Waking up in Reno — Early

Reno, NV – I have a strong desire to drink tomato juice. This happens to me in planes and in hotels, I just get that desire. I have no idea if anyone else gets that desire, but it seems natural to me. I almost never drink the stuff when I am home, but when I go on a business trip my mind turns to tomatoes. That is not the only thing that changes in me when I go on business trips. My mind just decides to do things differently while I am gone.I have decided to leave the toilet seat in the up position during this trip. I have lived most of my life in a home with four girls/women and learned early in life that the toilet seat should always be in the down position. I got to my hotel room and for the first day always put the seat in the down position until it struck me – I am the only one here. I am free and can experience life in the fast lane. I immediately went into the bathroom and put the toilet seat up. I didn’t use it, but just boldly walked in and put it up. It has been up ever since – well except before I leave the room when I straighten the place before housekeeping comes to clean (ok, so I am not sure why I do that either and maybe I will be really bold and not straighten before I leave today). Living on the edge is so stimulating. I get goose bumps just thinking about it. I might even leave the TV on today. I will go get the remote that is neatly placed next to the TV and turn it on and I might not even turn it off when I leave! Who knows, with all this living on the edge stuff maybe I will come home with a tattoo.Speaking of tattoos, I decided that paying a lot of money for artwork can be a wise investment or an expensive statement. I can buy a nice painting for my living room and in hard times sell it and get something for it, but if I pay hundreds, or thousands, for artwork on my arms, back, legs, or face I can’t really get any of that money back in the future. Ok, there probably is a way but I haven’t explored every option obviously. I guess someone might pay for an already applied tattoo, but the method of removing the skin and the results of not having skin don’t sound too appealing right now. Not that you would ever need to get money back from that investment, but I have seen a lot of tattoos in the last few days and it just got me thinking. Being in Reno I seem to see more tattoos than almost anywhere else I have been. The other thing about Reno I have noticed is that Pepsi owns Reno.Pepsi is everywhere. They even have a game on the Midway where kids can knock over cans, but not just any type of cans. Yes, they are Pepsi cans only. I can’t explain how knocking over Pepsi cans is good, but that is the game. Why not knock over Coke cans to symbolize to these young minds that Coke is bad and Pepsi is good. Leave the Pepsi cans standing and knock over the Coke cans to win a prize. That would leave a better marketing message with this kids I would think. It is amazing; you would think Coke could get a foot in the door here, but Pepsi seems to have everything locked up tight. As I was driving from one end of town to the other in search of a simple Dr. Pepper, I also noticed that Reno is dying. I was here several years back and things seemed to be going well for Reno. It seemed like lots of growth and prosperity. Now, places are closed down all over the city. Obviously they do well when people have excess and donate that excess to Reno by gambling and spending money. It is also obvious that they barely survive when people have no excess and decide to turn what little they have into excess – or at least try. Entire sections of Reno seem to be closed down and fenced off with many storefronts in the strip area boarded up. Bad times have hit Reno as hard, or harder, than many other places. Lucky the WAC tournament brought in extra teams to help bolster the local economy.The WAC tournament had two days of games that amounted to nothing. All four top teams in both the women’s and men’s brackets moved on to today. Out of all the games there was only one game on each side of the bracket that actually amounted to a game. The La Tech/Fresno State game on the men’s side and the Nevada/Boise State on the women’s side were actually semi-close games by the end. All the other games amounted to was getting a few more fans to Reno to help their economy and provide some false hope to 8 teams who shouldn’t have been in the tournament. It gave the players an excuse to get out of classes and some, limited for many schools, fans an excuse to get out of their towns and get to Reno. Bands, cheerleaders, administrators, and mascots made the trip and made use of their limited budgets.Most schools did bring their mascot. What better way to provide instant school spirit than with a mascot. I have a new respect for college mascots. At a game on Wednesday, the Nevada mascot took a spot next to me as I was shooting a game. He/she was cheering and doing what mascots do right next to me. I didn’t think much of it until I realized an odor was starting to take over the entire arena. I am talking more than a gym after dozens of teams have been practicing. It was bad. I did the usual self-test as inconspicuously as possible. Wasn’t me. It is just a habit I think everyone does right, pretty sure it isn’t you but want to check anyway just to rule out any possibility. Even after a second self-test I was positive it wasn’t me. I adjusted my head slightly and when my nose lined up more with where the mascot was sitting it hit me; that was the worst smell I have smelled in some time (mind you I live in Nibley and have occasion to drive past the holding ponds from the meat packing plant in Hyrum, so I know bad smells). I held back the instinct to vomit or run away and then I came to a realization – the person in that costume had to go through this constantly. Do they wear nose plugs (is it nose plugs or a nose plug? Maybe it is nostril plugs but not a nostril plug as that would only eliminate half the odor). Maybe they have lost all capability to smell over time. I need to ask Bo about this when I get back home, maybe he can’t smell. Wade would know too, he did a special piece for the paper and got to dress up in the Big Blue suit. He is even in this hotel and wakes up way too early as well, but I don’t know what room he is in. I do think Utah State takes much better care of their costume than most schools, but it still must be awful. I did decide I could wear the same socks to ever game of this tournament however. If anyone looks as me funny because they are starting to smell my socks, I will just motion towards the mascot and make some mention that the odor from that costume is sure strong. Who would question that it was really my socks after that?Ok, my V8 juice is almost gone and it is almost 7 a.m. which means it is about time for a nap since I have been up for hours already. I haven’t heard anyone making any movement in the hotel yet except for a faint noise that could have been many floors away and that was probably Wade moving around. There are four cars on the streets and two people walking down the sidewalk. This town is definitely not a morning town! I wonder if the tattoo parlors are open this early.

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