Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

John’s book, Reno, Air, Kubrick

First of all, John Sheppard has a new book out called Doug Liberty Presents Bandit the Dancing Raccoon. Go get it.

Got back from Reno on Saturday. It was a quick trip, not much to report. We usually stay at the Siena, but it has since been bought by Marriott and had the casino removed. I don’t know how this is from a business perspective, but the new renovations were nice, and the casino is now smoke-free, which is a huge plus. They had a Johnny Rockets, which is not there anymore, and that’s a bummer. The casino area itself was turned into a bocce ball court, with a big bar, ping-pong tables, and some other small games like skee-ball and whatnot.

I brought the little Vivitar camera and shot a roll of film, and half a roll of Tri-X B&W on the drive home. I wish I would have had more time and more cameras, because the old casinos and storefronts of Reno would look incredible on film. Maybe next time.

Horrible sinus stuff in the dry air and altitude. Spent most of the trip worried that on the drive home, there would be mandatory chain enforcement, and I don’t have chains and have never drove with them. So I spent all of Black Friday trying to buy a set of chains, and ended up going to like four different places and ultimately getting gouged on a set of chains I didn’t need to use.

Of course I ended up at a mall. Did a quick lap of Meadowood, an old Taubman that was acquired by Simon along the way, remodeled since I’d last been there, in about 2013. Had a decent Penneys, dual Macy’s, a Dick’s Sporting Goods, and a dead Sears. They have a new food court with a dozen places in it. It’s got the Taubman mall skylights in it, the Simon Mall stark and bleak whiteness (which I sort of like, but groovy Seventies brick is cool, too). It wasn’t terribly busy for a Black Friday. At least I was able to park semi-close to an entrance and do a lap inside without getting stuck behind people.

It started pouring rain as we left, so the air quality massively improved, almost instantly. The AQI was like 274 and it went down to like 3 overnight. Air in Reno was great, and it’s been decent here since I’ve been back, although it’s starting to rain now, so outdoor walking season may be over.

I have the week off (allegedly, I’m waiting for a panicked cell phone call at any moment) and I originally planned on watching every Stanley Kubrick movie in order.  I got up to The Killing and ran out of steam. I need to get some writing done, and can’t kill entire days going through three-and-a-half hour long epics from the Sixties. Maybe next time.


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