I’ll write more about my sadness et cetera some other time soon, but in the meantime, it’s like I’ve always said. If you’re having a rough time emotionally, it helps to have great friends and a busy, fun life to fall back on while your wounds heal.

The trip and the gig were both a total blast. Stephanie and I flew down to Reno, then drove four hours to Elko to play at Great Basin College. We played there last year with Dirty Martini, and Steph had played there twice before that, with DM and on her own. So she has a considerable base of fans there, and it turned out that I even had a small (but strong!) contingent as well, which was surprising and cool to learn. It was just an all-around great experience.

We played outside this time, in the ampitheater right in the middle of the campus. It was a warm, breezy night, and it was particularly beautiful. Steph played acoustic guitar and piano–they wheeled a real piano out to the ampitheater for us to use!–and I played electric guitar, accordion and piano on a few songs too. We were totally on. We barely missed a note, and we felt totally in sync with each other. After some of the tough gigs we’ve had lately, this was a welcome relief. Total blast, and I have a feeling we’ll be back down in Elko again before too long.

After dropping our instruments at the hotel, we decided to try our hands at gambling. I tried a slot machine at the first place; put in a dollar and instantly won eight dollars back, so I took that as a good sign and stopped. We walked through the rest of the place and were unimpressed, so we walked across the street to a larger, more bustling casino. We each got a drink, and she played blackjack for a while. I don’t know how, so I watched. She got on a nice little winning streak too, earning twenty dollars from the five she started with, but she left empty-handed after a few more hands, despite one of the other players’ advice, “Hey, you should quit now, while you’re ahead.” We walked around again, and I decided to try some slot machines again, since I’d had good luck with them before. I started with twenty dollars, got down to almost nothing, and then won thirty five, so I decided to quit too.

The drive back was really nice. Steph had about a million phone calls to take care of, so I drove the whole way back to Reno. We stopped at a wide spot in the road called Trinity, which I think used to be a mine, but has since been reduced to a rest stop on one side of the highway and a dilapidated truck stop sign on the other. We stopped for a few minutes so I could take some pictures.

At the rest stop there, we encountered the most foul and disgusting porta-potties either of us had seen in our entire lives.
Steph opened the door to one and instantly stepped back, hands over her face in horror. “I’ve never seen anything that disgusting before,” she said. With a statement like that, my morbid curiosity was piqued, so I took a peek. The inside was smeared with feces, and there was an enormous pile of it on the back of the toilet seat. Repulsive. We both cracked up laughing, and I said, “I’m so sorry you had to see that.”
Good-hearted Steph gave the unknown person the benefit of the doubt and said, “Maybe it was dark, and they just couldn’t see what they were doing.”
“But there are huge flood lights everywhere. I can’t imagine they wouldn’t be able to see. I’m gonna have to ‘poo-poo’ that theory.” (Now THAT’S good comedy.)

We arrived at the Reno airport and ate at a really good little brew pub there. The flight, however, was pretty rough. Despite the nice weather, there was lots of turbulence. We were all getting increasingly nervous as the plane kept shuddering and lurching. Finally it settled down and so did we. But once again, when we started our descent into Portland, it happened again. It was very nice to be down on solid ground again. And can I just say how nice Portland’s airport is? It’s really beautiful, especially in the evening sunshine.

I hung out with NeighborFriendSusan for a little while, since I hadn’t seen her for a few days, then I went to bed at 10:30. Slept until 11:30 the next morning, when BoringFish called to see how I was doing. We talked for a while, then I got up and decided that today is the day I’m going to get my pictures framed and hung in my apartment. I chose my favorites and took them over to the photo printing place, where they’ll be done any minute now, so I’m gonna head back out. I’ll take pictures of my new-and-improved apartment once I get them hung. I daresay you’ll be impressed with the new look.