Kindergarten Kids Remind Me of Las Vegas.


No, they don’t have creepy thin mustaches like Wayne Newton (although it would be really cool if they did).

And they don’t take all my money and leave me sad and depressed (turns out what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas… especially when my money is involved).playdough

But every year I get the same feeling from the brand new crop of 5 year olds.

They are so excited.

Their parents are thrilled to finally have them in school (no more paying for babysitting!!!).  Those aren’t tears of sadness from mom and day, they are tears of joy.

These kids love to color.

And count.

And play.

And they love to look at picture books about dogs and cats  (why are they always dogs and cats???).

And evidently go to the bathroom, because it seems that’s where they’re always headed (if I had a dollar for every kid who forgot to zip his pants…).

It’s a commonly known school administrator practice to go down to the kindergarten room anytime you’re having a bad day.

They cheer you up.  And if they can’t, who can?

Their smiles and laughter.

Their happiness and joy.

When I see these kids learning to read or shoving Play-Doh up their noses, I always wonder who in this esteemed group will be valedictorian or prom queen.

One of these youngsters will no doubt be the starting quarterback.  Several will earn college scholarships.

There might even be a doctor or lawyer in the group.

But with good always comes bad.

I’ve done this long enough to know for every success there is going to be struggle.

Which makes me think.  Who in this group will have difficult challenges as they work their way through life?

There will be learning disabilities.  Divorced parents.  Financial difficulties.

The truth is some will face challenges I don’t even want to think about.

That’s why every kindergarten class reminds me of Las Vegas.

On the surface, everything is wonderful.  But just underneath things aren’t quite so perfect.

In the course of writing(?) this blog, I depressed myself.  First thing in the morning, I’m going to visit the kindergarten kids.  They always make me happy.

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Vegas Review.

I should have blogged about this earlier, but it has taken me a few days to completely get a handle on our first trip to Vegas (still trying to recover from the bad Easter Karma…).

My blogging schedule has been a little out of sorts.It Looks So Pretty From a Distance.

I can’t explain it, but I just haven’t been sharp.

This is a nice way of saying I’ve been lazier than a two-year old beagle (yes, that beagle).

Looking back, I’m starting to see a pattern.

Nothing makes me tired like a vacation.  This seems odd, but every time I go somewhere I return more exhausted than I left.

In theory, vacations are supposed to be relaxing.  You should return rested and ready to tackle all of life’s challenges.

When I get back, I want a nap.  Much like Buddy the Dog (yes, that beagle).

We’ve been home for 7 days and I’m still on West Coast time.

All I want to do is sleep in and then stay up until 4:00 am playing roulette… I mean watching TV.

In the last few days, I have tried to come to grips with my feelings about Vegas.

The whole experience has left me hurt and a little confused.

Before we left, I thought I had a good understanding on what Las Vegas would be like.

I assumed it would be hot.  I had a feeling the desert would be sandy.  I figured we would see Wayne Newton at a gas station.  And most importantly, everyone would be rich and happy.

I was wrong.

Vegas is a little more complicated than that.

It’s a fun city, but kind of sad.  It’s exciting, but I was concerned about dying in some sort of East Coast/West Coast rapper revenge killing (yes, I think about these things).

It’s rich and poor people gambling side by side (I have my doubts if many of them were that rich). 

It’s the best and the worst of people.

In summary, it’s a giant neon lit mess.

But in a good way.

Basically it’s Disneyworld for adults (without the mouse hats and long lines).

Every time I walked down The Strip I had the same thought.

I need a shower.

And yet, I was fascinated by the lights, attractions, hotels, and the people.

Mostly, the people.

It’s amazing what you see when you get out in the world.

It really does take all kinds.

All different types of people have made their way to Vegas (most with tattoos… call me old fashioned, but I still don’t get the sleeve tattoo look).

My suggestion is one time in your life you need to vacation in Vegas.

I would also add that you should leave your money at home.

Because while I returned (sleepy), my money did not.

I wondered how they paid for those fancy hotels.

Now I know.

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You Are a Worthy Opponent, Karma. Worthy, Indeed.

Karma 1.  Me 0.

I knew it was going to happen, yet I was powerless to stop it (kind of like being a school administrator).

I just knew Las Vegas at Easter was a bad idea.

Some would call that paranoia.  I call it good common sense when you know everyone is out to get you (again, kind of like being a school administrator).Ouch.

We arrived in Vegas (no one says “Las Vegas” here).  It’s overwhelming to see this much neon and advertising.

It’s like no place I’ve ever seen.  It’s rich people, poor people, tattoos, sunshine, marble, fake grass, entertainers on the downhill portion of their career all combined with the smell of cigarette smoke.

When we go on vacation, I always think about what it would be like to move there.

That streak is over.

The first morning we decided we were hungry (sinners need to eat too…).

So we went to breakfast.  And made an investment.

A bad investment (aren’t they all in this economy?).

So much for the Evil Spawn going to college on our dime.  If she wants a degree it looks like she needs a job, some scholarships, and a loan (don’t feel badly for her… it worked for her parents).

Long story short… we got hosed.

I fired up the email machine to find someplace to eat.

Low and behold The Buffet at the Wynn came highly recommended.  Lucky for us, we are staying at the Wynn.

Turns out we weren’t that lucky (is anybody in Vegas?).

As we approached the cashier, I heard her tell my wife it was $36.95.

I thought that was a little pricey for two people, but it was their Easter Brunch (3 days early… that should have been my first clue).

Plus, who knows if we will ever be back so might as well live a little.

Then she rang us up and said “That’s $79.89 with tax.”


$79.89 for a breakfast buffet?

What are they serving?  Gold?


Eggs.  And bacon.

You heard me… bacon for $79.89.

I felt violated.

And hurt.  And confused.

I’ve never been to prison, but now I know the feeling.

Well done, Karma.  Well, done.

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Hello, Easter. Goodbye, Heaven.

We are going to Las Vegas this weekend.  By “we” I don’t mean the Evil Spawn who lives in our guest room (we don’t want her to think this little arrangement is permanent).

This is Easter weekend (Happy Easter Everybody!)

A time to celebrate Jesus’s resurrection.  Also, it’s when we look for plastic eggs in the backyard and eat the ears off of hollow chocolate rabbits (I’m pretty sure this isn’t WJWD). I Hope This Trip Doesn't Turn Out Like the Movie... The Hangover.

Evidently, it’s also the time to take our first trip to Sin City (I don’t know which Mobster came up with the idea for Vegas… but on behalf of millions of visitors each year… I would like to say, Thank You).

While this sounds like fun, I have a feeling we may have angered our old friend Karma.

A weekend in Las Vegas during Easter may not be the best idea we’ve ever had.

There is wrong and then there is WAY WRONG.

This is undoubtedly the later.

But don’t blame us.  We need to make some money because we have bills to pay (or not… time will tell).

Our lives just wouldn’t be complete without seeing Penn & Teller (magicians and one of them doesn’t talk… HILARIOUS!).

Only in America can two educators take their hard earned money (thank you taxpayers) and fly across the country to enjoy an all you can eat $2.50 buffet (now that’s a good steak).

And you wonder why I love this country?

You may have noticed I didn’t mention anything about the Evil Spawn participating in this latest trip.

She’s banned.

This is a bit of a “sore subject” at our house.

Not so much for us, but for her.

She has no tolerance for anything that involves hotels and eating out without her being included.

When we told her (by “we”, I mean my wife) about the trip, her response (after a long pause) was “You two better be kidding me.”

We weren’t.

She gets a fun-filled weekend with the grandparents (who will also be hosting their favorite grandchild… Buddy the Dog).

This is a classic win-win-win.

We get Las Vegas.

The casinos get the Evil Spawn’s college fund.

And she gets to be the one member of the family who has a better than 4 to 1 shot of getting into Heaven.

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