Vegas Trip Day 3

Saturday November 19th, 2005

The last day in Vegas and im kinda glad to be leaving.. Woke up practically the same time around 10. Here’s something i found out about me sleeping, I EFFIN TALK IN MY SLEEP. Dude I never knew that and I never even had any inclination that i do. I so gotta research this on Google and see what it’s all about. I guess you learn something new everyday, and man o man..
High tailed it out of the hotel and off to Caesars once again. We wanted to double check on the ticket situation. Headed on off to the media room and chatted to someone in charge. Sucks they didn’t remember who we were, i mean they stopped us and pretty much asked us what our business was. The head chick there though remembered who i was and told us to sit down and shell double check on it.
Ben had to plug into the Internet to see what the engine light means on his Jetta. An engine light turning on in the desert, 3 hours away from home for me and 4 for him. Its going to be really interesting. There was some grub behind us. Coffee, tea, water, soda, salsa, cookies, fruit and acruddatay.. Its spelled wrong, but sound it out. Its that dang vegetable plate.
The publicity people there were having a meeting to see how they were going to go about things that day. Heard them mention us, well the LA Weekly. I wasn’t paying much attention. I wanted to see how i was going about the day myself.

Ellen who was one of the head of the people handling the media, she came over and offered us some tickets to certain shows. we ended getting Dave Chappelle and Jon Stewart. Well Ben got the tickets, photogs were allowed access to shoot but I wasn’t sure on actually watching the show situation.
Nell came in to hang out. Nell was another person handling press. She was pretty much the point man doing it all. we ran into her all through out the festival. Leaving the media room the first day, the Earth to America festival, the after party in Pure, and other places.
Next to us sat the writer and photo for the San Diego Union Tribune. We over heard them talk about the drama between Paul Rodriguez, Carlos Mencia, and George Lopez. Ben is friends with Paul, and i was interested in hearing about it. At this time though, i was online double checking some things. I been Internet deprived for 2 days!! hahaha..
Heres the jiss of the conversation. There is some resentment from Paul Rodriguez seeing the stardom of George Lopez and Carlos Mencia. Here is Paul the originator of pretty much the material Carlos and George uses. The Mexican culture themed jokes. Paul expressed his hurt so you say for them. Carlos and George was contacted about Paul comments. Only Carlos responded, and said it was true. He doesn’t give enough credit to Paul. As for George, he didn’t comment or return any calls. I guess Carlos and George went on tour together, and there was drama with them. Hmm.. kinda makes me think what kind of person George Lopez is.

Chatted with them a little bit more. Ben and he talked mostly sports and such. I talked about television and such. The photog, i asked him about what was allowed when shooting and if they kicked you out or not. Good news, they allowed you to shoot during the whole show if you don’t get in other peoples way. Right on!! For Jon Stewart and Dave Chappelle, at least i get to watch the show even if i don’t have a seat.
Too bad that was going to be short lived, Nell calls me over and tells me Dave Chappelle people doesn’t want ANYONE to shoot any photos at all. I was screwed, if im not allowed to shoot in there, then there’s no way for me to get in without a ticket. I asked Nell to see what she can do.
Off to the casino floor… Oh… Before i left, i overheard a conversation saying that Dane was still asleep, told by the manager. It was almost 1pm, Dane you party party animal.
To the casino, was i going to gamble? I really doubt it. Saw the photog from the San Diego Union Tribune playing some blackjack. I just decided to watch and see how they go about playing. For a 15 dollar minimum per hand, and me being broke, having to pay for my notary seminar among other things. I fought every temptation to sit down and start hitting and doubling down.

I get this call from Yvette from Florida. Let me give the set up. I hit up Craig list the night before going into Vegas and seeing who was going to be down there for some Platonic hanging out. This one person hit me up saying her and her friend were going to be down there. Both age 30 so i was told. I didn’t mind, i wanted to see what was going on. They were hitting up a Real Estate convention at the Wynn casino and Hotel. They wanted to meet up at the Caesar Palace. Last night, they went to club Pure, kinda felt like they were trying to follow us and it made me laugh a little bit. Got a call, and they were in the Palace. I told them to meet us in front of Pure, so we could check them out. After a little double dutch trying to get them out in the open to size them up before anything. They were sitting at the slots and i noticed them. I quickly got off the phone and said screw it. They were doing the same thing we were doing, trying to see what’s up. However i knew they were trying to get a favor, favor to check out Dave Chappelle. Sucks for them. Dude sucks for me! I don’t even know how i was going to check out the show…
Ben hit up the bathroom and i chilled out to play some slots. I was starring at the machine for awhile. I said screw it and put in 20 bucks. Again still don’t know what i was doing and again so mindless. I did end up winning 2 dollars, well i think i lost like 8 and won 10. I kept on going and it went gone. So i can say, so far i lost 22 dollars. No worries…

Left to rest on up for the night. Hit up In n Out that was right across the street from our hotel. I didn’t get why.. but we parked at the hotel and walked on over. Don’t ask me.. Got a number 1 animal style both burger and fries. Ate it outside and it was cool.
Back to the hotel to rest. I wanted to check out the comedian award honoring Jerry Seinfeld and the Family Guy Live in Vegas. Ben didn’t want to and i was tired but screw it. Im trying to take in as much as i can while im here. Left on around 4:15 and called a cab downstairs. I waited for 20 mins and called again and they say they were busy. walking around outside some more, i noticed a cab at the Hampton inns across the street and walked on over there. Hopped on in and onward to Caesar palace.
Did the usual small talk. Got lotta information from her and man i was staring at the cab fare making sure i had enough to pay and to tip. The cab fare isn’t all that bad. 3.20 to start off and whatever cents after. The fare ended up being about 10 bucks.
Hopped out in front of the palace, and said thank you and pay and such. After i hopped out and closed the door. I friggin noticed i didnt have my sidekick. I had a friggin minor panic attack. I mean ive never lost it let alone any other phone. But man, the first time ive ever lose it, its in a cab in friggin Las Vegas!! Are you kidding me??? I walked back and when i turn around of course, there were 100 cabs that looked the same. My luck isnt it?? I walked and i think i saw the Van i was in. 1872.. When i kinda try to run to it, it drove off. I was sooo screwed.. I just said screw it for now and id deal with it later. Off to the Palace Ballroom.

Of course i had the phone in the corner of my mind. Went on my marry way. On the escalator i see Doug Benson of Best Week Ever. Asked him if Paul got a private table and played hold em or not. Doug told me does he even have money and i just laughed.
Went to the door where i was escorted in for Dane Cook. The man outside remembered me and let me in. I came back to the usual green room i was used to the night before. When i entered Anderson Cooper was chillin. He was the moderator to this thing. I guess it was a panel with Chris Rock, Robert Kline, Gary Sandaling, and Jerry Seinfeld. Behold, Gary was writing on the plush red seats while Chris and Jerry were chatting it up. I noticed another photographer and i just whipped out my camera and started shooting. Chris Rock turns to me and said, “Shoot him [pointing at Gary], comedic genius at work.” I told him of course i will. I shot at Gary, and then of Jerry and what not. Behind them, i see this ice sculpture with sushi all around it. Did a few more shots and the photographer looked at me, and i shook his hand. He asked me, who are you shooting for. I told him LA Weekly. He quickly changed his demeanor and told me i should be back there. I was like, what the heck? Where was i suppose to shoot? You need to leave and blah blah. I was like are you kidding me? What a dick!!! I figured i wasn’t suppose to be back there, but cmon now.. haha..
Went back where i came from, and into the audience towards the back where the other photogs were. Stayed to shoot a little of the panel and ran to the Colosseum. Went towards the back way and i was allowed to enter and take the elevator. I was thinking, dude this is where Celine Dion enters and exits. Anyways.. i entered the dress room holding area and went up to the elevator. I was met with someone and hung out in the aisle way in front of the orchestra. I was shooting there. I had more things to worry about. Like my phone and what i was going to do. Good thing i had a lock on the phone, but that doesn’t mean much if its a code that is kinda pretty easy to crack. Only me and someone else knows for sure what the code is, again but still. If they guess it, they could read my emails, my contacts and charge up my phone bill.

I called T-Mobile to shut off my phone in which i did. However whatever made me ask, i asked. I asked what would happen to my contacts and emails. She told me that it would be lost once i reactivate my new sim card and phone. That freaked the hell of me. Those are really important to me, i have over 400 contacts and much more email. I can’t lose that because it would be a bitch to reenter. i do have my contacts sync with outlook on my computer, but it wasn’t updated. I thought that information was backed up on tmobile servers, cuz if you move your sim card to other sidekick. All your information is downloaded back to the phone. I told the lady to just reactivate my phone, i need those contacts. If the phone was lost, at least i can go online and print out my contacts. I also asked how much a new sidekick unit would be and she told me $379. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!! I paid full price for the one i lost and that was 350ish. Tmobile knows how to kick you when you are down don’t they. I barely just got my new software update for the phone… 2.3… It enhances the phones functionality and updates it. I haven’t even had a full day of trying this out without distractions. Man..
An usher overheard my conversation, and i explained it to him. Robert was his name and he was really cool. Seth McFarlane and Alex Borstein were performing. The whole point of the show was them doing the voices of the Family Guy cast. I guess they had a album out and just a bunch of songs with various voices. If you didn’t know Seth McFarlane is the creator and voiced of EVERYONE cept Lois, and the 2 kids. So he does Stewie, the dog, the dad, Quagmire and so on. Alex does Lois. The songs they were singing were really funny. Really sexually charge and it was much funnier in the form of the voices. I shot a few photos, kinda wanted to watch the whole show, however the phone thing still on my mind. Oh there was this bitch of an usher. I knew her rather large ass was staring at me before the show started. At one point, she came up to me and asked me were you escorted in by someone. My handler that was in front of me turned around and said its me.
Mind you, on my way to the Jerry thing and Family Guy i was calling and calling. At a point, i stopped because i figured if someone picked it up. They werent going to pick it up. Its a sidekick, pretty hot item. Very trendy for the Hollywood kids, but i noticed a lot more Treos. During my frantic calling, i got a call from someone from the club ICE. He got me VIP on the guest list. Too bad i don’t think the club was in any casino and pretty much was outside somewhere. After leaving the Family Guy thing, i called one more time and the cab driver picked up. So relieved!! I talked to her and decided to meet back at Caesars. I mean i needed a ride back to my hotel anyways. I met her at the Forum Shop entrance. I hung out down there until she came along. There was an oxygen bar there. I usually find them pretty stupid but for whatever reason. I wanted to try it out, i felt a little stressed and they even give you a massage too. Just starred at the bar, didn’t really end up doing it.

Eventually the cab driver came. I was right on the number 1872. Headed on back to the hotel. Talked to her some more, she told me she couldn’t figure out how to use my phone. Im just glad i got it back. Saved me the trouble and about 400 bucks i could use on William Rast clothing. Back to the hotel and got ready. The cab driver hooked me up with some vip passes to a few clubs and least got an option there. I also had her cell number, so i got myself a person cabby anytime im in Vegas. Screw calling for one they lag like mad.
Took a shower and off we go. Got to the Colosseum and went towards the back. We had to wait until someone took us to where we were going to shoot. Again at the aisle but it wasn’t bad. Robert was there and chatted a few. The allowance to shoot Jon Stewart was absurd. 1 min to shoot him. Are you kidding me? It not enough time to adjust to the lack of distance and light. Shot Jon and pictures came out like crap. What you going to do though? You have to listen to his people or you just going to be blacklisted or even kicked out.
Kris from what i remember was in charge. Ron was there also. We asked if we could watch after shooting and they allowed it. However they went to some empty seats at the top and we were allowed to go sit with them. Jon Stewart is a funny guy, i can never get enough of showing how the Bush Administration is just screwing the American people. Heres what i recall from it. Bush isn’t stupid, eating soap is stupid. Bush doesn’t give a crap. At least Clinton would spin it. Just thought that was funny good stuff..
I tried to see if i could pull the seat things with the publicist people for Dave Chappelle. Got shut down sooo bad!! Oh well.. I tried and the photog front he New York Times tried too.
Headed to the front to wait for Ben. Talked to the writer at the New York Times. Saw him backstage at Dane and wondered what type of stuff he asked him. He informed me at Dane is doing Saturday Night Live December 3rd. Wow, this is Dane year!! Most selling comedy album in a quarter century. Now thing. Dane deserves everything that comes to him. he effin rocks. I still remember the first time i saw him on Jimmy Kimmel 2 years ago. Every year hes gotten bigger, more famous.. Its just amazing.
After a little more conversing, Ben calls me over where hes chillin with Tom Leykis. I go over and join the conversation huddle and introduce myself to Tom. We decided to get a few drinks. However i noticed a girl walking by with another chick. I get a good glimpse at her face and its effin CASEY FROM LAGUNA BEACH!!… It took me a second to process and i yell out her name but she didnt turn around. That kinda cemented that Talan and Kimberly Stewart are in town to elope. Still who knows? Casey is a shortie however still pretty cute.
Off to the bar to hang out with Tom and his producer, Gary. Got a few shots of Tequila and hung out and chatted. People were coming up asking for pictures and such. More chatting and told us a few things about his going ons. Something that has to stay in Vegas and cant be repeated over here.
Dave Chappelle show was coming up. I saw him and his entourage taking the back entrance into the Colosseum. Hes a tall tall guy! Left Tom and Gary headed off to the entrance. Tried to figure any way to get in for me. Ben left on inside and i hung out. Saw Jeff Ross with a camera in front of him. When i thought they weren’t rolling tape, i went up to him and asked him how his show and q&a for Patriot Act were. He said it was good and i just chilled out. I heard Ben yell my name from inside. I guess the scanning ticking things went down. I took Ben’s ticket and tried to get in. The metal detector went off because i still had my camera. I just told the chick im not using it and flashed my ticket and my media badge. She let me in and i was amazed!! Getting through the doors is one thing, finding a seat that wont eventually be taken was another.
I took the elevator up to where i sat before for Jon Stewart and took a seat at the end. I was just hoping no one was going to come and take the seat, therefore i might get kicked out for not having a ticket. I just sat there on edge, at any minute someone could come and claim their seat and i would have been out of there. Two guys sat next to me, and i thought i doubt anyone would buy a single ticket. Usually people at least come in pairs. There was an open seat behind me too. So i was kinda in the clear. Too bad i didn’t feel that way, every time the door opened, i looked back and my heart stopped.
The first comedian went up. Don’t remember his name, all i remember was that he was half Mexican and French or something?? I didnt laugh at any of his jokes. Not because he wasn’t funny, just its kinda hard to lose your inhibitions and laugh when you dont know if you were going to get your butt kicked out.
That comedian was done, and Dave came on. At this point i loosen up a little and started to enjoy Dave. I couldn’t believe i was in, at a sold out show. Dave was funny as heck!! Not as racially charged like usual but he sure was hella sexual. Funny as you would expect, made comments of his departure from his show on Comedy central and the 50 million dollar offer. Loved the show.. I had my camera on me, and i was thinking. Should i pull out my camera and take a few pics?? Didnt do it, but was tempted!!
The show was done and on our way out. Went on over to Pure and tried to see if i could get in. The only reason why i wanted to go there was that Jeremy Piven was hosting there. One of my favorite actors and on one of my favorite shows. I wanted to check him out and hang out. I hit up HBO to see if they could get me in and they didn’t know anything about the event. Got there and it was a mad mad line. Talked to one of the security guys and i guess there was a guest dj, guest host (Piven) and UFC was having their afterparty there. UFC had a match at the MGM. No luck getting in there. I was to the point where i wanted to leave Vegas anyways… Just left back to the hotel, got some food at Jack in the Box and was outties!
3 days was pretty fun. One for the record books, but i can to an epiphany. Las Vegas is known as the City of Sin right? However everything seemed to work out for me. VIP into the Earth to America After party at Pure, meeting and hanging with Dane Cook, saw Dave Chappelle perform were the main things. Much much more happen. Like in the City of Sin, things worked out and went my way. I don’t know… Maybe this is my city and in a city of Sin i am at home?? Or just luck?? But you all know what i think about luck. It only happens when opportunity meets preparation. So i guess i was prepared for this… Until next year!!
In the city of Sin, i am a little too lucky and way way too comfortable and in my element

About Anh Nguyen

Anh Nguyen is a Los Angeles based freelance photographer. Over the past six years, he has covered various concerts, movie premieres, red carpets, parties, and events. A southern California native, Anh attended UCLA and holds a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy and a minor in Accounting. In addition to photography, he is currently pursuing his license as a CPA and hopes to go law school. Adding to his many interests, Anh also loves to cook and has worked as a line cook for Food Network's celebrity chef Scott Conant's restaurant, Scarpetta, in Beverly Hills.