I’m really proud I’ve attended every TAM.Â TAM5 saw me flying into Vegas healthy (unlike TAM4 where I suffered through walking pneumonia).Â Arrived late at night to find the Riviera an interesting change from the Stardust.Â The room I was in was a mess.Â Bedside light didn’t work, safe broken, bathroom looked petrie dish like even when “clean”.Â But there were many upsides to the Riviera.Â
Â I travelled to TAM5 with my younger daughter Aynz, and my older daughter Kitten flew in on her own (she’s a big grad student now).Â Younger daughter found the shops at the Riviera much more enjoyable than the shops at the Stardust.Â She quickly discovered the luggage store sold “Coach” bags.Â Honestly, if I had known how reasonably priced these designer bags were I’d have bought her one years ago!Â I found a “Prada” bag for myself.Â I didn’t know Prada did such nice work in vinyl.Â Plus, Prada and Gucci must save money by sharing designers as I could get the bag I bought with Prada or Gucci printed on it!Â Not since the sidewalks of NY have I seen such a plethora of “designer” goods.Â And IN the Riviera!Â Good thing I’m a skeptic, though at $20 you would have to believe in both homeopathy and Sylvia Browne to think I got a real Prada!
Â I checked in to where Scott R. had the stuffing of the packets going very well.Â I helped out for a bit, took some photos, and basically noticed my old pal Hal looking more relaxed and happy than I have ever seen him.Â
Â A bit about Hal Bidlack.Â At the first TAM, his speech after the shuttle blowing up was perhaps the BEST speech I have ever heard.Â The meeting was in danger of simply losing focus and at a loose end.Â Hals speech brought us all together, and reminded up WHY we were at TAM, and the importance of everyone carrying on.Â The right words at the right time, and those words have stayed with me to this day.Â At TAM I found out Hals wife Martha was very ill.Â I thought what a wonderful woman she must be, because she gave up time with him, so he could help Randi and the JREF.Â But there was an air about Hal.Â He had been through a lot, with dignity, with strenght, but he had been tested.
Â So, to see Hal at TAM5, his face perhaps a little less lined.Â His smile very quick to appear, his jokes more upbeat and less self depricating…I knew there had been some changes.Â Or perhaps just one change, Elaine!Â Seeing the “new Hal” started my TAM out the right way!
Finally, there was Randi.Â I saw him, he saw me.Â He then waved away the others around him and said, “Clear the way, incoming, look out!” and ofcourse I RAN over to him for the biggest hug and kiss.Â The first TAM I was terrified of him.Â I had only seen him on tv.Â He was very grim on Larry King.Â The first TAM I was shaking when I went up to shyly request a photo with him.Â This TAM, heck, he KNEW what to expect.Â It was like coming home to hug him again.Â
Â Teenager Aynz wanted to go to Lotus of Siam.Â Last TAM she had missed out, so we decided to play hookey and go for lunch.Â It was as wonderful as I remembered and at lunch it was a little less spicey and they have a nice buffet for those on a budget.Â
Â That evening I was invited by a really great friend Jeff W.Â to attend a very nice dinner.Â I was to be his “date” when his GF couldn’t make it, but she ended up coming anyway.Â Guess she could NOT trust alone with me, and Loon and Jas and his parents and Antiquehunter….well you get the point!Â How much fun is it to really dress up?Â To put on a fur collared sweater (Ha to you PETA), a silk skirt, and some killer suede boots!Â I felt like a princess.Â It was ofcourse delicious, and a treat that as a starving artist (well, not exactly starving with this tum) I may not have again for a long time.Â It was magical.Â The company, the food, and the feeling of being treated really well.Â Ahhh, the good life!
I came back to the Riviera to meet up with Kitten, suffering from a head cold!Â She was banished to the floor with pillows and blanket!Â This TAM I was staying healthy!Â
Â And so to sleep!!Â An exciting morning awaited and I had a date with a roller coaster!