30 July 2008

Stop Admiring My Coppertone Tan!

I did dawn patrol at the local indoor pool this morning. Since the pool is in the neighborhood, the majority of those using the pool are black. So I get my swim on and head into the locker room to take a shower. A sister asked me a strange question, which was something like, "Did you lie out to get that tan?" Lie out? Me? Lie out in the sun to get a tan? I was born with a tan, a very nice tan, thank you very much. I told her, no, the tan just happened as a result of both swimming at outdoor pools and surfing. But why would one brown-skinned black person ask another brown-skinned black person such a question? With all of the melanin we've got, going between the front door and the car makes you a shade darker.

And, yes, I've got the full-on, pale butt Coppertone tan.

28 July 2008

Babes in Surfland





27 July 2008

In the Ongoing Battle Between Rock and Surfboard

Rock remains victorious. The surfboard was vanquished, having put up a good but ultimately pointless fight. (My toes didn't fare too well either!!!)

26 July 2008

The Word I Don't Like

Perhaps someone should have paddled up to this guy, who was out in the lineup today, and quietly said, "You're less likely to be called a kook* if you take off those swim goggles."

It was all I could do not to laugh in this guy's face. Swim goggles? Are you kidding me?

*That's the word I don't like.

22 July 2008

Imagine the Possibilities!

I never liked this show until a few days ago when my husband and I got hooked on the final episode (which was movie-length). Here we are, a 50 something man and a 40 something woman, absolutely glued to the television while the six year old completely ignored the whole spectacle. He played. We watched a show that he used to love (and I used to hate). But think of the possibilities—a water bender who surfs!! Once I looked at the show in that light, I was hooked.

20 July 2008

Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Paddle Out

16 July 2008

Fun With Sex Wax

14 July 2008

Impeach That F@!%er

Bush lifts executive ban on offshore oil drilling

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush lifted an executive order banning offshore oil drilling on Monday and urged Congress to follow suit.

Citing the high prices Americans are paying at the pump, Bush said from the White House Rose Garden that allowing offshore oil drilling is "one of the most important steps we can take" to reduce that burden.

However, the move is largely symbolic as there is also a federal law banning offshore drilling.

"This means that the only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil reserves is action from the U.S. Congress," Bush said.

Bush has been pushing Congress to repeal the law passed in 1981.

"There is no excuse for delay," the president said in a Rose Garden statement last month.

"In the short run, the American economy will continue to rely largely on oil, and that means we need to increase supply here at home," Bush said, adding that there is no more pressing issue for many Americans than gas prices.

Bush's father, President George H.W. Bush, signed the executive order in 1990 banning offshore drilling.

The issue has gained prominence in the presidential race. Sen. John McCain recently announced he supported offshore oil drilling, reversing his previous stance.

Sen. Barack Obama wants to keep the ban in place.

Experts say offshore oil drilling would not have an immediate impact on oil prices because oil exploration takes years.

"If we were to drill today, realistically speaking, we should not expect a barrel of oil coming out of this new resource for three years, maybe even five years, so let's not kid ourselves," said Fadel Gheit, oil and gas analyst with Oppenheimer & Co. Equity Capital Markets Division.

But it almost certainly would be profitable.

Candida Scott, an oil industry researcher at Cambridge Research Associates, said oil needs to be priced at $60 a barrel or more to justify deep-shelf drilling. With oil now selling for $145 a barrel, companies are almost assured of profiting from offshore drilling, Scott said.

In his statement last month, Bush also renewed his demand that Congress allow drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, clear the way for more refineries and encourage efforts to recover oil from shale in areas such as the Green River Basin of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

The White House estimates that there are 18 billion barrels of oil offshore that have not been exploited because of state bans, 10 billion to 12 billion in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the Green River Basin.

12 July 2008

Three Years Gone

Three years ago today, I talked about my life being at a place where I felt free to start dreading my hair. I knew very little about locks. I just knew I was ready for them. What I didn't know was that dreads are an exercise in extreme patience, especially when your hair doesn't have a lot of kink to it. You know how some things in life require both time and energy? Well, dreads require quite a bit of time, but very little energy (if you set them free to do their own thing).

It took almost two years for my hair to be fully locked. Two years. One-third of my child's life.

I've grown accustomed to the dreaded (pretty good pun, if you ask me) blinded-by-locks problem I've dealt with for awhile. The locks in the front are too short to be successfully pulled back into a ponytail and just long enough to thoroughly obscure my vision while I'm surfing. Nonetheless, I'm rockin' these locks for all they're worth. Don't know when I'll cut them. Don't know if I'll cut them. I'm happy to leave them to their own devices for now.

10 July 2008


The surf and the weather were mediocre at best—perfect for my first session back. The break was relatively empty. The fair-weather surfers all having stayed home out of protest, I guess. My opinion: if you're a true surfer, you'll surf anything . . . even the dreck that dribbles in on the worst of days. I'm not saying you should surf that shit every day. I'm just saying this isn't a beach movie. You surf what you're given.

I'm glad I missed the good swell and beautiful weather of a few weeks ago. I cannot deal with the mass of humanity that descends upon the beach with surfboards. Unlike so many others, I won't label them kooks. I hate that word. And they're not all kooks. Why wouldn't you be drawn to the ocean on a sunny day? I don't fault anyone for that. The fact that I can't deal with the crowds is my problem, not theirs. Besides, all of these people will be gone soon enough and our beaches will return to some semblance of normalcy. Go get your waves this summer, people.

One warning though: Don't drop in on me when I'm on the log. It weighs a good 30 pounds and I'm long past the stage of being polite enough to try to avoid people who snake me. It can take a hit and survive. Can you? (No, it's not a threat. It's simply food for thought for those surfers, and we all know who they are, who recklessly and intentionally drop in RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU.)

07 July 2008

eBay Treasures!

For some reason I don't understand, I've got this fascination with hideous surf wear. I find the loud and garish stuff especially appealing. The bottom two shorts still have tags on them even though they were made in the 90's. I got these from a guy who used to have a surf shop in Kansas. Did I stutter? Yes, I said Kansas. He's now selling the stock that was left over. I couldn't resist those, especially since they only cost about $10 a piece.

The top pair of board shorts looked so god awful when I saw them on eBay that I couldn't take my eyes away. I couldn't believe they were board shorts. I really thought the seller was mistaken, that she didn't know the difference between ugly board shorts and ugly silk boxers. I was the one who was mistaken. They are, in fact, board shorts, rasta-colored, LSD-trip emulating board shorts.

Dare me to wear them! I say it all the time, I know: If people are going to stare, I'm going to give them something to stare at.

06 July 2008

On Returning From an Injury

These are the rules I'm following as I assess my recovery. These are my rules. I'm no expert, but decades of playing hard and getting hurt while doing so have taught me a thing or two.

You should not surf following an injury if you cannot:

1. Walk without people assuming you were parked in the handicapped space;

2. Get in and out of bed without screaming;

3. Take your board off the top of the car and carry it to the water without the aid of the old guy who is actually parked in the handicapped space;

4. Comfortably wax your board without stopping to whimper;

5. Tread water in such a way that the lifeguard doesn't feel compelled to rescue you; and

6. Execute a pop-up that doesn't involve grunting, groaning or crying.

Five out of six ain't bad. When I can do #5 without too much pain, I'll be back in the water.

04 July 2008

Mike V

01 July 2008

Four Weeks and Counting

Actually, it's been four weeks and a day since feeling the pop! A month ago today I could barely walk. Now I'm walking without a limp and have regained about 98% of the range of motion. The pain is no longer occupying my every waking thought. But, dammit, there's still some pain there, enough pain to make me know that I'm not ready to get back on the board.

I've finally reached the point where my patience is waning. Thankfully, the pain is stronger than my impatience. I continue to let pain be my guide. I'm able to use the kickboard without pain now, at least when I'm doing a simple scissors kick. There's still no way I can do a frog kick without yelping (which, I suppose, is better than the blood curdling scream I would have made a week ago). Flipturns? Forget about it. I'm afraid of the pain that kind of movement would engender. The bright side is I did consider doing one. Normal movements in the water are becoming less painful. As a result, I'm less fearful.

I'm thinking I will take a good assessment next week. I'll have had seven more days of strengthening and recovery. I just might be ready for a short, easy session. It's something to shoot for. My real goal is to be back on the board for the Doo Dah Surf. Regardless of what anyone says, it's way too much fun to miss. It's not about the surfing at all. For me it's all about the laughter. You see the damndest things when people paddle out in costume. Grand Poobah (Fred Flinstone). Marge Simpson. A guy with a lawn chair and umbrella on his surfboard! It's a riot. Throw the term "kook" around as much as you like. If you're living a life without laughter and fun, shame on you. As serious as I was when I was racing that bike, I still knew how to let go and have fun at times. That's what this event is all about. And I plan to be there.

(I'll have you know it's not easy to surf in pink fuzzy slippers!)