30 July 2012

I'm Quitting My Day Job to be a DJ!

Not really.

I guess I need to recap all that's gone on since posting about doing a "Your Turn" hour on a local radio station. I didn't know what to expect when the show finally aired. I thought it might not be horrible, but also feared it might be pretty bad.

I was wrong.

In the days leading up to the show, I would hear the promos for it. I'd hear my voice talking over Derek and the Dominos' "Bell Bottom Blues" (which was the first song on my playlist). Those promos freaked me out at first. They helped me calm my nerves though. They allowed me to hear myself on the radio before the show was broadcast. I do have a pretty good speaking voice when I turn it on. And you know I turned it on for this! So by the time the show was actually on the air, I was past all of the "Is that what I sound like?" obsessiveness. I'd already moved onto, "Hey, I don't sound half bad."

It's not hard to sound good for 20 seconds. Anyone can hold it together for that short a period. My fear, then, was that I would screw up the commentary somehow. It's not like anything was written down other than the promos. I was told to talk about the songs on my playlist. Period.

On more than one occasion, I'd heard "Your Turn" DJs say nothing interesting about their playlists. Nothing. And those were shows that I would just turn off. Well, I didn't want anyone turning off my show! I guess you could say I crammed . . . a bit. I'd planned to really write some things down the day before the taping. My son was to have six teeth removed while under oral sedation. I figured I could bust out some thoughts while he was under. Of course, the world being what it is, things did not go as planned. The person who administers oral sedation was not there the day we went in (to the School of Dentistry at a local university). The child was not amused. And it took a lot of talking, and some bribery, to get him go through with the extractions. Needless to say, I wasn't thinking about my show while all of that was going on. I was holding my kid's hand, talking him down off the ledge, etc. By the time we got home, he was toothless but fine. I was exhausted. That night, I just jotted down a few thoughts about each song and left it at that.

When the show finally came on, I was a bit nervous. I thought I'd rambled nonsensically about everything and anything while they were taping. My notes seemed to confuse me at times. I lost my place a few times. This is why I truly feared a trainwreck.

Alas, the show turned out well. People said they liked what I said about the songs I chose. Almost everyone said I sounded relaxed, like I was an honest-to-goodness DJ!

I'm glad it's over. I can't say I wouldn't jump at the chance to do it again!

18 July 2012

In Pursuit of the Double Stroke Roll

This drumming thing isn't all that easy. Then again, it's also not all that difficult. It's challenging enough to keep me highly entertained for long periods while being easy enough to keep me from getting discouraged.

The double stroke roll seemed impossible two weeks ago. Now, with some tweaking of my grip and serious dedication to both the practice pad and the metronome, I'm seeing progress.

I've got not surf-related news to report. I am surfing. In fact, I'm surfing and matting. I seem to gravitate towards my mat during the summer months. That's when my favorite mat spot turns on. As long as I have the car loaded with a single fin longboard and a mat, I'm good to go. I can take on just about any wave I see. If it's smaller, I'll ride the board, especially if it has shape. If it's bigger, I prefer the mat, especially if it has shape. Did you detect a theme? One that pertains to shape?

I thought you did.

Pray for it—surf, that is.

15 July 2012

100.3 The Sound

I watch almost no TV, but I do listen to the radio. I prefer public radio and one music station in particular. I discovered this station a few years ago when I going up and down the dial in search of something decent to which to listen. I remember going past a song I hadn't heard in ages. So I turned back. What I heard made my head spin.

Who plays cuts from Pink Floyd's Animals? I hadn't heard any of those songs on the radio since junior high? High school? I wasn't sure, but I knew I'd found something to which I needed to pay attention.

I've been a rather devoted listener to the station ever since.

I was invited down there on Thursday to record a program where a listener is given an hour to present her playlist. I'd like to think I didn't completely blow it. Somehow, though, I think the excitement got to me. Then, the rambling started. So who knows how it will sound? Nonetheless, I was there. The DJ, Andy Chanley, was cool as $#%@!

They sent me home with stickers, a Led Zeppelin-themed shirt and . . . wait for it . . . Led Zeppelin-themed key chains. (Yes, I'm easily amused by the little things in life, things like key chains, yes.)

You gotta love a rock station that lets a girl play both James Brown and The Isley Brothers. My playlist was submitted over a year ago. If I had it to do all over again, half of it would consist of cowbell jams. Perhaps it was best that they caught me before I got the fever.

12 July 2012

It's Coming!

10 July 2012

Found: 10 Tons of Stoke!

Woo hoo! Every picture tells a story, don't it?

As I was moving down the line on this wave, I was watching it line up. For some reason, I had all the time in the world to think about what I wanted to do. And what I wanted to do was smack the shit out of that lip. I've seen photos of mat riders having their way with the lip of a wave, legs outstretched and fins flying through the air.

I want there to be a photo of me doing that too. Eventually.

This is the closest I've come. As a matter of fact, this is the first time I've ever managed to look down a wave and slowly decide what I wanted to do. Granted, this photo catches the action after I wrecked the top of that wave, but the contrail shows that I did it.

To say I'm stoked would be an understatement.

I'd surfed the day before. Yes, I was a willing participant in the kookiness that was the first SW swell of the summer. I got to the break early. I tried to beat the crowd. Like everyone else who got there during the 6 o'clock hour, I failed miserably. Parking was almost gone by the time I got there. One quarter of L.A. was already suiting up. So, I paddled out into what would eventually become "the horror, the horror". While I did get my waves, including two of the waves in the four good sets that rolled through, I was ready to have some surfing solitude with one or two good friends.

That brings us to Sunday.

I had no intention of fighting a crowd. I also had no intention of standing up on a board. I wanted peace and quiet. Truthfully, I would not be denied. What made it even better was that I had a partner in prone riding crime.

When Glenn and I were trading texts the day before, he said he was worn out from having surfed and ridden his paipo. He wasn't planning on getting wet the following day. Well, before all was said and done, he talked himself into going. I hadn't even tried to persuade him to come with me once he said he was tired. He persuaded himself!

The following morning, we met at the appointed spot at 7 a.m. The wind was biting. The swell was hardly showing . . . on a low tide, no less! WTF? Still, I could see the promise. I knew the place would turn on. Glenn wasn't so sure. He suggested we travel up the coast a bit to a nearby break. Once we got there, I was already over it. I saw too many cars on land and too many bodies in the water. I knew it would get increasingly crowded. I wanted nothing more to do with the crowds of summer, so I told Glenn I was going back to where we started. He assented quickly, saying the attitudes of some of the people on land had already turned him off.

And back we went.

We watched for a bit. I decided I was seeing enough movement in the water to ensure a few rides on the mat. Glenn was still hesitant, saying he was going to wait to see me catch a wave or two before paddling out. Well, he didn't even take that long. I hadn't even made it out to the lineup when I heard him yell to me that he was going to get dressed.

We had the break to ourselves for a bit. Then, one lone surfer paddled out. He didn't care about the kelp. He, too, wanted to get in and get out before the crowd came and ruined everything. The three of us traded waves for quite awhile. Yes, there was a SW swell in the water, but the folks weren't rushing out to fight the kelp. That meant we had some time to enjoy ourselves.

 Yes, my stoke has returned in earnest.

07 July 2012

Let the Kookiness of Summer Begin

05 July 2012


I don't blog much anymore. I really don't have that much to say to myself about surfing these days. Yes, I'm mainly talking to myself when I pen these posts. Granted, I know others are reading my posts, thus the reason why I often speak directly to my audience. But when all is said and done, this blog is actually my way of talking to myself, my future self, the one with the memory of a gnat. This blog is the only way I can talk story. Because I don't remember my stories, my sessions, my observations or my musings. I'm pretty bad at names too. In terms of memory, the only things I've been blessed with are an ability to remember faces (although I often can't remember how I know the face in front of me) and a rather encyclopedic knowledge of song lyrics.

I am experiencing a great deal of disquiet of late. I find it difficult to write as a result. I'm not depressed. I'm not even sad. I'm simply devoting more energy than ever to getting through each day. I don't think 24 hours is long enough for someone like me. While I'm not a Type A personality in the least, I still find myself pulled in many directions, trying to get too many things done or solved when there's too little time.

Blogging, as I've now realized, is a luxury for me. Alas, I'm no Thurston Howell III. Luxury and I have yet to cross paths this year. I truly doubt that we will be able to sit down for a drink together before the year is out. Doing so would . . . be . . . a . . . luxury. Nevertheless, I will blog when the muse allows me to sit here without guilt. I should be practicing my drums. Maybe I can find yet another job. The dog probably needs a walk. Is there time for me to skate the ramp? And those are just the highlights. The lowlights need not be rehashed here. When I read these words years from now, I will probably, amazingly enough, remember all that was going on in my life outside of surfing. I won't be able to repeat everything chapter and verse, but I will remember enough. 

Are you looking for a skate deck? Check this out: my friend Ozzie's blog, Blue Tile Obsession, now has its own deck. There's something terribly satisfying about this. I don't know. It's not like this deck is being produced by the thousands and marketed to skaters all over the world. There's no "buy me and be cool like everyone else at the skatepark" mentality behind it. I see this deck as a way of supporting the culture of skating. Wouldn't it be nice if more skaters and surfers could think of ways to wrest the culture back from the big corporations? It's being done in small ways all over the world. Folks are getting together to do things that will never be covered by the big, or little, publications. For instance, I recently attended a paipo meet last weekend. Granted, I rode my mat more than I rode my paipo. Still, we were all in the water doing things that none of the surf corporations would ever label as cool or core . . . even though they are both and then some. It's always nice to see people making it happen because passion, rather than money, compels them to do so. Rock on, Oz! Keep up the good work! The board is, as I told you before, proper!