Max Koch Uncorked

Wine-soaked adventures through a twisted life…

A Few Quiet Days in Las Vegas… (Part One)

When you go to Las Vegas, you’re not supposed to HIDE in your dark, air-conditioned hotel room for 5 days — reading books, watching lame “scary” movies on your laptop, WORKING, and making weird videos. No! You’re supposed to drink and party and gamble and suck down decadent buffet fare! You’re expected to hit a strip club or punch out a bouncer or lose your nest eggIdeally, you wanna even try to get into some kinda hot water. And, no, I don’t mean within the confines of a jacuzzi spa tub.

And this is truly why I suck at Vegas. I can’t relax there. It’s impossible. It’s just not my scene. It doesn’t help that we bring our PUGS to Vegas. Who does THAT?? Well, the story there is…we can’t seem to go anywhere without “the boys” right now. We’re THAT addicted to them. It’s a problem. They’re a problem. A very, very, very lovable, sweet, sometimes stinky, always reliable…problem. It’s why we couldn’t get to Ireland last year. Malcolm is a maniac (our beloved “special needs” child) and Mickey is old and full of compromising health issues. Who the hell but us is gonna correctly take care of these two little black clowns when we’re gone? Nobody.

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So they stayed with us at the Cosmopolitan on The Strip. See, the wife had to attend a human resources conference out there and so that always becomes an excuse for a big ol’ family road trip. Especially if we can score dog-friendly accommodations. The Cosmopolitan provided really swell digs, including a 14th floor canine relief area for the boys…and our room’s view looked down on the Fountains of Bellagio, which provided a soothing, visual meditation at day’s end.

Entertainment-wise, we checked out Blue Man Group. Now I had never seen these dudes before and – forgive me for being grandiose – I thought I was witnessing some sort of artistic revolution happening right there on stage at the Monte Carlo! I was SO blown away by the hijinx of these three odd, azure-painted fellows. I was also moved to tears by a particular piece of music they performed. It seriously felt like an alien invasion was going down: They landed. Observed us (with those intense, unnerving, beady eyes of theirs). Mounted an onstage art-and-magic exhibition. Took a random woman plucked from the audience out on a date, one that may as well have been choreographed by Charlie Chaplin. Shared their weirdness and percussion prowess with us. Even taught us a few profound, invaluable life lessons.

And then they were gone…


We bought a Blu-ray of theirs and some drumsticks that light up blue and headed back to the Cosmo.


I almost forgot.

Before the show, I waltzed right up to the bartender of the Blue Man theater and asked him to make me “the biggest, bluest, most annihilating adult beverage” he could concoct back there.

BARTENDER: Oh, I know what YOU want…

ME: You DO?

BARTENDER: Oh, yes, my friend. You want an Adios.

ME: An Adios?? Yes! Yes. That is EXACTLY what I want. An Adios. But can I call it a BLUE Adios?

Boom. Cut to: me sitting there in the audience with one of those ridiculously-gigantic, Blue Man-brand sports bottles full of Blue Adios. It did the trick.

I did NOT share my Blue Adios with the wife. No, I bought her her own. A tinier, girlier version, of course.

blue max group

As the days bled on, I found myself falling into a bit of a depression out there in ol’ Las Vegas. It just sometimes feels like everybody around me is gaining greater success than I. Well…to be fair, they ARE. But what I need to realize is that, while things may be slow for me right now…that doesn’t mean that’s how it’s going to be forever. And I think that might be another reason why it was so hard for me to relax out there. The town is BUILT on luck, right? Which is significantly lacking in my life these days. More with the career stuff than anything, I think. I mean, I KNOW how lucky I am. But those waves of chance that lead to greater success? I could stand to catch a new one of those sooner than later. That said, I DID manage to do pretty well on the slots. And I’m no gambler, by any stretch. Betting my hard-earneds on pure chance is something I just could not willfully afford to do all the time, even if I was filthy rich. But there’s nothing wrong with poppin’ a few singles down in the adult arcades now and again. Me, I’d rather spend my $$ on booze. 

WINE PAIRING: How about a 2013 Pinot Noir from the Lucky Dogg Winery in Solvang? See? Our luck’s changing already. Yours AND mine. 

COMING UP NEXT: Sammy Hagar’s cantina! Sindy the 31-foot tall stripper! And lest we forget Zombie Burlesque!


  1. pd

    Good stuff. I find myself overwhelmed at times by Vegas, Disney and the likes regularly needing to head back to the room for some quietude. I love that you take the boys with you. My hubs refuses to leave ours with anyone but they are so wild we could never bring them along most places.

    • maxkochuncorked

      PD, does this mean you don’t take a lot of vacations these days…? “Regularly needing to head back to the room for some quietude…” Poetry.