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Dec 2, 2008 General Nonsense |
For Thanksgiving my family and our new dog piled into the car and drove to Reno to visit relatives. If you are not from around here, allow me to explain a few things about Reno.

Reno is between California (God's country) and the black hole that is the rest of northern Nevada. Reno is sort of like God's taint.

We checked into the only hotel in the area that allowed dogs, and discovered we had to give up a few luxuries. For example, I assume the carpets were not always black. I tried to fashion my own stilts with duct tape and chopsticks, but that didn't work out. Plan B involved concentrating real hard to see if I could hover above the floor the way I sometimes do in dreams. Unfortunately that superpower hasn't kicked in yet. I realize that sounds insane, but the only difference between insanity and optimism is luck. And I was feeling lucky. Don't judge me.

A sentence you rarely hear from kids at the higher end hotels is "I just got under the covers and now I have bites all over my legs." Luckily I came prepared with some cortisone cream and some lies about the Reno air drying out your skin. Evidently our blood was so full of turkey triptothan that the attackers dozed off after the initial offensive. Problem solved.

I had more than usual to be thankful about this Thanksgiving. My recent surgery fixed my speech problem after 3.5 years of spasmodic dysphonia. During those years I dreaded every human contact. Simple tasks, such as ordering a meal at a restaurant, or making a phone call, were beyond my powers. This was the first social gathering since 2005 in which I could speak normally. I am a ghost who got a second chance among the living, and for that I am thankful beyond measure.

And I am joking about the hotel. It was clean and perfectly adequate. But Reno is still a taint.
 
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Dec 10, 2008
A little late here, but wanted to add the obvious but still very sincere comment that the readers of this blog are thankful for every day that you post. You are such a smart, funny and generous guy, Mr. Adams.
 
 
Dec 5, 2008
Thank you for teaching me a new word. I know the best way to remember it is to use it seven times, and I'm looking for opportunities. I visit my grandmother today, maybe that will work.
 
 
Dec 3, 2008
Tryptophan even. Also, there is more tryptophan in cheddar cheese than turkey. Good day sir.
 
 
Dec 3, 2008
I have to agree with you about Reno. I think I stayed in the made-up hotel you described. My wife and I were living in Monterey at the time and made the stupid decision to be impulsive and drove up to Reno...on a 3 day weekend. We got there Friday night and every hotel was packed. After several attempts at respectable looking places, we found a dump and I got the last room (at $250)...signing the register as the guys behind me decided they wanted a room. We got in and both slept in socks, long pants and long sleeve shirts. We tried our best to hover above the bed as well....it didn't work.

The next morning we drove to Truckee and got a beautiful, clean room for $75 in a gorgeous town. Of course, she still doesn't understand why I like to plan things out.
 
 
Dec 3, 2008
Scott, I never comment but just have to let you know that I am soooo happy for you. Enjoy your new lease on life.
 
 
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Dec 3, 2008
I should add that my mother-in-law is no delight. Her house needed two years of repair because she couldn't be bothered. She leaves a trail of food and filth wherever she goes; when I get home from work, I can tell exactly what she had for lunch because of the trail from the fridge to the counter to the microwave to the table to the dishwasher. She is oblivious to the needs and intentions of others. She has an uncanny ability to place herself right in the middle of where you are trying to get, and she is so slow-moving and slow-witted that it takes both verbal and physical nudges to shift her out of the way -- and she is a large woman, so it's an issue. She feels entitled to tell me to run an errand for her, even though she knows that I work full time and have been spending my "copious" free time these last two years either finishing my doctorate or on her house, when her schedule consists solely of sitting around or laying around watching Oprah, playing computer Solitaire, or reading dime-store romances. Her conversation consists entirely of irrelevant family history and statements of the obvious so inane that I haven't yet figured out whether she's really that moronic or whether she's just been alone for so long that she has completely forgotten social skills.

But she's still infinitely better than "the Insatiables," as my sister calls them ("What, I have to prepare them a mean AGAIN? Aren't these people EVER full?").
 
 
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Dec 3, 2008
"[T]he only difference between insanity and optimism is luck." I love it. Possible new tag line in addition to my usual "I didn't know it was impossible before I did it."

And "And I am joking about the hotel. It was clean and perfectly adequate. But Reno is still a taint." Just like the last episode of the second Bob Newhart show where he wakes up in bed with Suzanne Pleshette (sp?) and declares the whole series to be a dream.

I have an awful lot to be thankful for this T'giving (aka Tofurky Day). After two years of living with us while contractors pretended to fix her home, my mother-in-law has finally moved back into her own house. After 17ish years of going to school while holding down a job, I have finally finished my doctorate in electrical engineering. After over 20 years of working, saving, scrimping, and hoping, I finally have the Steinway grand piano I've always wanted. And we've finally given the boot to the bad rubbish that was Commander-in-Thief Chimpie McCodpiece. Honestly, I feel like I've just been let out of jail.

Contrast this with my sister's "Martha Stewart" Thanksgiving. She was descended upon by her in-laws, who are so needy, snarky, critical, and nasty that I'd crack their heads together ... early and often ... if I were in her shoes. One of them decides to toddle into the kitchen with walker right in the middle of holiday dinner preparation bedlam, grinding the entire process to a sudden halt simply because "I can ... I have the power." And that's just one example. I'd rather have my mother-in-law for two years than those two pieces of work for two days! In my sister's description of the holiday, every other sentence was, and I quote, "Pop a Lexapro and chase it with a swig of Sea Breeze." (I made the mistake of reading her e-mail at work, and I'm lucky that my co-workers didn't come in to check on me as I laugh-snorted my way through.) My suggestion to her was not to take the Lexapro herself but to grind it up real well and slip it to her in-laws in a nice spicy curry. "They'll never know," I said. "Suddenly, they'll be in a good mood, and they won't know why." I added, "It will probably be a new experience for them."
 
 
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Dec 3, 2008
Scott, that's absolutely wonderful about your voice. I, too, was diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia and am considering, since witnessing your full recovery, having the surgery myself someday. I'm so glad for you. I can completely understand being the ghost in the room and hope things work out for me as well as they have for you! Happy Thanksgiving!
 
 
Dec 3, 2008
Just one comment. Anyone (according to my friend Geoff) knows that 'God's Country' is Wales.
 
 
Dec 3, 2008
Having stayed in more hotels and motels than is reasonable, proper or healthy, I can sympathize. Still, there are some 3-star places in Bulgaria that wouldn't hold a candle to what you experienced in Reno.

Just for future reference, the dope in turkey is "tryptophan" - (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tryptophan).

And last but not least, for my money, the drive between Reno and Sacramento (mostly on the Cali side) is one of the most beautiful stretches of road in this country.
 
 
Dec 3, 2008
A hotel room used by dogs? Slobbery, butt-dragging, territorial-marking, roll-around-naked-on-everything, flea-having, tick-ridden dogs? Urk!

Note to self: always ask front desk if they allow dogs. If they do, leave.
 
 
Dec 2, 2008
Love it. Quoting the insanity/optimism thing in my sig line on my not-quite-as-evilmail.
 
 
Dec 2, 2008
Haven't you ever heard of a kennel? Only spoiled rich idiots with their priorities screwed up bring their yap dogs on vacation.
 
 
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Dec 2, 2008
...why did the word "situation" get filtered out?
 
 
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Dec 2, 2008
I supposed your particular !$%*!$%*!$%* didn't allow the risk, but you do know that the secret to flying is to throw yourself at the ground and miss, right? This is generally easier to do when you're distracted by something. Dogs can be excellent providers of distraction.

Dilgal, you remind me of an incident that happened with my puppy yesterday. I let the trash can lid fall on its own, unaware that the dog happened to be licking the edge of the can at the same time. The sudden yelp startled me, but her tongue seemed to be okay, and I consoled myself with the idea that, at least, she wouldn't lick the trash can anymore. I think you can guess what was the first thing she did as soon as I turned away.
 
 
Dec 2, 2008
Hey Scott,

Did you ever learn sign language during your speechless period? My mother in law is deaf, and although I don't know sign language, and she does speak rather well for a deaf person, it does help sometimes when one of her daughters can translate for her. It works better than a pad and pencil to carry around with you. (did you try that?)

-Josh
 
 
Dec 2, 2008
I assume (and sincerely hope) you're joking about the bed bugs. If not, Scott, I suggest rigorous decontamination of everything that got into that room.

-Wil
 
 
Dec 2, 2008
Wow! I suddenly don't feel so weird about those hovering above the floor dreams!
 
 
Dec 2, 2008
At least you probably had a lock on the door that worked (one place in Gilroy, CA, I stayed at didn't), and you weren't in Battle Mountain (tho armpit isn't really the right description.) There are a heck of a lot worse places to be on Thanksgiving, Bagdad for one.
Just be thankful for what you have (even if there are bugbites) and don't gripe about what you don't have.
 
 
Dec 2, 2008
Scott, u r something of an enigma... you seem like an broad, intelligent, Renaissance kind of guy but then we find out u use windoze and get a dog (& TRAVEL w/it?)?
 
 
 
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