Monday, December 29, 2008
I say g'bye to 2008 and welcome to 2009.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Needless to say, it's been cold. My truck got it's first taste of frost (that surf leash has no idea what hit it! It was frozen to my bedmat.):
Since it's been so cold, getting out to surf is an ordeal. The low tides are not until late in the day as the sun is setting, and by that time your motivation to go out doesn't exsist. Instead, going out to drink is a much better idea :) Jess and I went out to the Palomar last week and got bombarded by Santa's:
This was post-birthday outting. My birthday was on the 9th, which was a Tuesday. I had a wonderful day. My friend Crissy took me to lunch, which was very nice. Then after work Jess and I got in a super fun surf session in a very small conditions. After that, we headed over to Olitas for some $6 taco and margaritas.... very mellow, but fun evening! Fos, Laura, Alison and Ryan came too! It was as much as I wanted for a Tuesday night out. Some good birthdays these last couple of years!
Anyway, Ami is coming up for the holidays, so that should be fun! I'll be seeing my family on xmas eve... it'll nice! Some fun things to look forward too!
Friday, December 05, 2008
Thanksgiving was really nice. I got a surf session in before heading to my parents house. Many of my family members were there, aunts, uncles and cousins... so great to see everyone fill my old home since my parents bought it back 3 months ago! I didn't actually eat a whole lot... at least not to the point of being overstuffed. It was definitely a conservative effort on my part.
This past weekend was absolutely crazy as far the surf goes. A big swell hit the area and it seemed like it was far busier than summer! I didn't go out most of those days just because the crowds were just ridiculous! I did manage a couple sessions during this swell and it was very chaotic, but very fun.
Right now, I'm really looking ahead to the spring... I very much want to travel to Scorpion Bay with Meg and Brian when they go again... but that's pretty far off into the future, at least that's how it seems.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I got to Ami's and we went out to dinner. The next day we had breakfast then drove down to Santa Monica and checked out the pier, then went to the Promenade to do some window shopping.
It's been fun visiting with Ami and catching up. Since my arrival, her cat Q-bert has been my little stalker... following me everywhere and waits for me when I am in the bathroom. Sometimes he just can't wait and lets me know he's still there by putting his cat arms under the door:
This is borderline horror movie. Anyway, I am so glad I got to drive down and get away from Santa Cruz and Silicon Valley for a few days. I'll be heading back home tomorrow, early enough that I can get a surf session in!
Monday, November 17, 2008
Love equals love... gender is irrelevant. The fight against California's Prop 8 is still going on strong. This past weekend there were rallies all over the nation, and that of course included Santa Cruz. I went down to film and support the cause. The rally started at the courthouse and they were going to march to the clock town and head back. I waited along side one of the bridges to capture the the beginning of the march. The thing that surprised me is that being an observer of such an event you have such an overall perspective of what is really happening. I think that if I had been in the march, I wouldn't have had the realization of the actual scale of this matter. As I was filming, I saw masses of people coming over with their signs and chants... it was overwhelming and I got real teary-eyed. Below is just glimpse of what this looked like. People were lining all sides of the street in mobs.
As the crowd returned to the courthouse, there only 3 people in opposition to the rally, who were in favor of 8. Sad... compared to numbers who showed up to fight for gay rights. I got a lot of video as to which I will share as soon as I can get it together.
I'm not into politics, but this is personal. I can't say that even if I were straight, that I would get married. But this isn't about marriage really, it's about equal rights. It's about letting people go about their business and letting them pursue their happiness. I can't and won't let that be taken away from myself or anyone else. This is one cause I fully support and am involved in.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Also, this week, I am in Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo for work. I believe this is my last trip down here as I am passing off my duties to some to cover locally. It's been windy, so I haven't made it out to Pismo to see what the surf is doing. Plus with the sun setting at around 5pm, it's impossible to enjoy an afternoon, well, because there isn't one.
Before I left Santa Cruz, I was able to get in some really fun surf sessions. It was going off all weekend and when I return home tomorrow, there should be a new swell in with super low tides = tons of fun!
Below is a video of what it was like on the Westside this past weekend ... waves from left to right.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Let me now talk about the important things in my life... the people who are in it day to day. My friend Laura is scheduled tonight to be induced for labor. I am so excited! She is actually due on the 15th, but the doctors wanted the baby out earlier than later. So tomorrow night, I'm going to watch her two year old, while her and her partner, Fritz, deliver their son. It really amazes me to think in 48 hours there will be a new baby around! It really trips me out!
Meg and Brian are in Scorpion Bay again... I wish I went with them. Perhaps in April, when the funds are more available after taxes. Right now I am dog/house sitting for them, so it's been sort of a mini-vacation. The week of Thanksgiving, I will be going to down to Southern California for a visit with my friend Ami. I can't wait to just take some time off of work and get out of Santa Cruz and the Bay Area for a little bit. It's been a year since I've taken full on vacation. There's been a lot of things that have happened since (my teeth being pulled, moving, the passing of my aunt, opening up the coffee shop, and other highly emotional ordeals). I am going to enjoy this long awaited reprieve.
It's been raining here the last couple of days. I got out to surf on Sunday and had a blast. I took out the Wee 7' Board. I didn't expect much, but I think that's when you have the best time. Basically, I just went out to practice popping up on that shorter board, but ended getting in a good session! Love that!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
This past weekend I drove up to Pacifica to join the NorCal Women's Surf Club in a friendly scrimmage. It was freezing, but we all put on jerseys and did mock heats as if we were in a contest. It was great meeting the different women in the club and just the diversity of surfers was amazing to see. Going up to Linda Mar and surfing a beach break really makes me appreciate the wonderful point breaks we have in Santa Cruz. Spoiled!
Last night a couple friends and I went to the Pacific Rim Film Festival at the Rio. It was free yesterday and there were two features. The first was called "Dance into Bali", which was a documentary about Balinese dance. Very mesmerizing! At the end of the short film, the creator of the film did a live performance of a traditional dance. I was just in a trance watching it the whole time! It was great!
The second film was called "Out of the Blue". This was a looking into the begining of surfing in Santa Cruz, and really featured a spot dear to my heart: Cowells. Local legends were in the theater, including Harry Mayo. It was great seeing footage of surfings riding waves at Cowells in 1940's on wood paddleboard... no wetsuits! When I see historic surfing materials of Santa Cruz, it makes my experience living and surfing here so very special. I think that's why I enjoy being in the Longboard Union... it makes me feel like I am carrying on a long tradition.
Hopefully I'll be having my own sessions and nice rides later this week as the tides drop.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Anyway, this past weekend was my niece's birthday. My family and I went up to San Francisco to check out the newly remodeled Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. I must say, I expected a lot more. Everything seemed to be in a bigger scale, but that's it. They took out all the space stuff and made a state of the art planetarium. The aquarium seemed less, but they put in a huge kelp forest tank and another amazon exhibit. The facility was so crowded and didn't seem adequate for such a crowd. So, I was a little disappointed.
There was a white alligator however:
It looked unreal as it sat lethargically on the rock. It had spatters of blood all over it, hopefully from a live meal. The only way you can accept it's authenticity of a living creature, is by watching its eyes... the lids would move. I always feel bad for creatures in captivity, although this one probably would not be alive in the wild, having no camo to disguise it from it's prey.
After we left Golden Gate Park, we drove towards the piers. It was fleet week and you could see the Blue Angels flying overhead. It was super crowded and we just ended up driving through. From the streets you could see the floating city of one of the cruise ships. They are just so massive!!
We got home pretty late. Sunday I decided to basically just do stuff for me, since the last couple of weeks have been in the service of others. I worked on my new laptop and was having trouble with a driver for my DVD burner. The laptop was second had and has Vista on it. So, navigating has been a bit of a bitch. I did a bit of yard work and visited my friend Meg.
Hopefully today the waves will pickup. It was pretty ugly out there with so many people and so few waves. I believe it's a full moon tonight. Perhaps a Luna Run? We'll see!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
It was a very sweet day and they had lots of visitors and customers. Here's a few pics:
Jessie making me a latte.
I still have to go back and finish up some details regarding firewalls and security. It's so nice, though, to see everything come together.
There wasn't a whole lot of surf while all this was going on. I actually missed out on a couple of nights, but was on it the last two. I had brought out the Princess Cruiser the last two times I surfed. Oh, how I missed her. Such a great board! Last night I took out the Orange Dreamsicle and just had a blast! Also, a great board... my time on the nose has doubled and it just gets great velocity and turns with great power.
I'll surf tonight and then tomorrow the SCLU meeting is on at 6pm. Maybe I can squeeze a go out in :) Also, next week I am supposed to join some key people in meeting with the city and surf school instructors to discuss the issues we've been encountering in the water at Cowells. The situation has been getting out of hand and there's been a lot of regulations being ignored by the schools. I'll report on how that goes.
Hopefully things will slow down a bit and I can have a little more me time.
Until the next post...
Friday, September 19, 2008
I had missed two days of work and went back yesterday. I tried to go home at 2pm, feeling a little feverish, but the universe had a different plan for me. My friend and I were out talking by my truck (as per her suggestion since she was on break and didn't want to be disturbed and it was at a better distance than hers, parked right in front of the door) and as we were closing our conversation and saying g'bye, a transmitter on a power line exploded right above us, creating a huge lighting effect. It was so loud and the flashes of light were so intense, we had no idea the hell had just happened. The snapped wire had hit a moving car and stopped it dead in the street. When we realized what had happened and my friend stopped screaming, we ran into work, knowing already that the power was out. I had to make a couple calls letting certain work groups we were down. I came back outside and the fire department had arrived clearing clueless people off the sidewalk. They wouldn't let me back near my truck because the live wire was laying right in front of it ... we were that close! My friend pointed out to me that it was a good thing we had move to my truck, because hers was right underneath the poll! Most of Pacific Avenue was out of power and created quite a traffic jam. Well, everything was restored, but the epiphany that my friend and I had come out of that uninjured was pretty amazing, considering the proximity of where we were standing and the timing of it all. We were fucking lucky.
A downed line that popped up on the 3rd Street on Beach Hill:
Anyway, after I came home, I saw that the one morning glory in my yard had closed:
My housemate had pulled all the greenery on the side of the house, and these guys just came on their own. It was so pretty opened, but I think more beautiful closed. I can't wait for more of them to come out! Love those volunteers!
Hopefully, I'll have some upcoming surf sessions to talk about. All I got to do was film some of my friends surfing... but it was cool. Until next time...
Friday, September 05, 2008
Also, September starts off the fall surf season, which is my favorite! The tides are bit funky this month, but hopefully we'll get some good swells in! I did buy the Wee Board yesterday and took it out last nite. Man, what workout! I was so proud of myself that I didn't bring a backup longboard or get out and run to Fritz and Laura's for a board switch. I want to prove that I am serious about learning how ride a shorter board. It was hard, but it's worth it, and builds strength in my paddling, not to mention my mentality.
This past week two guys from my surf crew got into the Santa Cruz Longboard Union. Watching your friends get inducted is just as exciting as getting inducted yourself. The SCLU couldn't ask for better people!
Things have been pretty busy, with work and surfing in the evenings. Tomorrow is my mother's birthday, so we are heading to Monterey to eat at one of her favorite places. Then on Sunday I have to go to the catholic ritual of a "40th day after death" prayer for my late aunt. Hopefully I'll have some time to garden and drop in a couple of lavender plants I had just bought.
Until the next post...
Monday, August 18, 2008
Speaking of the P. Cruiser, I've been going back and forth as to whether I should sell her or not. She has some minor dings here and there and I keep having the reoccurring glassing issue with the area around the fin box. She also has a delam bubble on the deck. So, I think her life with me is over, but I do love the shape and feel of this board. The thing is, this is an "off the rack" board and I can go to the Arrow Shop and get another one just like it. Or have Bob shape me a nice custom performance board like it, and pay the same price. Maybe I'll call it the "P. Cruiser II".
I took the Orange Dream Machine out this morning, after a couple week break. The weight of that board is just perfect! I love throwing my weight around on it and the beautiful, elegant delay/glide that comes with a heavier board. The stabilty this board has when cross-stepping and noseriding is exactly why I had this board made!
Last week was very normal and back to routine and I am happy for it. It allowed me time to really settle into my new place and find a new routine. Finally, I bought lights for my bike... a must if that's going to be a primary source of transportation! I've been biking to Trader Joe's and the Farmer's Market. Yesterday evening I rode over to the beach, parked it the bike and went for a stroll. Came across a creative sand sculpture:
It's just been great cruisin' around and most of my friends have come by, since they all live within walking or biking distance. I do have a nice yard and deck and bought some roses and palm for those areas. Maybe by the spring I can get some planting boxes and get a garden going. Speaking of growing, when I was in Border's looking for surfing magazines, I saw this special issue of High Times:
The funny thing is, I ended up purchasing this issue for a friend who loves women in bikinis and ganja! I told her it was almost like buying porn, but I had to, since rarely do you find such a thing to fit someone's demographic so perfectly. I think the girl ringing the sale was the one who was embarrassed as she kept trying to cram the receipt into a page that had a naked chick with pot covering her privates. I laughed and thought it funny as she turned bright red and laughed uncomfortably.
That's how we roll here... Leigh out!
Friday, August 08, 2008
First off, I moved. I live in town now, all of Santa Cruz at my front door. The move itself was fairly easy since I had a pretty good layover. I trickled in all my stuff and my dad came and helped me with the few bigger items I had. The neighbors are all very sweet and welcoming, so the neighborhood is great. It was the cost of moving that really did me in with this move. I was in the hole for awhile and the bank had held two of my checks, making for a very stressful situation. Fortunately, that has been resolved this week.
During those stressful several days, two things happened. First my aunt, my uncle's wife, passed away. She was 71 and had a wonderful, full life. She's the mother of 6 of my cousins and the hardest thing was watching them go through the loss of their mom. I traveled with them to the Philipinnes and met up with them in Rome, so I have very fond memories of my aunt. We just had the funeral on Tuesday, and it was just beautiful. I got to see my cousins and relatives which always makes me happy.
The other event that took place was that I had to take my housemate to the ER for a kidney infection. She had a transplant long ago, so it was pretty intense when I took her in. She was in the ICU for about a day and a half. She is home now and her mom is staying with us for the week. Everything seems to be fine so far, except her blood sugar is still high.
Now, as I write this, things are semi status quo. Oh, I think I forgot to mention I had gotten pulled aside by a couple of the managers in the centers I work in and got a talking to about spending too much time with a coworker (the one I had been involved with last year) and that I am distracting her from her work. There were no facts involved, just hearsay and info from "people" complaining. Sounds like jealous "people" to me.
Hopefully all the turmoil that has happened since June 2007 calms down and gives way to a more peaceful period in my life, filled with people who very much want to be a part of me and will contribute positive energy to my life. I'm looking forward to shedding this skin that I have outgrown and am ready for another serene and happy time to come.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
My parents bought their old house back about a month ago. They sold it right after they moved to Florida and I hadn't stepped foot in there for about 5 years. I grew up in that house, so it was weird to be back. I have to admit that I've been feeling a little lost this past year, and although I don't think I found my way, I did find where I had once been:
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Correction: They found that they had recorded my time under a different number. My time was found and I finished the race at 0:32:04 - that puts me in 3rd place for the women's standup paddle division.
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Specs: 9'6" x 22" x 3" , Rambler Model Shaped by Bob Miller, Custom Color: Jack O' Lantern with a deck patch and fin box reinforcement
With the Princess Cruiser:
Monday, May 26, 2008
As much work as it was, being involved with putting together the SCLU Memorial Day Invitational was a pretty awesome experience. The conditions were working against us the whole time, not to mention gas prices, but the surfing went on. The Santa Cruz Longboard Union took first place in the team standings and my friends and club members placed well in their divisions.
The sponsers (all those banners are now in my truck taking up too much space):
A rare view from the judges stand:
Aside from the contests there were after parties and BBQ's - making for a very traditional Memorial Day. eating, drinking, and being with friends. I think I drink more on this holiday weekend than any other. Yesterday I received a bunch of leftover food and Jessie and I had our own little holiday lunch and beerfest!
Oh yeah, and I did actually get some surfing in too! The waves were meager, but again, all my friends were out and it was just fun to surf with everyone and be out in the water.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Where the hell did this month go?? I had my wisdom teeth pulled a few weeks earlier and lost some time thereafter. Let me just say that I am so glad that is over! A day after I had the extraction done, I felt I deserved to order myself a new custom board, to ease discomfort of having dry socket.
I went to the Blue Coil shop and spoke to Bob Miller about shaping me a custom log. I wanted a single fin noserider - a sort of burnt orange color with a deck patch. Specs: 9'6" x 22.5" x 3" - no pin lines, just an opaque orange pigment. Don't worry, there will be plenty of pics! Word is that the board has been shaped, it just needs to be glassed. I'm stoked to say the least.
When I drove home from San Luis Obispo last week I spotted some beautiful California wild flowers as I drove up Hwy 1 (pictured). It was a hot one last week, but it seems the fog has moved in and the weather has been much cooler. That hasn't stopped the surf... we had some wonderful classic sessions this past weekend: friends in the water, plenty of good waves. Doesn't get any better.
This week we have the Santa Cruz Longboard Union Memorial Day Invitational. It's going to be a VERY busy weekend! Again, I should have plenty of pics... until then, Leigh out!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
What happened to the warm weather? It was just beautiful a couple weeks ago - warm sunshine, light breezes, glassy clear water. I broke out the Standup Paddle board and went for a cruise. This week was windy and it sprinkled yesterday. I went surfing the other morning and it was like paddling out into ice water. I took 4 waves and came in freezing. They say April is when the waters here are at their coldest. I went all winter without booties and am just now having to put them on. I guess that is what spring is like here. Warm weather and water, come back please!
I'm house/dog sitting for my friend this week. I miss my bed though... there is no place like home. Not a whole bunch going on... I've been to the dentist a couple times this month, and on the 2nd I am having my top two wisdoms out. Honestly, I have a lot of anxiety regarding this procedure. Right before I go to bed I have a sort of panic attack. Jess suggested I request Valium to take right before I go in. I'm starting to think that's a good idea!
On a totally unrelated topic, my housemate gave me a Dino-egg as part of a beautiful Easter basket she made me. I took it to work and kind of made it a little science project for myself and my friend's 11 yr old daughter.
After 24hr's of being a cup of cold water, it started to hatch:
So cute! We were all excited! Then after about 4 days it grew even more:
I was out of town when the tail broke through, so I have no pics of that. But you will all be happy to know the dinosaur is fully hatched and living a healthy life. He may show up now and again in this blog.
That's all for now... Leigh out!
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Last week I acquired a longboard from a gentlemen who didn't have the room for it. It's a heavy monster single fin - here it is pictured next to the Princess Cruiser:
Very old school! The specs are approx: 9'7" x 22" x 2.5" x 17.5" x 16" - I think the fin is pretty awesome too:
I'm not sure when I will take it out, perhaps this week. The structural integrity of this board is sound, according to my trusted friends, one of which helps out in a shape shop. I just need to wax it up. Sometime in the future I plan to give it a paint job that isn't so obnoxious.
Next week I am taking a Philosophy class and lap swimming to be rid of this winter chub I have been packin'. Better get in all the surfing in I can, as usual.
This past weekend I got the wave of the day - a nice shoulder high wave, perfectly in the slot, passing all my friends, who are all hootin' and cheering. Just classic!
Out for now!
Thursday, March 13, 2008
On one of my walks on Westcliff, I came across the evidence that someone was having a bad day.
This weekend I am going up to the mountains to get some fresh mountain air and snowboarding in. It's been a VERY long time since I've attempted anything regarding snow. We'll see how it goes! I may make another short film... we'll see!
Monday, February 18, 2008
After a long wait, I finally got my truck! I love this vehicle! Why didn't I get a truck before? So easy getting surfboards in and out. The above pic is the Princess Cruiser's first ride! I have a tailgate rack on order, so the towel and bungee cord are very temporary.
The surf was pretty big this weekend. I went out Sunday and had a so-so session. I can't wait for the surf to calm down and the sandbar to smooth out... all in time I guess.
I am pondering taking classes in the spring - just to get back into using my brain. And I think swimming would be great to take too.
That's all for now - just wanted to show off the new toy.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
We headed to Olitas for $6 tacos and margaritas to end a perfect surf sesh. Later we went back to her place to watch bad reality TV and the results of Super Tuesday. Hopefully today the surf will be kind again and I can have a repeat of yesterday.
This weekend I am supposed to get my new truck - I have been waiting FOREVER to get this vehical. Hopefully the stars will align and it will happen.
I hate Valentine's Day - this day is such a great way to make singles feel left out and reminds them that they are single. And even if I with someone, there is pressure to figure out something "special" to do. Furthermore, although I have been doing fine with my work/girl situation, this seriously doesn't help matters. I am steering clear of that place on that day.
Surfing is always a great cure for everything. Perhaps I will just surf and surf and surf.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
I'm so glad the current and swell has calmed down. When I went surfing on Friday it was huge and I caught a couple of big ones. When I went for a walk on Saturday it was still pumpin' and slammin' up against rocks and other waves, thus getting this effect:
It was perfect Standup Paddle Surfing conditions this last couple days, but there's been a nasty bitter breeze that I don't feel like dealing with. At least it's been giving me a reason to get reacquainted with my bike.
Yesterday I went to lunch with a friend, to whom I was intimate with in the past and who I still currently work with. Her girlfriend called while we were driving to get lunch and flew off the handle when she found out it was me she was with. I'm not sure how, perhaps she was looking at (we'll call her Baby C -my friend that is) Baby C's phone while she was asleep, but she got my work cell # and called me and demanded to know if I enjoyed hanging out with some one else's girlfriends. Honestly, that some one else's gf is a good friend of mine, the answer would be "yes, hands down". Anyway, I didn't feel the need to instigate the situation further by feeding her anger with smartass remarks, so I handed the phone to Baby C and told her she can take care of her psycho gf. I was irritated beyond belief. When I got home I stacked a half cord of firewood by myself in half an hour... which is pretty good for one person. I think that was the healthiest way I could take care of my frustrations. I don't like being accused of something I didn't do, nor being condemned for something that was long past. I don't ever regret being with Baby C and am absolutely thankful for the friendship we have now.
Of course this morning, Baby C reluctantly told me we have to "take a break from each other", so that she and her gf can work on their relationship. Let me add, that I am the subject of many of their arguments because Baby C and I were once intimate and we are still friends and see each other on the weekly basis, only because we work together. I never call her outside of work hours and will txt msg her once in a great while to share a funny pic or whatever... point being, we are just friends. Back to the "taking a break" subject - basically we have to stop having fun together so we can accommodate her gf's insecurities. Basically we can hangout again once they've figured things out and when her gf can get a grip on her insecurity issues - For some reason, in a lot of people's minds, they can't seem to believe that two adult who once had been intimate can have a innocent friendship or just enjoy one another's company in a platonic friendship.
Baby C didn't want to give up our time, but felt she needed to to save her relationship with this person - and i will support her all the way. If she thinks that it will work out and she'll be happy, then I am behind her 100% - she's a big girl and can make her own decisions. I'm her friend, I will listen... put in my 2 cents... she can take it or leave it.
Anyway, I am the luckiest person in the world to have the greatest friends who are there for me, and love me. I'll take my frustrated energy and put into my surfing or vigorous exercise... put it toward some greater good in my life... and there is a lot of good in my life.
Until next post...