Friday, April 22, 2016

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Today's Thoughts

Happening : Surf + Social Good Salon


"Join us for an informative and generative conversation with surfers hustling for good. Grow personally and plug into the surf-inspired movement. Make a lasting difference locally and on your next surf trip. Last year, an inaugural Surf + Social Good Summit took place in Bali. The event set out to create a global surfing community and social network across sectors: from business, non-profit, academia and civil society. This year's salon, taking place in Brooklyn, aims to build on what was started and provide ways for professionals like you to learn more & get involved. A silent auction will feature select art and photography to support growing the network of partnerships. Tyler Breuer (SMASH) will moderate a panel of surf nonprofit leaders joined by local movers and shakers - Locals Surf School and Ryan Struck. Come join a community of leaders inspiring change! Hope to see you there!"

Event Web Page
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This Week In Not Surfing

1. I did not surf. I should be clear about that first. And when I sit down to the computer I feel my belly budge out over my belt just a little more. The weather is changing and I am not surfing and it is getting lighter earlier in the morning which means I could be surfing but I am not surfing because I am not demanding the time to surf. And I am entirely too ambivalent about this. I should be angry and pissed and raging and perhaps that's happening deep down and soon I will explode into the surfless asshole I know I can become, but for now, for some reason I am simply emotionally inert about it.

2. I was not emotionally inert about Bernie vs. Hillary. I was engaged, mentally. I abhor Hillary's record. I cringe at Bernie's simplistic proclamations. A woman president would be amazing. A Jewish Socialist president would be great. I am a registered independent in New York apparently, but I put in an affidavit ballot anyhow. Made me feel good even if it won't count. My wife and I voted for different people, both more or less protest votes in our own ways. This make me happy.

3. This Week's Word. "Consequel" : occurring in antecedent order based on the sufficient/necessary conclusions of an abstracted or conceptualized sensibility.

4. Today I walked out of my home wearing jeans and a jeans jacket. Three blocks on the trot to my studio and I realized too late. Shame is mine.

5. Life just isn't a movie trailer where you get to say one one-liner after another. Otherwise my week would have been filled up with me pithily repeating things like, "Death knells and coffin nails!" and "Things je care about... and things je don't!"

6. On Monday a Columbia University student named Katie showed up at my studio wanting to record an interview for Uptown Radio about surfing in New York. When I asked her how she found me and she replied "I did a Google search for New York Surf Blog and your's was the top one." I gave her Ty Breuer's email address.

7. Bill Finnegan won a Pulitzer.  God, I loved that book.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Today's Thought


39,000 pages of Paul Klee's personal notebooks are available online.
Click Le Pic.

"...which he used as the source for his Bauhaus teaching between 1921 and 1931. If you can’t read German, his extensively detailed textual theorizing on the mechanics of art (especially the use of color, with which he struggled before returning from a 1914 trip to Tunisia declaring, “Color and I are one. I am a painter”) may not immediately resonate with you. But his copious illustrations of all these observations and principles, in their vividness, clarity, and reflection of a truly active mind, can still captivate anybody..." Open Culture

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

This Week In Not Surfing

1. I think perhaps there is a tremendous biological urge to self-sabotage. Deep down in the core-est, most fundamental-est DNA is a little trigger that that lives in constant state of speculation, built of an pragmatic understanding that stuff breaks, shit falls apart, nothing lasts forever. Evolution invites us, in our hubristic rationality, to fight it. The Buddhists take this to its logical conclusion, the wonderfully winking dictums of that tradition shaming us into an uneasy misunderstanding of the nature of life. Or rather, a cogent understanding married to the wrong expectation of success. We may train our genetic switches to turn on and off at survival-appropriate rates, these auto-embedded binary skills taking their form contextually : I should not eat bagels and this is positive because instead I shall drink kale (and/or) I shall not waste my ammo here for instead I will slaughter my assailant there. But the core system agitates towards the preemptive dissolution of comfort. Things are going too well and this is not good (or) y = x where y = complacency and x = eaten by tiger/lion/bear. And self-sabotage it may be if we don't pay attention. There is comfort in the negative, see.

2. Sunday night I was horsing around with my son and his friend on the subway platform waiting for a train up to the Bronx and we bundled a little too close to a wide-eyed black man. I didn't notice at first his apparent rage but pretty soon he was screaming "White Devil!" and telling me I might as well commit suicide by jumping on the tracks. He yelled and followed us. He gave us the middle finger. The kids didn't know what to make of it. I did, or sorta did, or think I did. In all likelihood, I simply don't. He eventually mumbled off, dragging his anger in two fists like heavy sacks.

3. Dark, brown, cold cylinders of shifting water have been hitting the coast near here. I've been playing hooky from my duties.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

This Week In Not Surfing

1. The thought crosses my mind more than once. Why do I only post these Week In Not Surfing lists when I'm on assignment in some far off place? Why do I write it as "on assignment" as if I'm some sort of conflict zone journalist? I'm not. I work in advertising. I advertise things. And I don't write lists about my experiences in New York with such detail as I do when I'm off making advertisery things. Why do I work in advertising? Like many, I suppose, who work alongside me in advertising, I work in advertising because being an artist doesn't pay. Being an artist doesn't, or didn't, fit my then-undersized ego. I was also completely, am nearly now mostly, lacking in craftsman skills. And being a doctor or lawyer weren't in my motivation-hindered student's grades. Besides, advertising pays.

2. When I'm home I fuss about my hair. Or really, the dryness of my scalp. I fuss over my breath. I fuss over the laundry. I fuss over my children and what they eat. I fuss over whether I am drinking too much or not enough. Water or spirits. I ride my bike to my studio and then to my office. I ride my bike home at the end of the day. My back tire is bent and wobbles. I've been meaning to get it fixed for the last three weeks but I can't find the time.

3. I recently bought a new iPhone to replace my old iPhone that went on the fritz. One of the first things I forgot to put on the new iPhone were my surf apps. Swellinfo, Surfline, Magic Seaweed. I blame this on the fact that I got my new phone the same day I took a plane to London. I think I downloaded the Delta app.

4. Maybe I don't write Not Surfing posts at home because I think my life in New York is boring. Maybe I pay attention less here. But that's not true. My life here is not boring and I am still neurotically eagle-eyed. Maybe it's because when I'm here I should be surfing. I succumb to some button-lipped shame about not being in the water. Who's paying attention anyhow? I am.

5. On Saturday I woke up with a scratchy throat. A painful throat. But nothing too bad. It was slightly dark out, and obviously cold. It was before sunrise and I'd set my alarm to meet Antonio in Long Beach for my first surf in over a month. I texted him about my throat. He was solicitous, kind. Maybe he didn't want to bother his bedsheets either. He was good at hiding his disappointment. And I didn't get sick.

6. This morning Swellinfo says, was green and 2-3 ft. I didn't check my Swellinfo app last night and my wife was out of the house by 6:30 this morning on her way to work, leaving me with the morning triple duty of dog-boy-boy. Or boy-dog-boy as birth order would have it. Tomorrow it is green and 1-2 ft. My wife is out of the house on the road by 7:30, or so the Google calendar informs me. Sun up at 6:30ish. That gives me roughly 20 minutes of water time if I get there at 5:45. And I still might get stuck in traffic and be relationship-destroyingly late to get her out the door.

7. I've never wanted to live in Los Angeles. But as I get older the idea of living in a place near that place get's more, shall we say, attractive.


Monday, April 4, 2016

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

More Free Hugs


I've been traveling the world lately. Part of my job is to talk to people, not "to get inside their heads" but to give them a bit of a platform to puke their thoughts out in whatever manner they'd prefer. Maybe puke is the wrong word. Anyhow, I spent some time in Paris talking to street soccer players. Street soccer is like, well, it's like the street version of soccer. Smaller spaces, usually on pavement. Faster, often more inventive, way more stylish than your average 11-a-side grass fed game. But even as the creative quotient is turned up, these guys I've been talking to have their limits. There's this other sort of soccer called "freestyle" and it sorta inhabits the same realm and sensibilities as street soccer. It's all about the crazy wacky stuff you can do with a ball. It's all about juggling and putting the ball through the legs of whoever's around you. The street guys, by and large, think the freestyle guys are goofballs. They don't see the point. And while all of it fascinates me, I love seeing a clip like this from Thrasher that so eloquently makes the enduring case for skating and surfing. There's no point. No point at all. You're not trying to score points or goals or get one over on your adversary. You're having a good time. It's ridiculous, pointless, farty, rad. And that's the point.