This week I had an experience I really never thought I’d have. I was at a conference in Las Vegas for my regular day job and attending the second keynote presentation with 2200 other people. When the president of the company that was hosting the event finished his speech, they dimmed the lights, and announcer said, “We are now locking all of the doors and you will not be permitted to enter or leave,” and then George W Bush took the stage.

I’m currently reading Justin Cronin’s second vampire book, The Twelve. The vampires are called virals because they’ve been infected with a virus by the US government. Also, I have very strong memories of watching Contagion in a movie theater.

So, there I am with a couple of thousand other people, locked inside an expo hall with no possibility of getting out. And I have a touch of the claustrophobia. And I’m thinking about virals and recirculated air and I also listened to Democracy Now through much of Bush’s presidency.

All I will say about the matter is that Mr. Bush has now taken up oil painting and he’s focusing on pet portraits.

Most surreal hour of my life? Possibly.

A few pictures of Vegas below. We’re heading to LA and San Diego tomorrow. Can’t wait!

Las Vegas Airport. Sun!

Bouchon for breakfast each morning

Las Vegas Strip. The Virals are coming.