Nov 15, 2004


Outside my window, a few blocks away, they just imploded the second section of the old Desert Inn.

Feels good. It's been such a fucking frustrating day, and I've been stuck in this room, where I can't throw or break a thing. Let the buildings collapse.

Until next time, keeping the anger alive, and having my eyes opened in Vegas,

Assembling Christmas Cheer

My mall decorating on the east coast is done. Every bone aches after two weeks of non-stop, all-night work. I'm cut and bruised. And buff, of course. My feet, objects of pain on even a normal day, have gone well beyond their customary donation of discomfort. My steps are like dragging bare bones, wrapped in raw nerves, like wreaths wrapped in twinkle lights, across rough concrete.

This is no common interior decoration job. This is heavy construction. Fifty foot cranes. Twenty foot scissor lifts. Scaffolding and power tools. Ornaments of welded steel and chicken wire, big enough to stand in, heavy enough to crush you, hung from aircraft cable and chain.

The scale and expense of these decorations is mind-blowing. A crew of twenty works night after night to make hallways blink with lights, to build elaborate sets for elves and Santa pictures. The money. The time. The effort. The human experience. All for a massive project that will be laboriously dismantled, packaged, and lugged to storage, with trucks and freight lifts, in less than two months.

It seems as ephemeral and indulgent as a fireworks show - in which I'm a firework.

And yet, I'm told that this is nothing when compared to what is ahead. Vegas is the capital of overkill. All the malls together will not match the opulence and scale of the tacky monstrosities to be installed at Caesar's Palace and Forum Shops.

I never thought I'd say these things: I miss the sun; I dread the flight to Vegas, and even the stay; and somehow, most unbelievable of all, I feel more isolated now than during all my months in Millville.

This will be the longest month of my life, and all to finance a move to LA, all to watch the meager pay vanish in moving costs. Poof!

So temporary. So exhausting. So un-engaging. And so sad.

Nov 13, 2004

Landmark Mall, Alexandria, Virginia

Within spitting distance of the Pentagon...

Each side of this wreath
weighed 350 pounds...

Nov 9, 2004

Jersey Gardens, Elizabeth, NJ

Pulling out before visitors can arrive, and getting cancellations every day...
Welcome to North Jersey!

A stripper could dance inside these ornaments,
without movement impeded. Of course, the chicken wire
would cut the stripper to pieces, and the frequently
electrified steel cross-beams would probably knock
the stripper unconscious. Trust me.

This tree is 60ft tall.

More to come!

Nov 5, 2004

Park City, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

The heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country...