June 30, 2024

A Dream Job... Deferred?

My professional life has experienced a lot of upheaval since I was forced to quit my job back in 2009. And I still haven't gotten back on my feet again.

It really feels like the guy that made it impossible for me to stay in that job back then didn't just destroy my career. He also ruined my life. 

But that's another story for another day. 

Photo by matthiasboeckel on Pixabay

I'd been so proud of myself when I got a full-time editorial job back in 2015 after being destitute in the wake of two layoffs and some poor career choices that led me astray. I was even more thrilled in 2018 to be able to say I was finally a full-time writer.

Then I got laid off from that job in July 2022—that's a whole 'nother story, too—and, lucky for me, the freelance writing I'd been doing for our local public TV station KCET for over seven years turned into an inhouse gig just two weeks later. 

June 22, 2024

Photo Essay: A Triple Train Tour Through Santa Margarita Ranch, via Pacific Coast Railroad

Last Christmas, I finally got the chance to ride in one of the original Disneyland Railroad cars that are now running on a private railway, the Pacific Coast Railroad, in Santa Margarita, California. 

But because it was a nighttime holiday lights ride, I felt like I hadn't gotten the full experience. 

So I immediately committed myself to coming back and riding the rails on Santa Margarita Ranch during the day. 

Only problem? There's once a year the public can do that: Memorial Day weekend, during the Best of the West Antique Equipment Show. (Otherwise some lucky few get to ride the trains during private events like weddings and such.) 
So, this year I finally hauled my cookies up to the Central Coast to ride the trains—all the trains they offered that weekend, which was three. 

June 16, 2024

Photo Essay: The Museum Preserving Showgirl History in Post-Jubilee Las Vegas

What is Las Vegas without its showgirls?
Well, that's Vegas right now—because since the "Jubilee!" show at Bally's closed in 2016, there's no longer a showgirl show.

Just the girls wearing feathered headpieces standing outside the Flamingo or the Venetian, or on Fremont Street, trying to get cash for photos. 

Well, except the 50-foot ones that were installed on the North Strip section of Las Vegas Boulevard. 

Since October 2023, the closest thing the city has had to a good old fashioned showgirl spectacular is Dita Von Teese's DITA LAS VEGAS: A Jubilant Revue in the Jubilee Theater at Bally's (which was rebranded as Horseshoe Las Vegas in December 2022). Unfortunately, that closed this weekend—but the good news is, I made it back to Vegas in time to see a performance of it on its second-to-last weekend.  

But this post isn't about Dita—and, as I learned at the Las Vegas Showgirl Museum, neither Dita nor her production qualifies as a showgirl show, even though it used some of the Jubilee sets and original costumes designed by Bob Mackie.