30 September 2008

Oh, I Get It! This Board is a Ding Magnet!

I alluded to that fact before in this blog. The funny thing is that when I talked about it before, I was kidding. Now I'm not kidding. The board that cost me what many would consider a small fortune (for a surfboard) attracts dings like over-ripe bananas attract fruit flies. I ought to open an account with the folks who repair my boards. That would allow me utter that infamous bar scene line from old movies: "Put it on my tab." Really!! They should just give me the key to their shop so I can drop off the board when it's convenient. I won't steal anything. I'll unlock the door, slide the board in and quickly lock up again. They'll find the ding without me being there to point it out. What's worse is that I recently had them fix a huge crunch and a bevy of cracks and crackles. I told them to fix everything they could find. And now this? Oh well. Now I know what I'm dealing with. It's still a great board. But how often can you repair the same spot before it's time to give up?

Update on the secret quiver addition: I came clean to Soul Brother #1 yesterday. I'd love to say I will never keep a board a secret again. Can't make that promise. And don't judge me! You know many of you are as bad as I am!

29 September 2008

Dance Party Mondays

I know very little about Bollywood. But whenever I hear the music, I start dancing. So this is a fitting video for today.

27 September 2008

Will I Ever Learn?

I'm still sneaking boards onto the property. Why? It's a long story. Most of the time, Soul Brother #1 knows I've got another board in the works. My general rule is: Sell a board to get a board. I haven't followed that rule much of late. My last longboard was a custom job by my new favorite shaper. Soul Brother #1 loves that board so much that he's laid claim to it . . . even though he neither swims nor surfs. He's said that when he starts surfing (once he learns how to swim), that will be his board.

I've recently purchased a used Joel Tudor single fin. I think it's a 6'4". I'm not sure since I can't freely bring it into the house to be admired or waxed or drooled over. For a variety of stupid reasons, I've kind of painted myself into a corner with this board. I bought it sight unseen from someone in San Diego rather quickly. I saw it online, sent a friend to check it out and asked him to buy it if it looked decent. Then it sat at that friend's house for awhile. Then another friend brought it up from San Diego. In the meantime, our money was straight, then it got funny, then it was straight, then it got funny, etc. In the midst of the seesaw that is this family's finances, I felt I couldn't say I'd gotten another board even though I didn't use family funds to buy it. But, see, I didn't sell anything to get this board. I just forked over the cash. Rule broken.

Now the board sits literally hidden in plain sight. Soul Brother #1 knows every board in my quiver. It's not like I can lie and say I already had it. I'm going to have to come clean sooner rather than later. It's almost time to put that board in the rotation.

The moral of this story? I have no idea.

24 September 2008

Fine!! I'll Turn the Ability to Comment Back On!!

Several people have chastised me about not allowing comments on this blog. Alright, then! I'll take the middle ground. This blog started out with anyone having the ability to say anything in the comments. That got old after several years. Then, in its new incarnation, I wouldn't allow any comments. I was fine with that, but others were not. So, for the time being, I'll open the comments back up. However, I'll be using comment moderation. Happy now?

Cars in My Neighborhood

This post is directed specifically to Jamie. This is the car I've been pining after for about three years. Now that I drive a station wagon, I can see the beauty of this little pretty beast. I must have it! I'm serious when I say I'd sell the Bus to have this car!

Yellow Wax Update

Yep, it's yellow alright! I'd already put a basecoat of white on the board so that detracted from the color of the top coat. Next time, I'll use the yellow alone.

Yes, I know I've got a serious problem when it comes to wax. I've yet to find a support group to help me past my surf wax neuroses and compulsions. Perhaps I should look, instead, for a 12-step program. (I'm not making fun of such programs. Don't anyone get your panties in a twist. I'm making fun of my total and all-consuming obsession with surf wax.) I swear, I'm tempted to scrape off this perfectly fine wax job and start over, just so I can see what the board will look like without the white basecoat. I won't do it. I'll wait another month or so before I strip the wax off this board.

This wax passed with flying colors. It's nice and tacky . . . and YELLOW!

23 September 2008

Don't Eat the Yellow Wax

Hmmmm—it's hard to see yellow in the house under artificial light. Perhaps it will appear more yellow outside. No matter. This wax smells delightful. Soul Brother #1 often (er, always?) complains about the way the smell of surf wax pervades every inch of the air in the house when I lay down new base and top coats on a board. (One or two boards get stripped and re-waxed on a monthly basis.) He likes this wax. I think I'll be the judge of whether this wax receives a complete thumbs up. If it prevents me from slipping and falling, I'll be happy. If it looks yellow once I'm outside, I'll be happier still. We'll see tomorrow if it passes all of the tests.

What Have We Here?

Oh, it is so on!!! I've been on the lookout for colored wax for almost a year. Someone gave me some green wax awhile back. No, thanks. It wasn't a color that would work, I thought, on my boards. If nothing else, I'd get sick of looking at it while sitting out in the ocean. Now I've stumbled upon the color I wanted. See, Soul Brother #1 and I were sitting around literally with nothing to do. I decided it was finally time to take a day off from working out. I'd done my work. He'd done his physical therapy. And there we sat, bored.

I know, I thought. Let's go to Shelter! Off we went to Strong Beach to visit one of the coolest little surf shops you'll ever see. The shop's been open for quite awhile. Somehow, I'd never ventured down to pay them a visit. Today was the day! As usual, my money is funny and I had no intention of buying anything. Then I spied that wax. Yellow? Gotta have it! (I think I also saw white, pink, purple and perhaps a light green.) All I wanted was the yellow. Score!

What a great shop Shelter is. I'll certainly won't wait so long to pay them another visit. Thanks for the aloha!!!

22 September 2008

Dance Party Mondays!

Oh, to be young and black in the 80's. High top fades. Cross Colors clothing. Ostentatious jewelry. Some of it I miss. Much of it I don't. At least it was a time when hip hop wasn't stagnant and one-dimensional. In the 80's, you saw and heard a little bit of everything. Men, women. Black, white, latino. It wasn't all about killing someone, getting someone into bed or celebrating conspicuous consumption. There was some of that, of course. But that wasn't the whole point of the music. In the 80's, folks still liked to dance for the pure joy of it. That's why I love this video.

20 September 2008

Egregious Breaches of Surfing Etiquette

Is it me or are people completely clueless as to the right way and the wrong way to behave in the lineup? Question I thought today but didn't ask: "Do you really want this skeg driven up your ass?" The only thing that literally saved this girl's backside was my decision that today would not be a good day to scrape bloody wax off my board. God knows I do it enough already! Seriously, I don't want anyone to get hurt. But why must I always be the "bigger man"? It's bad enough that these fools drop in two inches in front of you while you're coming down the line. I'm at the point where I don't even say anything. People see the front of my log in their peripheral vision and seem to regain their senses. Still, that means you spend a lot of time dodging boards while you're up and riding. Not fun.

This girl today apparently thought she was the shit. Her body language and attitude suggested this. Whatever. Anyway, a wave approached. I'd been sitting there waiting. She'd only been there for a bit. I start paddling. Since it was a kind of mushy break, I was on the log. And that thing hauls ass. It locks in and then you're off and running. Well, it locked in. I'm ready to pop-up. Unfortunately, this little heifer is directly in front of me, legs wide open, paddling for the same wave. Mind you, my board is already in second gear, waiting for me to floor it. And now I've got to make a decision. It was crowded. I could not change my line. It was straight over her or stop. I opted to stop, but what the fuck? I'm nice, believe in karma and won't run you over . . . usually. It's not easy to stop that board either. The thing is four feet longer than I am and perfect for walking. That's why I had it out there today. You know, it can also be perfect for battery. I don't condone beefs in the water. I've never had one for more than, say, 30 seconds (and that was when a guy told me I couldn't go left . . . on an obvious left at a spot that beginners believe only breaks right). I'm beginning to understand what would drive a person to have a beef in the water.

There was way too much bad surfing behavior out there today. I don't think it's my responsibility to advise each and every surfer of his/her bad behavior so I don't. What I don't get is that people are throwing caution to the wind and launching themselves into waves, rarely mindful of the dangers around them. One thing I know about surfing: It's not about you. You can't be a self-centered prick/bitch/asshole/dickhead/punk ass m@#!&*^%#!er (that string of expletives felt good—can't swear out loud around a six year old and it was nice to let it out on paper) in the water. If the ocean doesn't kick your ass, another surfer probably will, whether literally or figuratively.

I don't throw the stinkeye at anyone. I don't vibe people. I don't exchange heated words. It's really not me. Know what? I can learn to be that person if need be. Where is winter when you need it? Most of these ignoramuses will be out of the water once the temperature dips and the wave size climbs. Pray for frigid water!

18 September 2008

"Are You a Professional Surfer?"

Obviously, he'd fallen and hit his head before asking me that question. My response, "ME????" He must not have been wearing his glasses (contacts?) when I did my spectacular face plant after walking to the nose on my first long wave.

Yesterday, I went back to surf where the tribe surfs. I'd not been there since May. I don't surf that place during the summer months. Too crowded. Too aggro. Too likely to result in me, of all people, giving someone the stink-eye and an invitation to take it to the beach. But now I'll go back there every so often. You can't beat that wave. And now that the crowd has thinned, its downright civilized out in the lineup again. ("Civilized" meaning you'll have one person rather than 12 dropping in on you.)

I don't think I did anything worthy of being confused for a pro. Perhaps to him I looked just like the blonde girl hanging ten. Yeah, that must be what it was.

16 September 2008


Small waves
Big smile

15 September 2008

Dance Party Mondays!

I'm not even sure what it is that enthralls me about James Brown. I mean I will hear his voice or see him move and I drop everything to listen or watch. It's not just the dancing. It's his voice, the lyrics, his entire being. Truthfully, there's something about him that epitomizes what it means to be black in America. I can't even put it into words. I suppose it's something in the racial part of my collective unconscious that feels completely drawn to him. I won't go into a long, tortured spiel about race; that's for my other blog, I think. He gets lost in the music and so do I.

(Look closely—Bootsy's the tall kid on the right with the wicked afro. That's his brother on the guitar.)

11 September 2008

One of These Things Is Not Like the Other

March 2007

August 2008

10 September 2008

Tow That POS Straight to the Junkyard!!!

I snapped this picture as Soul Brother #2 and I were driving home this afternoon. All I could think was, "Who would drive that thing?" Look at it—old, rusty, dented and ugly as hell. It's probably more useful parted out. Why bother to tow it anywhere? Just strip it and sell what's left for scrap metal. These people who think they can reincarnate these old hoopties (look it up) really confuse me.

Alright, I'll come clean. That's my Bus being towed home from the mechanic. Remember when I first got it? Not much happened for a year. It stopped running a few months after I got it, which meant it was stuck in a tight garage in a tight alley until I came up with the money for a new engine and carburetor. We pushed it out of that garage yesterday. The picture doesn't show the nice green stripe on one side from where we accidentally ran it up against the door frame for the garage door. Oh well. The body needs so much work that I wasn't fazed at all by the nice little green accent. At least the Bus has a little color now.

Where to go from here? Well, I've stopped obsessing about a surf trip. I'm going to put my money toward getting the body of the Bus in order. Once again, I only have half the money. However, the guy who's going to do the work can't take the Bus yet and said it will take about a month to do the work. That buys me some time to get my Benjamins in order.

The VW Bus is such a surfing cliché. That's not why I bought it. I love old cars. I've wanted one since I was a kid (when I was totally obsessed with the Ford Thunderbird). Now that I've hit middle age as a non-conformist (i.e., someone who's well-educated but unwilling to follow a serious career path or pursue a job that guarantees good money), I realize I may not be able to get and restore the cars I've always wanted. Then this Bus sort of fell into my lap. It was then or never. I bought it without knowing what the hell to do next. Then it sat. Then I quit my full-time job. Can you tell I'm someone who takes leaps of faith on a regular basis? Yes, the Bus is a cliché in some ways. A black middle-aged woman who surfs and drives a VW Bus probably obliterates every stereotype there is about gender, race, surfers and hippies. The next step? Choosing a color for the paint job. (The interior looks terrible and will continue to look that way unless and until I win the lottery.)

08 September 2008

I Rip!

I get a kick out of pictures that show my dreadlocks standing on end. There was a wicked shorepound at this break. It's going to take days to get all of the sand out of my hair . . . and ears . . . and nose . . . and other orifices (???).

Dance Party Mondays!

I never quite got into The Jam and I was too preoccupied to pay close attention to The Style Council. You have to admit, though, that Paul Weller is a talented SOB. And he looked oh so good in his clothes—smooth and stylish. I was going to use "My Ever Changing Moods" for today's video. As I was searching through YouTube, I came across this song, one I hadn't remembered from back in the day. I still knew all of the words!
Wanna see what Weller looks like now? ResinTint has a recent picture.

07 September 2008

Wanna Scratch That Itch!!

As someone who's only surfed as far south as San O and as far north as County Line, I'm getting what I would guess is the surfer's version of stir craziness. I want warm water, waves with shape and time to decompress. The problem? I only have enough money for me to make a trip (and let me tell you I've been busy selling on eBay in order to get what I've got.) Okay, I did buy a used board with some of the money, but I still have enough to take a surf trip. The problem? Soul Brother #1 thinks we should go on a trip as a family. I have no problem with that except how on Earth will we ever save enough for such a trip? My last name isn't Rockefeller, Mulholland, Winfrey or Gates. Soul Brother #1 doesn't happen to go by any of those names either.

I'm a bit shocked that I was able to save the money I have. Normally, I would immediately put it toward bills. For once, I told myself no. I came into the marriage with the things I sold on eBay. I sold half of them a few years ago and put the money toward bills. This time, I'm gonna spend it on me. I'm not giving up on my dream of a surf trip. Somehow, some way . . . I'm going to make it happen . . . without robbing a bank or doing anything that will land me in prison.

04 September 2008


I'm such a wallflower in social situations. If you saw me at a party, you'd never know I have almost daily dance parties for one. I don't drink beer much either. I much prefer a decent, and inexpensive, red wine. Imagine my surprise when I twisted off the top of my Full Sail Limited Edition Lager and found the message inside.

The admonition inside the cap contains words of wisdom for everyone, I think. It doesn't say "Love to Dance in Public". Everyone can rock a private dance party to shake off the stresses of the day or to celebrate life. Why not? I'm only going to do this—be alive, that is—once so I might as well enjoy myself while I'm here.

02 September 2008

Baby Got Back

And I'm not afraid to use it to bump someone off of my wave!!! I've noticed that a certain body part plays a prominent role in my surfing. What can you do? There's no tucking that junk in. All you can do, especially if you're female, is celebrate what you've got.

01 September 2008

Dance Party Mondays!

Those of you who aren't old enough to remember The Deer Hunter have no idea how truly amazing this video is. I was too young to see the movie when it was released, but I remember all of the press about Christopher Walken's acting. For years, we all believed Christopher Walken was a freak. I remember how creepy he looked and seemed as a young man. Imagine my surprise, and that of everyone else, when I found out he grew up taking dance classes. He's a song and dance man! If someone had told me that the crazy guy from The Deer Hunter could and would reveal his skills later in life, I would have called that person a liar who should be shot on sight. Color me wrong. Walken is more talented than I ever would have believed.