HAPPY NEW YEAR, etc. How was yours? Mine was rung in with a gratifying elementality — fairly rum-punched, cataleptically dancing with anyone and everyone in a friend’s living room to a, whoa, live DJ whose impressive, blocky rig took up a third of the room.
The elemental part was in said friend’s festively bonfired backyard: a bubbly toast at midnight amid literal fire and rain. The Stratosphere, looking well within fumbling, drunken, longing reach, incandesced like a matchstick. Even when I turn a thousand years old I will never be over the primal and stupid awe of fireworks. Earlier, we had dinner on Main Street. Second holiday surf and turf of the season. Too much, which, for the season, means enough. Carrying around my gut like a nervously clutched briefcase, I’m fortified well into the new year.
HERE ARE SOME other things that happened earlier that did some woo-woo telemetry on my 2023: Chad Scott’s Seven Years in the Desert exhibit at Sahara West, a soulclap of a show if you let it in. (On display through Feb. 25) They’re vast ballpoint scribblings on sail-sized panels that say something about devotion and the personal religious practice of where you point your most valuable resource, your attention.1
GOT A TAROT reading at Square Bar. It was framed as a novelty side dish to ladies night, but — at the risk of vaporizing its private import and mystery — I was feeling it. Pulled justice, two of rods, eight of swords. Meaning: Choices to be made with a sensible sense of balance and fairness. Still mulling the swords. Am I the chopper or the choppee on the chopping block? Haven’t really equpped any armor, so looks like adaptive vulnerability it is. Welcome to 2023.
Here are some cool things going on this week.
10p Monday Jan. 2 at The Sand Dollar Lounge: Billy Ray Charles plays rousing, old-school, no-nonsense blues. A good opportunity to rout any bad lingering leftover gremlins of 2022.
7:30p Wednesday Jan. 4 at Mixer Lounge: Truth Collective Poetry Team Invitational. Not to make premature, errant and grandiose declarations about 2023 Las Vegas or anything, but maybe this is the year of spoken word in the valley, question mark? This every-Wednesday event is coming on strong with the verbalizers.
7p Thursday Jan. 5 at Clark County Library: Not to make sweeping reductionist pronouncements about “what made Las Vegas,” but it’s a good bet that it was air travel. This installment of the Las Vegas Stories series, “Pushing Boundaries: How Airlines Connected the American West,” will explore the utterly transformative power of air travel on our radiant slice of civilization.
10a Thursday Jan. 5 at the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve: The opening of the Monarch Butterfly Garden. I’m getting possibly inaccurately romantic visions of a fluttering field of monarchs ripe for slow-motion frolicking and blissy reflection, but in any case, it sounds like a neato addition to one of my fave zen spots in the valley.
I’m probably depressurizing someone’s best-kept secret, but don’t skip the Sahara West Library’s used book store. Total scorefest. Picked up Jaron Lanier’s Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, and I’ve never been more, uh, apprehensive of cogent, prophetic argumentation. It’s one of those fruitful, anticipatory fears that tells you you’re about to do something necessarily medicinal.