Friday, April 20, 2007

420 Day... The 10 Minute Version

A gentle rain falls on the City of Angels for 420 Day. The warmth of the California sun is nowhere to be found after a couple of days of amazing weather. I was up at dawn and partaking in the 420 festivities when Showcase woke up to walk dogs. The specialty of the day was Woody Hash. Woody Harrelson's brother grew the stash himself.

I spent the last couple of days hanging out with Nicky and Showcase while prepping for two weeks in Las Vegas for two assignments. There have been a few interesting developments since I arrived at Long Beach on Tuesday and had a not-so-fun conference call with ESPN in Connecticut while Nicky drove me to LA on the 405. Alas, I managed to write a lot and have a nice lunch at a Mexican joint on sunset with our friend Ryan.

The best news I heard in a while was the addition of a poker tournament in Barcelona in October. The EPT usually kicks off their tour with a stop in Barcelona in September and now the WPT scheduled a stop on their tour in October. I might be in London in September for work so in theory I could spent two months in Europe covering three or four events with two of them being in Barcelona. That definitely beats working in Las Vegas for the entire summer.

On Wednesday Nicky took me shopping for a few items. I decided to travel as light as possible on this trip. But with a two week Vegas stint along with almost a week in Hollyweird, I did not pack enough items for a three week adventure. I decided to take only a few items and buy everything else on the road. That included toiletries, underwear, a nice blazer, a pair of pants, and a couple of shirts.

I bought two new pieces of luggage last week. My backpack that I've had since 1999 broke en route to Australia. When it was completely full, it was a chore to carry on my back. Trying to carry it as a normal suitcase was a pain in the ass. Regardless, I was bummed to see it go. That was the largest bag that I owned and I had gotten used to all the different compartments. I knew every inch of that bag. For many years while I followed Phish, I lived out of it. And over the past three years, that's been everywhere I've been.

I bought a bigger duffle bag to replace the expedition backpack. I figured I would not need anything that big to go camping with or to travel with. The new duffle bag will utilized for long stays like month long trips such as Australia or living/moving to Las Vegas for two months. It has wheels and that makes it so much easier to travel with.

I bought a medium-sized backpack that fits perfectly into plane overhead compartments. It's travel friendly and I brought that bag in on this trip. I packed light which meant I still had about 20-25% room remaining. It felt good to not have to check a bag and quickly get on and off planes. I'm hoping to use that for trips with durations of two weeks or less. Since I spend a good amount of time on the West Coast in LA or Las Vegas, I decided to build up a new set of essentials like a basic wardrobe and toiletries. That makes it easier to travel lighter. Now I have enough items on both coasts after our latest shopping spree where I got my ass grabbed by a homosexual sales clerk at The Grove. Nicky wrote all about it on her American Idol blog, where she's been spending a lot of time writing about her favorite TV show.

We're driving to Las Vegas very shortly and I'm hoping the rain doesn't slow us down. We get to celebrate 420 day in two cities.

And yes... Happy 20 Day to all you potheads out there. As we used to say in college, "Smoke 'em if you got 'em."

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