We drove up Friday night after work for Mikey LaChoy's step-down as Regent Emperor of Northern Nevada. That meant getting in to Reno after midnight. The pass really wasn't bad, it was late enough traffic was thin, but things got tricky once we got to Reno. Coronation was at Harrah's this year, downtown. Reno puts up anti-cruising barriers at night to prevent Virginia Street (and the rest of downtown) from becoming a parking lot. Our AAA Trip-tik didn't mention this. Wouldn't have been so bad, but a vast portion of the downtown area is also under construction (they're running a trench to put the trains that go right through the center of downtown underground). Took an extra 15 minutes to find an alternate route to the hotel that worked.
Fortunately, Reno doesn't close. We got into the hotel, changed and headed to the 1099 Club to catch the tail-end of the San Francisco party. Ran into a bunch of folks, and not just from San Fran. We, not surprisingly, stayed up too late drinking and then went back to the hotel.
After sleeping way-late, we ran down to cash in our change. My bank doesn't have a coin counter, and I don't want to give 10% to Coinstar. I'd much rather have a casino cashier do it for free and give him a tip. Followed that with lunch and then headed to hospitality. Hospitality was in (strangely enough) the hotel's "Hospitality Room." Caught up with more people and then discovered a scheduling discrepancy; the newspaper showed the ball starting at 6:00pm, but the "Official Coronation Weekend Events" posters showed it starting at 7:00. The ball coordinators and the MCs worked out something, and I think everybody was happy.
Of course, we were thinking "7:00" and suddenly found out that we needed to be there for 6:00. This wasn't a coronation we could just be late to; kproche was singing "The Star Spangled Banner" and "O Canada" so we had to be on time.
So that timing problem? The solution was (not surprisingly) to hold the ball start until 7:00, but that meant that we actually had a decent-sized audience at the beginning of the ball. Yeah, some folks were still late even then.
K didn't blow any words. "O Canada" is dirt simple to remember; I've only once seen someone blow it, and most of the Canadians who perform it for coronations do the bilingual version that flips between French and English flawlessly. "The Star Spangled Banner," on the other hand, is a torturous piece of poetry set to a popular melody so difficult that in its day trying to sing it ("To Anacreon in Heav'n" was the original version) while drunk (it was written by and for an arts and drinking society, celebrating Anacreon, a famous ancient Greek writer of bawdy poetry and drinking songs) was something of a party game. I can still count the number of coronations where the performer didn't blow the words.
The coronation itself went nicely. Rosie Rotten, The Lovely Suzanne, Courtney St. James and Jackie Best made sure things moved quickly. Candidate for Emperor Courtney Corn (yeah, that's his real name) did a really cool Lion King-based production number, and candidate for Empress Felicia Jewel Halston (her video had her name spelled "Holsten," only one letter off from a holstien) did a serious diva number. Both were superb.
We made it through walks, we made it through commands (fabulous command performances by Empress Kiki Monroe of Denver, Empress LaLa Too of San Diego, Empress Carlotta Stolengoodz of Las Vegas, Empress Jeneu-Wine Beaute of Tacoma and, of course, Empress Taryn Thru-You of Sacramento), we made it through business, and finally got to Mikey's last walk. He stared out by doing "Take this job and shove it!" and proved that he's probably the only emperor on the circuit who could get away with doing that as a last walk number.
When all was said and done, Courtney and Felicia were announced as the new elected monarchs of Reno.
What happened next? Back to The Nine, of course, for the Las Vegas Dam Water (no, not Damned Water, but after a few you might attempt to debate that and find yourself incapable) party. Repeat Friday night, only with more alcohol and more silliness. Shoes were hung from chandeliers, hair was swapped, and Dam Water was flowing like there was a crack in Hoover. And, as on Friday night, we got back to the hotel way too late.
Somehow we made it to Courtney & Felicia's victory brunch (which was mostly composed of Mikey thanking people and giving out awards before handing them the microphone). They told us their full titles. I've already forgotten. They told us their court name. I've already forgotten. They told us their court colors. Lime Green for Felicia (in honor of Empress Jack E) and Yellow for Courtney (the color of corn). Courtney was passed the Coat of Many Drawers and instructions to add 20 pairs of underwear to it.
We escaped, had lunch, and drove home. I don't think we would have survived had we gone back, yet again, to The Nine for the Alaska Bird Water party.