Friday, June 1

A Trip to Travel Hell

Getting to our Super 8 in Austin was a terrible experience.

It was a summer Friday at work (meaning Margaritas at 2pm and leaving an hour or two early), so things started off well. I returned home to do some last minute packing and iPod loading. Considering that I live in Jersey, I figured now would be a good time to start watching The Sopranos since the series finale is coming up.

Oh, before I forget, what the hell was up with LeBron last night? You can't score 29/30 points in the fourth quarter and overtime in the NBA. Let alone in the Conference Fucking Finals. One of two things needed to happen: Double Bron as/before he caught the ball or Knock him the hell out. I suspect that the former may be easier than the latter. If you think that Rick Mahorn would let one guy get a layups or dunks at that point in the game without being slammed to the ground, you're crazy. Too bad Antonio McD wasted a hard foul on Anderson Varejao early in the game. That former star can definitely play the enforcer role. Seriously, this game was ridiculous. Completely Ridiculous. I can't imagine being good enough to singlehandedly overcome a strong opponent while having Mike Brown as a coach. End NBA interlude.

Continuing the iPod load, I finally constructed my summer go-to playlist for 07. The list includes over 1250 songs from a variety of artists/genres and should serve me well for the majority of the summer. A list (Artist/# of Songs/Album):

  • Bob Marley/177/Songs of Freedom
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers/89/Blood Sugar, BtW, Californ, Mother's Milk, Stadium
  • Steely Dan/75/Citizen, 2vN
  • The Police/73/Message in a Box
  • Outkast/65/Idlewild, ATL, Love Below, Southerplaya, Speakerboxxx, Stank
  • Tom Petty/60/Highway, Wildflowers, Greatest Hits, She's the One
  • Stevie Wonder/50/Hotter than, Innervisions, Key of Life, Talking Book
  • Jimi Hendrix/45/Experienced?, Axis, Ladyland
  • Jack Johnson/42/Brushfire Fairytales, On&On
  • Neil Young/39/Live Rust, Prarie Wind, Ragged Glory, Weld, Year of the Horse
  • Phish/39/Assorted Live
  • The Rolling Stones/28/Exile, Sticky Fingers
  • Beach Boys/26/Pet Sounds (Remastered)
  • Live/26/Mental Jewelry, Throwing Copper
  • The Doors/22/Doors, LA Woman, Morrison Hotel, Strange Days
  • Bruce Springsteen/20/Born in the USA, Asbury Park
  • Sublime/17/Sublime
  • Pulp Fiction Soundtrack/16
  • Damian Marley/14/Jamrock
  • Gnarls Barkley/14/St. Elsewhere
  • Morcheeba/14/Charango, Who can you Trust?
  • Resevoir Dogs Soundtrack/14
  • Beck/13/Mellow Gold, Midnite, Odelay
  • Better than Ezra/13/Deluxe
  • Lauryn Hill/13/Miseducation
  • Clapton&King/12/Riding with the King
  • JJ Cale/12/Naturally
  • Ozomatli/12/Ozomatli
  • RJD2/12/Since We Last Spoke
  • Toad the Wet Sprocket/12/Fear
  • Beatles/11/PM2, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper
  • Curtis Mayfield/11/Roots
  • Franz Ferdinand/11/Franz Ferdinand
  • Fugees/11/The Score
  • The Hold Steady/11/Boys and Girls
  • Kings of Leon/11/Young Manhood
  • Marvin Gaye/11/What's Going on
  • Paul Simon/11/Graceland
  • Buffalo Springfield/10/Again
  • Weezer/10/Weezer (Blue)
  • Bob Dylan/9/Highway 61 Revisited
  • Maceo Parker/9/Planet Groove
  • Pearl Jam/9/Live on Two Legs, No Code
  • Allman Bros/8/Eat a Peach
  • Boogie Nights Soundtrack, vol 2/8
  • John Fogerty/8/The Long Road Home
  • Led Zep/8/IV
  • Neville Bros/8/Fiyo on the Bayou
  • Third World/8/96 Degrees in the Shade
  • Wild Tchoupitoulas/8/The Wild Tchoupitoulas
  • Cee-Lo/7/Soul Machine
  • Michael Jackson/7/Thriller
  • Parliament/7/Mothership
  • Dangerdoom/6/Mouse and the Mask
  • Mos Def/6/Black on Both
  • Van Morrison/6/Philosopher's Stone
  • DJ Shadow/5/Outsider, Private Press, Brainfreeze
  • Jackie Brown Soundtrack/5
  • Me Myself and Irene Soundtrack/5
  • Sting/5/Summoner's Tales
  • Talib Kweli/5/Quality
  • Tribe Called Quest/5/Midnight Marauders
  • Tupac/4/Me Against the World, Killuminati
  • Gillespie Y Machito/4/Afro-Cuban Jazz Moods
  • Jay-Z/4/Blueprint
  • Snoop/3/Paid tha Cost
  • Tom Waits/3/Mule Variations
  • Tracy Chapman/3/Tracy Chapman
  • The Who/3/Who's Next
  • Don McLean/2/American Pie
  • GnR/2/Appetite
  • R.E.M./2/New Adventures
  • Big Boi/1/Presents Got Purp?
  • Cream/1/Disraeli Gears
  • Erykah Badu/1/Mama's Gun
  • Everclear/1/Sparkle and Fade
  • Gary Jules/1
  • Hi-Tek/1/Hi-Teknology
  • Redman/1/Doc's 2000
  • Soulive/1
  • Traffic/1/Low Spark
I think this one will work well. Thus far, it has definitely been more than the sum of its parts. The iPod is fantastic. Massive playlists with loose themes are like having your own radio station. And my radio station always kicks ass.

So, the plan was to get to the airport with Jamie, take off just after 8pm and touch down a little after 11pm on the same flight as Heng-Scheng and Jamie, get the rental car, get Ian, wait a little bit for Malcolm and roll into the hotel at 1am at the latest. Seems easy, right? We made reservations for a plane, a car and a hotel. I printed directions to everywhere that we needed to go (AND brought them with me). We had ample time at the airport. Instead, our flight was delayed. In fact, we didn't take off from Newark until we were supposed to land in Austin. Aw hell. I'm definitely not drinking enough water in the downtime, either. Scheduled arrival: 2:30am. Grr.

Manage to survive the plane by sleeping in fits and starts. Waking up suddenly and never really getting to sleep. Just what I wanted before the tournament. Fuck that, I'll just push that excuse out of my head. One more challenge to overcome. Turns out Malcolm was in more of a bind as his flight from JFK was even further delayed, and would be arriving at ~3:20am. I let him know that we wouldn't be waiting for him, just as he asked us not to.

Managed to get the car (sunroof!) and get going to the Super 8 (a mere 5 minutes from the fields). The roads in Austin are very easy to maneuver at that time of the morning, as we arrived without a major slip-up. As we pulled into the hotel, we were struck by the fantastic number of bikes in the lot. That's odd. I don't know that I've seen more than one ultimate player with a motorcycle. Perhaps it has something to do with The Biggest Motorcycle Rally in Texas. (FOGHAT!) By applying the principle that "Everything is bigger in Texas" we concluded that either this is also the large4st motorcycle rally anywhere or someone is lying.

Jamie seemed to be taking an inordinate amount of time to check into the hotel at 3am. Nothing good can come of this. Eventually he came out and said "They're playing Star Wars in here, you should come sit on the couch with me." As it came out later, what he really meant to say was "They're running a 'Night Audit' which means they can't check anyone in until it is over, which will be at approximately 4am. You should come inside and watch Return of the Jedi while we rot in the waiting room."


It took us ~20 minutes to find a parking spot because the majority of the people staying there were bikers who each brought a truck, a trailer and a number of bikes. We eventually waited while someone walked to his car and sat in it for ~10 minutes. When I gave up and circled the lot again, he finally left his spot. Maybe it was the whole "sit ominously in the dark with two other dudes in a car with the lights off while we watch your every move" thing that made him suspicious. Maybe.

Malcolm then arrived and tried to go to the room that we had given him the number for. Oddly, it was not the room that we were in, it was the room that Tim Johnson was in. Tim was awoken by a random knock, and Malcolm was greeted by something along the lines of "Unfuckingbelievable." Malcolm them proceeded to find us and wait as well.

At ~4:30 we checked into the room and set our alarms for 7am for a 9am game so that we could hopefully eat breakfast and get to a grocery store while maximizing our sleep...

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