Wednesday, December 10th, 2008, 3:43 pm

The past few nights I’ve forced myself to stay up till 4AM, in what will probably be a vain attempt to tune my circadian rhythms to Vegas time. I really get clobbered by jet lag and the Sin City cocktail of booze, adrenaline and pumped-in oxygen often isn’t enough to overcome it. The first time I went out for the annual blogger bash (hard to believe it was three years ago) I ended up taking a four-hour "nap" around 11PM Saturday night before venturing out again. Who needs alcohol when your brain is sparking like a toaster thrown in a bathtub?

But I’m a bit wiser these days. The body must be steeled for the ordeal to come. Shift the sleep patterns. Double the normal amount of exercise, then double it again. Lots of lean protein and bushels of fresh vegetables (my spinach consumption this week has been Popeyesque). Treat the body like a temple this week, because come the weekend it metamorphoses into a garbage disposal.

Of course I’m indulging in some hyperbole, because it’s not gonna be THAT bad. I will drink to giggly excess and gamble with a foot hovering over the brake pedal and engage in low-level debauchery. Mostly I want to see everyone and drink with my friends and have a blast. And so I shall.

Today I’m going to clear the decks for action. Gather up the ducks and set them neatly in a row. The laundry needs folded, the clean dishes returned to the cupboards. Run the vacuum, clean the bathroom. I hate leaving the flat a mess because I really hate coming home to a mess. I’m finishing up my work for the week so I don’t have to bring my laptop with me. Last year I actually had to work a bit and that was a drag.

Speaking of drag, I’m also not going to be dragging around tons of gear. I always overpack when I go on a trip and I’m trying to break myself of that habit. Always having to worry if my suitcase is going to come in over 50 pounds…I suffer enough when I get on the scale. So this time around I’m traveling light. No computer, and all those cables and plugs and whatnot. I’m leaving the big camera and the lenses at home–I’m going to have fun, not to take pictures of that fun. Anyway my iPhone can pinch-hit for both if there’s some kind of urgent need. Worth it’s tiny weight in gold, it is.

I’m only bringing what I can fit in my carry-on suitcase and the slim neoprene laptop sleeve that fits inside my Waterfield bag. In my previous trips to Vegas I’ve packed as though I was heading for a siege–and while covering the WSOP might have similiarities to medieval warfare, I still brought lots of stuff I didn’t use. If my previous trips were invasions, this visit shall be a silent infiltration. I will be in, then out. I will be light on my feet. I will bypass the queuing drones and vanish before they realize I’m gone.

And I’ve decided to accept my limitations and my place in the order of things. Last year I did something very, very silly–I tried to compete sartorially with JoeSpeaker.


I tried not to try TOO hard–I wore a black Calvin Klein dress shirt and trotted out some silver cufflinks. Those of us who were there remember all too well how the boss metrosexual put us in our place–with a casual toss of cashmere over his shoulder. How was I to anticipate a scarf? If I’d worn a scarf I would’ve looked absolutely ridiculous. I would’ve been a laughingstock. He wears a scarf, indoors, in Las Vegas, and not only does he pull it off he leaves the rest of us looking like rubes in denim overalls. Not this year, oh no. I surrender the field. I’m going to dress well, mind you–I have a quartet of serviceable dress shirts to choose from and maybe some cashmere of my own. And I’m getting my Ecco’s shined tomorrow. But just as you don’t turn on a flashlight in the middle of a bright sunshiney day, I’m not stepping back into the ring with the champ. I still have the bruises from last year.

OK, I can now cross this post off my to-do list. I think that the second I hit the "Publish" button I’m gonna start getting thirsty.

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3 Responses to “Calibrating”

  1. JoeSpeaker Says:

    It is your own sense of sartorial genius that worked against you in this case. It takes a connoisseur to recognize.

    This year…it will be all about the shoes.

  2. Dr. Chako Says:

    The Wife will have you both beat in the shoe department.


    PS. I plan on renting clubs when I get there.

  3. Dr. Chako Says:

    If you can be at the Palazzo Friday morning around 7:45 to 8 am, Miami Don has wheels. Call me on my cell:

    (2 five 3) 63 two – 1 one 89

    Hopefully that will throw the spammers off.


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