Wednesday, March 05, 2008

la guardia > ft. lauderdale

By Pauly
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

I went on a heater on Monday playing online poker. I had previously experienced a down turn at the end of February and had a monster session on Monday which wiped out all of my losses from the previous two weeks. I played well and got a ton of luck. The combination was profitable, although it was hard to pull myself away from the laptop. I knew that I had to go to sleep, but I wanted to ride the last wave of luck onto shore, which I did until the wee hours in the morning.

I finally fell asleep around 3:30am. I woke up at 5:45am, just 30 minutes before my alarm. I considered a quick jog, but decided against it. I wrote instead. I finished up the last bit of packing. I always complete 95% of my packing the night before a morning trip... just in case I oversleep and need to run to the airport.

I packed light. Since I'll be in Florida for a week, I took lots of summer clothes. The only thing that was bulky was the extra pair of old hiking shoes that I took with me. You always need a shitty pair of footwear at a music festival. Stuff always gets fucked up and if it rains (which it might) and I get my shoes soaked, then I have an option of ditching an old pair. That was the Mardi Gras trick that I picked up by my senior year of college. I used to bring an old pair of jeans and and old pair of sneakers... knowing that they would get trashed and I'd leave it behind.

At the last Phish shows in Coventry, a lot of my gear got wet, soaked, and/or destroyed to the rain and mud. I ditched a pair of hiking boots and a pair of cargo pants in addition to a t-shirt and a couple of pairs of socks.

Over the last year, I packed older clothes which I would toss out on the road somewhere, most likely in the trash can of a hotel room. That included old t-shirts from the Clinton administration and old underwear on the verge of disintegrating. The result is always positive... I have more room to acquire new things on the road, and if I don't, then I'm returning much lighter than I left.

I shelved the Chabon book. Nothing personal. I got about half-way through and I'm enjoying his thick and rich manuscript. However, I have a new book on the road with me called The Rolling Stone Interviews. It's a paperback tome (466 pages long) consisting of some of the most famous interviews in the history of Rolling Stone magazine. I figured that music history was fitting since I was going to a music festival.

I called a car service to take me to the airport and it arrived early. The ride to LaGuardia was quick and we avoided traffic. I left 45 minutes earlier so I wouldn't have to sit in NYC morning rush hour, and the result was that I arrived at the airport almost two hours before my flight.

I bought a chocolate croissant at Au Bon Pain. I sat at a small table by myself. It was crowded and a Canadian chick asked if she could sit across from me in the empty seat. I shrugged my shoulders and she sat down. She wore cowboy boots and a purple jacket, and had a small brown suitcase with her. She sipped freshly squeezed orange juice and thumbed through a fashion magazine. We didn't talk. I ignored her while I played online poker. She got up ten minutes later and thanked me for the seat.

I have flown JetBlue to Florida a lot over the last six years. It's so damn cheap that I can get a round trip for under $150. This trip cost me about $140. Heck, cabs to and from the airport in NYC will run me $110-120.

The flights from NYC to Florida are filled with old people and families with little kids. I always expect crying babies on those flights. The flight to Ft. Lauderdale was late... per usual. Lucky for me, no screaming kids were in my row. I watched a lot of ESPN and the hoopla surrounding Brett Favre's retirement announcement. I also watched Ramasy's Kitchen Disasters on BBC-America.

My bag was the 26th to come off the belt. Yes, I counted. I'm a Fast Break Member at Budget rental car so I went to the front of the line. I booked an economy car but was given a choice between a PT Cruiser and a HHR, which is a newer version of the PT. It was an ugly decision, no matter what I chose. I went with the HHR.

I checked into my hotel room then went on a wild goose chase. My rental car had an AUX outlet, which meant that I could listen to my iPod. Except, I forgot to pack my iPod/AUX plug. I needed to find a Radio Shack, where they sell those plugs for like $6. The girl at the front desk gave me directions, but I got lost. Thirty minutes later, I was a mile or so form where I needed to be and ended up inside a huge mall. I found a Radio Shack inside and got my plug.

On my way back to the hotel, I went looking for a drug store... and I stumbled upon the original Radio Shack. Oh well. I found Cliff Bars at the drug store. I bought six of them. I now have eight for Langerado. If the circumstances got drastic, I could live on two a day for the duration of the four-day festival.

I drove to Miami Shores to visit Jerry and Sarah and the twins. I had not seen them since September, when I was in town for a night before I drove to Key West with the AlCantHang posse. The twins are getting older and older every time I see them, which is every six months or so. They get bigger and bigger and I get balder and balder.

They are in the Spring of their life. I have finished the Summer. I'm half-way through life, based on a 70 year life expectancy. If I die sooner, then I'm somewhere in Autumn of the life cycle. The leaves are turning color and it's starting to get chilly.

I'm fascinated with children's vocabulary and sentence structure. They are 27 months old and they are stringing together simple two word sentences. They also are reaching that age where they can exercise choice. Watching Jerry try to whip something up for dinner was sort of funny for me to watch, but must have been a pain in the ass for him. Everything he suggested, one, if not both of the girls shot it down. What they wanted five minutes earlier, they no longer wanted.

Parenting takes a lot of patience, that I don't have.

Anyway, it was great to spend time with Jerry, Sarah, and the twins. We ordered Italian food and it was the first time I had pasta in a long time. Good stuff. We had on CNN in the background following the Ohio and Texas results.

I drove back home and played online poker in my room for a couple of hours. I had decent results, but nothing like on Monday night. I passed out watching Primary Colors on HBO.

The Joker arrives in Florida in a few hours. We're planning on stocking up on random supplies for the Langerado music festival. We'll head on in sometime on Thursday and meet up with the rest of our crew on Thursday night. Can't wait for the music to start playing...

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