what happened and act as if we shared this sordid "secret" from my mom and husband all these years. This conversation was at least 10 minutes and as it began to hit me that it was true (even though I wouldn't acknowledge that to him) I became so disgusted with this 72 year old creep. At this time it was about 9pm. I went straight to my moms house and let it all out. My mom and I are very close. We are almost like best friends than anything. My instinct was to not tell her in order to protect her, but I just couldn't. For over 3 months Sean has been RELENTLESS in trying to prove his "innocence." He's delivered flower and mailed letters, etc... He paid to have a lie detector test done and sent it FedEx to both my mom and my husband (even though I haven't told my husband because of my moms pleas). Luckily, my husband just glanced at it and saw it was from Sean--and handed it to me. He even stalked my house waiting for someone to come out so he could hand my son's birthday present to someone. I had to help my son blow out his candles right after I discovered that with my face looking white as a ghost and everyone wondering what happened as I assured everyone I was fine--just maybe a bit "dehydrated." After that incident I threatened to put a restraining order on him because I can't handle the uncontrollable panicked reaction what happens just at the mention of his name much less having to see him. I can't even imagine what true PTSD is like and I know this may be minor compared to others experiences but I have no other way to describe what I am going through. If I didn't have a young child I'm not sure that I could even make it through all of this. Sean is adamant that he didn't even tell me that at all much less did it really happen. The problem is almost immediately after he told me I began having flashbacks of him laying next to me naked and grinning. I see it almost like through a pin hole or like it was a dream. I convinced it really did happen. Why else was I so surprised to not see my mom on the couch the next morning? And even more bewildering why would my mom have even been on the couch--my mom and I have never had a problem sharing a bed. To make matters worse, my mom has been lying to me about wanting to self-isolate since we are having a spike in Covid-19 cases so that she can carry on a relationship with this monster. As far as I'm concerned she's choosing to believe my rapist over her own daughter. I never want to see him again, so that means the relationship my mom and I once had is over as long as she chooses to be with him. I want my mom to be happy and I feel so badly for her because I know this has been so hard on her, but this guy is manipulating her and lying about the fact he fucked her daughter. I say its a fact now because I am convinced it happened. Why on earth would this guy tell me this? And why would I have had all those creepy feelings and desire to isolate in New Orleans during that trip 4 years ago (even though I couldn't pinpoint what had happened)? And why would I now be having vivid flashbacks? Plus, its almost like my mom now is trying to cover for him because the latest thing she is telling me is that she remembers every single thing that happened that night and they were together the whole time. I know thats complete bullshit because I remember how inebriated she was and passed out on the couch. Can someone please give me some advise? I am heart broken over the "loss" of relationship with my mom. It's only been a week and I feel like she died. Her stance now is that I can't tell her who to love. This is not what this is (I've never mettled in any of her relationships). I am also so torn about whether or not to tell my husband. He will be upset, but I hate to put anyone else through the turmoil that I have been through over this incident.
Many people who have played mafia 3 remember the ending: Lincoln throwing Sal out the window like the fucking badass he is his chat with Leo Galante, and him coming back to the church, But after that, it gets blurred. There are a couple of possibilities. Lincoln can kill his lieutenants and rule alone, after which >! Father James puts a bomb under his car!< or he can rule together with them. Or, if you want, you can leave town, and leave your most powerful lieutenant in charge. 5 different endings, but no one is sure which. Let's talk about the endings, and break them down so we can find the real one. In the "Cassandra" ending, Rival mob bosses go after her, she kills them all, the governor sends in the national guard and is shot on the steps of the town hall. Then the government pulls out funding in an attempt to bring her out, but a hurricane happens before then, and whoever isn't killed leaves the city. Some theorize she died in the hurricane but the cutscene at the end shows she's still alive, but she lives alone in an old mansion in the Bayou. Basically, New Bordeaux becomes a ghost town like Detroit In the scenes with Father James, he is seen speaking from inside his church, and there is another cutscene where he shows where Sammy's was, before it got torn down. You can see many cars in the background, and many people walking the streets. These wouldn't be here if New Bordeaux was the shell it was today, and the buildings aren't destroyed. So the "Cassandra" ending is not canon. In the "Burke" ending, Burke floods the city with drugs, gets killed during a war with the Haitians, and turns New Bordeaux into a total fucking shitshow with crime all around, kinda like Chicago Again, like I said before, many people out, many cars, Father James lives in New Bordeaux, etc. There would probably be less people out, and Father James would have moved away if New Bordeaux turned out as bad as they described it. He also talks about "New Bordeaux," when Burke bought himself a seat on the City Council to legally change it's name to Bourbon City. So we know that "New Bordeaux" is still called New Bordeaux, therefore Burke's ending is not canon. In the "Rule together" ending, Lincoln's mafia group expands across the southern US, he rebuilds the Hollow, buys up Frisco Fields, and opens a new theme park where Baron Saturday's used to be. If Lincoln Clay had that far of a reach, he would have found out John Maguire was doing a documentary about his war against the Marcano's and had him killed. Even if he didn't, 4 people running the same city just...."lived happily ever after?" well it might be 3, since >! in the Burke ending they said he had a bad liver and was supposed to live 6 months, so he would have probably died soon after.!< One of them would turn sooner or later...most likely Cassandra since she is one crazy motherfucker. Also for me, it seemed like Lincoln never really wanted to run the city, it was just about getting revenge. I know he said he had to, otherwise someone worse would come into power, but he could just give power to one of his lieutenants. Besides, Father James said he and Lincoln would be finished if he took over, and based on the Father James interviews, he talks about Lincoln in a good light. If he and Lincoln were "Finished" he would resent Lincoln and say bad things about him in the documentary. Lincoln also was said to have bought up Sammy's and turned it into a fancy bar, but as I said before, Father James in the present says that Sammy's was torn down. So the "Rule together" ending is not Canon In the "Rule alone" ending, Lincoln kills his Lieutenants, but is killed shortly after when Father James puts a bomb under his car He said he had to do it after Lincoln killed them, he knew he was no better than Sal Marcano. But Lincoln spent about a minute or so inside, before he came out. There's no way Father James could have rigged a car bomb that fast, and in the 60's no less. He didn't follow Lincoln, because his car was not outside when you leave. It could give the game the whole "Documentary" feeling, but as I said above, it wasn't really Lincoln's intention to run the city, let alone run it without the help of his Lieutenants. I also said above that Father James talked about him in a good way, but at the end Father James says he doesn't regret killing Lincoln. Lincoln never cared about wealth and power, he was also loyal to those who helped him. So the "Rule alone" ending is not canon The ending I believe is canon is the "Vito" ending, where Vito takes over, finishes the casino, and builds more casinos, arenas, hotels, and a new convention center, making it the "Vegas of the South" It's also the best ending there is. Sure, Lincoln is on the run, but he still has Father James' respect, Vito made it to the top and got the ending he deserved after 23 years of bad things happening to him. Plus, he turned New Bordeaux into a great place. Lincoln leaving the city is a bittersweet ending, kinda like the rest of the endings in the Mafia franchise. Plus, as you've seen, Vito is the only competent one of this pair, and was the only one here who was actually part of a "Mafia" group, so it makes more sense that Lincoln would choose him. This is why I think the "Vito" ending is the canon ending.
Truck Drivers have some of the Best Stories: Drive Like a Girl [part 1]
I'm going to apologize in advance for the length of this post as there's no short way to tell it without splitting it in two. My name is Ripley and your OP has graciously allowed me to tell my story. Again, I'm so, so sorry. Love at first sight, most folks think it’s a myth, more likely its Lust at first sight and the feelings grow from prolonged familiarity with the object of your infatuation. Truth be told, this is probably how most relationships begin. This relationship was no exception. I was driving for a nationwide company that had me on a regional haul, up and down the Mississippi corridor was my territory, I usually hauled things that wouldn’t be allowed on the river itself, Hazmat, things like that. My name is Ripley, Yes, my parents were huge Ridley Scott fans back in the day and I am indeed named after Sigourney Weaver’s character in the Alien film series. Not a bad role model to have growing up as a painfully shy brunette who barely sprouted tits at age 17, in rural Wisconsin. Most of the girls I was surrounded by had the bodies of full grown women by the time they were 14. It was embarrassing as fuck, especially when the boys you choose to have crushes on decide to join in the torment by saying that Ripley isn’t just your name, it’s your figure, like a warped board, thin, flat and Ripley, that was me. The only difference between me and a board was that I was in no danger of getting nailed anytime soon. That was fine with me after a certain point. I realized I was more attracted to girls by the time I hit 14, the boys were my parents idea and I humored my mom when she’d point out a “cute guy” and I would look along with her, but my eyes were usually drawn to the girl on his arm. The toughest times were changing for gym and feeling the strange stirrings in my nether regions and the butterflies in my stomach when another girl would stand there, completely confident in her nakedness, rambling on as if we were girlfriends hanging out in the food court at the mall, talking about boys. I found it difficult not to stare at their breasts while they spoke and would usually avert my eyes, focused on something really interesting in my locker. I was so ashamed of my body that I was made fun of for wearing a bathing suit in the shower. I tried not to shower with the other girls because even though they mistook my arousal for being cold, it was still humiliating, “Ladies! Come see the tit-less wonder as she tries to mimic the teacher’s stapler and stick herself to the wall with her nipples!” “Watch as she cuts glass with her moundless nubbins!” God, teenage girls are rotten cunts. I wanted to go to college but my folks just couldn’t afford it. Financial aid would have put me in debt up to my eyeballs, so I did what I could, I joined the Marines. I was a BAM through and through, I sprouted muscles instead of tits. I got hit on by more guys in the Corps than you’d believe. Either I really looked good to them or those guys were fucking desperate. Either way, I tried dating guys, even had sex with one or two. I wasn’t impressed and I’ve come to the conclusion that dicks are gross. I tried Mom… I really did, sorry, no grandkids from me. I served my 4 years and got out. I thought about going to college right then but I decided to see the country a bit. All the deployments in the Corps filled me with a bit of wanderlust. So I started this job, driving. So here we are, back in the present, so to speak. I’d been driving for a few years when I landed this gig. I love the Mississippi River Valley. All the way from the Delta in NOLA to the navigable headwaters all the way up in Minnesota. There’s so many different kinds of people and cultures and they just become a blur of beautiful humanity, Norwegians and Dutch in the north to the Cajun, French and every other culture that has made a home in that region. For the most part, the people of this region are very friendly and accommodating, and, in particular, the women of the delta, my gawd, girls in New Orleans are very, very liberal and friendly. Life is hard enough as a female truck driver without your male counterparts giving you shit for being a “Muff-Munching-Bull-Dyke”. First of all, I’m far from a bull-dyke. I’m about as girly as lesbians come, the only things that meet their description are my occupation and that I love women as much as they do. Secondly, I’m more into receiving oral than giving, so I don’t do too much munching. That being said, I will make exceptions for the right woman. I think I found her. I was having lunch at the Huddle House in the Palace Truck Stop & Casino, right there off Old Gentilly Rd. in New Orleans. I stop there every time I’m in NOLA because their hash browns are phe-nom-nom-nom-enal. I was sitting at the counter looking at the menu, just for shits and giggles, I know what I’m ordering before I even walk in the place so looking at the menu is just a formality. I heard a voice from behind my menu, a new voice, almost intoxicating from the start. “Coffee Darlin?” I slowly lowered the menu, and before my eye was one of the most beautiful creatures the creator put on this earth. Now, I know that if you saw her, she might be a little bit plain Jane for this description to fit. For me however, she was perfection. Strawberry-blonde pixie-cut, green eyes the color of an old Mt. Dew bottle, cute button of a nose and the bowed lips, smiling right at me. “Coffee, yes… coffee and a glass of water, please.” Even with the amount of life I had under my belt, I was terribly awkward around pretty girls, still. “Hi, I’m Barrett” she held out her delicate hand, which I gladly took, “Hi… I-I’m R-Ripley…”. GODDAMMIT, why did I have to stutter like an idiot NOW? She stared at me with an astonished look. “Shut the front door, Ripley? Like… Ellen Ripley?” I hung my head a little bit. “Yeah, my folks are huge Sci-fi/Horror fans. Say, what kind on name is Barrett, for a girl anyway?” She giggled then and it was a sound like the wind chimes in the gentlest summer breeze. “Looks like our folks were both fans of Ms. Weaver, My parents named me after Dana Barrett, her character in Ghostbusters.” By this time, my heart was hammering so hard in my chest that it was hard to hear her. “That’s weird and crazy.” She seemed to catch herself then, “Oh my, Ripley, let me get your coffee and water, you know what you want, or do you need a minute?” I gave her my order and let her get about her job, I didn’t want to get her in trouble. I tried not to watch her the whole time, but she made it difficult. She looked to be about five-three, and I guessed about a hundred and twenty pounds. Next to my five-nine and one hundred and fifty pounds, she was so tiny, and adorable, and… snap out of it Ripley, jesus. The owner walked in then, “Rip! How’s it hangin girlfriend?” Internally, I sighed exasperatedly. “Hey Will, how goes it?” “Dandy! Haulin the daaaaangerous stuff?” Will was a goofy fucker, but a likable guy for the most part. Probably the most closeted queen I’ve ever met. He proclaimed his straightness with a fervor usually reserved for suicide bombers, but I’m fairly certain he was the only one who didn’t know exactly how gay he was. “Have you met the new girl, Barrett? Barrett! Honey, get over here sweet cheeks!” I turned my head in her direction and expected her to look mortified, she was smiling and practically skipping my direction. “Yes sir, what can I do for ya boss-man?” A more chipper ray of sunshine there wasn’t. “Barrett, darlin, this here, is Ms. Ripley, long time customer, salt of the earth gal and certifiable badass, lives up to her namesake, isn’t that right Marine?” His mouth dropped open as he looked at me. He went full-on queen mode when he saw my face, “Well, Bless my stars and bars! Ripley, are you BLUSHING?” I quickly excused myself and rushed to the bathroom, I was practically hyperventilating when I sat on the bench opposite the mirrors. Jesus-fuck Ripley, get your shit together. I heard the creak of the bathroom door and quickly stood and walked to the sink, running water, I splashed myself with cold water, when I stood, Barrett was there, behind me. “Are you alright?” her eyebrows were raised in genuine concern. I cleared my throat, “y-yeah (dammit), I’m fine, Will is just a bit much for me sometimes.” She laughed, “HA! Tell me about it, try being related to him, he’s my Mom’s little brother.” That made me laugh as well, “Oh dear god , you poor thing.” I sat on the bench, “I’m sorry about that earlier, I usually don’t get that flustered, it’s just…” She sat next to me on the bench. “Look, I’m not a forward person, at all.” I was looking at my hands as she reached over and took one of them, “Ripley, I get off at 3, so in (she looked at her watch) about 2 hours. Be here.” With that, she gave me a peck on the cheek and strolled out of the bathroom. What. Just. Happened? I had two hours, I mentioned I’m a girly-girl, right? Barely enough time to get ready. I rushed to my truck, grabbed my toiletry kit, my makeup bag, thought about the humidity, stowed the makeup, thought better of it and grabbed the makeup again. I bring about 2 dresses with me on the road, not because I’m expecting a date, but because if I’m going to be somewhere for a day or two, I tend to like to feel like a woman, off the truck, scrubbed up and presentable. I went to the showers and shaved every stray hair from the armpits down, not that I was confident of getting laid or anything, hell, I didn’t even know if Barrett was being anything but friendly, but if I’m wearing a dress, it’s gotta go! I washed my hair and combed it out, its natural waviness let it drop to about the small of my back. I checked my eyebrows, they were ok. Protip: If you EVER want to freak a girl out, just occasionally glance up at her eyebrows questioningly. It’s a brutal mind-fuck that I reserve for my most reviled enemies. I grabbed my stuff and stowed my gear back in the truck. I grabbed a pair of heels but stowed a pair of flip-flops in my small backpack/purse, just in case we were going to be doing a lot of walking. I want to at least look pretty, but I don’t want to hurt my feet, (insert joke about lesbians with comfortable shoes here). I had about 20 minutes to wait for Barrett to get off, so I went to the restaurant and had a seat at the counter, the looks of other regulars who had never seen me in a dress were hilarious, they didn’t recognize me at first. Will came up to the counter and asked “What can I ge…. Holy Shit!, Rip? Ohmygawd, you’re a girl!” I laughed, “Thanks for noticing, dick.” Barrett came in from the walk-in freezer and shivered, she saw me and her mouth dropped open, she mouthed the word “Wow”, it was too much, I felt a flush creep up my spine and down my arms. “I… uh..I got the freezer restocked” she was staring at me, Will noticed how we were locked in this gaze and cleared his throat. “A-hem, I, uh… think you’re good to go Bear-bear. Give Uncle Will a hug before you go.” She did then ran off to get changed. Will turned his eyes on me. “Rip, she’s a young lady, 19, I want you to realize that and I also want you to know, I approve, but if you hurt her, I’ll cut your balls off.” He swooped in and pecked me on the cheek. “Now get out of here and stop eye-fucking each other in the restaurant, people are trying to eat.” I looked up and Barrett was waving me to the door. Outside, she motioned for me to do a turn, which I humored. “My sweet baby jesus, Ripley, you are gorgeous! I mean, I thought you were pretty in the jeans and tank-top, but damn.” I couldn’t take my eyes off her, and my chest hurt a little, probably because my heart was beating the shit out of my ribs. “Stop it, you’re going to make me faint from all the blood rushing to my face, you want me constantly blushing?” I looked at what she was wearing, capris and a t-shirt, I was ok with that. She reached in her purse and pulled out a key fob, “Hop in, we’re stopping by my place so I can change.” I hopped in her tiny Mini-Cooper, “Mom let me borrow it until I get a newer car, my Prius died last week.” As she drove the 15 minutes to her apartment just off Tulane University campus, she explained how she was a student in their pre-nursing program, “Mom has been a nurse longer than I’ve been alive and she’s always been my hero, I’ve wanted to do this since I was a little crawdad.” We had so much in common, but a lot of differences, she was a popular girl in school, but never dated boys, she said she’s known she liked girls since about 7th grade, but had never been in a serious relationship until her senior year. It ended badly when her girlfriend moved to Ohio for college and started seeing someone else. “Columbus has a large LGBT population and she just… grew into herself I guess, and outgrew me.” She sighed then, it sounded like it still bothered her, a lot. “What about you? Any relationships?” I told her no, not really. “I tried dating boys when I was in denial, it didn’t work out.” I grimaced. She laughed. “I touched one, once. That’s all it took, it was too weird. I like mine with batteries and no feelings attached, thanks.” We parked on the street a few blocks from her place and walked, she took my hand and led the way, in the building and up to the second floor room garden apartment that was her sanctum. She immediately flopped on the couch and flung her shoes into the air. “Ahhhhhhhhhhh! Oh man, that feels good!” She patted a cushion near her head and said “sit”. I did. Ever since I laid eyes on her, I’d wanted to touch her, I reached out a hand and ran my fingers through her short, strawberry-blonde hair. She let out a luxuriant groan, “Ohhhhhhhhhhmgawd, yes…. Right there.” And began shaking her leg like a dog when you scratch just the right spot, she caught me off guard and I didn’t laugh, I guffawed so hard that I snorted, we desolved into giggles like best friends at a sleepover. It was the first time I’ve ever felt this comfortable with another human being. After just sitting there for a while she sat up an announced, “Well, I’m gong to hop in the shower and get that greasy spoon off me. Then we can go somewhere. I’ll be right back. Unless you just wanna come in there and talk while I get ready.” I went in with her and watched her as she stripped off her clothes nonchalantly and hopped in the glass-doored shower. Her body was sheer perfection in my eyes, from the faint tan lines on her breasts and ass, to the little tiny heart tattoo on her left hip. I felt a bit dizzy with adoration for this girl, this woman I’d just met, it seemed crazy and I actually pinched myself, “Ow!” she jumped as I had been silent for a minute while she washed her hair. “what was that? Are you ok?” I rubbed the spot where I’d pinched myself and told her I was fine as I watched the bubbles trail down her well muscled legs. “So, what do you want to do? I’ve got 72 hours before I have to get back on the road.” “That long?” she sounded pleasantly surprised as she finished rinsing and shut off the water, “Hand me those two towels, please.” I did and we made plans for the evening. As we were leaving her apartment, I felt like I was being watched, Barrett stiffened a little as she locked her door and I looked at her questioningly. She shook her head ever so slightly and walked down the stairs at a speed that probably wasn’t best for her heels. Outside, she shuddered in the balmy night air, “The guy across the hall, gives me the heebie-jeebies, it’s like I can feel him watching me through his peep hole.” I told her I’d felt it too, she put her arm through mine and leaned on me a little as we walked to the corner where our Uber driver said he’d pick us up. It was a short ride to the French Quarter and our waiting reservation at Galatoir’s, but it was a good idea to catch a ride as the weekend festivities seemed to have already kicked off on Bourbon St. and we ended up walking the last 2 blocks to the restaurant, followed the whole way by wolf-whistles and shouted propositions. We held tight to each other’s hands and politely dismissed them all, giggling all the way. I was on Cloud Nine as the evening went by in a blur, punctuated by flashes of flavor as course after course came our way, I was a bit tipsy from the wine we’d consumed and I was ready to go wherever, dancing, drinking, to a party, I didn’t care as long as Barrett was by my side. We left the restaurant later than I’d thought it was going to be and the revelry seemed to be in full swing. As we navigated our way through the crush of people, we were groped and pawed at from every direction, or at least I felt like it. My skin was crawling by the time we reached a break in the crowd, Barrett seemed to be having a similarly difficult time. “Well, that was fun.” I laughed as I adjusted my dress back to the way it should be. We hopped a cab back to her place and she stopped me before we went in the building, pointing up at her balcony. The sliding door was slightly open and one of her lights was on. “The fuck, Ripley. We turned everything off and locked up tight, right?” To be honest, I was so caught up in her that I hadn’t noticed. “I think so” I pulled out my phone, “I’m calling the cops.” She held out a hand to stop me, then thought better of it. “Good idea, fuck, this night was going so well.” I saw tears welling up in her eyes and pulled her close to me. I gave the address to the dispatcher and they stayed on the phone with me for the 5 minutes it took someone from NOLA PD to show up, along with a car from Tulane University Campus Security. “Who’s the resident?” asked a tall, skinny cop. Barrett raised her hand and he took her aside to ask questions for a moment before he and his partner went into the building with Barrett’s keys and her express permission to kick the shit out of whoever had violated her home. We stood on the edge of the sidewalk and watched as the lights came on in her apartment and we heard the cops announce their presence to whoever might still be in there. One of the cops, the tall one, threw open the balcony door and rushed out, vomiting over the side of the wrought-iron railing. We both gasped at what we were seeing but still didn’t quite comprehend. The other cop walked out of the building and caught her breath. “Ms., do you own cats?” Her brow furrowed, “No officer, we can’t have pets, what the hell happened in there?” The cop gave her a look of sympathy as she led her further down the block. “It’s probably best that you don’t go in there right now. Somebody…” she gagged a little as if just thinking about what she’d seen was too much. “Barrett, can I call you Barrett?” she nodded her assent, “Barrett, do you know anyone that might wish you harm?” Barrett shook her head, “No… No, nobody. Please, what is going on?” Tears rimmed the officer’s eyes, “Honey, this is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen and I’ve been a cop for 12 years. Right now, I just think we should get a statement of your whereabouts and activities over the last 24 hours and, do you have somewhere to stay tonight?” I chimed in, “she can stay with me.” The officer nodded and made a phone call. “A detective will be calling you in the morning for your details.” She passed Barrett a card and handed Barrett her keys, minus her the one to her front door. “I’m so sorry Ripley, I have no idea what’s going on, I.. I..” she burst into tears and threw her arms around my waist, her face buried in my shoulder. I led her away from the scene walking the few blocks to her car. “Where are we going to stay? You said I could stay with you tonight.” I pulled her closer, “We can get a hotel, or we could stay in my truck, it’s up to you.” She seemed to think it over for a bit as I unlocked her car and opened the passenger door for her. “I’ve never stayed in a truck before, I think it’d be fun.” I smiled and put her car in drive, glad for once that the Corps had turned me into a neat freak. It was a brief drive to the truck stop and I parked her car near the Huddle House and we walked to my truck. I noticed a black minivan trailing behind us, after the events of the night, it unnerved me a bit, so I took us a roundabout way through the maze of trucks and trailers, ducking between them when I noticed no followers. I got us to my truck and helped Barrett inside. I shut the door and threw the curtains, peeking out in time to see that same black minivan cruising slowly down the aisle. “Well, that was an adventure, what was that all about?” I shushed her as the van cruised by. “Do you know anyone who owns a black minivan?” I saw her brow furrow in concentration, even in the darkness of my truck cab. “Black minivan, Ripley, what’s going on?” “I think someone is following us. Is there something you should have told the cops? Is there someone they should be looking at, like an ex, or someone you turned down, anything?” She looked scared, “No, nothing! I swear, I haven’t been in a relationship or anything since my ex moved to Ohio. I’ve had the occasional offer from both guys and girls alike, but no, nothing stands out.” I mulled that over and got my phone out again, “I think we should call the police.” She sat on the bottom bunk in my sleeper, “Can you get the license plate or something, tell them about it in the morning? I just want some peace right now.” I’d met Barrett less than 12 hours earlier and here I was, making decisions for her, I cared for this girl. Too much? Too fast? “I’m sorry, but I can’t be negligent about this, as crazy as it sounds, I care for you Barrett. I don’t want a missed opportunity to stop whatever is going on before it goes too far, do you understand me?” I dialed the number on the card she handed me. “Officer Beauman.” It was the same officer, good. “Officer, my name is Ripley, I was with Barrett, the girl whose apartment you and your partner responded to earlier this evening.” There was a pause. “Yes, I remember you. How can I help you?” I told her the situation and I heard the sirens fire up in the background. “Can you two stay where you are? We’re on our way now, we meant to call her in the morning but under the circumstances, I’ll tell you what’s going on.” I told the officer to hold on a second and put the phone on speaker, “Go ahead officer, Barrett can hear you.” There was a pause on the other end, only the wail of the sirens could be heard. A man spoke, “Barrett, does the name Chrissy Seaquist mean anything to you?” There was a sharp intake from Barrett, “Omg, Chrissy, she’s my ex, but what does she have to do with this? She moved to Ohio over a year ago.” Another pause, “Barrett, this may come as a bit of a shock, but it seems Chrissy’s parents filed a missing person’s report two months ago, she disappeared from Ohio State campus, without a trace. Tonight, as we were processing your apartment, we found fingerprints and they immediately flagged under that missing person’s report. We were sure that Chrissy was the subject we were going to look for in connection with the vandalizing of your apartment.” I sensed a “but”. “However, when we started clearing your apartment we found… we fragments of human remains Barrett, we found the hand of Chrissy Seaquist in your bed Barrett. We have some questions for you and (pause) Ripley.” I looked at the phone in disbelief, “Look, officers, We’re not going anywhere but if you’d be so kind as to get here most Rikki-tikki, and check out this black van, it’d be greatly appreciated.” I gave them my truck description and ID numbers and got off the phone. “In the meantime.” I told Barrett, “I better stow this”. I took my Springfield XD .40 and stuck in in the hidden lock box under my bunk. Barrett’s eye widened, “You had a gun on you this whole time?” I laughed and kissed her. “Honey, you don't last in the real world by being a sheep.” We lay on the bed and held each other and waited for the cops to show up. Part 2 Final
Chapter 1 This is a true story. I will begin this story in 2007, this is when I decided to join the Royal Australian Navy. I was 22yrs old and had been out of high school for 4 years with no real intent on going to university since I didn’t think it would necessarily make me successful. I been doing odd jobs like a pizza driver which I had to hold for a year because I originally applied for the Air Force but was rejected due to not holding a steady job which showed a lack of commitment, therefore after a year as a pizza driver a joined the Navy since a few of my friends had joined and said it was an easy ride. So there I was on the bus to Cerberus. I had to go into the city to get a bus with everyone else down to Cerberus despite living only 20 minutes from the base. Cerberus is the main Navy training base in Cribpoint, Victoria where all the new recruits from around Australia end up. As recruit school came to an end after 11 weeks I had to wait for the next graduating class for a month before I was posted to Sydney to start my course as a Combat Systems Operator. That’s when my life took a big turning point. I was attending early morning activity where we were asked to lift weights and run them over to the training ground, I started to feel a sharp pain in my back, after a while I had to stop running and asked to go to the hospital. Limping over I barely made it when in the hospital my back started to spasm with pain. I had an L5 disc prolapse and could not walk for 2 days and was in the hospital for 10 days. I was happy to finally leave the hospital at which point they told me not to sit down or stand up for too long so I proceeded straight to the casino to play poker. Upon arriving at HMAS Watson in Sydney I was informed by the doc that I wouldn’t be posting to a ship anytime soon as my back injury was holding me back. HMAS Watson is a beautiful base where people from the public would actually get married in the church on base. I enjoyed the CSO course and was top of the class but I couldn’t keep out of trouble. I push my luck one night when I got drunk on base and end up in a fight with another trainee. I was suspended with pay for 6 months and returned to Melbourne where I had to report to Cerberus 3 times a week. They sent me a letter explaining that my service would be terminated but I could write in a response with a reason why I should stay. I decided that since I wouldn’t be posting to a ship I decided to leave. Psychologists would later say that my actions in the Navy were early signs of schizophrenia. Back in Melbourne and looking for a job a decided to get a job where my back wouldn’t stop me from working so I started working at a call center selling electricity over the phone. Not a very nice job but it paid for my apartment and beer which is all I really needed. 1 year in the job and I had been promoted a number of times to quality controller and then campaign manager. During this time my schizophrenia started to take hold. When I get schizophrenic I start to think I’m under surveillance and also think “I’m the only one in existence”, as a secret agent, I can do whatever I feel like doing without any consequences. So I stole 52 credit card numbers with there cvv numbers from work for later use. I knew that if I used the cards that the people would get their money back because if they report their cards stolen the bank gives them back their money while they investigate, so I was really robbing the bank. The campaign I was managing was the Insulation scheme and the Home sustainability campaign. The government was giving away free insulation worth $1600 to every household and free home assessments that are both meant to help tackle climate change by reducing the carbon footprint of each house. The whole campaign collapsed overnight when a number of people had been killed by fires that had started from dodgy insulation installers. That’s when I decided to start my own company. I knew a few old clients that were not that happy with my current company so I called them up and told them I was starting my own and would they like to be a client. I got a few that said yes and with one offering $5000 cash to startup I knew this was the time. I flew to Sydney and picked up the cash like something from the movies and on the way to my hotel I saw the guy that I had got into a fight with from the Navy and thought if I didn’t have $5k in my bag I would throw you in the river but lucky I had the cash. After bathing in the money I made my way back to Melbourne got my friends together and started up on Little Collins Street in the CBD. After 3 months of running home sustainable services, I flew back to Sydney to set-up a new center with a client. Half-way through setting up my friend and I decided to drive back to Melbourne because we had things to do, we hired a rent-a-bomb car, the old cars that you’re not meant to drive out of the city, we decided to take it to Melbourne from Sydney. We picked up a hitchhiker who had lost his license drink driving and at that point, I decided to let Finbar drive. Finbar hadn’t driven a car in 10 years when he had his learners as he has been using public transport for most of his life but I didn’t think much could go wrong. Well. The hitchhiker was so afraid of Finbars driving he asked to be let out at the next stop in the middle of nowhere. Upon letting the guy out Finbar then for some reason accidentally decided to plant his foot down on the accelerator while in neutral with me yelling at him to take his foot of and him looking around in confusion it was all pretty funny. By the time we had got to Melbourne the car was overheated and smoke was coming out of the engine. We just managed to get it into a train carpark before it died for good. The car company called me up asking if I needed another day and I explained what had happened and they then asked for $5000 by the end of the business day for the car. The car wasn’t worth $500 so $5000 they were dreaming. We borrowed the client's credit card to hire a nice new car to drive back up to Sydney and along the way when we collided with a truck tire at 110km/h that was in the middle of the road. The car slightly damaged we arrived at which point we were locked out of the office because we hadn’t paid back the debt we owed to them. So it was back to Melbourne again. When I flew back to Melbourne the company had no campaigns to go on so I had to close it down. I then applied for Centrelink and had to move into a backpacker as that’s all I good afford. Centrelink, however, wouldn’t pay me for 1 month because I had previously run my own company and they had to make sure I had no money. This only led to one thing. Crime. I went to coles online shopping and bought roast lamb, bourbon, wines, and anything I felt like with the stolen credit card numbers. I had it all delivered to the door. I needed to convert this into cash somehow so I bought items like police scanners and surveillance equipment which I later sold at cash converters. The lawyers would later argue I was highly paranoid hence the equipment. I then decided to fly to Perth to visit my mate. So I called up Virgin Blue and gave the credit card over the phone while I was at the airport and bought the next flight out of Melbourne. I guess it didn’t matter the card had a different name than my name since I flew under my real name. In Perth, I knew I could sneak into an Army barracks that were used by all three services without anyone noticing so I did. I walked in through the side gate and slept in the barracks for a week. There were 3 big 2 story blocks that were mostly empty and a few rooms that were unlocked. I ordered pizza over the phone again with the cards just down the road. I then decided it was time to leave and head back to the Airport so I walked into town and asked to take a car for a test drive from a local dealer, I drove the car back onto the base and loaded up the car with my luggage and that’s when the fuel run out. So what did I do? I walk over to the fuel pump on the base of course and asked to use a petrol can to fill up my ride. That’s when I bumped into a very switched on army officer who asked me a hundred questions at a time. He told me to just go and wait in the blocks while we find out where I’m from. I could have made a dash for it but being a 35-degree day I just thought fuck it. The officer came in and said “You’re not going anywhere till you tell me who you are and what you’re doing”, I told them straight up, I was on base because I didn’t want to pay for accommodation and I’m really cheap, they called the cops and then we both started having a laugh about the lack of security around the place. I was charged with trespassing and got a $150 fine. The car was picked up by the owner and I flow back to Melbourne again with stolen credit cards. When I arrived back in Melbourne Centrelink finally decided to pay up and I then took myself straight to the police station and handed over the credit card numbers at which point the policeman looked at me and said: “why are you handing yourself in?” Well, my belief that I was part of ASIO and untouchable made me feel like I wouldn’t really get in any trouble, and I also wanted to make sure the people that I had stolen from got their money back from the banks. I had an initial interview with the detective and he informed me it would take some time to investigate what I bought on what cards so I didn’t attend court for about 6 months time. In the meantime, I was staying at backpackers meeting loads of people from around the world and then I met Alex. This guy was wearing the Navy running shorts like a typical wanker. He had just gotten out of the Navy and looking for a new goal in life as well. We became good mates talking about all the crap you get up to in the Navy. We ended up going out most nights using the free drink cards that you can get at the backpackers to get shit faced. With the money I had saved, I decided to buy a van so I could sleep in the back and not have to pay for accommodation. I parked the car in the open carpark next to Urban central backpacker right under the highway. It was ok besides the car getting broken into nearly every week but I really had nothing worth stealing. My mate and I were out on the town pissing up spending all our money at the casino and strippers and then decided it would be a great idea to break into a storage facility and see what we could get. We drove out there and we were so drunk we were on the site for 40 mins before the cops finally came to arrest us. My mate gave up but I started running for it. I made it about 300 meters before being surrounded. Yet another pending court appearance. You would think I would learn by now to stop doing crime but the type of schizophrenia that I have just says “Do whatever the fuck you like”. And again I was about to. With all the stress of the pending court dates, I decided it would be a nice time for a good old road trip. I hired a Ford xr6 2010 model a nice car with plenty of space and cruise control I first was just going to hire the car for a day when I said to myself “let's drive to Byron Bay”. I went on gumtree and advertised offering a lift from Melbourne to Sydney for $50. I figured if I got a full car of 4 people I would even make money from the trip after fuel expenses. I traveled with 2 French girls and 2 English girls and so began a month-long trip traveling with 30 different people from Melbourne to Sydney to Byron Bay to Brisbane to Hervey Bay and then back to Sydney. I was traveling over from March to April to it wasn’t hard to find travel partners. I stopped over at Byron Bay for the Bluesfest where I decided to volunteer. After staying at the backpacker for one night I noticed a girl trying to sneak in so that’s when I decided to buy a tent and camp and invite people to camp out with me. I found a nice quiet spot right down near the beach and camped with ten different people. A great time watching the sunrise knowing that I would more than likely be going to prison. Somehow I just didn’t give a shit. I dropped the car off at Sydney airport and flow back to Melbourne. Back in the van again and that’s when the first major schizophrenic episode happened. To be continued..
"Mel Brooks" - Young Frankenstein (May 4-Jun 2): TheatreWorks, 20 Elm Street Ext, New Milford, Various dates & times, $25-30, - Grandson of the infamous Victor Frankenstein, Frederick Frankenstein (pronounced "Fronk-en-steen") inherits his family's estate in Transylvania. With the help of a hunchbacked sidekick, Igor (pronounced "Eye-gore"), and a leggy lab assistant, Inga (pronounced normally), Frederick finds himself in the mad scientist shoes of his ancestors. "It's alive!" he exclaims as he brings to life a creature to rival his grandfather's. Eventually, of course, the monster escapes and hilarity continuously abounds. May not be suitable for children under 12.
THE ILLUSIONISTS (May 4-6): The Bushnell, 166 Capitol Ave, Hartford, Various times, $22.50-103.50, - Direct from Broadway, the world’s best selling magic show is coming to Hartford! This mind blowing spectacular showcases the jaw dropping talents of five of the most incredible Illusionists on earth. THE ILLUSIONISTS™ – LIVE FROM BROADWAY™ has shattered box office records across the globe and dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever to be seen on stage. This non-stop show is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions.
Connecticut Spring Boat Show (May 4-6): Town of Essex, Brewer Essex Island Marina, 11 Ferry St., Essex, Various times, $5 donation for ages 13 & up, - A boutique in-water boat show, located on the scenic Connecticut River, features both sail and power boats. See over 60 boats of all sizes and talk directly with dealers and manufacturers. Visitors attending the show will enjoy seeing a wide range of new and brokerage, power and sail models. In addition to boats on the docks, gear, accessories and service companies will be on site.
Fantasticon (May 4-6): Elm City Games, 760 Chapel Street, New Haven, Various times and dates, 0-$40, - Fantasticon brings together game designers, publishers, artists, and game enthusiasts for a weekend of playtesting, networking, and having fun! Our primary focus is on designers connecting with each other for high level playtesting and in depth discussions about theory and practice, but we welcome anyone with an interest in games and how they're made. We've got 6,000sq/ft of prototype gaming taking over Elm City Games' historic building right in downtown New Haven. Our open gaming style schedule means playtesting can happen whenever, wherever, and with whoever throughout the weekend. But don't worry if you don't know anyone, we'll be working hard to connect players with designers.
HAYLEY JANE & THE PRIMATES: Friday, May 4, Infinity Music Hall, 20 Greenwoods Rd W, Norfolk, 8:00PM, $19-34, - We are so excited to announce Hayley Jane and the Primates. You’ll absolutely love her onstage energy and the Primates bring some serious chops and theatrics with their Jazz-Funk-Blues-Indie fusion. Opening up for them is the ever talented James Maddock who is bringing his solo performance for an intimate and unique performance!
Night at the Cantina - Star Wars Trivia: Friday, May 4, The River's Edge Pub & Grille, 29 North Main Street, Beacon Falls, 6:30PM-8:30PM, FREE (Suggested donation of $40 per team), - Think you know more about Star Wars than anyone? Harness your inner Force and join us in celebrating May the Fourth down at The Mos Eisley Cantina (aka- The River's Edge) with a night of Trivia and fun to benefit the Beacon Falls Youth Theater Group. Trivia will consists of 6 Rounds (with Bonus Round in case of a tie). Costumes are encouraged, so break out your best Wookie and Sith Lord outfits.
Chive Rocks - May the Fourth be With You: Friday, May 4, Hard Rock Cafe, Foxwoods Casino, Mashantucket, 9:00PM, $35-300, - Please join Chive New England in our 4th Chive Rocks as we raise money and awareness for the Childhood Apraxia walk in June! This year will be more epic than ever before. We will have the honour of partying hard with New England’s premiere DJ JD! We are also partnering with Patron for some awesome drink specials to keep you partying all night long. (Sing that last part in your Lionel Richie voice)
Reality Fighting: Friday, May 4, Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, 7:00PM, $40-75, - Reality Fighting heats up Mohegan Sun Arena with all the mixed martial arts action you can handle! Check back soon for bout details.
Saturday, May 5th:
The Full Monty (May 5-13): Warner Theater, 68 Main Street, Torrington, Various dates and times, $19-27, -* Based on the cult hit film of the same name, The Full Monty, a ten-time Tony Award nominee, is filled with honest affection, engaging melodies and the most highly anticipated closing number of any show. The powerhouse team of Terrence McNally (Ragtime) and David Yazbek (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) cooks up an aggressive crowd-pleaser that both entertains and grabs your heart.*
Cinderella (May 5-6): Warner Theater, Nancy Marine Studio Theatre, 82 Main Street, Torrington, Various times and dates, $12.50, - The timeless enchantment of a magical fairy tale is reborn with the Rodgers & Hammerstein hallmarks of originality, charm and elegance. Originally presented on television in 1957 starring Julie Andrews, Rodgers & Hammerstein's CINDERELLA was the most widely viewed program in the history of the medium. Its recreation in 1965 starring Lesley Ann Warren was no less successful in transporting a new generation to the miraculous kingdom of dreams-come-true, and so was a second remake in 1997, which starred Brandy as Cinderella and Whitney Houston as her Fairy Godmother. As adapted for the stage, with great warmth and more than a touch of hilarity, the hearts of children and adults alike still soar when the slipper fits.
Spring on the Farm Festival Weekend (May 5-6): Stamford Museum & Nature Center, 39 Scofieldtown Rd., Stamford, 11:00AM-3:00PM, $10, children under 3 free, - Join us for this fun family weekend on the farm and meet the newest additions to the Heckscher Farm family. There will be activities for all ages including face painting, crafts, a plant sale, bee demonstrations, farm tool demonstrations, animal tours, seed planting and oxen demos. On Sunday, watch as our flock of sheep gets its annual shearing and learn about what happens with their woolly coats. Additionally, an assortment of local food trucks will be on site and our Museum Galleries will be open, featuring the Birds in Art 2017 fine art exhibition.
Walking Tour - Architecture-Homes and Histories: Saturday, May 5, Litchfield History Museum, 7 South St., Litchfield, 10:00AM-11:00AM, $5, - Why does the center of Litchfield have so many white homes? Learn how the history and stories of old Litchfield are preserved in the architecture of the town. The walk will cover North and South Streets. The tour last about an hour, be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring a bottle of water. Registration is required and payment is required with registration.
Derby de Mayo: Saturday, May 5, The IRONS Restaurant & Bar at Hilton Mystic, 20 Coogan Blvd., Mystic, 2:00PM-11:00PM, $15, - Party all day and night in the heart of Mystic. Only once in every seven years or so, does the Kentucky Derby fall on Cinco de Mayo. We're combining the two and throwing a Derby de Mayo Bash. Mint Juleps to Margaritas and Tacos to Fried Chicken. Plenty of cold local craft cervezas on tap and in bottles.
5th Annual Hats & Horses Derby Party: Saturday, May 5, Henry Carter Hull Library, 10 Killingworth Hwy., Clinton, 5:00PM, 7:00PM, $25, - Watch the Kentucky Derby live on the big screen and enjoy light refreshments. Dapper attire encourages, including fancy hats. Wear your best and you could win a prize. Enjoy a wine and bourbon tasting, and a silent auction featuring gift baskets and items from local shops and artisans.
NICK DI PAOLO: THE NICK IS RIGHT TOUR: Saturday, May 5, Shubert Theater, 247 College Street, New Haven, 8:00PM, $25-30, - Nick Di Paolo, one of the sharpest minds (and tongues) in stand-up comedy over the past 20 years, is coming to the Shubert for one big night of comedy with “The Nick is Right Tour.” Prepare for a night of hilarious, brutally honest, unapologetic comedy!
Bon Jovi: Saturday, May 5, Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, 7:30PM, $130-200, - Do I need to explain Bon Jovi?
Pomfret Town Wide Tag Sale: Saturday, May 5, 7:00AM, Maps are sold for $1 at 7 a.m. in the Pomfret Community School (20 Pomfret Street) and will lead to approximately 50 tag sale locations throughout town.
MIKE BIRBIGLIA: "THE NEW ONE": Saturday, May 5, College Street Music Hall, 238 College Street, New Haven, 6:00PM, $27.50-49, - MIKE BIRBIGLIA is a comedian and storyteller who has performed in front of audiences worldwide, from the Sydney Opera House to Carnegie Hall. His most recent shows, My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend and Thank God for Jokes, were both filmed for Netflix. Mike has released four albums for Comedy Central Records, including My Secret Public Journal Live, which was named one of the “Best Comedy Albums of the Decade” by The Onion AV Club. In addition to performing live, Birbiglia is an author and filmmaker who wrote, directed, and starred in the acclaimed films Sleepwalk with Me and Don’t Think Twice. His book, Sleepwalk With Me and Other Painfully True Stories, was a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the Thurber Prize For American Humor. As an actor, Birbiglia has appeared on Orange is the New Black, Inside Amy Schumer, and Girls as well as in the films Trainwreck, The Fault in Our Stars, and Popstar. Birbiglia currently lives in Brooklyn with his wife Jen
Griswold's Night Light Festival: Saturday, May 5, Griswold Parks and Recreation, Veterans' Memorial Park, 68 Ashland St., Jewett City, 5:00PM-10:00PM, Free, -* Let's light up Jewett City with a parade of floats & a festival in Veteran's Memorial Park. Food Trucks will be offering all different types of treats, foods and unique meals PLUS Wolverine Radio will be holding a DISCO PARTY! All are welcome to join the parade!*
Cinco de Mayo Zip & Sip Adventure: Saturday, May 5, EMPOWER Leadership Sports & Adventure Center, 2011 South Main St., Middletown, 9:00AM-6:00PM, $45, - Thrilling and exciting tree-top zip lines and aerial adventure challenges, all led by energetic guides, followed by "rehydration" at the Inn at Middletown's Tavern. All zip line participants, ages 21+, receive a drink voucher for a house margarita or local draft beer at the Tavern at the Armory. Drink voucher valid on May 5, 2018 only.
Northeast PEZ Collectors Gathering: Saturday, May 5, Sheraton Stamford Hotel, 700 East Main St., Stamford, 10:00AM-2:00PM, Adults $5, Children 8 and under free, - Do you have a "Sweet" spot for candy? Well, why not come to the "sweetest" place in Stamford, The Northeast PEZ Collectors gathering. Bring the entire family to see the largest PEZ gathering on the east coast. It's a fun event for collectors of all ages. You will see the newest PEZ, vintage PEZ, United States PEZ and even PEZ from Europe. You will see regular sized PEZ dispensers to "Giant PEZ." You might even see "The Worlds Smallest PEZ" on display. PEZ collectors from all over the United States converge on Stamford for this annual gathering. Come be part of the fun. It only happens once a year in Connecticut.
Cinco de Mayo Cruise: Saturday, May 5, Departs from Eagle Landing State Park, 14 Little Meadow Rd., Haddam, 5:00PM-7:00PM, $30, - Take a relaxing late Saturday afternoon cruise as we celebrate Cinco De Mayo and the beautiful spring foliage on the lower Connecticut River. Cinco De Mayo is a Mexican holiday that has become quite popular in the United States as a fun, festive day! On this cruise, as we celebrate Cinco De Mayo, we will see a nesting Osprey and other wildlife, and enjoy the beautiful scenic river views. There will be soft Mexican music. Bring your favorite “Mexican” or any beverage and a picnic if you’d like. And Captain Mark will be making his famous Key Lime Pie. No one under 12 years old please.
Tom Jones: Saturday, May 5, Grand Theater, Foxwoods Casino, Mashantucket, 8:00PM, $65-105, - Tom Jones' 50-year career has remarkably gone from strength to strength. Along with sustaining his popularity as a live performer and recording artist for five decades, he has garnered - at the age of 77 - the best reviews of his career for his most recent albums, Long Lost Suitcase, Spirit In The Room and Praise & Blame (Island/Universal). Critics across the world are unanimous in their approval and admiration for both the recorded work and the performance of it in concert.
Sunday, May 6:
5th Annual Run the Gauntlet Obstacle: Sunday, May 6, East Rock Park, 41 Cold Spring St., New Haven, 9:00AM-12:00PM, Adults $50, Students $35, Spectators Free, - A spring race in the Denali Gauntlet Race Series. Run the Gauntlet at East Rock Park features a 5K obstacle course with 15-20 man-made and natural obstacles. After the race, participants are invited to enjoy a post-race party with pizza from Old World Pizza Trucks, beer from Thimble Island Brewing Company, and live entertainment. Proceeds from Run the Gauntlet at East Rock Park support The Denali Foundation Scholarship Fund for children attending the New Haven Parks and Recreation ECO Adventure Camp.
9th Annual Girls Just Wanna Run 5k Race: Sunday, May 6, Town of Litchfield, North Shore Road, Litchfield, Registration 10:30AM-11:30AM, Race begins 12:00PM, $35, Free for spectators, -* A 5K race which focuses on health and wellness in girls and women. Walkers, joggers, runners, girls and women of all ages and abilities are welcome to participate. Prizes will be awarded to the Overall First Female Finisher, the first female finisher in each age division and to the Most Glamorous Runner(s).*
The Dance Collective at Hog River Brewing Co.: Sunday, May 6, 1429 Park Street, Hartford, 6:30PM, $25, - The Dance Collective is back at Hog River Brewing Co. on Sunday, May 6th at 6:30pm. We had so much fun last November, we decided to do it again! Keeping the evening casual and cool, come join us and grab a pint while you sit back and enjoy professional contemporary dance performance! The Dance Collective brings you cultural & art performances outside a formal, traditional setting. This performance highlights the work of various female choreographers and dancers from across the United States. A bill consisting of solos, duets, and group performances; dancers will surround the brewery, conveying themes of empowerment, strength, and more. The choreographic artists that will be presenting are Dot Armstrong, Emory Campbell, Meghan Dodd, Fran Fuller, Alice Halter, Sheila Huggins, Rosanna Karabetsos, Betsy McMillan, and Kirsten Schranze. Your ticket comes with 1 free drink.
TYLER BRYANT & THE SHAKEDOWN: Sunday, May 6, Webster Theater Underground, 7:00PM, $13-15, - After relocating to Nashville at the age of 17 from Honey Grove, Texas, Tyler Bryant met drummer Caleb Crosby. After only a week, the two formed "The Shakedown" and began performing as a group with Calvin Webster on bass. Bryant was later introduced to Boston guitarist Graham Whitford (son of Aerosmith's Brad Whitford) and immediately asked Whitford to relocate to Nashville to join the group. Noah Denney was the final addition to the group, cementing the current lineup
We can get you an absurdly cheap deal on a hotel near Bourbon Street, which means you can do it up right. What’s a vacation anyway if you can’t treat yourself? More than a great location Let others pay top dollar. You’ll get a hotel close to Bourbon Street for a steal. This means you’ll have more time to explore New Orleans and more cash to discover what isn’t on the maps or in the At the time, Edge Resorts owned the Bourbon Street Hotel and Casino, but Starwood considered the building too small and in a poor location, wanting instead to have a potential W hotel on Harmon Avenue. W Las Vegas-Wikipedia. During the first week of filming, scenes were shot at the Bourbon Street and Showboat hotel-casinos. Luckytown-Wikipedia. From 2005 to 2010, the company consolidated Bourbon Street Hotel & Casino main section: This casino is located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bourbon Street Hotel & Casino features 223 slot machines for your enjoyment. WCD also books hotel rooms in the major casino resorts in Las Vegas. Browse our gallery of photos of Bourbon Street Hotel & Casino or find news about Bourbon Street Hotel & Casino on our site. Up for auction is one BOURBON STREET HOTEL CASINO $5 hotel gaming casino poker chip ~ Las Vegas, NV. Domestic: $3.99 shipping for the first won and free for any other chip auction(s) won going to the same address AND ending within the same week. International shipping depends on location and weight of item. See pictures of the actual chip you will be receiving as it is in used condition as Bourbon Street Casino Hotel: 120 E. Flamingo Rd - Las Vegas, Nevada . DISCOUNT RATES AND AVAILABILITY: CLICK HERE . GROUP RESERVATIONS: CLICK HERE. CONVENTION PLANNING: CLICK HERE. The Bourbon Street Hotel is a tourist class hotel, located 3 miles from the airport. This quaint 9 story hotel is designed to invoke the New Orleans style charm of the old south. The hotel staff is kind, courteous Bourbon Street Hotel and Casino (named after New Orleans' Bourbon Street) was a small hotel and casino near the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada.Opening in 1980 as the Shenandoah Hotel, the property was plagued with licensing and financial difficulties from the start.Ownership changed hands several times, with new proprietors often envisioning major renovations or redevelopment, but none of Answer 1 of 4: Just saw the Stardust being imploded on TV,and it reminded me of our trip to Vegas several years back. Does anyone know if the Bourbon Street Hotel and Casino is still in operation?I can't see it listed on TA anywhere.Maybe it has another name... I rather be someones shot of Bourbon than everyone’s cup of Tea. 2700 S Casino Drive Laughlin, NV 89029. 702.298.2242 Bourbon Street the small off strip property near Ballys and Barbary Coast has closed down for good two weeks earlier than scheduled. The casino-hotel was purchased this summer by Harrahs for future redevelopment and wasn’t scheduled to close to October 31st. Because of a water leak at the property they decided to move there guests to other properties and close down sooner. I had visited this Dank der ausgezeichneten Lage (French Quarter) ist dieses Hotel zu Fuß gerade mal 5 Minuten entfernt von: Canal Street, Royal Street und Bourbon Street. Ebenfalls nur 10 Minuten entfernt: Harrah's New Orleans Casino und Jackson Square. New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal Hauptbahnhof ist zu Fuß in 20 Minuten zu erreichen.
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