I ended up not being able to get my original room for a second night, so I had to go across the road to the Plaza for a slightly more expensive, but also much nicer room. The Plaza is a far more… upscale hotel than the Las Vegas Club, though they're both owned by the same guy, as I noted previously. I also overheard that the Club is currently undergoing refurbishing, so that would explain a lot.

I had originally intended to type that the Plaza was a classier hotel, but last night I was startled to walk through the casino there — and notice all the dealers were girls in scarlet sequined bikinis, fishnet stockings, and furry boots. One of them was up on one of the tables as well, dancing. Honestly, I felt that particular display put the kibosh on any simultaneous use of the word "classy." :)

I'm writing this at a McDonald's on my route, about halfway to where I plan to stop for the night. Driving long distance means you have lots of time to think. It also means you get to occasionally meet the weirdos. I was driving along the highway at one point and realized a semi I'd passed earlier had pulled up next to me, and was signaling to move over into my lane. I didn't speed up or slow down or anything that I noticed; I figured it would move over when it was past. Rather to my surprise, however, it started shifting over — while it was still next to me. Had I not braked immediately and swung over to drive on the shoulder, the semi would have sideswiped me. I'm not sure what annoyed the driver so, though I could see the trailer was fishtailing a little. Maybe it's dangerous to not be on the right in such a situation?

Again, I thought nothing of it past that — except that then the semi slowed down. I shifted warily over into the left lane and sped up a little to maintain a steady speed of about 65 mph, which was (as far as I'd seen) the speed limit at that point. The semi sped up too. So I slowed down to about 60… and the semi slowed too.

Fine. I've seen that game played better by other jerks, and the best way I know to defeat it is to not play. So I put Dark Star's cruise control on 65, and kept a wary half-an-eye on the semi. I also took note of his license plate for just-in-case: Nebraska plates with the number 183126 on a pale blueish semi with Werner painted on the side. I must've been passing him due to being about 1 mph faster than he, which meant that I really felt for the people behind us, but there wasn't a whole lot I could do about it. I kept a steady forward gaze the entire time, putting a mental wall between me and the semi's driver so he'd lose interest in playing. Eventually I was pretty much past, but since I have a long tail in the van, and the semi had played games with me earlier when I moved over in front of him, I stayed in the left hand lane for a bit longer, to be sure my shift over couldn't be construed as incendiary in any fashion.

This took a while, of course, and two cars bunched up behind me and squeezed between me and the semi, passing in the right hand lane before I could properly move back into that lane. Here's the curious thing: the second car to pass was driven by some beefy young man who flipped the bird at me as he sped by. He pumped his arm a few times to emphasize his action, and I found myself rather amused. My first thought was that the young man doubtless thought it better to take out his anger so on a woman apparently driving alone rather than a trucker. ;)

My second thought, though, was to wonder: since when has a man's phallus — supposedly a source of pleasure and joy — become a tool for angry punishment? Do guys realize this has happened in the popular consciousness? Does it worry them?

That got me thinking about women's vulvas, and how they're popularly considered a source of disgusting filth rather than the source of life and yet more pleasure and joy. Considering this, I find myself believing that most people in our culture do not really like themselves very much, considering how we compartmentalize and vilify various parts of our selves. I suspect all of those pretty girls in Vegas, after all, weren't happy with their looks. I also suspect one of the reasons "American Storm" (the male review showing at the hotel I was at in Vegas) was so much less well-advertised than the musical "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," is because most men don't want to feel threatened by comparison to those athletic young (and *cough* extremely nice looking) male dancers. Wouldn't it be easier to not stress so much about one's physical form, though?

Whups, out of time — got to get back on the road. More thoughts later! :)

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