29 May 2011

More Gil Scott-Heron Because He Truly Mattered

27 May 2011

Damn! Another Prophet is Gone

R.I.P Gil Scott-Heron

25 May 2011


Let's see, as of yesterday, I'd ridden four different surf craft over the last six days. On Thursday, I rode the mat. On Friday, I was on my Almond 8 footer. By Sunday, I'd decided that the longboard hull was the call for that break. It was also my board of choice on Monday.

By Tuesday (today), I was ready for something different. It was a day for BlueGillin'.

It was a time for two little twin keels that barely help the surfer steer.

This board is something else. Part alaia. Part, a very small part, traditional surfboard. It is unlike anything else in my quiver or anything I've tried ever tried to surf.

Much to my delight, even though I hadn't surfed it for months, this was my best Blue Gill session ever. Yes, I still fell, dreads flying every which way and feet up in the air. I also seem to have found the sweet spot. The hardest thing I found with surfing this board is trying to find a way to stay low. Because of the titanium joint and my limited range of motion, I cannot crouch. Still, I knew I could figure out a way to keep my center of gravity closer to the water.

And I did.

The new problem, now, is trying not to run people over. I've not mastered the steering yet. And even though the place wasn't crowded, I still managed to get the KM working. (Alan, Clayfin and Whiff will know what this means.) Somehow, even though I tried to stay away from people, they couldn't stay away from me.

As usual, I have proof of the powers of my magnetic personality—as well as proof that I've finally figured out how to hold my body in an effort to stay low while not bending the knee in a way that's uncomfortable.

This would have been a nice, long wave (in Blue Gill terms) had I not had to end the ride because this guy decided he needed to paddle into my line. I barely averted a head-on collision. Remember, steering this thing is still on my list of "Things to Learn" (as opposed to my list of "Things to Learn to do Well," which includes stuff like staying on the nose of my longboards, learning the mechanical ins and outs of my classic car and minimizing the number of falls I take while on my skateboard).

Oh well. He was apologetic. And I wasn't mad. I just always find it interesting that people manage to invade my personal space on days when a place isn't crowded. I try to give others their space. I'd like to think we can all have a peak to ourselves.

But I know where I live. L.A. is a crowded place . . . even in the water.

I need to ride this board more. And I will do so, especially since summer is coming.

Now with more Blue Gill-styled bottom turns!

23 May 2011

Surfing Hullow Days

As the picture shows, our recent swell is now just about gone. I got, I think, four days of it.

I look forward to the warmer waters of summer. I continue to wax poetic about my winter custom wetsuit. Nevertheless, I'm ready to get into my spring/summer custom fullsuit—you know, the light blue one with the god awful pink and yellow accents. That's going to turn some heads! That's not why I got it, of course. I'm simply tired of black—not black people, but black wetsuits.

Now I'm trying to decide what to do for my next winter fullsuit. I wanted to put a Japanese rising sun on the torso of the suit, but that's proven to be a bit much for a wetsuit. So, I'm forced to figure out how I want my next fullsuit to look. Don't say "polka dots". It's already been done. By Worm.

Pray for more swell.

And, by the way, did anyone else get left behind after the Rapture or am I writing this to an audience of one—myself? (I knew they wouldn't take me up there!)

16 May 2011

How I Roll

TG bonzer speed egg. 4th Gear Flyer mat. Viper fins.

And a pink leash.

13 May 2011

My Most Recent Article

Here's another one I wrote for The Inertia. Now I just need to get some more interviews going for Liquid Salt and I'll be back to my old—as in pre-horrible job that stole my creativity and joy—self.

An Open Letter to the Powers That Be

Dearest Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, et al:

You know the situation is dire when I start writing letters to you politicos in Washington, but write this letter I must. I will get straight to the point. What, in God’s name, is going on with you people? (Yeah, I said the dreaded “you people” and I’m not taking it back until I get some answers.) Don’t you realize that millions of people are out of work, that those folks are now burdened with a great deal of idle time?

No, I’m not telling you something you already know. Dammit, I’m a surfer. And I’m mad as hell!

Have you seen the lineups lately? Well, have you?

Winter sessions now look just like summer sessions—except, of course, for the fullsuits, hoods and shivering. There were as many people in the lineups in December, and now April, as there were in July. A national unemployment rate of 9% is bad enough. California’s unemployment rate is at 12%! Some of us are, in fact, surf bums. We’re fine not working—or working odd jobs that allow us more time to surf. Recession, boon . . . none of that matters to us. We are happy to work as little as possible so that we can surf as much as possible. We do not, however, feel like it is necessary to bring others into the fold, particularly when those others are party crashers rather than invited guests.

It is time for all of you to right all that is wrong with the economy. Housing starts? Get them started. One doesn’t realize how many construction workers surf until you see all of the pick-up trucks in the parking spots that once went to those of us who were considered slackers by all of you in the full-time working world. And, really, those people who spend their days sitting behind desks aren’t cut out to spend too much time in the sun. Think of them as part-time vampires who can only take so many UV rays before it gets real ugly real fast!

You politicians are tasked with running this country. Instead of allowing it to run itself into the ground—what with the almost certain extinction of the middle class and the ever burgeoning ranks of the poor—get to work getting everyone else back to work. Running the country properly can’t be that difficult. It’s your job. Be glad you even have jobs since there are so many who don’t. Many of them are in the water with the rest of us. I feel for them. They don’t belong there every day. Surfing full-time should be a lifestyle choice, not a necessity. Besides, it would be nice to get a wave to myself again. I’m just sayin’.

Yours Truly,


09 May 2011

Bringing Style Back to a Point Break Near You

Yes, they were all taken during today's session. Thank you for asking!

Pretty impressive, don't you think?

In other news, something with pincers got hold of my foot when I was coming out of the water after my session. Being the calm, cool, collected sista girl that I am, I let out a yell that surprised even me. And I kept yelling when the thing wouldn't let go of my foot. So here I am, holding my board in one hand and standing on one foot while violently shaking the other foot underwater in an effort to get whatever it was to let go of me. Oh, don't forget I was still screaming while all of that was going on. Then, it struck me that even though it felt like something had me in its claws, I might, in fact, be feeling the beginning of the pain from a stingray bite. Then I started screaming harder. LOL! I'm cracking myself up just repeating this. Well, whatever it was eventually released me. What happened next? I started laughing as loudly as I'd been screaming! I examined my foot. There was a tiny red mark. The sea creature hadn't even broken the skin. Since we'd all seen lobster and crab carcasses all over the beach, as well as in the water, I'm going to assume one of those crustaceans wanted to let me know who the true locals are. Message received!!

08 May 2011

Happy Mother's Day, Sweetie!!


Wasn't she fierce? Talk about style!! When I was a kid, I had to endure men practically prostrating themselves at my mother's feet. I'm totally serious. When we'd walk down the street, heads would turn, compliments were spoken, mouths would be agape. It was constant. She could, and did, turn some heads. I remember often standing next to her and rolling my eyes as yet another man would stop us to tell her how beautiful she was. I laugh about it now, but I wasn't laughing then. I remember once telling some man to let go of my mother's hand or I was going to tell my father. I think my mom was happily shocked to hear me say that (if only because I was terribly shy as a child, probably damn near mute).

My mom is 80 now, and proud of it. She always says she never expected to live this long. She's made it clear that she's shooting for 100. That's just fine by me. Our relationship is so unlike that of most mothers and daughters. We actually like spending time together even though my tendencies—to eschew careers, to get inked, to wear non-traditional hairstyles—drive her to distraction. She's the best mom I could ever have. I knew she completely understood her one and only child when she said, ever so long ago, "Mary doesn't just march to the beat of a different drummer. She marches to the beat of a drummer that no one else hears." That is probably the best description I've ever heard about myself.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!! Thank you for being such a wonderful role model in both life and in motherhood.

06 May 2011

Spring? I'm Over It!

On more than one occasion today, I turned to my friend and said, "We need a good swell." We really do, you know. The waves of spring leave so much to be desired. Even though I'll happily surf almost anything, I'm not afraid to admit that my patience is wearing thin.

But such is the life of a surfer in Southern California during the spring. The virtue of patience, one which many of us exhibit daily at this time of the year, will surely help us all get into heaven. At least that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

I've not got much to say. I haven't much felt like blogging even though there are things I could talk about. For instance, the regulator at our break has decided I should be on a shortboard. The fact that I'm 47 years old with a knee that won't bend quickly and a body weight that would almost classify me in the Clydesdale class in a long distance footrace has not dissuaded him of this belief. Yes, I am, if nothing else, powerful . . . for a girl. My shoulders and arms are proof of that. My legs, which could never squeeze into a bona fide pair of "skinny" jeans, were the source of the majority of my power when I was younger. I've never been one to use a lot of finesse since I could normally get a physical task done with the female equivalent of brute strength. I do not believe, however, that this means I should be on a shortboard. I'm happy to ride my longboards and mid-length boards. I've got nothing to prove. In other words, just because I might be physically able to ride a shortboard doesn't mean that I want to do so or should do so.

We need a good swell. And sunshine. And relatively empty lineups. And a few lefts for yours truly.

02 May 2011

May is the New Summer

All it takes is a lot of sunshine along with some bona fide hot weather to make me try to spend most of the day outside. When I got up this morning, I had no intention of getting in the water. I'd decided the night before that a leg workout was in order, that it was time to climb those damn stairs again. I don't do this workout often since I often find it ever so boring. Lately though, it's been fun. Anyway, I'd decided that I'd do the stairs today, stay out of the water, hang out at home—you know the drill.

Why do I even bother to make plans?

I did the stairs, yes. For whatever reason, I felt great afterwards. In fact, I felt like I hadn't even done anything strenuous. On a sunny day, that just won't do. In my world, you go outside and play until you can play no more. So once I got home, I wasn't even thinking about resting on my quad-burning laurels. I started thinking about getting in the ocean. Thinking, I said, thinking.

And thinking often leads to doing.

A couple of hours later, I was at a certain break off of PCH. I don't surf there often. I only go when it's virtually empty. I brought a board, but I wasn't feeling going surfing. Not here. Those rocks are deadly. And I've got the dings to prove it.

You know where I'm going with this, don't you?