29 October 2005

Kind of Pathetic

So, I settled on the home break yesterday since I missed the crew, missed the waves there, missed the parking lot. I just wanted to be in a familiar place with familiar faces. In that respect, the session was great. The waves, however, were so uncooperative. We all caught something. It took me awhile to get into the rhythm of it all, but eventually I got my fill. Unfortunately, the rides weren't long enough to warrant me saying good things. Once again, it was paddle, pop-up, bottom turn, and then go straight to the shore. The shape of the waves was such that there was no way to find trim. Thus, we were all stuck with angling into the wave and then angling back toward the sand. The only one really getting any rides was Niles. He brought out his fish and he was coming as close as anyone to killing it. If nothing else, that made for a good session. I'm happy to see others in the crew surf well. I don't know that I'd seen Niles on a fish before. That man's got mad skills! As for the rest of us, there wasn't much going on. I think most of us gave it an hour and then got out. I think I gave it an hour and a half. I know some better waves are coming . . . some day. Next week, my schedule is such that I'll be able to surf for three straight days. I'll probably be back on the funboard then. I took the 9'0" out yesterday since it was supposed to be on the small side. With the shape those waves had, I would have been fine on the funboard. I need to spend more time on it and work my way down to the 7'0".

As if I'm not busy enough, I'm now giving serious thought to participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Gracefullee mentioned it to me yesterday as I was suiting up. In fact, when she said she was going to do NaNoWriMo, I thought she was speaking in tongues. I've looked at the site and must admit that I'm intrigued. The only problem is our computer. Since fixing the hard drive, we subsequently endured a leak that was nice enough to occur right over our monitor. Much to our joy, the monitor dried out and is working. However, in an attempt to move the computer away from the leak, my husband broke the desk the computer sits on. At this moment, I'm typing on a keyboard that is no longer directly in front of the monitor. Nor is it situated inside the handy drawer with the built-in wrist rest. I think it might be a little difficult to write a novel under these conditions. The goal is to write 50,000 words between November 1 and November 30. I'd need a laptop for that kind of commitment. Right now, a laptop is not at the top of my list of needs. So we'll see about this NaNoWriMo thing. But everyone else should look into it. If nothing else, it's a good way to make yourself write.

By the way, Capote was astounding. I'd see it again.

27 October 2005

Six Degrees of Separation

The new job is one which involves a great deal of chit chat with people. So far, I've met a couple who have a balsa wood wallhanger that was shaped by Hap Jacops. Jacobs gave it to them as a wedding present decades ago. Yesterday I talked to a man wearing a pair of cool Billabong corduroy shorts. I told him I surf and loved those shorts. As it turned out, his last name was August. When I asked if he was any relation to Robert August, his mouth fell open and he said, "You really do surf!" I've also met people who regularly surf at spots I frequent. It really is a small world. The couple I mentioned earlier said they could get Jacobs to make me a custom board for way under $1000. Of course, I've never seen them again, but I will. They did say they would tell Mr. Jacobs to come and see me. I won't hold my breath and I don't need any more boards, but if I can get Hap Jacobs to hook me up, why wouldn't I jump all over that?

I'm off today. Instead of surfing, I'm going to the movies. I never go to the movies . . . ever. The last thing I saw was The Incredibles. Today I'm going to see Capote. I'll surf tomorrow. I'll try not to forget my leash!

24 October 2005

Tag! I'm It!!

Okay, I’ve been hit with the meme stick by Ted. I’ll try to answer these as best I can.


Visit Africa

See my son grow into manhood

Hang ten with ease

Author a well-received novel or book of short stories

Have enough money

Drive a Ferrari

Stay fit



Eat red meat—It just tastes terrible

Play an instrument

Suffer fools gladly

Drive as badly as everyone else in L.A.

Give up working out

Keep a straight face when the Three Stooges are on TV



Strong, manly hands

Facial hair

Self-esteem without machismo

Good pecs (okay, great pecs)


A good helping of joie de vivre


“What do you say?” (The prompt for my kid to say “thank you”)

“Oh my”


“Love you”

“How are you?/How ya doin’?”

“How much does that cost?” (To my motorcycle-shopping spouse)

“I’m going to go (blank)” (The blank is usually “workout” or “row” or “surf”)


Isiah Washington

David Straitharn

Bonga Perkins

Sunny Garcia

A young Martin Sheen

A young Richard Roundtree

A young Tommy Lee Jones


Hmmm. I’ll take a stand and say the buck stops here (especially since some of the people I would have tagged were already hit by Ted Z).

21 October 2005

Living on the Razor's Edge!

That's right! That's me! I love to push the limits, look death in the face, and laugh. Now really, people!!! Does that sound like me? No. But that's what I was doing today during the session. Why? How? What do you mean? I mean I FORGOT MY DAMN LEASH AND IT'S NOT LIKE IT WAS 1 TO 2 FEET OUT THERE. THOSE WAVES HAD FACES, FACES THAT WERE SOMETIMES TALLER THAN I AM. At one point, I looked at CYT and said, "I ain't goin' for that wave. I ain't got no leash!!!!"

Let's go back to the beginning. We met at our appointed time. We packed the car. We drove to the Breakwater. When we went to check for waves, we saw that the price for parking in the lot was astoundingly low. I've never seen it that cheap before. So we parked in the lot. Cool!! We're thinking good thoughts. We're feeling the positive karma. And then things fell apart. First, I discovered that I'd somehow arrived at the beach without a leash. I was so dismayed that I ran up to a guy in the lot and asked if he had an extra leash (since he was going leashless on his beautiful Tyler). Do you know of any other sport where you can ask a complete stranger for something—or offer a complete stranger something—and know that nine times out of ten that person will loan it to you? Anyway, he didn't have one and spent a little time talking me down off the ledge, assuring me I'd be okay without my leash and telling me this would be good practice. His words helped and I decided to at least give it a try. Then, we discovered that CYT had no wax whatsoever and I only had a sliver of wax. I put my wax in the places where I'd need it the most and she stole the wax that same guy had left on his bumper. (Note to self: Pay his good deed forward and leave wax on your bumper next time you get wet.)

All in all, it was a session I'm proud off. I swam on three occasions. On the first one, I paddled for a wave that jacked up and tossed me. I remember seeing the board twirling in mid-air. Then I was forced to do the ever-so-fun swim to shore to retrieve the board. On the second and third occasions, I fell off while on waves. I'm more surprised about how well I held onto the board. Going leashless does force you to hang on to the board. There was one set wave I tried to get over. Once I saw that I couldn't make it, I paddled as hard as I could, put my head down, and punched through the top of it. I couldn't believe it; I didn't think I'd actually make it through unscathed. If I'd been leashed to the board, I would not have been so determined to stay connected to the board. It's funny what a little ocean swimming will do to your tenacity. After the third swim, I was determined to stay on or with that board. This was a good confidence building session. I was back on the longboard since Wetsand predicted small surf. My leash, as it turns out, was still on my funboard. (Note to self: Don't be so cheap! Buy a leash for each board!)

16 October 2005

Wishful Thinking


Okay, now that I've had yet another not so impressive day at work, I want my old life back. Well, that's a lie. But I do miss the calming effect of surfing. I'm off Tuesday. I can't get in the water (unless I do a lot of begging and pleading for time to do an almost-Dawn Patrol session). I probably won't get wet until Friday. That's a long time to wait, dammit.

CYT called today to report on her session. It sounded like a good one. I'm much too tired to be jealous. I think I'm just glad that someone somewhere is getting good waves.

14 October 2005


Yep! Today's session was a good one. I knew that a bad day at work would probably mean I'd experience a good day in the water. I mean, my karma usually works that way. (Or should I say my Wheel of Fortune?) I left work yesterday pissed off at everyone . . . including myself. One day out of 16 isn't bad, especially for me, the woman who would quit a job at the drop of a hat before I had a child. Anyway, yesterday sucked. All I wanted today was to have fun in the water.

The call for the day was the Breakwater. CYT dislikes the homebreak and with good reason. The sandbars are a mess now; there isn't much to surf out there other than, yes, closeouts. Granted, there were closeouts today too, but I caught quite a few shoulders before I was knocked off the board. I was a little nervous today. I'd decided to finally get the funboard wet. Even though it's only six inches shorter than my Slick, it's a totally different animal. As soon as I started to paddle out, I panicked, thinking it too squirrely and too narrow. It just felt different than a single fin and I was not happy. Almost immediately, I asked CYT to switch boards with me. I wanted to at least get a couple of waves for the sake of my confidence before spending the rest of the session as a kook. I think my first wave (on her board) may have been my best wave of the day. It was a left. I carved up and down the face of it before making a backside turn. It was gooooooood! I felt like my old self, the one who used to surf four or five days a week. I got a second wave and then said I was ready to switch back. It took some time, but I eventually got the hang of the new board. You know, the new board I've had since June (or May) but hadn't ridden. Once I got my confidence up and got the hang of the board, I loved it. Truthfully, it was a relief. See, when Sensei Greg learned that Bruce Grant (now of Con Surfboards) was making me a board, he advised me to cancel the order. He said Bruce Grant's work was unpredictable, that I'd get either a great board or a piece of shit. His words stayed with me and I was hesistant to take the board out. I was expecting the worst. I'm happy to say, though, that this one is a keeper. The board is fast and seems to have a bit of snap to it. I've got to learn how to surf it. I still surf like a longboarder. I kept reminding myself to bend my knees more. And then, I'd catch a wave and go right back to my almost upright longboard stance. It'll take some time to make the mental and physical switch to a different type of board. I do believe, though, that this funboard is a good way to work my way down to my 7'0".

Hair update: Well, hmmmmm. These aren't quite locks. However, they aren't quite normal hair either. I'm reaching the in-between stage. My hair now wants to stay twisted. In fact, I do have a few bona fide locks in the back of my hair. I wish that part of my hair would hurry up and lead by example. Still, I know this is a process that can't be rushed. Here's a picture of my head a few hours after I got out of the water. It's obvious that changes are taking place. I'll just try to remain patient and stop obsessing about the locks.

12 October 2005

Where to Begin?

I'm so tired that I don't even blog when I have the time. Even though I have the time, I don't have the capacity. At this point, I'm working on overload. I work over 40 hours a week. I still workout just about every day. I also get the child up and out in the morning. Then, once I come home, I've got to get two of us fed. This is all going to take some getting used to. I haven't hit my stride yet but it will come.

So, I'm a couple of sessions behind. Let's see . . . I went out last Friday at the home break. There were waves. They weren't good waves. They weren't shapely waves. They were generally closeout waves with steep drops. I don't like such drops, but I took them. I miss surfing so much that I wasn't going to miss waves just because of the drops. So I got a lot of waves because I willed myself to make the drops. Unfortunately, the rides weren't long. You'd have just enough time to make the drop, straighten out, and begin the climb back up the wave before being pummeled by the lip. One of the regulars described the waves as "weird". They certainly looked good when they approached. But then there was nothing to do with them once you were in. It wasn't one of my more enjoyable sessions. For one thing, I'm so scattered at this point that I'm not communicating with people well. For instance, I always surf with CYT, right? Since I had Friday off, we'd talked about doing our usual stuff. Well, she wanted to go to Malibu. I realized my day was going to be too busy and couldn't do Malibu. All of the communication about a Friday session was via voicemail. I thought she was going to call me back. She thought I was going to call her back. She assumed I'd swing by her house on Friday morning and waited for me. I assumed she'd go to Malibu without me. In other words, I was in the water while she was at home waiting for me. I take full blame for that one. It won't happen again. It made me realize I can't get scatterbrained just because I'm busy. In other words, I owe CYT one. If she wants, I'll put a perfect wax job on her board.

My plan was to go out yesterday as well. CYT called from the beach and said it was closed out. I didn't even care. I just wanted to get wet. So off to the beach I went with the funboard in tow. I've not ridden that board yet. I thought that with the waves increasing in size and energy, it was probably time to try the one tri-fin board in my quiver. I got to the beach and to my horror, it was flat!!!! I mean F-L-A-T flat!!! What the . . . ? Suffice it to say, I didn't get in. Frankly, I'm tired of these mediocre sessions. I want a session with some nice rides. I'm not all that picky. Perhaps I need a good NW swell. I don't know. Something's missing though. Part of it is me. I still don't know how to relax on my days off. I'm trying to do all of the things I don't have time for when I work. Now I realize that this is not the way to spend one's day off. My goal from here on in is to give myself ample time to surf and decompress. My next shot at that is Friday. I've planned a morning of surfing, a quick appointment in the afternoon, and my child's swim lesson in the later afternoon. Let's hope I can stick to that plan. And send me some surf karma!!! I don't require big waves. I simply want to see some shape out there!

05 October 2005

No Wonder I Quit

Okay, once again there's some light even though I'm nowhere near the end of the tunnel. I've got Friday off. Oh yeah! That's what I'm talkin' about. The only problem is . . . I really am tired. See, I was supposed to work in Santa Monica. At least that's where I started. But it was decided that I'd be permanently stationed in the South Bay. That's fine. The traffic to the South Bay is more cooperative anyway. Since we're opening a new store, everyone has to pitch in. That means we're spending the entire day on our feet (walking, climbing, stooping, carrying boxes, etc.). My goodness! Aren't I too old for this kind of work? Obviously I'm not since I'm scheduled for three straight days of this. My quads are on fire. My arms and shoulders (i.e., my surf muscles) feel nothing even though much of my time is spent reaching and carrying stuff. I'm looking forward to the session. I'm just worried that my legs will be so spent that I won't be able to stand once I pop-up. That doesn't matter though. I'm still going.

I've never listed the reasons why I quit teaching to take this job. But here are two of them. First, I was more than a little bitter about having to have a master's degree in order to make $2000 per month. What is up with that? The other reason deals with money. I started this semester on August 29. Guess when the first pay day was? Today!!! I started this new job on September 27. Guess when the first pay day was? Today! So let's see, a master's degree was required for a $2000 a month job that only paid me once a month. Oh what the hell, let's really talk about what was wrong with that job. I was a damn good teacher. When other teachers evaluated me, I always got the highest marks. When the students evaluated me, I was always above the department average. So what did I get for that? Nothing. No raise. No nothing. And hey, why are full-time, tenured professors taking vacations in the middle of the semester? Why? I would never think of doing that. In what world is that the right thing to do? When the school couldn't find anyone to teach night classes in a less than wonderful part of L.A., I did it . . . twice. I was always available when they needed me. Yet when I applied for a full-time position, I couldn't even get an interview. Hmmmm, stay at the school or go into something else? It was not a hard decision. The only thing I don't like about working full-time is that I can't surf. I've figured out how to spend quality time with my little man before and after work. My husband supported my choice to take this new job and seems to be much more helpful around the house now that I'm not there to do everything. I want to surf. I need to make some serious money. At this point, need trumps want.

03 October 2005



02 October 2005

Is That What a NW Swell Looks Like?

I haven't seen one in so long that, frankly, I thought such creatures were now extinct. Obviously, I've been in the water. Can't say it was a stellar session or even a good one. Nonetheless, it was nice to be back in the lineup. Yesterday, I was torn between going to the home break and going to Bay Street. The latter became the ultimate destination. I called CYT on my way to the beach. She doesn't like the home break so Bay Street became the spot of choice. I got there first. I paddled out into a lake. Every once in awhile, a wave would kind of meander on through. Of course, I managed to pearl on my first two attempts at catching anything. I felt like I'd been out of the water for months. Finally, I caught a pretty good left that was long enough to allow me to carve up and down the wave. That's when I finally felt like my old self, the one that's still in the doo rag with hair that still hasn't locked. (Speaking of my hair, I know the locks are coming because my hair has finally stopped trying to untwist. When I started the twisting in July, my hair was constantly trying to straighten out. Now, you can see that the twists are holding and it seems that my hair understands it's not going to see a comb or brush again.) I missed my home break though. I usually don't mind sitting among strangers. I did yesterday. Anyway, the waves started out small and I caught a few. Then, out of nowhere, these set waves came crashing onto the beach. I hadn't seen waves like this in awhile. It was as if someone flipped a switch. The beach went from flat and calm to medium and energetic. Then, the fog rolled in and you couldn't see anything. I thought, "Oh, fine. CYT will never find me in all of this." So, I did what I do best—I kept surfing. I took one all the way to the shore. When I looked up the beach, I saw an outline that looked familiar. There was CYT. Somehow even in the fog, we found each other. We only stayed in for about 45 more minutes. Even though the waves had some power, they didn't have enough shape to deliver anything that was worthy of much more of my attention. I guess those were NW swell waves. I must say it was nice to see them return, even if they were closing out.

Right now, I'm in a perpetual state of tired. I'll get over that as soon as I find my rhythm. I haven't worked a 40+ hour work week in over a year. It takes some getting used to. Thankfully, I do like the job. I keep telling myself that by December I should have both dreadlocks and a pretty good understanding of this job. By thinking of my life in these terms, I spend less time lamenting my inability to surf every day. I won't be in this job forever . . . at least I don't think I will be. So I'll be back out there eventually.