Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

Exaggerated Features

As a last tribute to a lost cause, I had one more look at the Grand Canyon webcam today, just to see what we're missing. As ironic as it sounds, I'm glad to say that the view from the South Rim was lukewarm at best; certainly nothing worth sticking around an extra day for. So, in retrospect, I guess I can file that hare-brained scheme under the heading: 'What was I thinking trying to visit the Grand Canyon in February?'

We've been in Las Vegas for three days now, attending the annual convention of the National Caricaturists Network, of which Rene is a member. I've just returned from the main ballroom of the Palace Station Hotel and Casino, where many of the NCN artists, including Rene, are pulling an 'all-nighter'. To get back to our room I had to walk through the casino, past roulette wheels, poker games, craps tables, blackjack dealers and row after row of slot machines. And although it's pretty quiet at this hour, the place reeks of cigarette smoke. As an ex-smoker, I never thought I would find myself saying this, but... I forget sometimes how lucky we are to live in California where all public buildings are completely smoke free.

Tomorrow is the last day of competition for the NCN artists and is therefore the day when they start feeling the pressure. They get totally obsessed and uber-competitive, so some of them stay up all night, working furiously into the wee hours of the morning, finishing up their most impressive caricatures, and putting the finishing touches on their wall displays. So, needless to say, Rene will be rapt in his world all day tomorrow, leaving me completely to my own devices. I've gotten a good bit of work done since we've been here, so tomorrow night, I think I'm going to give myself a little break and go out for a nice dinner by myself, and maybe a little gambling too [...that's IF I'm feeling LUCKY!].