Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Happy Holidays From The EBNY No Surf Surf Blog Of Champions

"Everyone wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die!" That exclamation leveled at me by a twinkly eyed man pumping my gas at the corner of Kent and Billburg Ave a couple Sundays ago has been sticking to my inner ears since.

“...something of a very good looking, very erotic but also, at times, totally prissy lover that you look at, next to you in bed, with pride each morning, even if you never know what kind of mood she’s about to wake up in” wrote Süddeutsche Zeitung about Pep Guardiola. Another quote thats been ringing around the hollow insides.

These are the sorts of sentiments that do dance with truth, somehow gnawing at the nub of our folly. I have no excuses for how I am, while theories abound. I can't quite blame my behavior on my parents. I certainly can't point a finger at my partner. I've basically strung myself up on the cross and above, instead of "INRI" on the jolly plaque, it reads "UCM" (or for those of us who won't decipher Latin acronyms: "Should Have Known Better.")

And so another calendar year grinds to a close, the holiday cheer eating away at the peace of mind, a kind of perpetual war of double binds and missed connections. Yesterday during an Uber ride I asked the driver to switch the station from the Christmas music. He just threw his head back and laughed and happily, hinting at thankfully, acquiesced.

This year has been rough, hurtful and destructive only to hinge on moments of the sublime and the regenerative. The business model I've lucked into has become self-sustaining, often in spite of my best monkey-wrenching. My children are beautifully difficult to manage at times only because I've somehow decided that's how I need to approach them. Wifey remains oddly insistent in her patience with my antics. And if all this self congratulating were not nauseating enough, my long suffering dog still has has very, very soft fur.

I even surfed in generously parsimonious fits and spurts, albeit with long portions of dyspeptic animosity sewn between. But as we've all realized at some point, the worst day surfing is the worst day surfing.

All this to say: Happy Holidays. Thank you for continuing to read this blog if you read it. And if you don't, thank you for stopping by to turn your nose up. It is all appreciated.

Coming up in the next two weeks: Notes From A Surfing Holiday From The Land of Surf Holidays

Stay Tuned.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Friday, December 18, 2015

Kelly Slater's Wavepool

I lied. I lie a lot. I surfed this morning with Ty Breuer. And Antonio Sanchez. And Mike Ming. And the skinny guy with a face screwed up like he's not having a good time and surfs really fast and uses his fins instead of his rails too much. And a small friendly contingent of Little Tokyo. And a couple older longboard guys who keep their legs splayed a touch too wide when they paddle. And then Ty dropped by for lunch and showed me this. Mesmerizing. I don't dig how many times Kelly Slater feels like he has to proclaim that it's the best wave pool ever made. But that's his schtick. He's a competitor. He's one of the great alpha competitors of all time. So I guess that will sneak out.
A Few Instant Reactions:
1. "Great now all these assholes will show up at the local with a bagful of technique honed on some perfect fake wave and try to impose a new fangled lineup meritocracy based on technique honed on some perfect fake wave. Right at the moment in my life where my body has given up wanting to get into a punch up. Just great."
2. "Jesus, how great would it be to spend a few days a year honing my technique on a perfect fake wave."
3. "Remember that time I posted 76 times in a single month? Mind blowing from this range."
4. "How likely is it that Thought One is already happening in some form and I'm just too delusional to accept it?"

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Well, This Happened.

Congrats Brazil.

Don't You Influence Me

The Influencer, a relatively recent titular attribution breathing and dying in the social media realm, inhabits a space sandwiched between Brand Ambassador and Wonton Opportunist.

It used to be that brands, the Mad Men, could invent the Respected Voice. Or at least gobble up an emerging character bending their visage to a strategic will, selling back their Frankenstein-With-A-Wink to captive audiences. But in this digital age of a million extruded niche voices splintering into incalculable cliques of untraceable taste, the corporate marketing wonks lost the magic equation with which to deliver the perfect pitch. They lost the golden ticket of authenticity brought to you by Joe Namath. Shit, man, his knees really were that messed up.

Chiseling out a whole new genre of spokesperson from the fickle shale of our attentions, voila the Influencer: a souped up 21st Century sleight of hand co-opting the age old rank of Respected Voice. Preceded by an unfortunate industrial stench of a cynical manipulation of authentic esteem, it has the vibe of backward masking, of subliminal messaging, of hidden agenda-ing. It has the word "sell out" plastered right next to the exotic city stickers on that proverbial leather valise.

There is the well documented knack surfers have in filling necessary gaps keeping themselves happily in the purchase of paddle time. It's the stuff of our sport's myth and legend. The ability to pull the fleece over some carpet bagger's eyes, buying just enough of the day in the water thanks to the gullible slob's forkful of cash has it's own stink of rad punk rockness. I think Dora, of course. And of every one of those Malibu surf scions who rigged the Hollywood stuntman system in their favor. I think of apocryphal tales of Waikiki cunning.

And perhaps this is why it is such an affront. I've certainly not worked out that scheme and I'm always pulling for those clever bastards who have. Is this a lost sensibility in surf culture? Is it all so nauseatingly shallow? So meanderingly main stream? Of course it is.

But the Surfline article beknighting Mikey DeTemple an Influencer is that disappointing.
Because Mikey DeTemple is a good guy making his way in the world while surfing.
And he, or any other working surfer for that matter, doesn't deserve the stab in the back.

Editors Note: Yeah, this is all semantics, and thinly plastered at that. But that's the currency of the realm. And yes, I pay my own bills and satisfy my own creative desires via the advertising industry, often making films about people called "Influencers." There's just something sacrosanct to me about surfing. Or at least there is still some plainly naive part of me that really, really wants "surfing" to still play by its own rules.

Editor's Other Note: And yes, I may have just accepted EBNY's first product placement/review gig. Anything for some free sunglasses. Just don't call me Influencer, apparently.

Editor's Second Other Note: Maybe they'll pull that offer now. Maybe I need to rethink my public opinions. I mean, I really need new sunglasses.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Today's Other Thought

Today's Thought

And this.

This Week In Not Surfing : Star Wars Spoilers! The Real Inside Stuff!

1. Ty Breuer asked if I could go surfing Friday. I write it just so as to reflect how much my life has devolved into an immature, uncontrolled state regarding one of my great passions. "Mom! Ty asked if I could go play! Can I go?" "Did you do your homework?" "Awww come on, I'll get it done..." Except there's no Mom. And the only homework I have to do is the stuff I've screwed up all for myself. And then there's the little problem of a broken zipper on my wetsuit.  And the problem of not quite having the expeditionary finances to set to task finding me a new one. I reckon I'll fix the zipper given time, but a new winter suit sounds so nice. I could do with both! Right? I need those non-existent dollars to march.

2. Star Wars. I have tickets to take my nine year old to the opening in New York tomorrow night. I think I might have to dodge out of work early to hold our place in line so we can sit together. Or at least not have our noses pressed to the screen. We'll have to diagram out some contingency plans tonight. Priorities, see.

3. I've been spotting more and more clips of soft top mayhem. Yesterday I watched a clip of that Brazilian world champion riding one in the shore pound. Looked like so much fun. I thought "Hey! That's how I look when I ride my soft top!" But it isn't.

4. Star Wars. I read a review this morning that said Luke Skywalker isn't Rylo Ken. I'm not sure I believe it, and it's still my favorite conspiro-jumping-shark-gothcha theory. But I did find out, somewhat belatedly, that Domhnall Gleeson (doʊnəl ˈɡliːsən) is playing a bad guy in the film. If you don't think you know much about Domhnall (doʊnəl) just remember he is a son of the Irish actor who played the part of the blues singer who throws a milkshake at a recording studio window. He also played the son of the English actor with the whithery hands and effete voice in the movie about a family of time travelers.

5. I likely won't be surfing Friday.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

This Week In Not Surfing

1. The fact that Donald Trump has not been laughed out of American politics by an overwhelming unity of uproarious, choral guffaws is more alarming to me at this point than any mass shooting. Any terrorist attack. Alarming. It is alarming that Donald Trump's numbers have seemed to go up after recent statements and no one thinks it is wildly, wickedly funny. Because it is absurd. He is absurd. Laugh friends. Laugh him off the stage.

2. I wonder sometimes at gun-fanatics. A beloved uncle posted some terrible gun-rights screed on Facebook a day after the most recent Paris attacks along with a photo of the inside of the music hall strewn with bloodied bodies emblazoned with the words "This Would Not Have Happened if Guns Were Legal In Paris." Or something like that. I don't even know what he wrote after the San Bernardino shootings last week, I'd already unfriended him. But it gives me pause to think. Perhaps finally the gun wackos are right. Perhaps we've hindered rational gun control for long enough that it makes sense to now arm ourselves. It has been a sneaky strategy of self-fulfilling prophecy they've sorted out through the years and it leads to the feeling we've almost no choice at all. Crafty gun zombies, they.

3. Big waves are in the news lately. My favorite surfboard got dinged in the backyard. I'm considering shaving my chest. Winter wreaks havoc on the suppleness of skin. Thank god for red wine, tomato soup, Christmas trees, the happy spasticity of playing dogs and the befuddling graciousness of a child's love.

4. Three years ago this place closed it's doors for good. If good means until next year when they open up in Los Angeles. And right down the street from our planned L.A. office. Not much coincidence there. Planned through and through...

Monday, December 7, 2015

Friday, December 4, 2015