Monday, July 17, 2017

This Week In Not Surfing

1. It was a clean, windless summer dusk at Santa Claus Lane, the only near-town spot that would break consistently in the summer. We'd gotten used to heading down there to spin out in the dumping beach break and every now and then we'd get lucky with real waves. My first real foray into a personal style happened here. I'd drop into a wave, bottom turn, drifting up the face as quickly as possible. Once back at the top I'd stand straight up right in the curl with a little dramatic pause, necessitating a second, last minute sweeping drop where I'd try to climb back up the face before it closed. Imagine this all pretty fast; Santa Claus Lane isn't a point. After one particular evening session, the waves a touch bigger than usual, maybe a little overhead even, that first customary peak-pause often meant I'd be thrown, Gabe gave me that novel and still pride swelling compliment over a plate of tacos at Super Rica that he liked my surfing because it had a style all its own.

2. Years later I would be filming street footballers in Amsterdam for a big sportswear brand. On the last night of the shoot the client took us all out for drinks in a little Irish bar set besides a typically idyllic canal and I drank beers and whiskeys for a while, quiet and exhausted. The place was crowded and the vibe was friendly and a big black Englishman wearing a loose fitting white suit sat next to me at the bar. Maybe ten or fifteen years my senior, everyone seemed to know him and he had that kind of garrulous chin that makes grins even grinnier. "Oi, you look like another retired sportsman. What'd you do? What was your game?" He was talking to me, referring to himself in camaraderie and expecting way too much. I suspected he really was some sort of sporting great and I was stuck there, a few sheets to, and looking for an exit before I'd start lying.

3. Last Sunday I needed to drop off some errant sun glasses to a friend at a restaurant and walked in on a small party containing Bill Murray. I've had glancing dealings with Bill Murray in the past and he remembered my wife right away because she's the sort that charms the pants off off-kilter smart people. We sat down for a minute, returned the wayward specs to our friend in the gang and made to go. But Bill Murray just doesn't want to let people go. Tales of his eccentric, yet wholly, almost supernaturally, human kindness are pretty legend. He's a playful goofball guy who fully understands the cultural import that derives from the character that is, naturally, Bill Murray. But we have to go. And Bill Murray is sorta doing his damnedest to keep us there. Asking us questions, talking up mixology, explaining his favorite cars. But my three year old is getting antsy. And we have to go to the grocery store. And I gotta get my house ready for a barbecue that night. I let this last one slip. Bill Murray, ever watchful for his moment to pounce, says "Hey! You want some hotdogs? They make great Chicago style hot dogs here!" I don't hesitate, because who doesn't want some extra hot dogs for a barbecue? "How many?" Bill Murray asks. "Six!" I respond. Bill Murray marches into the kitchen and asks for six Chicago style hot dogs to be made up right away. And I realize he means for me to eat them, right then and there. That's Bill Murray.

4. There is always a moment at the beginning of Beat It when I think it's gonna be Roxanne.

5. I think it's safe to say that at the heart of the human experience is the hope for acceptance, inclusion, appreciation. Generally, people want to feel as if they're part of something bigger than themselves. But the opposite doesn't necessarily hold true. Our greatest fear, at least the one we trumpet, is rarely loneliness. It's usually things like sharks, line cutters and incontinence.

6. The latest entry into the EBNY Urban Dictionary : Diatribinous

7. A sign of the apocalypse or simply proving a tired adage wrong? After a lifetime of actively disliking cherries I am suddenly interested.

8. It feels like there is a regular mistake made conflating giving something due context with making an apology for it. Why can't we delve reasonably into hypothetical motivation, be it for an action warranted or unwarranted, without losing our ability to be upset about the thing? There is a growing disease out there which causes a refusal of empathic conversation about justifications for fear of making bad guys look less bad. The bad guys are bad whether you make them look that way or not.

9. And at my house we have a few rules. One of them is: before you switch off the T.V., set the channel to the tennis channel.

10. There is a moment, also mid-summer, when peaches make sense as the de facto meat in nearly any dish.

11. Yesterday I introduced my three year old's three year old body to body surfing. This morning his brain asked to do it again.

12. Try your hardest but don't let that stop you from succeeding.


Madafact said...

literary pocket rides!

BigDan said...

I hope you put bbq peaches on bbq hamburgers.
I miss peaches.

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