Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: inspiration, textures, vacation

Beyond the ever-present “clinking” of the slot machines… and the in-your-face
card “clickers” on the streets… Las Vegas has some incredible things to see.
It’s the details. It’s the colors. It’s the textures. It’s Vegas, Baby!!!





Categories: cirque du soleil

So now I’ve seen all of the Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas… that is as long as
you don’t really consider that “Criss Angel” magic fiasco a true Cirque show!

So here’s my quick review of the current Las Vegas shows as a true Cirque aficionado!
Of course, these are my own thoughts, nothing official, in ascending order!!!
Yes, I’m a dork – and a huge fan of Cirque du Soleil… can you tell?


#5 – Zumanity – touted as the “sensual side” of Cirque du Soleil.
But let me just say… it wasn’t at all as steamy, racy or sexy as they had built it up
to be in my head. It was much more “vaudevilley”… and topless like any other
Vegas show. And a lot of English speaking parts… I must admit I prefer the
“jibberish” of the more traditional Cirque shows. And what really annoyed me,
my two favorite songs on the soundtrack were NOT part of the show!!!


#4 – Mystere – the most “traditional” of the Cirque shows in Las Vegas.
After seeing several of the touring shows in Chicago, I think there is a certain
charm to the original style of Cirque du Soleil. I love the music, the performances,
the costumes, the action – and this show had it all. The Taiko drums are incredible!
Unfortunately… it is another proscenium stage where everyone sits facing a “box”
stage. I must admit I prefer sitting under Le Grand Chapiteau tent in-the-round
when the traveling show comes to Chicago!


#3 – KA – a technical marvel. The stage not only moves… it rotates… it floats…
and it even goes completely vertical – WITH the performers still on it! Amazing!
However… this show has a lot more storyline going throughout. And a lot of
martial arts.  I was quite impressed by the décor of the theater. Loved the towers
that surround the audience and how some of the performers use them throughout
the show. Incredible music… but the live performance wasn’t as clear as the
studio soundtrack!


#2 – O – a splashing good time! Another technical marvel, but a lot more traditional
Cirque style. Beautiful music, beautiful costumes & fantastic performances! Loved it.
It’s amazing to the stage when you first walk in… it looks flat like any other stage.
And then the splashing, flipping, diving, flying and other water fun begins! The entire
stage “floor” is the top surface of a huge water pool. So the trapeze artists fly over the
water, splash into the water and “dive” dismount into the water. And then out of nowhere –
someone walks right across the stage… on top of the water! And then as you begin to
process that one, then all of the water bursts into flame?! What?! It’s incredible.


#1 – LOVE – My most recent show… and current favorite!!! I was totally engrossed
the entire time! And what fun to go to a show and already know every single word
to every single song! They’ve done a wonderful job bringing the music & characters
of The Beatles’ classic songs to life on the stage. Things appear out of nowhere, and
then disappear as quickly as they arrived. Things fly in & out. Lots of lights. Lots of
costumes. Lots of confetti. And audience “enveloping” fun in the middle! I would
definitely “LOVE” to come back and see this one again… and again… and again!

Categories: nature, vacation

It was our last day in Las Vegas.  Finally.
And as if we hadn’t already walked well over a hundred cement miles
over the past two weeks… we decided to go hiking in Red Rock Canyon
with our new friend John who now lives in Las Vegas. It was an
incredible day off the Strip – enjoying the natural beauty of Vegas!!!



We started out on the Calico Hills hiking trail. It was beautiful introduction
to the red rock formations. It was a rigorous climb through the rocks, up and
over boulders and through tiny crevasses. It was a great day of hiking…
and an incredible change from our time on the Strip!











Of course there was some “fun” along the way… like Scott trying out his best pose!
He saw Haley do it – and knew he could do better… like back in his modeling days.
And the group becoming “trapped” in a small sliver of light!



We then moved along down the road, a scenic loop that goes through the park.
Our next stop was the hike along Pine Creek Canyon… and a hidden pool and
trickling creek that we could cool our feet in. It was a nice rest at the end of the trail
before turning back… and returning to civilization!





At the end of our day, we all went back to John’s house to enjoy the comforts of his
hospitality… and his backyard!!! Which includes a pool, hot tub and fire pit! John
pulled out all of the stops with a great barbeque, chips & dip, cookies, brownies,
gourmet cupcakes and a chocolate fountain!!! I even got to toast marshmallows
in the fire! What a great way to end our journey – relaxing in the desert and
hanging out with new friends.