Tong's Palace

Saturday, January 20, 2001
The first thing I saw when we walked into Tong's Palace's karaoke barSoul Brother #3, in the shadows, sings Lou Rawls was Soul Brother #3 singing. I about fell over in hysterics.  I bet he was just as surprised to see all of us again.  He seems to specialize in soul -- Lou Rawls, Barry White and especially Earth, Wind and Fire.  He ought to have his own lounge act in Vegas -- he already has the hair, the mannerisms, the pinky ring and everything. I'm not even being facetious -- he sounded good, yo!

There were several other patrons there from the night before Anna Beth and Allison killing us softlyand most of them did the same songs again as well.  I guess that's their weekend.  I can't imagine... one song the night before and my voice was shot.

This is Anna Beth and Hannah. I cannot even remember all the songs they sang.  My favorite was "Killing Me Softly," at the beginning of which Anna Beth announced with a finger snap, "We're not doing the Fugees version...we're doing Roberta Flack, baby!"  I think she was the highlight of the evening for me, she was hilarious.

She dedicated one song to Fred and when he turned away for a minute, she said, "FRED!  We're singing to you, so pay attention!"

I don't even know what song they're doing here, but the fact Hannah and Anna Beth keep on rockin' the Palacethat I got so many pictures of them just goes to show how into it they were.  I should actually know what song this is, because Allison even squeezed behind a third mike in the DJ's area and joined in.  She kept saying things like, "Pay no attention to the woman behind the counter," all Wizard of Oz and shit. She cracked me up.

One of the low lights of both evenings at Tong's Palace was the bathrooms. On Friday, I went to the men's room by mistake on my first bathroom trip and the bowl in the first stall was stained brown.  Yummy!  It's a wonder I Bathroom at Tong'sused it at all, but I was desperate and didn't feel like going across the street to one of the big casinos.  It was that gross, that going across the street in the cold to wander about in search of a bathroom was almost an option.

Did I mention they were outside?  Fred said it was just like camp (man, I've got to find someone else to quote).  Now there's one classy joint.  We were just drinking and singing there, but imagine having dinner at Fong's and finding out the restaurant's bathroom looked like it belonged in a public park or crack house.  I guess that wasn't too big of a problem, as I only saw 2 couples having dinner on the 2 nights, combined.

This is the women's restroom, the mens' room would make you cry, just the stench alone.  Poor Fred may never be clean again.

How groovy is it that we could see over the stalls?  Nice touch, so we could accidentally see each other pee.  Tres chic!

At this point, I am running out of commentary, because hey, I was drunk and operating on just a few hours of sleep.

Pamie sang another solo

Pamie's solo

Mike wowed the room with "Eat It"

Mike's satanic reading of "Eat It"

Fred, Alopekis, Carrie, & Christine

Fred, Alopekis, Carrie, Christine

Anna Beth and Alopekis

Anna Beth & Alopekis

Carol and Mike.  Unfortunately, I have no pictures of Carol's many solos, including "Secret Agent Man" and "California Dreamin'"

Carol & Mike

Hannah, Anna, Pamie, me, Allison

Pretty, pretty Squishites say bye bye bye

We all hugged and said good night.  Fred said it best -- it was more like a reunion than an initial meeting.   Although I'd only met Pamie (once) and Jennifer (since high school) before, it was like I'd hung out with all these people for ages.  Of course, with the exception of a select group of Heartless Bitches, Squishy is the one place I feel at home online.  We talk about nearly everything and it rarely results in flames or insults.  This whole weekend was a great reminder that those are people out there, not just names on a screen, but that's generally how the Squishy community treats one another.

After the warm goodbyes and "nice to meet yous" the main group walked across the street to the Stratosphere to catch cabs.  Jennifer and I got into her car and headed off to our not so glamorous hotel room, to get a few hours sleep before the drive back.

Then we took a good look at Vegas by day.
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