31 December 2011

2011—The Year in Pictures






June (1)

June (2)







(No wonder I never have time to skate. Obviously, water time takes precedence. And from the looks of it, I'm always in the water!)

Bring on 2012!! The only good thing I have to say about 2011 is that I was able to spend an inordinate amount of time in the water. Other than that, 2011 was a virtually useless year in my life. With that said, being here to experience it and subsequently complain about it was better than the alternative.

I continue to believe in the power of salt water!

30 December 2011

Meanwhile, Over in the Social Media World

His wall:

Him: Still sooo good! Saw a crazy person on a flying mattresss on head high+ bombs. She looked like she was having the most fun.

Magic carpet ride, baby!!

My wall:

You looked like you were having the most fun this morning! Bombs on mat!

I know one of them was so long that I didn't think I'd ever make it back out to the lineup! And look who's talking about catching bombs. All of your waves were at least head high!

You were gone for so long that i began to worry and skipped beyond the rescue phase and transitioned to recovery mode....recover the mat so that i could ride it!

AHAHAHAHAHAHA! You would actually leave my lifeless body out there to wash up on Boneyards while you got hold of a free mat? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Well...that would have been a cruel. I would have at least anchored your lifeless body to the seaweed for later recovery. If you had shown some sign of life, i would have tied you on my board and then anchored it to the seaweed for later recovery.

26 December 2011

I'll Take One of Each!

Oh, how I love this place (Rip City Skates)!

God Bless Us All, Every One . . . Including RuPaul

Best Christmas surf ever!!

Actually, I'd never surfed on Christmas day before. In order to make it happen, I got permission from the boss. I'm speaking of my child, of course. Christmas is all about him really. I'm not religious, therefore Soul Brother #2 is the actual reason for the season in my house. I've always tried to let Christmas be his day. Little kids deserve that. But he's not so little anymore. He now understands that a family works best when everyone is happy. I let him know I'd be especially happy if Santa brought waves and sent me to them this year. Well, when he and I discussed this a few days ago, he told me to go surf: "It's your day too, Mom." Then that little handsome face gave me that smile that is going to just kill the ladies in a few years.

Traditionally, Christmas is a day when I prepare a rather large breakfast. My mom did this for decades. Now that her "kitchen is closed," I do the breakfast . . . even though I normally don't eat breakfast. I was not going to go against tradition just to surf. That would have thrown the earth off its axis. All I could do was hope the tide was right for a midday session.

Thank you, Santa.

There's nothing like driving to the beach in an ugly Christmas sweater (ten bucks on eBay), shorts and Vans while behind the wheel of a big red '65 station wagon. Merry Christmas to me!!

Question of the day: when did I start surfing switch like I know what I'm doing? Today was a first in that respect. I've dabbled with surfing switch here and there. I had a successful switch stance wave a few weeks ago. It was only the one wave though. And I hadn't tried it again since then. Until today.

And it seemed rather easy.

I'm thinking that my newfound ability to surf switch is an outgrowth of my skateboarding. Fakies force you to become comfortable with having your back foot be your front foot. What is really cracking me up is that I'm surfing switch on a hull. It's not like hulls are as stable as a normal surfboard. Nevertheless, my longboard hull is the board I'm always on when I decide to turn and face a wave that's behind me.

Not only did I surf on Christmas day, but I met RuPaul when I got out of the water. He and his boyfriend were walking up the beach. There's a concrete platform you must climb up in order to get to the stairs that take you back up to your car. I was already on the platform. He and his man walked up while I was standing there. It's a small platform and you have to be careful. I always have to lean my board up against it, climb up it and then carefully bring the board up so I can head up the stairs. Since the platform is rather small, you can't grab your board while someone else is on the platform or even close to the platform. That's why I told them to go ahead of me. Well, RuPaul's man wanted to help me with my board. I appreciated it, but I told him I could get it myself. (I was fearful that he'd not realize you can't bang a surfboard against concrete or rocks, so I preferred to get it myself.) He was insistent though. In the meantime, RuPaul is standing there trying to figure out how to get on the platform without messing up his suit. Yes, he was in men's clothes. Finally, RuPaul asked me to give him a hand and pull him onto the platform. I was happy to oblige. Then, RuPaul's boyfriend carefully lifted my board up to me and off we all went.

He is simply fabulous!

This was a Christmas for the books. Thanks for the waves and warm weather, Mother Nature. Thanks for being such a great kid, Soul Brother #2. Thanks for being a sweetheart, RuPaul.

That is all.

Actually, that is enough!

23 December 2011

When a Grown Ass Man Yells "Outside" With Fear in His Voice, You Pay Attention!

I rarely hear people yell "Outside!" anymore. One of the reasons, I think, is because I no longer surf with beginning surfers. (We would all start yelling "Outside!" as soon as we saw a bump on the horizon, a bump that would eventually show itself to be only a chest high wave. Now I'm sitting here laughing about how waves of that size used to scare so many of us who started surfing at the same time. We would be scratching, slowly and awkwardly, for the horizon as if a big slab was about to bear down on us.) I also don't surf breaks with nasty set waves. If a wave doesn't show me any shape while rearing up to take out the entire lineup, I'm not going to paddle out.

Anyway, I was at the end of my session today. I'd elected to take the mat out at this spot after having surfed it on a board on Tuesday. I had an inkling that there would be a crowd today. I also figured there might be a little more energy in the water. The mat, then, was my weapon of choice; it actually gives me more freedom when surfing in a crowd. I can often take waves that others can't. I can also move over into the kelp while the board surfers do their best to steer clear of it.

The waves definitely had size today. Unfortunately, as the tide drained out quickly, the shape took a hit. After an hour and a half, I'd recognized I was ready to call it a day. I was simply waiting for the wave that would take me in.

Then I heard a guy scream something out. He only said it once, but it caught my attention because there was no hint of machismo in his tone. None.


I'm lying there on the mat, thinking about the tone of this guy's voice. At the home break, the locals will often jokingly yell "Outside!" to make newbies and non-locals nervous. Their tones, however, never betray anything more than mischief.

But this guy's tone was different. I was thinking, "Damn. Why is he screaming like a little bitch?" Yes, we chicks sometimes think and talk that way too.

So, I'm there on the mat, not moving, lost in thought. Then it hit me, he wasn't kidding. I looked up and saw something marching in.


What's interesting about my sessions on the mat is that my thought processes speed up. On a surfboard, I normally don't have a lot of choices about how to handle a big set wave that's rolling through with others behind it. I know I'm probably going to take a beating. I know I'm too far inside. I know I'm not going to make it over one of them. I just know there's going to be some hell to pay before that set is over.

On the mat, however, my choices are varied. It's not necessarily a given that you're going to get worked. So, I'm looking at this wave and I'm thinking quickly. In my mind, I'm deciding whether I can make it over that wave and what will happen with the others behind it. I quickly realize I can't make it over. I immediately have to determine whether I should duck dive it (and the subsequent waves), try to catch it or throw caution to the wind and belly it in no matter what happens.

I sized up the wave. It was big. I'm not sure how big. As they say, when you're on a mat, every wave is overhead. Nonetheless, it was at least head high, if not bigger. And it was going to close out. That was certain. But would it close out on me?

Not today!

After much indecision (all 1.3 seconds' worth of indecision), I recognized that the wave would break just in front of me if I stayed where I was. My best bet, then, was to kick out to meet it . . . and drop in.

That was the best decision I made all day. The wave swept me up, closed out, bounced me around and, eventually, pushed me almost all the way to shore. I stayed on the mat the entire time. The whitewater made steering difficult. Nevertheless, I stayed on the mat and I stayed with the mat.

Prana is talking about being in a mat meet holding pattern. I'm ready, Prana. Let's do this!

21 December 2011

If Television Looked More Like This, the World Would be a Better (and Funnier) Place!

19 December 2011

Don't Mind Me—I'm Just Sitting Here Quietly, Not Saying a Word

Okay, I am saying a word or two here and there. But for the most part, I'm calling 2011. I'm done. Over it. Ready to move on, not looking back. I've got nothing more to say at this point of the year.

Usually, right around Christmas, I become anxious for the current year to be over. It really doesn't matter whether I've had a good year or a bad year. December usually sees me ready to move on. Because 2011 wasn't the best of years, I'm more than ready to ring in January with some expensive champagne and a smile.

As I've told Pranaglider and others, I'm just trying to get through the rest of 2011 without committing a felony!

No, I'm not kidding.

Instead of becoming one of the many overly aggressive assholes who lose their minds at this time of the year, I choose instead to simply remain quiet. I don't spend much money because I don't have much money. Therefore, I don't run around trying to buy gifts for everyone I know. I can't do it, so I don't worry about it. The kid is covered. Everyone else gets a hug. (Granted, I'm a hugger by nature; I hug people all the time. Still, my hugs are genuine and freely given.)

The waves of 2011 were fine by me. I realize that we've had years when the waves were much better. I don't judge waves in that way though. As long as there is something I can surf, either on a board or on a mat, I'm satisfied. 2011, then, was as fine a surf year as any other.

I'm looking ahead to 2012 now.






I have little interest in Christmas. I find the requisite amount of cheer to keep the child happy, and I doubt that I've succeeded in even doing that this year.

(Deep breath)

I do believe 2011 will be better.

11 December 2011

Best Surf Crew Ever!!

I needed some help tightening and repairing the surface of my skate ramp. I asked the crew for help.

And help arrived . . . to repair and to skate.

Thanks, men!!

06 December 2011

The "Don't Say I Never Gave You the Gift of James Brown" Dance Party

My Pride and Joy

04 December 2011

Making the Best of a Closed Out Situation

First, surf mats rule. In case you didn't know that, I thought I'd repeat it. When the conditions are obviously less than satisfactory, I can get on the mat and thoroughly enjoy myself, if only for a short time.

As you can see, the wave is both small and closed out. That's always a joy. (sigh) Not really. But there are times when I insist on getting wet regardless of the conditions. This was one of them. And I had the presence of mind to take a mat and a board. The thing about the mat is that when the conditions stink, you know you're still going to enjoy yourself. I'm not sure why that is. When you're on a board in those same conditions, it's often difficult to find the fun in the situation. I suppose this is one of the reasons why it would behoove watermen and waterwomen to have mats in their quivers. I'm at the point, now, where I can't imagine life without a surf mat.

I'm still not 100%, but I'm getting there. As I sit here typing, one ear is kind of closed up. There's no dizziness connected with it though. I think it's the the bug, or whatever virus/infection/plague I caught, putting up one last fight to hang on. It's too late though. The grapefruit seed extract already got down to business days ago.

I love pelicans.

They make me smile.

As do waves with shape. And hickory smoke-flavored pistachio nuts. And custom wetsuits. And the big red beast of a station wagon parked outside.

I'm now waiting for a call, hoping my friend will say The Place Which Shall Remain Nameless is breaking. That is my winter spot. Judging from the water temperature, it's now winter!

Pray for surf!

01 December 2011

Coming Up for Air

I've been seriously under the weather for the last two weeks. That's atypical for me. Normally, I feel kind of superhero-like. By that, I mean I generally feel great. But a few weeks ago, I could feel this weird pressure above my eyes. That was accompanied by sniffles.

Well, whatever that was soon morphed into a full-blown sinus ailment of pretty epic proportions. I did start the neti pot soon after the symptoms came upon me. Still, that odd feeling in my forehead is what laid me low. If I wasn't light-headed, I was having dizzy spells. And the sore throat was so bad that one of my friends was concerned that I might have strep.

Anyway, I ended up taking a week off from surfing and, as of tomorrow, two weeks off from serious skating. Obviously, Kryptonite was somewhere in this house. I felt like ass for what seemed like forever.

Sinusitis? Sinus infection? Who knows?

I'm finally back among the living because of homeopathy. I have no health insurance, therefore I am not free to visit the doctor when I'm ill. In the long run, the doctor was unimportant; I have no intention of taking antibiotics unless I'm seriously ill. What good would a visit to my physician have done me?

The nasty sore throat was cured by, believe it or not, cayenne pepper. Gargling with it does the trick. If you happen to accidentally drink some of that liquid, that's even better. My sore throat was gone for good within a day of gargling with cayenne pepper.

Unfortunately, I continued to have the dizziness, fatigue and runny nose—neti pot be damned.

Back to the drawing board to find out how to handle that. Then I happened upon three words: grapefruit seed extract. WTF? Then one of my friends mentioned those words. Then another friend mentioned those words! To make a long story short, I got some homeopathic nasal spray with grapefruit seed extract. Eureka!! I just got the stuff yesterday. I woke up this morning feeling almost like myself. That weird heaviness in my head was gone, as was the dizziness, fatigue, lightheadedness and constant runny nose.

I am, literally, now coming up for air. Finally!!

By the way, as others have said, the wind blows!