Margaret and I had a wonderful day off, making our rail-facilitated way to Aurora, where we rested for the afternoon, dined out, and watched Paula Poundstone usher in the new year at the Paramount Theater. We had a deeply marvelous time, and only wish we had more time to spend with one another.

Of course, life being what it is, those weren’t the only pertinent aspects of the weekend. We encountered some — errrr — eccentricities in the local transportation industry. We ate dinner in a casino. We encountered a Cowboy-themed Family New Year’s Eve party hosted grimly by a hotel employee wearing an inflatable rodeo bull costume. We so delight in opportunities to spend time together that none of these deterred us.

Regarding casinos:

  • I had forgotten what it’s like to be in a large indoor area with many cigarette smokers. Mercy, did that air reek.
  • Though we did pluck out some vegetable items from the buffet, we were impressed that the kitchen staff managed to incorporate meat into practically every dish they served in a twenty-yard buffet line.
  • I understand some of the fascination of trying to keep a small stake alive (I’ve played computer versions of blackjack in the distant past), but nothing about the gambling floor seemed interesting to me. To my surprise, many of the gamblers seemed uninterested, too.
  • There was no ringing, no jingling, just the synthesizer tweets and chimes that proved to any visitor that this casino was not stuck in the twentieth century when it comes to hardware. If I were going to spend more than a few minutes in a casion, though, I’d choose the old-style casino with real slot machines and jangling coins rather than the silent/electronic casino computer start-up chords.

The New Year’s paraphernallia for the midnight comedy show arrived at the theater with the bold wish for ”Happy New Year 2005.” Paula Poundstone made that the starting-point for her routine, offering rationalizations for wearing out-of-date holiday hats and tiaras. Best of all the weekend activities, though, was just plain spending time talking and thinking with my dear.

Happy New Year, everyone!

2 thoughts on “Happy

  1. I’ve been in two casinos in my life: one in Monaco (the famous one) and one out on the Tohono O’odham Reservation outside Tucson.

    I always thought a casino would be a little glamorous (too many Bond movies at an early age) and was quite disappointed. No one was dressed up, even in Monte Carlo, and it just looked like people in a trance putting money over and over into the slot machines.

    I don’t have any problems with games that involve skill as well as chance (card games, etc.) but the people by the slot machines scared me.

  2. It was pretty grim in Aurora — Margaret asked if this were Purgatory, but it seemed like straight-out Hell to me.

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