31 October 2009

Perhaps Granny Will Wear Her Leash Next Time She Surfs!

Yes, the pink fuzzy slippers stayed on throughout the heat. I even swam in with them on. I've said it before. I'll say it again. It takes mad skills to surf in that kind of footwear. Do I at least get points for that?

This contest was something else. Your surf skills mattered little. It was all about the costume and the surfer's interpretation of said clothing. When we checked in, we were all given a handout which stated that "points will be given for a combination of costume, surfing ability, your ability to express your costume and most of all having fun!"

Who won? The Teletubbies for Surfing winner, the Viking (complete with a surfboard decked out like a ship) for Costume Winner and the Leopard Shark (my friend Nancy) for Overall Winner. I did manage to catch a couple of waves when I wasn't swimming in to to get my board. I was especially impressed by the fact that I came out of the water with all of my costume. I can't exactly say my costume was intact. The hairnet was hanging by one curler. Other than that, my costume after the heat was no different than it was before the heat (except for the fact that it was wet).

Would I do this contest again? In a heartbeat!

30 October 2009

27 October 2009

Not an Acceptable Way to Transport Boards

And then you wonder why people call you a name that begins and ends with a "k". People, show your boards some respect. Ellen, stop walking in front of the camera when Soul Brother #1 is taking a picture.

That is all.

25 October 2009

Still Can't Crouch . . .

but I'm getting closer!

Never let anyone claim you can't hull a beach break. If you're on the right hull, you can surf any break! (Throwing it down on the 8 foot PG hull.)

20 October 2009

Knee Replacement: Six Months Later

There isn't much to say as there hasn't been much of a change in the joint over the last month. The one thing I can now do that I couldn't do thirty days ago is sprint. It wasn't my intention to sprint. No, I have no reason to run. Well, I thought I had no reason to move quickly until I went out in the backyard the other day to get the dog and saw that the gate was open. I immediately panicked, thinking horrible thoughts about never seeing my beloved canine again or even worse thoughts about him being hit by a car. You know what happened next—I took off running. I never gave a second thought to my knee. I was in a full sprint for the front yard. Thankfully, the guy painting the exterior of our house got Oxley to come to him. As I was sprinting down the neighbor's driveway, here came Andre holding the dog. Disaster averted. It wasn't until later that I realized I'd been in full gallop. The knee was fine.

I still have serious pain at times. The flexion continues to be an issue, albeit one I've decided to live with even though I've not given up pushing for more bend. All in all, I've got no complaints. I can do the things I did prior to surgery. That was the whole point of the joint replacement, wasn't it?

18 October 2009

Did You Wait 72 Hours?

I know there were waves out there last week. They looked mighty tasty, yes. What spooked me was the water. Didn't it rain? Hard? Then why were people paddling out so soon after the season's first real rain? What part of the letters "MRSA" don't people understand?

I am loving that eight foot hull. Everything about it is perfect at this stage in my surfing. I didn't think I'd had a particularly stellar session today. It was just a session. But once I got out of the water, more than one of the locals said positive things to me about the way I was surfing today. Interesting. I still don't feel completely comfortable doing many things with this new knee, including surfing. So while I'm thinking my waves weren't that good, others are telling me they were. One guy, a local who surfs beautifully but barely speaks, told me he saw me owning a peak and taking all of the lefts. Me? Another local told me I surf this board well. I also heard some things from a couple of other guys. The thing is, I know I'm improving but I didn't know it was that obvious to other people. I'm not trying to toot my horn at all. I'm simply curious as to what it is they're seeing in my surfing that I seem not to have picked up on. Perhaps it's that, after having surfed for seven years, I've finally managed to get out of my own head. I remember wondering early on if there would ever come a time when much of what I did on a surfboard would become second nature. I suppose that time has, in fact, arrived. I'm still learning and working on things when I surf, but now I no longer have to think about surfing a wave. I just paddle, pop-up and go. (It sounds so easy when I express it in such an abbreviated way, doesn't it?)

In other news . . . there is no other news really.

Since I seem to be morphing into a different type of surfer, specifically one who snakes people and throws stinkeye with abandon, I realized I would soon need backup once I got out of the water. My enforcer is in training. Tae Kwon Do is his martial art of choice. Doesn't he look menacing? Don't mess with me or I'll have him take a swing at you!

We're still unemployed. We're all healthy though (knock on wood). Our little man is doing well in school. The dog is happy. We're happy.

14 October 2009

Guest Blogger #3: Ozzie Ausband

It was Kyle Lightner's blog that brought Ozzie to my attention. Let me tell you something. Ozzie and I are kindred spirits. He, too, is someone I've yet to meet. However, we are in total agreement about the way life should be lived. As of today, Ozzie's birthday, we are the same age. We're of the same generation. And yet, neither one of us is a great believer in the pursuit of happiness through the acquisition of stuff—money, high-powered careers, material possessions. Ozzie skates. Period. His life is all about skating. His blog is all about pool skating as it relates to his life. Skaters, surfers . . . we all get stereotyped as being shallow and single minded in a way that ensures the long, slow death of the brain cells required to think critically and speak intelligently. When you read Ozzie's blog, you have to remind yourself that the blogger is not a published author with many books to his credit. Ozzie's writing is so genuine that you can literally get lost in it. That is the mark of a talented writer. Happy Birthday, Ozzie!

Pool skating is a subculture; the bastard child of skateboarding. It is the dark sheep...the one that always works against the grain. How does that Bad Religion song go? "Swimming upstream. I maintain against the grain." Everything we do is ordered around stealth and solitude. We can't let on about anything we know or find because it becomes dangerous for us.

When I find a big right-hand kidney pool, I must keep it under wraps. I still need to mollify the neighbors into thinking that I am there on legitimate grounds. I don't wear skate clothing or shoes, and keep skateboards hidden inside the car out of sight. I wear work boots, have a hardhat & walkie talkie; I basically appear like I work for the water company or something.

When an old neighbor lady looks out and see's me in the foreclosed yard next door, I look like I belong. She never questions it. "She thinks, "Oh, its the water company or a pool man." I wave, grab my pump and generator, go in and drain the damn thing. A week later, me & my pool pals go back. She see's my car again....and thinks nothing of it. Stealth. Remove suspicion.

Pool riding is a strange thing. Its tough. I have seen skateboard professionals that ride ramps and all, go to a backyard pool and receive a fair amount of humility. It isnt easy. The shallow end must be learned and adapted to, or you will get served up a cement nap. In the end it comes down to this. Fun is where you find it. If your type of fun is found in a bar on sundays watching a bunch of overpaid guys run around in tights and crushing each other over a football...go for it! That won't be for me. I will be down the street from that bar draining the neighbors pool. Skate long-Ozzie

Skaters pictured: peter king, partain, ozzie, salba.
Photos by peter king & zach petschek& kyle lightner&brandon wong

12 October 2009

Thank You, Mr. Lightner

Kyle Lightner saw this license plate today. He got the shot and sent it on to me.

I don't know how long it took before I even noticed the license plate holder. Doh!!

I haven't posted much lately. There's been very little swell. I've also got very little to say about anything. I seem to be in a weird space of late. It took me a few weeks to realize that I've been reinventing myself without even trying to do so.

I'm changing. This is neither bad nor good. It simply is. What I find so fascinating is that I'm not fighting the changes at all. That's unlike me. I hate stasis, yet I fight change tooth and nail. For once, I've given myself the space to change. Soul Brother #1 is not sure what to make of this person masquerading as his wife. I know he keeps checking to see if there's pod under the bed or a clone in the Woman Cave. He and I are both seeing a side of me that's new to both of us.

Never be afraid to reinvent yourself.

07 October 2009

Chicks Don't Play That!!

Karma is Your Mother

In the past, I've alluded to the fact that, as surfers go, the word that best describes me is "polite". I tend to follow the rules, give up waves, smile, hoot for other people and try keep the tone in the water mellow.

I was not that person today. I take that back. I showed the other side of that person today on one wave in particular.

I dropped in on someone. Blatantly. Unapologetically (which is a lie because I apologized to him later even though I wasn't earnest when I did so.)

One of my friends chastised me for doing so. I paddled up to her later and told her what led to such egregious behavior on my part.

There is one guy in the home break crew for whom I have no respect. I flat out dislike him. I am civil to him. He has no idea that I can't stand him. There's no need to share that sentiment with him since I only see him in the water. For years, he's taken my waves. He'd see me paddling for one, paddle right next to me and just go. Being the polite person that I am, as well as one who'd prefer not to imagine the physical aftermath of a collision in the water, I would always pull back.


Not today.

It was a left. The shoulder was heading right for me. He paddled and popped up, going left. I then paddled and popped up. All I saw out of the corner of my eye was him crashing and burning.


When I explained our history to the friend who'd chastised me, she said, "Oh. Karma."

Yes. Karma. That was payback, James Brown style.

Who's your mommy now?

I had a bag custom made for my 8'0" hull. It arrived today. My god, this dude knows what to do with a sewing machine. And he shreds on a surfboard too! Tea Bags