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February 27, 2001: Adventures in snowboarding
Following the radio show and two film crews in the house, and after interviews and discussions with a major magazine and a city weekly lost their momentum, I was ready for a calm couple days and a fun weekend.

Instead, I decided to make last minute plans to visit my friend max in nimes. He's planning to go snowboarding in the alps in early march, and my impulsive nature decided to risk the sacred top ramen fund to go along. I called a friend at virgin atlantic and picked up a cheap courier fare ticket to london. I also made plans to go to lake tahoe with a workmate over the weekend so I could remember how snowboarding works. That resulted in some unanticipated stressors.

First, I had to research the south of france, and generally how to get around over there. Then, I had to get ready for a weekend trip in hours. In the last few hours I had left of friday, I headed to the mission to get my hair cut at 'hair illusion' near valencia. Hair illusion was always a joke over a boogaloo's homefries breakfast to me until I suddenly figured that an elaborate illusion was just what my hair really needed.

Traffic to the mission was crazy, and the salon closed before I got there. So instead, I grabbed some popeye's spicy chicken on mission street. Popeye's is like some sort of tony-crack. I'm always kind of sick after I eat there, but it's so good and I can never get enough. Of all the eating choices of the mission, popeye's shouldn't the first choice, but that's beside the point. I should have got my hair cut earlier.

Grant picked me up with a couple of his friends from college, and we had a great time in the snow, although my hair was unruly. I found myself at tahoe with a lot of people from princeton, and I suddenly observed, out loud, that white people are hard for me to tell apart. I think that caused offense, but it's true: I'm so used to seeing people of different backgrounds in the city that it's almost creepy to venture toward middle america anymore.

I bought a new board and bindings, to save myself from ever having to wait in line for hours to rent equipment, spending roughly more than my car is worth. To make up the difference, I brought my own food to the slopes and tricked the chalet into selling me $1.50 of hot water not for tea, but for the cup-o-noodles I smuggled in. Ha ha, suckers!

It was an insane blizzard on saturday. It got impossible to see with or without goggles, and the snow was already deep. It is certainly a challenge to make it down unfamiliar slopes without being able to see anything.

Sunday all the snow that fell the day before left the slopes in great shape. I even took some downhill video, without busting my camera even. Along with the video, I took home some excruciating pain. Like most san francisco bike riders, I've been hit often and hard by enough inattentive drivers to result in lower lumbar muscle pain at even the thought of exertion. Without the locked up muscles in my back, I would have felt great, so it was really annoying to be paralyzed after two good days.

Monday I found myself moving about at work in a painful and pathetic creep, trying to figure out how to make three production web application servers from the parts of four I had on hand, and arranging a chiropractic visit for my lunch. I didn't have any time left to chart out an itinerary from london heathrow airport to nimes in the south of france, within the space of an afternoon only two weeks away. But I did have some free minutes to worry about it.

I also struck out on finding a functional pain drug, as my cocktail of naproxen sodium, acetaminophen, ibuprofen and magnesium salicylate did nothing for me. The most comfort came from a heat pack and a spicy chicken cup-o-noodles later on. A sane person would go to bed. I'm staying up to count the votes for my next roommate. Stay tuned for the announcement!

More information about cheap travel, snowboarding and pain management:

buy me buy me buy me buy me buy ime buy me buy me buy me

Rick Steves' France, Belgium and the Netherlands
Air Courier Bargains
The Courier Air Travel Handbook
Popeye
The Complete Snowboarder
The Illustrated Guide to Snowboarding
7 Steps to a Pain-Free Life
The Pdr Family Guide to Prescription Drugs
How to Fly Around the World Almost
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