After the way Vegas had been built up as a “weird place,” I’d half-way expected to be greeted in the airport by a midget Freddy Mercury impersonator juggling several quail. When all I saw were a handful of cowboys, I was slightly disappointed.

EYE OF THE MOTHERFUCKING TIGER, AUNT BECKY, I said to myself as I hobbled to meet my friends. So WHAT if you haven’t seen a two-headed woman? So WHAT if the TSA ignored you even though you tried to dress like a hooker in the vain attempt at trying to get some action before you went to Vegas? SO WHAT?

At least, I cried, you have your KITTY SHITTER picture!

(Sky Mall, you never, ever disappoint. Let’s get married and have really bizarre babies.)

All I Want For Christmas is a Kitty Shitter

Indeed, that is what comforted me as I checked into my hotel only to find perfectly ordinary desk clerks. No one busted into an impassioned Elvis song. No one tried to barter with me for my room. No hookers tried to accompany me TO my room (except, of course, the hookers I was staying with – Mandi and Jana.) It was all very…normal.

Jana even brought me this all the way from Georgia (I’ve often bemoaned that I have never eaten one):

Chick-Fil-A, YO.

I might have wept. A lot.

It was time, then, to meet for lunch in the hotel. Which meant we had a bazillion options; all of them good. Apparently Vegas is an eatin’ town. I was hoping feverishly that this might be the time to see something weird. Tiny go-go dancers? A guy in a sequined bikini?


Just the rodeo.


This IS My First Rodeo.

I was also straight-up exhausted. It turns out that having major abdominal surgery 5 weeks before a Vegas trip is pretty EYE OF THE MOTHERFUCKING TIGER. But I tried to muster up some enthusiasm. Plenty of sleep when I was passed out from reenacting Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (or dead). RIGHT?


It didn’t work. I have a slew of pictures where I look like I’m about to weep. I look like someone just kicked my dead dog’s grave.

Eye of the Tiger Doesn't Always Work

No one did. Even AngiePangie.

It was time to start drinking. Before I did the lamest thing that anyone ever did in Vegas, well, EVER.

Aunt Becky + Mama Spohr

While the rest of my group went to a male strip club with the express purpose of having testicles placed on their face, I went out by myself. On a Friday night. To a concert.

A Leonard COHEN concert.

Don’t know who Leonard Cohen is? He’s a hippie singer/songwriter/poet who is probably best known for singing Hallelujah. But since my parents are depressing old hippies, I’ve been listening to his music since I was in utero. I’ve been anxious to see him perform for years. Even if it made me suicidal.

When I saw he was in Vegas, I realized that it was now or motherfucking never.

It was now.

*cue guitar solo*

Leonard Cohen

When he sang “Anthem,” it was exactly what I needed to hear.

Even if there were no dancing bears.

74 thoughts on “Viva Lux e Tenebris Lucet

  1. My heart jumped when I read that you saw Leonard Cohen. Best known for Hallelujah? No no no. He has other, greater, songs. He is the most absolutely positively heartbreakingly gorgeous man alive. He has been the soul of sexual energy for at least forty years. HOW WAS THE CONCERT? Tell us more.

  2. Well shit. This post was not supposed to make me cry. WTF?
    Guess I needed to hear that song myself.

    Also, I am asking for the Kitty Shitter for Christmas.

  3. Damn! That’s some dedication to a concert. I mean really, passing up male strippers, that’s some hard core hippyness if you ask me.

    Did I ever mention I worked for a call center that took SkyMall calls? Really. People used those back of the seat airplane phones they used to have on every plane before the cell phone explosion, and call to order the dumbest damn shit. Stuff no one who is not on a 6 hour long red eye flight would ever buy. Gold plated nostril trimmers, lamps cunningly carved to look like bears and yes, kittie shitters. It was an entertaining job.

  4. seriously auntie b, Angie may have had balls on her forehead but you my dear had a hugest balls there! when it looked like you wanted to pass out right there next to the stripper pole, in what i could only imagine is a shit load of pain. man o man.. I’m high-fiving you..but softly 🙂

    you’re awesome that you were right there partying it up with the rest of’em.

    also..that kitty shitter is effin awesome!! i need it in my life.

    1. I was in TERRIBLE pain and so beyond exhausted but it was time to MAN UP. Also: it was the most fun I’ve had in years. I’m so glad I did it.

      Now I feel I need a Kitty Shitter to make my life epically complete.

  5. Leonard Cohen? I’m sure some of my mom’s friends (if not my mom) were there tossing their panties at him. Did you see them?

    Yes, I grew up listening to them argue about whether Tom Jones or Leonard Cohen got them hot. And OMG do not go to a concert with those ‘ladies’

  6. Oh my god, I love this post. When Leonard Cohen came to Chicago, my husband paid a bajillion dollars for tickets. We went, and he wept tears to be in the presence of such Awesome. He rocks. Tell your balls on face friends to suck it. You win!

  7. mazel tov on having your Vegas cherry popped! even if you were all eye of the tiger.

    and let me tell you, even when the rodeo isn’t in town, there are lots of cowboys in Vegas. yuppers.

  8. I totally LOVE Chick-Fil-A. They are building one about 4 miles from my house. I’m stoked! Right now, the nearest one is about 15 miles and that’s just too far.

    You look amazing and Mama Sphor looks great too. I love you both!

  9. I am playing catch up reading today – and I crazy fucking bored at work … this made my day though! I hate flying – hate!!! – but always can count on SkyMall & a beer to get me through!!!!!

  10. Greeting from the land of orchids ~
    OMFG!!!! How freaking fortunate for you. Excellent choice to add to your list of performers seen/experienced!
    Seems that those with you in Lost Wages are uneducated to the awesomeness of Mr. Cohen. You walk to your own drummer, Auntie B, so you rock with those who are beyond cool (Mr. Cohen).
    Once took a class in Portland, dug around to see who was performing nearby, found two concerts of people I had on my list to see (Alexi Murdoch and Ray Lamontange) performing the few days before the class. Yup, no brainer. Flew over earlier and enjoyed these concerts more than the class.
    Healing through music. Listen to the groove to heal – whomever it is.
    A hui hou – Until we meet again ~ Malama pono – Take care ~

  11. I knew I adored you. You made the better choice, I’m thinkin’ – you can always get balls in the face, but Cohen? He’s a once in a lifetime, Mizz B!

    Shade and Sweetwater,

  12. Are you still in Vegas? If so, go see Jersey Boys. It fucking ROCKS!!!

    I went to Vegas for the 1st time in October. I had hurt my ankle 3 days before I left. I went to the doctor this week and found out I’ve had a broken fibula for the past frickin’ 10 weeks! I still rocked the shit outta Vegas on a crutch and broken ankle!

  13. I feel like I’ve a kindred spirit in you, Aunt Becky. You see, I too, grew up under the grim-but-ever-talented spectre that is Leonard Cohen.

    I’ve maintained for years that major facets of my personality were forever warped.. erm.. molded by my father’s insistence of playing Leonard Cohen records to put me to sleep in my crib.

    That being said, if given the choice of Cohen or having balls on my face (you know.. in public) then I’d pick Lenny.

    In private, I might consider balls on my face TO Leonard Cohen. Then I will have found my soulmate. First we shall take Manhattan, as it goes…

  14. Aunt Becky – you SO totally rock! Way to man up and go see the bright lights and big city, pain and all. You deserve a whole value meal of the Chick Fil A not just a sandwich! :o)

      1. I’m here in the ATL area and be ready, the Chick Fil A folks are the nicest on earth. If you have time for a less rushed meal, there’s The Dwarf House – which the one in my area is 1/2 chick fil a fast service and 1/2 dwarf house sit down restaurant service. Ahh, the sit down. Lovely! Wonderful food either way, bigger portions of fries at sit down, constant filling of tea…and you don’t have to carry it to your table. Ahh. It’s worth the trip!!

  15. I totally would have gone to the concert with you. Male strippers make me all gaggy. Plus Leonard Cohen rocks out.

    + kudos for you! I did notice quite a few photos of you where you were trying to smile and you didnt quite make it past a grimace. You ARE eye of the tiger! PLUS you wore the SHOES!!

  16. Leonard Cohen is on my Marital Exception list. Not because I want to sleep with him but because I want him to read to me in a darkened room while I fall asleep…

  17. Leonard Cohen doesn’t do much for me (but I’ve totally seen the lyrics for that song somewhere – a Stephen King novel or something?), but I’d totally see him over having some random dude’s balls in my face.

  18. You made the right choice, my dear. We ladies? Can have balls in our face any damn day we want to, but Leonard’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

    Which leads me to ask…

    Does any woman EVER want balls in her face?

  19. Ugh! I’m so jealous. I would love to go see Leonard Cohen.

    My last Vegas stripper experience was somewhat weird. We called a stripper up to our hotel room for our girlfriend’s bachelorette party. The stripper comes up and does his thing, thinks we are so fun that he wants to hang with us all night. He ends up abducting two of the girls in our party so that he can go pay his employer and they can buy more booze. Then they all came back and we had a big slumber party. Nothing sexy, I mean like a G rated, Babysitters Club, freaking toenail painting slumber party.

    All in all I would say that concert was probably a much more satisfying choice.

  20. Leonard Cohen!!!!! I’m so pea-green jealous of you, right now, I can’t see straight… Balls in the face are so…sooo… so common… please… But, Leonard Cohen… Thank you so much for the video. You are too cool.. Now, get some rest and behave yourself… If you don’t get it, your body does… It’s been insulted, you know. (That’s how my doctor used to describe surgery — an insult to the body, and it takes a good five months to totally recover — unless, some people go to Vegas)… I’m just sayin’…

  21. How did no one accompany you to that awesomeness? That’s almost as shameful as missing a Fanilow concert. (PS do you know Wendi Aarons? Perhaps that joke does not make sense if you don’t)

  22. I’m here in the ATL area and be ready, the Chick Fil A folks are the nicest on earth. If you have time for a less rushed meal, there’s The Dwarf House – which the one in my area is 1/2 chick fil a fast service and 1/2 dwarf house sit down restaurant service. Ahh, the sit down. Lovely! Wonderful food either way, bigger portions of fries at sit down, constant filling of tea…and you don’t have to carry it to your table. Ahh. It’s worth the trip!!

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