Thursday, June 28, 2012

Our most serious call to action yet

If you don't go to STBE, you want Mike to die.

Disclaimer: Mike is not dying; we're just ridiculous.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Theme Night Spotlight: Mormon Missionaries

For the first time ever, we formed an STBE planning committee and had a planning meeting, which was really just an excuse to get together and have a few drinks.

Anyhoo, the goal was to choose the third theme night. Red Hat Ladies is a staple night, and White Trash legitimately won both polls, so we had to decide between what was left on the list. Except nothing really jumped out at us, so we decided to go all wild card.

We toyed with the notion of Stevie Nicks' Fajita Roundup night, but thought people would be confused and think we were witches. And also, that we'd be really hot.

lucy lawless by dummy-account

Then we thought Polygamist Mormons might be fun, but Ryan thought we didn't have enough people to make the whole sister-wife thing obvious.

So we ended up going with the next best thing: Mormon Missionaries!!! I want to first state that I have no problem with Mormon people; with the exception of one a-hole in high school, every Mormon I have met has been extremely nice. What many of us take issue with is the church's involvement in political issues, especially gay marriage. So this is all intended in good fun, we're not bashing Mormons here, OK?

We decided that we should all match, so here is your official checklist of items needed for Mormon Missionary night.

Short-sleeved white dress shirt.
These can be found at Walmart for about $9.

Black knee-length shorts. Actually, these are too long - they should hit just above the knee.
A cheap alternative can be found (once again) at Walmart for about $12.

Knee-high socks.
A black necktie.
What kind of Mormons would we be if we didn't have one of these?
Optional accessories:

Bike helmet.
Easy enough, right?

You can get a copy of the Book of Mormon for free by asking them to send you one, but you'll be on the  mailing list. Alternately, you can have it sent to someone you hate or to a vacant house nearby. Jessie suggested visiting the local temple and asking for a copy, Will found one in a hotel nightstand, or you can buy one for a few bucks on Amazon.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

just to clear up any confusion

Binh is unfortunately NOT going to be at STBE 2012. She signed up for another year in the Peace Corps. Yay for Madagascar, boo for us.

If you have questions about STBE, feel free to visit the FAQ page, as that should answer any questions you have. If for whatever reason it doesn't, you can ask me.

Theme Night Spotlight: Red Hat Ladies

Where to Loverboy said, you better start from the start. Here's the official story from the official website of the Red Hat Society. Have fun!!!

See the scarf on the lady right in front? I have that.
Long story short, old ladies get together and to celebrate how fun and sassy they still are (after 50!) they wear bright purple dresses with bright red hats, all of which is accented by ridiculous red accessories. There are queen mothers and all kinds of other weird things about this group. I happened upon a Red Hat Society store when I was going to grad school in Fullerton and found out later that the lady responsible for all of this lives in Fullerton.

These people really are just begging for people like us to dress up like them in Vegas.
When my mom turned 50, her friend bought her a Red Hat Society book and told her to join. My mom was humiliated, even more so when my sister and I bought a Red Hat Society antenna ball and put it on her car. Just in case it isn't obvious, my mom wants nothing to do with the Red Hat Society, at least not until she's an actual old lady.

This is not my mom.
Binh, who has forsaken us once again in her quest to make the world better, did some research and found that women under 50 can join as honorary members, but they have to wear lavender and pink and are called pink hatters. Binh dressed up as a pink hatter the first time we did this theme, and because no one really knows about the pink hatters, people thought we had kidnapped a young Vietnamese child. True story.
Now can we put to rest those rumors that Binh doesn't exist?
The key to being an awesome red hat lady is to look sassy. And old.

I love Mike's old lady face.

 So you can see why this night is such a hit. We did this first in 2008 and brought it back for STBEX and decided then that it would be a staple theme night because people love it so much.

Red hat ladies have the most fun.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Theme Night Spotlight: White Trash

In order to help you come up with the perfect white trash outfit, here's a handy checklist of things that are white trash:

  • Mullets
You got a perty mouth...
  • Camaros - there's hillbilly WT and 80's burnout Camaro-driving WT

Sure, this is technically a Trans-Am, but it's made by the same company.

  • Patriotism (we actually had a patriotism night a few years ago that was really white trash) - being patriotic doesn't make you white trash, but everyone knows that anything patriotic is white trash. Seriously, go to Walmart if you don't believe me.

  • Wifebeaters (the shirt, but I suppose people who beat wives would fall into the WT category)
  • Pregnant and drinkin' - a WT woman knows that a baby growin' inside her can't get in the way of her partying!

  • Bathrobes in public
  •  Overalls
  •  Cheap beer

  • People who once drove lowered mini trucks
  • This guy

This is not an exhaustive list by any means, hopefully it inspires some great outfits!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Let's learn more about Biff's, the official home of STBE 2012

Some of you (Kim) might be thinking, "What? The Plaza changed its name to Biff's? How is that classier?"
The true name of the hotel is The Plaza, but sharp-eyed Back to the Future II fans know that it stood in for Biff Tannen's Pleasure Paradise in alternate 1985. We stayed at Biff's for STBE one year, and managed to get "upgraded" to the nicer rooms. While large and more or less clean, it was pretty gross overall. We vowed to never go back again, but were won over by the recent renovations involving the interior furniture and decor from the never-finished Fontainebleau.

The Plaza now bills itself as "the best hotel & casino in Downtown Las Vegas," and we will be the judges of that!!! The rooms look just as big as before, but much, much fancier.

The carpet used to be super-gross.
They've also changed up the restaurants, including a klassie steakhouse owned by former Vegas mayor, Oscar Goodman. Naturally, he named it Oscar's. Part of the experience is that a "broad" will come talk to you about politics at your table. WTD? I might have to save up to experience true klass. The nasty buffet that got us all sick is now Hash House A-Go-Go. Some things remain the same, such as the Subway and McDonald's on the first floor. Yay, Dollar Menu!!!

Beef, booze, and broads. Sounds klassie.
They claim the rooftop pool is "iconic," and again, we will be the judges of that. The rooftop pool at Binion's was truly a rooftop pool - it was on the top of the tower. There are apparently two pools here, one on the 7th floor, and one on the 5th floor depending on which tower you find yourself in. Also, it's a drop-in pool, and we enjoyed getting our entire group to jump in at the same time to see if we could get it to crash down into the rooms below it (we couldn't). Also, if I recall correctly, the pool area was lined with very tired astroturf that had seen much better days, and the cabanas weren't all that (not that we checked them out or anything). But, the drinks were cheap!

Now, let's go to the reviews (I'll try to find pictures of the pool, too):

TripAdvisor users gave it an average of 3.5 stars (or dots, it looks like), with mixed reviews - some people raved, some people thought it was a dump. Not much is quotable here other than "best non-Nugget choice on Fremont." I never go in expecting much (mostly because I always try to stay wherever I can get the best deal - see: Binions; once you've stayed there, everything else is a luxury).

Yelpers only give it 2.5 stars. My favorite quote, mostly because the grammar is so bad: "Fremont Street restores its old casinos, not destroys them." Points for knowing the difference between its and it's, but it loses points for bad subject-verb agreement. The reviews are also much more helpful than the TripAdvisor ones: "The Swingers Bar has $.50 draft beers." Thank you!!! Also helpful: "The North tower is not as nice as the South tower.  It was doable, but trust me, you want to be in the South tower." I always look down on Yelpers, but they have the answers to the questions I ask: where is the cheap beer and where are the least shitty rooms?

Most of the post-renovation reviews are positive, save for some complaints that seem to have more to do with the class of the reviewer than the hotel itself:
We got a smoking room. One of the people who stayed in the room didn't want us smoking in there so we smoked near the ice machine. Security kicked us out of there too. First of all, if you come to Vegas(especially Fremont) then you shouldn't have to deal with this.
I don't consider it to be a problem with the hotel that they don't want people smoking near the ice machine (the entire review revolves around security being assholes to people who were probably acting like assholes themselves).

Interestingly, users gave it a 3.9 rating, but the first few reviews are pretty bad. There were complaints about a lack of air-conditioning. I'm sure that can be fixed with a quick room change.

I've wasted too much time on amateur reviews, so here's a link to CheapoVegas's overview of the new Plaza. Here's the highlight we've all been waiting for:

How's the Pool?

The Plaza Hotel Las Vegas pool is old and ratty, but decent for downtown. Why couldn't they have put some of that renovation money towards this? It's nowhere near as nice as a place like the Mandalay Bay, but the big rectangular pool serves its purpose, getting you wet!  There are also some dilapidated tennis courts up there that hint at how grand the hotel once was. Ah, the glory days.
 Sounds about right. I'm sure we can hoof it over to the Nugget and hang for a while.

That's about how I remember it.

Friday, June 22, 2012

STBE theme nights and hotel are set!!!

We'll be staying at Biff's (The Plaza, for you non-Back to the Future fans).

And the theme nights are set.

Friday: White Trash

Saturday: Red Hat Ladies

Sunday: Mormon Missionaries
There are more announcements to come!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

hotel prices

I'm looking into hotel prices so we can make a decision about where to stay this year. The newly-renovated Plaza (aka Biff's) is running (average) $48 a night (Friday and Saturday are more expensive than Sunday).

The Golden Nugget (home to STBE 2010 and 2011) is $81 a night, but I'll wait to see if I get some Priceline credits in my inbox) to make bidding worthwhile (I think I ended up getting it for $35 a night last year with the help of some bid credits for $10 a night).

There will be a meeting next week, and we'll hopefully get everything figured out.

Fremont Street concert

This year, the Fremont Street Experience theme is "Rock of Vegas," I assume to ride the coattails of Rock of Ages. Anyhoo, they have a bunch of butt rockers playing all summer. On August 18th (Saturday night), Survivor will be playing. Eye of the Tiger!!! Sh'ow!!!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Round Two of theme night voting is over!!!

Here are the results:

Theme Night    Votes (Round Two)
White Trash    39
Bingo Maniacs    30
Hobos    29
Toga! Toga! Toga!    27
Butt Rock    22
Nuns    22

Car Accident "Victims"    21
Old Timey Gangsters    20
Douchebags/Preppies    18
Trekkies    17

The bolded themes will move onto either a third round of voting or the Bay Area STBE contingent will choose two themes. I haven't decided yet. Feel free to make your arguments for or against any of these themes via blog comments or messageboard.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

please vote for FIVE themes

I know you may have less than five favorites, but I want to keep a fair count. Hahaha, I say that while encouraging voter fraud. While committing voter fraud, make sure to vote for 5 themes!!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Round Two of theme night voting

I narrowed it down to the top ten. The new poll is to the right. Vote early and vote often (restricted to one vote per day per IP address, which is plenty easy to get around). Pick FIVE.