Wednesday, February 9--LAX: I hate this place. It took 2.5 hours to get checked in and walk through the security gates to our terminal. Wow. LAX sucks. Traveling is becoming a little more difficult for U.S. residents. Outside of the U.S., travel is very simple and not as time-consuming or as security-crazy as it is here. Big thanks to Bush and the terrorists for making our traveling lives hell. We appreciate it.
Due to the Bali bombing, Australia is not accepting visa applications for Brazilians at their consulate in Los Angeles now. So, to Rodrigo Tx.'s surprise, he couldn't go on this trip with us. You see, Rodrigo is now back in the States, and in the past, we'd always been able to walk right up to the consulate window, fill out the visa paperwork, get a visa and go home to pack. No more, as it is now a four-week process for Rodrigo to send his passport to Washington DC, where they do the paperwork and send it back via mail a few weeks later. Rad! Thanks again, terrorists, for messing up the program.
Also scheduled to go on this trip were Eric Koston, Tom Penny and Javier Sarmiento, who ended up being no-go's due to travel difficulties and last minute re-scheduling. So, the trip basically consisted of Cale Nuske (who was already waiting in Melbourne for us), Rick McCrank and special guest star, Kevin "Spanky" Long. We also had filmer Jon Miner and the ever-exclusive Skateboarder mag photographer Brian Gaberman taking the clips on this trip.
Friday, February 11--Arrival. We met up with Adrian "Crampy" Cramp from Hardcore Distribution. They always treat us right. Crampy got us into a taxi and to the hotel. Oh yeah, the contest. We finally realized that we had arrived on the Friday morning before the contest,which was the only day of practice, as a matter of fact. But, even after a 16-hour flight, McCrank was a trooper and on the course by 1:oo p.m. Cale, Spanky, Jon and I were a bit more lazy, showing up at 3:00 and watching the dudes rip the gigantic, colorful course.
Saturday, February 12--To make a long story short, the contest was only one day long--successfully crunching in three days worth of skating into one. They should do that for every contest! It just works out better for the riders, so they can be in-and-out and then do some filming. Crankers got 5th, Cale decided not to enter, and Spanks got, well, I don't know. He wasn't up there in the rankings, but he ripped up the course in between runs. I think that is when the best skateboarding goes down, anyway.
Sunday, February 13--This day left us with an open agenda. We skated the City Park (great skatepark, by the way) and searched for generators and lights for the night sessions. After calling around and finding nothing, we gave up.
Monday, February 14--Spanky had a signing to do at PSC (our favorite skate shop in Melbourne), while the boys spent some time shredding the manual pad to drop-off for a bit. Crankers was riding his friend's deck from 1986, trying nose manuals and kickflip mannys on a nine-inch wide board with no nose. So radical, dude! We shredded the rest of the afternoon away, then got some food and relaxed.
I spent some time packing on Monday night, as I had to fly back home early for a stupid traffic court date. Cale and Crankers stayed behind with Jon Miner and Brian Gaberman to get gnar for another week in front of the lenses. Short stories are the best. Well, for me anyway. Love and kisses.--Tony E.