Las Vegas! Weather has been lovely this week, except for two cold windy days. Sin City does not shut down for Holy Week. Nothing changes. But it was not the usual weekend traffic snarl on the Strip when I met with friends from way back when, and dined at the beautiful Palazzo Friday. More than for any other reason, I think our smooth drive reflected the dismal business climate in this glittering city.
We drove by the 3D metal sculptures installed along Interstate 15. The herd of giant horses, burros, coyotes and big horn sheep is finished in burnt sienna and brown, typical colors of the desert. What a great artistic landscaping coup!
Billboards don’t advertise anyone too exciting; except maybe Liza Minnelli in a beautiful profile portrait that makes her look way younger than her years. She will be here May 12. “The Phantom of the Opera” is on its way out, but the Cirque du Soleil shows are hanging in there. Otherwise there are no big top-drawing names. Perhaps there are no crowds to draw?
Easter Sunday we went to evening church service and dinner at Mimi’s Café where the chicken potpie is to-die-for.
I always look forward to texts and e-mail from home. In the past week, there was good news from family. Remodeling work is underway in my daughter’s school; my golfer grandson did well in Singapore; my granddaughter in LA just recorded a song; and a great-grandson in Seattle asked to be baptized.
I am not too thrilled when I get unwelcome and unsolicited text messages from administration bashers who, by their malicious comments, think they can pave their way to the Palace. How does one get off their texting list? Their efforts may turn off more people than they turn on. Sometimes overzealous followers do more harm than good and this may be one of those times.
Here in the US, it’s the same song and dance. It is an election year. Primaries are in full swing and candidates won’t get off their soapboxes. The blame game is on! Fingers are pointing at who did what to whom, and who didn’t do enough. The scenario is too familiar; the “out’s” against the “in’s.”
In Las Vegas, the economy continues on the downtrend. Huge buildings, apartment complexes and residential projects have been left halfway done, abandoned, gathering weeds and rubbish. Some have become temporary shelter for the homeless, and stick out like sore thumbs in the middle of the bright city lights, sadly telling the story of the bad times now being endured by many Americans.
Many are asking: has this land run out of milk and honey? Is this now the land of lost opportunity? The number of unemployed rises even as the government desperately seeks to look after its own. I hear it said, however, that it must still resort to outsourcing to please some “friends.”
I wonder. Do unemployment benefits encourage people to line up for handouts instead of jobs?
The immigration problem has not abated. Despite its own domestic turmoil, the US is still the greener pasture and too many want to sneak in through the borders any way they can.
This is an issue that touches my heart. I fully understand the government’s predicament. But I also know the nightmare of being out of time, out of luck, of carrying the wrong papers, or maybe, none at all.
Last year, I watched a Mexican telenovela, “La Fuerza del Destino,” a romantic saga about “illegals.” The story was beautiful, the theme timely and more than once it moved me to tears.
I remember when Lady Liberty had a friendlier face. She beckoned to the tired and the poor, the “homeless and tempest tossed.” Has she perhaps run out of the welcoming spirit that was once “so America?” Or did we overstay our welcome?
Last year, my vacation started in Honolulu, and there I saw people approach men and women in uniform to shake their hands and thank them for their valor, service and for their sacrifice. And I thought, what a beautiful gesture!
Earlier this week in the Philippines, we observed Araw ng Kagitingan. We were asked on Facebook and elsewhere to pray for our Armed Forces and to remember those who have given up their lives for our country.
What are we teaching our children about our servicemen and women? How do we describe their bravery? Do we speak about them in glowing terms? The less than edifying conduct of a handful (okay a roomful) of corrupt generals and immoral officers has all but destroyed the image of our armed forces. How can we change that?
Could we perhaps go out of our way to seek our soldiers, yes, even members of the police force, and thank them for their service? Today is a good day to start. Game?
At Sunday’s evening services in the Church of South Las Vegas, I missed the traditional “Easter finery” once worn on that special day. It was “every day casual” for most. Young women shod in bright-colored, super high stilettos and platforms towered over the ladies who wore sandals, strappy shoes or slippers with anklets and toe rings on their tattooed feet. Some wore sleeveless spring dresses or flouncy blouses with spaghetti straps over short, short skirts which billowed provocatively in the Vegas breeze.
Today’s fashions alarm me. Skirts are up to here and necklines down to there! Hot pants are hotter than ever and minis have been further abbreviated. I don’t watch enough television to know which actress or what show dictates the trend.
But I ask, who picks the clothes for our teens or tweens? Can you find anything in the stores that a teenager can wear without alerting the cops?
Can a lola tell her grandchild that her outfit exceeds the bounds of propriety? I don’t mean just for church, but for anywhere? When the child (and, yes, they are still children) is heavy, or overendowed, can we say anything when they show too much? Should anything show at all?
Showing cleavage at 25 may be sexy. But at 12 and 13? By the way, a bra is underwear. Showing bra straps is definitely not a fashion statement. A reminder, tattoos are permanent.
Listening to some of my children and their peers, I get the feeling that they would prefer grandparents to stay out of it. Oh yes, parents do worry, but “the children must be allowed to express themselves,” we are told. “They have their own fashion sense. They know what they want.”
By the way, these jeans with gaping holes, the revealing plunging tops, clingy tee shirts, and skintight pants are not inexpensive. The price tags take your breath away. How can the kids afford to dress this way? You guessed it! Mom and Dad pay the bills.