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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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It's Pretty in Tahoe, As Usual

28 December 2001

It's pretty in Tahoe, as usual.... and we have an unusually high snow pack for this time of year... which breaks down to: If you like snow... there is plenty of it, and more on the way. Seemingly every few days we get new storms. The casinos are running a little slower, specially during mid-week... so if you can ditch the workload for a few days... that is when there are fewer people, but better deals. I've seen room down to $49 a night at hotels that usually run over $100.... word has it that eating costs less, too! The new gondolas running up and down the mountain from just west of the casinos adds to the picturesque mountain hamlet scenario.... expect a few more feet on top of what's up there now... we are battening down the hatches for what is supposed to be another two feet around the 7000' elevation tonight (Wednesday) and tomorrow morning. Looks like it will be a true white Christmas in Tahoe this year.

I have to admit, I haven't been down to the casinos much lately. Just enough to notice that the weekends are still busy, just enough to run past the gaily decorated casino corridor, just long enough to note that Harrah's has some nickel slots that when you play max coins (45) you can win real diamonds.... long enough to note that Caesars Tahoe has "Tabasco" slots in multi-denominations... starting with quarters.... long enough to drool over the potential jackpots....wishing that it were the days of yesterday, before the Tahoe Gaming Guide and before the fast flush down the big toilet bowl of my life... when I could pause and play. As it is, I rarely venture into the casinos... only now to see what has changed... and not necessarily to report it... but just to see.

My treasured little cabin in the woods is sporting a "For Sale" sign... against my wishes, hopes, and dreams. The clutter inside, a pleasurable mix of memories, and collectibles of the past 17 years is now in complete disarray... mixed with boxes and trash bags and cleaning supplies galore... And every second of every day hurts like nothing before has ever hurt. The bank wants my car back this week.... which because of my location out in the woods in a corner far removed, means that there is no public transportation. I will be effectively stuck, and powerless. Also destroyed in the tenacious two-year pursuit of my version of the American dream is a 30-year marriage. My husband of 30 years had told me... either to do Thanksgiving and Christmas this year (we missed last year too...) Or he was leaving.... and he's disabled physically with a failed shoulder surgery on one arm, to a swollen un-diagnosed mess on the other arm, and mixed with an already bad back. Whatever terrors the future holds for me now are my terrors alone. It gives me little to look forward to, and a whole lot to miss enormously. I don't know if I can do it... I know that I don't want to do it... but it looks like I don't get choices, or miracles at this point. I had hoped so dearly that Tahoe casinos would see what a little personable site like the Tahoe Gaming Guide could do.... and I had hoped that the new managing editor of the local newspaper (Michael S. Green, Tahoe Daily Tribune) would at least give a little publicity.... for once. What I found was a new managing editor who is a recently laid off dot-commer with absolutely no faith in dot-coms... who thinks apparently that the system should take care of me, and that I should just go away and do nothing or say nothing after nearly two years of pushing Tahoe to the max.... So I quit buying the paper.... along with the rest of the people who've recently cancelled their subscriptions. Now, I don't know if I want to stay in Tahoe or not.... it's missing the glow that attracted me originally.... and it is a cold place to be alone.... a lonely place, too. Another bummer is my grandson's first birthday on Sunday... and having to "hide-out" because it looks funny to see grandma and no presents... two new grandsons this year.... wish I could do more than nothing... but facts are facts. My last two bucks went for trash bags so I can keep cleaning up.... this is definitely not fun....

And the way it goes, if the house luckily sells, or if it goes on and is foreclosed on... on the day I am at last evicted... I will throw a dart at a world map... and start walking. I can't make the excuse that I didn't know the risks.... all I can offer is that I always thought it would work... and by all standards of reasoning... it damn well should have.