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xmag.com : January 2002 : The Gospel

The Gospel according to Viva Las Vegas - "the laziest gal downtown"


Congratulations! Most of you survived 2001! Which, if my strip-club poll is any indication, was the hardest year of your life! Or at the very least, a sobering, terrifying, and heartbreaking year of reckoning. I personally don't think I've ever been more eager for a fresh start--to sweep out the ashes and rekindle the fire for 2002.

A lot of people like to disregard the New Year or--worse--celebrate it by getting drunk and making small talk and fucking strangers. Not me. I like to get drunk and soul-search! And then beg to be blessed, absolved, and changed. Every year I sketch out a few resolutions, and every year the same three top the list. One could see in this a stubborn, uninspired laziness or a lack of willpower, but I'm comforted by my mantra-like resolutions. Whatever wacky place I'm at geographically or psychologically, I always want the same three things: to create more and better, to live more sensually, and to finally get organized.

Now, the get-organized may never happen; I'm resolved to that possibility. It seems to be the flip side of creation, anyhow. But my desire to be the tiniest bit practical is worth reiterating annually, I figure, and the hope is that the more organized I get, the more I'll create. This year I want to create a book. A book about you with pictures. And of course I'd like to start a new band (or maybe just a new 12-Step group: Rock Bands Anonymous).

But the most important resolution every year is the promise to live more sensually. I should re-resolve this every day: to taste, see, touch, smell, and hear more vividly, more consciously. Life's a scary dance, and it can be a huge relief to go on auto-pilot. But it's so much more rewarding and delicious to stick your chin out, not knowing whether it'll be hit or kissed. God, I got hit a lot this year. But I got kissed a lot, too, and while I'll say it was the hardest year of my life, I wouldn't change one thing about it. I exercised my senses, and they toned up right good. I had adventures in fashion. I fed my ravenous soul. I ate more oysters and steaks and drank my liquor straight. I had the best make-out with a girl I've had since playing Joanie-and-Chachi in third grade. I went to Venice, Italy, and Richmond, Virginia. I let my heart out of its cage and then put it back in and then let it out again. I saw The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 and A Hard Day's Night. I reread Breakfast at Tiffany's and The Great Gatsby. I stared down my dream of moving to NYC and meeting David Bowie. I made fifty new friends and memorized the maps of three new cities.

And on September 11th (12th, 13th, 14th, etc.), I got to experience exactly what I'd been talking about, hoping for, and lamenting as long-gone for ten years. Ever since my formal training in anthropology began, I've been calling for community as a cure-all and yearning to see some collective effervescence that was not just Britney Spears-inspired. Well, I finally got it. Which is the flip side of the New Year's Resolution, the cynical caveat:

Be careful what you wish for....


P.S. Some jackass totaled my car and one casualty of the wreck was my "I love Las Vegas" sticker. I need a new one! Help!



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