A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, Minus the Irony of David Foster Wallace.

So I got a Comment on my About Me page from “Anonymous” last week:

Please stop your language about Trump. I like your books and tutorials, but your vulgar political comments are a real detriment to your blog.

Well, “Anonymous”, (it takes real courage to post a criticism while you hide behind anonymity — and I’m taking to you, “Anonymous” in Overland Park, Kansas), you are free to stop reading my FREE blog and my FREE tutorials any time my opinions give you and your delicate sensibilities the vapors.

OK, now I can tell you why I wasn’t here last week. It’s because I was in Hell.

Specifically, I was in a Destination-Four-Freaking-Day-Wedding Hell. FOUR DAY WEDDING. What kind of people need that much validation?

The destination was Lake Tahoe, California side, which is the side that schlumps around in a strangely entitled neo-Woodstock daze in clothes that would be far more sightly on someone 75 pounds lighter: I had no internet, no TV, no phone, no radio, and just enough hot water for one of us — but not both — to take a nice shower once a day. Not to mention the fun fun fun of being at the beck and call of “The Never Ending Wedding Plan”, which included an utterly revolting, esthetically disgusting, and completely immoral Pig Roast. It was vile, vulgar, and practically vivisectionist.

Suffice it to say, The Wedding and I did not share the same values.

However, the journey started with the very best of karma on the Jet Blue flight to Reno, where the passenger in Row 13, Seat A made me ever so happy that I was the passenger in Row 14, Seat B:

Loki here (that’s his name, Loki) made up for sitting on the tarmac for FA at JFK for an hour and a half. In-flight entertainment on Jet Blue sucks, so by the time we arrived at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport at midnight I’d watched the live action Beauty and the Beast for the second and third time in my life. (A week later we left Reno on the red eye at midnight, and I watched Beauty and the Beast for the fourth time in my life. Emma Watson, cute and lithe as she is, has only two different facial expressions throughout the film.)

Things we did in 24 hours in Reno:

1. Had a gut-busting breakfast at Peg’s Glorified Ham and Eggs. They serve two kinds of eggs with hash browns and two slaws in a frying pan, with beans on the side. It seems that beans on the side is a staple in this part of the country. I give that a big thumbs-up.

2. Gave moral support to the patriots of the Tuesday Resist group in front of the federal building in downtown Reno:

3.  Found a dead bird on the sidewalk . . . 

. . . took it to the best bookstore in town . . .

. . . found the shadiest spot in the miniature zen garden there . . .

. . . and said farewell to its little soul:

4. After laying bird to rest, Top Cat bought me the new David Sederis book, Theft by Finding. It is more subversive than his previous books, which gives me hope because we’re practically the same age and I hope to become less and less conformist and conciliatory as I age.

5. Walked around my old high school:

 The place was so empty, so eerily quiet, that Top Cat and I thought that the school year must have ended, so we felt free to stroll around and take photos:

And then a bell rang . . .

. . . and I kept taking photos.  Top Cat and I wondered why no one in authority questioned us for being creepy, or calling for a lock down. This is Nevada — what; are these kids armed? And ready to take care of themselves at the first sign of trouble? This, of course, supposes that Top Cat and I look dangerous, which in our minds we do.

I took my last year of high school here in 1973 and have not been back since, and this visit did not jog any strong feelings about the place. It’s my old junior high, Upper Moreland Junior High in Willow Grove PA, built in 1929 and torn down c. 1975, that haunts me as the place I dream of whenever I feel vulnerable and need to find myself in a maze situation from which I must escape. Earl J. Wooster High School holds no terror for me, awake or asleep.

6. Dipped into the pool at The Peppermill Casino and Hotel to cool off in the 90-degree afternoon, and for two hours watched six heavily tattooed 20-somethings get so drunk poolside that one girl had to crawl out of the shallow end to her towel, and then had to be led, like a blind person, off the premises.

7. Cleaned off the chlorine and drove southwest to see old V. Swift residence. We got invited inside to have a look around inside, had a wonderful chat with new owners (who were born in the 1980s — THE 1980s!). It looks like this now:

And looked like this in 1973 when I thought it was huuuuge (but now seems so small that I was astonished by the size of the bedroom that me and my sister shared, a room so small that by the standards of these days would almost amount to child abuse):

8. Stopped by Home Goods, my absolute favorite store, to see what the Reno in-crowd is demanding from the premier retailer of good taste. Actually, it was small and dark and unexciting. Shopping Note: Before we headed out of town for Tahoe the next day, we also had to go to Costco (the Wedding Plan requires us fulfill a list of a crap load of items for a Wedding BBQ, no please, no thank you; also to a liquor store for cases of stuff, ditto) and it was twice the size of the Costco here on Long Island, and in the pet food section they sold huge bags of Chicken feed and Horse food.

9. Drove up into the Sierra Nevada foothills and watched the sun set over the Truckee Meadows Valley:

10. Dinner at local Mexican food institution, Miguel’s.

Miguel’s was northern Nevada’s first Mexican restaurant (opened in 1959) and the owner, Miguel Ribera, became so beloved for his excellent food and for the scholarships he offered to hispanic youth that there is a resource center and a public park named after him. This restaurant must have been opened when I lived in town but I never dined here before.

11. Returned to hotel, played Texas Hold ’em until 2am.

The only thing that I want to tell you about Tahoe is that on our last day there, Top Cat and I drove out to Sierraville to escape the snow . . .

. . . and to find the Clothing Optional hot springs hippie resort there. Clothing Optional is OK for Top Cat but neither of us wanted to spend the hours it would take to negotiate how much it would cost him to pay me to skinny dip, so I found a nice sofa in the waiting area . . .

. . . where the whole time I stroked and cooed over this fella he did not open his eyes once . . .

Shot with DXO ONE Camera

. . . until he stretched, and moseyed outdoors to patrol the perimeter:

Still not giving me the time go day.

I’m a cat person so of course I think he’s irresistible.

I’m not going into detail but when I got back to the Isle of Long my agent and I had a lovely discussion about books, such as one that I might have recently completed, and now I have to write a new bio and stand by.

But for now I’m going to make like my Sierraville buddy here, and just head for the horizon.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and stay as far away from Lake Tahoe as you can. (Sorry, Lake Tahoe.)

17 Comments, RSS

  1. Kirra June 16, 2017 @ 3:21 am

    Welcome back Vivian! At least you survived the four day wedding and trip back to your old home town. You always manage to find the cats, even if they don’t want to chat.

    Super excited to hear about possible new book!

    And to ‘anonymous’ who posted that comment, I would be seriously disappointed if I read this blog and there were no anti- Trump comments. It makes the rest of the world feel slightly safer to know there are Americans against Trump – from someone on the other side of the world.

    Happy weekend everyone!

  2. chel June 16, 2017 @ 9:23 am

    Imagine what it must be like to live inside the mind of someone who still believes Trump is an okay guy doing a good job leading this country, and what kind of fear that person has about reality in general. It must be paralyzing. When this administration’s mess is finally mopped up and we hopefully learn from all of this and go even further in the opposite direction to make up for it (which is what tends to happen in politics), life is going to be very overwhelming for those who live in fear of progress. And it’s really only a matter of time.

    At this point I am starting (well, trying…) to feel compassion for these people. It’s got to be similar to all the people who were convinced the world was flat and the center of the universe and then had to come to terms with the fact that it simply wasn’t the truth. I wish for them happiness and peace, because maybe if their world were a little better and less scary, they’d be less invested in pushing their “stuff” on the rest of us.

  3. Barbara Marie Lee June 16, 2017 @ 11:13 am

    Welcome back! You were missed! I always enjoy reading about your travels, even if I don’t always appreciate your idea of a good time, or a bad time, for that matter. Destination weddings do ask a lot of the guests–you’d think just showing up would be enough, but noooooooooo! You get given a list of things to bring! Good grief. Is it possible to be more self-absorbed? But, alas, such is the fog in which the nuptial couple dwells. Seven years ago, I traveled clear across the country for my son’s wedding–I, who had not stepped into a plane since pre-9/11. My husband and younger son were sworn to lovingly escort and protect me and watch for signs of me flipping out over inane “security” measures and humorless airline personnel. I am happy to report that all went smoothly, without incident and a good time was had by all. However, five years later, my daughter-in-law decided she really didn’t want to be married to my son–apparently he was too sweet and gentle a guy (she’s now engaged to a football coach who sports heavily tattooed extremities)–and my son is now married to his true soul-mate. This time the couple chose to elope, a fact for which I am, and will eternally be, ever so very, very grateful.

  4. jeanie June 16, 2017 @ 12:41 pm

    Isn’t it weird to see your kid house? You thought it was big (or big enough or just fine) and then it seems so small. Are we just used to supersizing everything, including our space. Well, I’m not but my old house still seems small. Maybe I was shorter then. Yes, 10 and under. Definitely shorter. I like the yellow but it seems a little flat in front compared to the original.

    Good restaurants, at least, and divine cats. Especially that golden boy who reminds me of Gypsy and all golden boys!

    You can anti-Trump away as far as I’m concerned. It gets worse and worse. Every day. Rick just got off the phone with his brother who has similar tendencies in the pro-camp and we just shake our heads. Rick said he gets most of his news from Twitter. Let’s talk about fake news. No, let’s not! Glad you are back!

  5. CarolH June 16, 2017 @ 6:38 pm

    Vivian …
    A book you “might have recently completed”? !!!
    Might it have something to do with the watercolors you’ve been demonstrating the last few months? Flowers? Monet’s garden? Cats? Same publisher?
    A hint coming soon?
    Have a great weekend everyone … 🙂

  6. Megan June 16, 2017 @ 7:40 pm

    Glad to see our post this morning. I had contemplated emailing to see if you were okay and then thought it might be a bit intrusive… you wouldn’t have got it any way! No internet, oh that sounds awful!!! I am addicted. When I was doing tv production at tech years ago another student made a film about El Cabalo Blanco and the dancing horses… it was long. Our teacher said make it short and sharp and have people wishing it were longer, not the reverse. I love a good wedding but after a few hours I am ready to go home. I’m sure the bride and groom appreciated you participating in the nuptials and the things you brought, I have found that people don’t show appreciation like they used to even old people seem to be mostly un polite… well rude. I think it is a sad 21st century thing. I hope it passes. I have to say I find it intriguing that your trip included snow ant 90F heat. How fabulous! Love ginge and of course he ignored you… doesn’t mean a thing they will get drummed out of the cat union if they don’t act aloof. Love the fact that you were able to wander around the school. America is portrayed as a very dangerous and scary place by the media, so that brought a warm feeling that you were able to just do your thing and be non threatening. Happy to see you back and enough said about Drumpf, nice to see the protesters, too bad there weren’t more of them.

  7. Judy Jennings June 16, 2017 @ 8:42 pm

    YOUR blog, YOUR opinions, YOUR freedom to speak out (which before too long might just be taken away from you if Drump gets his way).
    Book!? Book!? Book!??????

  8. Serena Lewis June 17, 2017 @ 1:08 am

    OH please, continue commenting on Trump as much as you like. I’m from DownUnder and I am still stunned that Americans actually voted him in. That said, it’s a relief to see that a lot of Americans don’t like him. At the end of the day, nobody has the right to tell you what you can or can’t write about on your own personal blog.

    I’m so glad you laid the little bird to rest in a Zen garden. Poor, wee thing.

    I think it’s so cool that you are allowed to have pets beside you on planes there. I believe that they must travel in the cargo-hold here in Australia. Can you imagine how terrifying that would be for them?

    By the way, I love your sense of humour which makes your posts so enjoyable. Thanks for the great tutorials too.

  9. Becky June 17, 2017 @ 7:17 pm

    Welcome back. I’ve been missing your posts. And I LOVE your drumpf comments. It is good to hear somebody else voice what I am thinking and saying. I cannot believe the news….so much drama day after day. Keep hoping the republicans in charge grow some…waiting.. Chel stated it much more eloquently than me regarding that lying piece of crap.
    It was so tender that you gave the bird a eloquent resting place. I always feel so bad for wild life that meets an untimely end and are walked over like garbage. Their lives should be honored . I have buried many a fallen bird, chipmunk or bunny in my flower bed. These little creatures bring so much joy. You have a kind soul.
    The wedding sounds ghastly. Glad you survived it all.
    Enjoy all of your posts….The travels……the tutorials…..new found kitties on your trips. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Elizabeth June 18, 2017 @ 8:11 am

    What a mixed trip down memory lane – Yes, I cannot think why weddings have to last 4 days. What ever happened to cake and wine in the church hall and it all being over on one afternoon?
    I went to a family wedding in May in Minnesota and got food poisoning.
    But that is another story altogether.
    We must drink together again soon.

  11. Lynne June 18, 2017 @ 2:23 pm

    Love your blog. Love whatever you talk about. And totally agree with both your freedom of speech and the nameless person’s right to not read. What is it with people who believe they have the right to tell you what to think and what to write? Oh yeah. They are the same people who vote that way….. Ah well, bye bye nameless person. We love this blog just the way it is! Thanks again for another great and amusing post. Can’t wait for that book you just might have written 🙂

  12. Janna June 19, 2017 @ 12:50 pm

    Another wonderful post. As others have said, don’t stop posting about Heir Dump! I look forward to reading your opinion. A four day wedding – now that is an endurance test, one I would probably not take on, but you being the ‘better’ person did it. Survived it! And, lived to blog about it! I’m exhausted just thinking about it . . .

  13. Carol June 19, 2017 @ 8:15 pm

    Personally, I’m here for the cats, your delicious wit, your art and your Trump commentary. Hope none of that ever changes. A new book ?!?

  14. mae June 20, 2017 @ 5:13 pm

    If I were you I wouldn’t even give as many fucks as you don’t give about people who love Trump and think you should cater to their perversions. But I like your image of how many…

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  15. Casey June 21, 2017 @ 10:10 am

    Behold! Another great start to my week, feels like a visit with the always subversive V. Swift and various cats. All your Dear Readers know that this is a No Bullshit Zone, so of course der Drumpf is nothing but a joke here.

    You cant see this but I am giving you a standing ovation for your and those patriots in Reno’s resistance.

  16. Marilyn June 23, 2017 @ 8:01 pm

    Yes, you can “anti-Trump” for me too. Anonymous can go elsewhere.
    Love the orange cat, but you time there doesn’t sound that great. Oh well, you got to revisit memories for awhile. I hope you don’t have to return anytime soon.

  17. Christine June 27, 2017 @ 1:33 pm

    Wait! What? A new book?! Looking forward to the exciting details! Yippee! Yay! Hooray! You never said:)

    Oh, and I believe our rights are: your blog, your voice. Readers may choose to read or to abstain. We are upholding our democracy and resisting the dictatorship.

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