1. Middle-aged Italian hostess Flavia finds herself overwhelmed by her tyrannical Italian friends and Italian family and attempts to regain her self-confidence and independence with the help of a wise Italian psychoanalyst. Three Japanese sisters attend the funeral of their estranged Japanese father, encountering their shy Japanese half-sister and invite her to come and live with them. A shy Japanese high school student receives a letter from her future Japanese self and must decide whether to let fate run its course or save herself from regret. Educationless, motionless, purposeless and unsure of what the strike will bring, Mexicans Sombra and Santos begin to look for strange ways to kill Mexican time. Chie deals with her miraculous Japanese pregnancy that comes with a high risk of her cancer returning while she decides to prepare her Japanese child for life without her. These are the obvious choices. I go with the Italian sexual frustration, then the Mexican existential frustration. Both are excellent, but given half the chance I’ll gush about the Mexican one. Go rent Güeros. It is worth whatever time you sacrifice for it.
2. I am bitched at by a novice surfer in proverbial knee high slop. This creates a brief experiential parity as I’ve never been yelled at by a novice. Apparently I’ve infringed on he and his friend’s annual straight-to-the-beach buddy movie. Actually, I shouldn’t be so catty. I did paddle out a couple minutes after they did, to the same-ish sand bar they kept misaligning, on a beach the length of five football fields. But really. Really. We pulled up at the same time, to the same spot and all paddled out to this peak for a reason. It is the one that’s working. Even if they don’t use it quite right. After his tirade I invite him to choose a different peak a hundred yards down if my presence is cramping their style. They do just that, the aesthetic and technical results unchanged, for either of us. Still, I feel bad for unknowingly stressing them out and leave a note under their windshield wiper saying as much.
3. Having a conversation takes time. I attempt to have many conversations in Los Angeles, completing, satisfactorily, only two, both of which happen over the phone, stuck in traffic.
4. Jack Kerouac didn’t rate the over use of commas. Che Guevara didn’t rate democracy as much as Trotsky did in his later years. Aggressive capitalism leads to the wide acceptance of liberal values. I would surprised if, in ten years time, after the flowering of intellectually stimulating podcasts and the influx of New Yorkers into the lower echelons Los Angeles creative system thanks in part to a wide implementation of Uber, we don’t see a series of amazing, world changing methods and ideas coming out of this dry, traffic ridden and often vapid stretch of the West Coast. The sheer amount of racial, cultural and intellectual diversity driving around listening to thoughtful people saying interesting things about important subjects can only lead to something pretty amazing. You’d think. Renaissance might be the word.
5. South African Natalie and I take Midwestern Wes to San Onofre for his first-ever paddle out. It is full of all the joys that almost always accompany teaching someone how to surf. Especially at San O. The satisfaction I feel while explaining the basic concepts of surfing to Wes, and then watching him give it all a go, sticks with me for days.
6. I am told that the over-manipulation of steroids in the body can lead to cancer. That when the body gets an influx of testosterone it eventually balances out the system with an increase of estrogen. When the testosterone levels fall, due to nature or a fluctuation in treatment, the estrogen levels are left there, dangling. I am told that estrogen, left there, dangling, un-balanced perhaps itself, can be a breeding ground for cancer. This makes some sort of sense to my layman’s ears and makes me rethink my dreams of HGH treatment to try and heal my ankle-less ankle.
7. Unconventional wisdom and unpopular opinion. This is how I feel about pulling up to Old Mans in a rented silver Audi kitted with Arizona plates and a Costco soft top strapped to the roof on ancient Air & Speed soft racks. I have to say, riding a Wavestorm as a twin fin is way more fun that riding it as a thruster. Life’s lessons are never ending.