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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Trunkin' It


There's nothing like trunking it for the first time after a season surfing in thick neoprene. The sensation starts as you walk down the beach, as I did tonight in Baja Sur, toward your first session at a tropical break. The grains of sand bounce off your calves, catpulted by your flip flops. There's the breeze against your exposed skin as you sit at the water's edge scoping the swells and deciding where to paddle out. You attach the leash around your bare ankle, stretch a little (but not too much since it gets dark sooner so far south), and take your first steps into th aqua sea. The water is warmer than you remember. You propel yourself forward in land on your stomach and as you start to paddle, you notice immediately how light you are. There's no rubber to weigh you down, or to make you float too much when you duckdive. You can see your arm muscles working as you scratch for the outside. And when you catch your first wave, the one that will set the tone for the rest of your vacation, you can actually feel the beads of newly applied tropical wax under the soles of your feet. Sex without latex comes to mind...

Fischerspooner - Emerge (DFA Remix)

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Mexico Otra Vez








I finally developed my water camera pictures from Mexico a year ago, just in time to get my stoke up to a full inferno for this year's trip. In a little over a week, we're heading back to San Jose Del Cabo again. This time we are going with a group of friends and renting a house near Zippers. I just peeked at the surf report for Costa Azul next week and it looks promising: 5 feet at 14 seconds!

Looking at these pictures from last year, I'm flooded with emotion. My wife the smiling Buddha, warm waters, Mike Doyle (barely in the shot), Donavan F., tacos at Hangman's, sore ribs, sunburns, micheladas, sand in my ears. I can't wait to do it all over again with my best friends. This time we'll explore a little. I'll stick to my new fish (and eat more fish too).

I'm bringing a stack of surf literature, including Doyle's "Morning Glass" which is just perfect for falling to sleep to by the pool after sessions. Here are my original posts from the last vacation down south: 8 at 16, Smiley Smile, Surfyland, Hola Olas

Kings of Convenience "Gold in the Air of Summer'

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Pop-outs vs. Poop-outs

I am not a militant pop-out surfboard hater, but I was amused the other day when I was taking a leak and noticed the logo below written on a toilet.


At first, I couldn't think of what it reminded me of, but by the time I finished peeing I remembered where I had seen it before...


I rode a few of the epoxy sandwiches in the picture below and had a great time, but next time I go to Cabo, I'm bringing a hand-shaped board.



Swearing at Motorists "Cuando Nos Veramos"

Monday, June 12, 2006

LA Daze



Some random shots of my recent LA trip. The guy above was playing music in front of the Roxy. I intended to dawn patrol with Whiffleboy or Patch the next morning, but they were calling for a 4:30 wake-up time in order to reach the 'Bu or Zeros by 5:00. I didn't get home until 3:30, so I pretty much blew my chance to hook up with the authors of "Confessions of a Novice Surfer" and "Patchies Hideout." Next time.

I did, however, make it to Venice by 9:00. The conditions actually looked fun (see below), so I pulled my parents' nice Volvo convertible into a parking space on Washington St. Just when I put my foot on the brake, a guy backed into the side of the car. Ding! Dang! By the time we exchanged insurance info (1 hr later), the wind picked up and the tide went out.

I still got a surf in, the lowlight of which was a large closeout that the other surfers hooted me into. I was too late on the drop and pearled, flying on my stomach down the face of the heaving wave. I could actually heared a few people on the pier go, "EEEEEEWWWW!" as I skipped along, before the whole thing ate me.






The Decemberists "Los Angeles, I'm Yours"

Friday, June 9, 2006

Pier Pleasure

When I got to San Diego a couple weeks ago, there was a surf contest going on directly in front of our hotel. It was the Sun Diego Pro/Am, I guess the last pro/am contest of the season. Anyway, the waves at Ocean Beach were somehow reminiscent of Oregon: lumpy, bumpy, and thumpy. But it was really good to watch the way these guys handled the conditions. We need more piers to paddle out next to up here...






!!! "Space Island"

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Bear Flag Soul

On my way to Southern California, I read an article in the latest Surfer's Journal about surfboards called "Stubbies" and the San Diego County scene from where they emerged. In the appendix, the editor mentioned something called "bear flag soul" in reference to the cool characters who the story was about. It was a term that I didn't really understand at the time, but one that would be demonstrated to me throughout the week I spent down south.



I was invited to go surfing with a couple great guys from LA surf blogs, but due to some schedule conflicts (read hangovers and fender-benders) I couldn't get out early enough. But in San Diego on Sunday morning, I hooked up with Jeff from the Instant Boulder Kit blog. And Jeff hooked me up! On the phone the night before he asked me if I needed a board - I said I did. "No problem." Then he asked if I had wetsuit - I said I had my 4/3. "No problem. You can use my springsuit." At 6AM the next morning, he picked me up at my hotel.

We headed to a spot called Tourmoline, a longboarder haven located between Pacific Beach and La Jolla. On the way, Jeff told me that this was kind of a legendary beach where local heroes (shapers and riders) meet up on the weekends to surf and shoot the shit. "It's more of a social thing," he said as we pulled into the lot. He also said that there would probably be some swell left over from the south that had rolled through and that I should be able to get some decent rides on his 7'0" Nectar single fin that he brought for me.

When I eased the bright yellow board out of its bag, admiring the pintail, long Tudor fin, up wings, and bright pinlines, I was nonplused. It had an incredibly hefty resin tint glass job and the widepoint was closer to the nose. I'd heard of Nectar but had no idea that they were still making retro boards like this. I asked how much this jewel set him back - it looked new. "You'll never believe it," he said. "I got it for $150 bucks from a guy who needed to get rid of it. It just sat in his garage for 30 years!" I made Jeff an offer, which he kindly refused.



On our way through the parking lot Jeff introduced me to a guy who used to ride for the Nectar team in the 70s. The guy had stringy blond hair and leathery skin. He examined the board under my arm with eyes that looked like he was staring into a campfire. He said he'd be watching me out in the line-up. As we started paddling out, Jeff explained that all the old dudes watch from the embankment overlooking the break and if you screwed up, they would give you shit on your way back in. Great.

Jeff was paddling out on his flawless Harbour longboard (leashless, natch) and he soon left me in his wake. Before I could even make it outside, I saw him dropping into a chest-high peak and head dipping under the lip. He caught back up to me as I finally made it outside.

There were about 45-50 guys out, mostly on longboards, and they all seemed to know eachother. "Hey Mike, how's the wife and kids," and "I just got my AARP card in the mail yesterday," and "Are you that old?" etc. were some of the exchanges I overheard. Lots of jabs about being too old, even though most of these guys paddled like Olympians.

It took me a little while to get used to the beefy board I was on. For some reason it didn't paddle well as I had expected. I ended up catching a couple of lefts that slipped through the cracks and rode them to the inside, crouching low and doing my best '70s surf poster pose. Jeff gave me a thumbs up and then told me to watch out for a big rock on the inside. I forget the name of it now... "Grimace" or something...

Anyway, I stayed out for about 2-3 hours and Jeff checked in with me periodically to see how I was getting along. The crowd got more and more dense, and I just spent most of my time watching the skilled longboarders drop in and make amazing bottom turns. Great to have a front row seat. Later, I found out that a couple pros were out there: Kevin Connelly and Eric Summer.




Back in the parking lot, after the surf, I met a couple other guys who were also named Richard. We joked about being the "three swinging dicks" and watched the chicks in bikinis walk by. Man, it was a perfect California day. Thanks to the PB Surf Club gang for making a real "hodad" feel right at home. Come up to Oregon any time and let us return the favor - I have an extra 5 mil you can borrow!

Tom Waits "San Diego Serenade"

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Hollywood, Here I Come!


Tomorrow I'm heading down to LA and then San Diego for my sister's graduation. I'll be in LA until Saturday morning and rolling down to SD (staying at Ocean Beach Hotel) on Saturday and Sunday nights. Back to LA on Monday and Tuesday.

I'm not positive what my schedule will be, but I'm packing my 4/3 and hoping to slip a few sessions in. I have a couple surfing aquaintances in LA and SD, but if anybody wants to show an Oregon surfer the ropes, let me know!

X "Los Angeles"

Monday, May 22, 2006

Squiggly Lives


The new website for my art licensing company, Squiggly Studios, is up and running! For the last year, my next-door neighbor and I have been working toward attending an art Licensing Show in NYC. The show happens at the Javits center from June 19-23. The idea is that we've drawn hundreds of amazing, stunning, mind-boggling, genius, clever, brilliant, unique pictures that companies will want for their products. After meeting us in New York next month, they'll buy the rights for the pictures, stick them on their merchandise, and we'll watch the royalties come rolling in.

Then it's like: "What we gonna do with all the cash? Smoke hash!"
(Kidding, mom.)

Tenacious D "Kyle Quit the Band"

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Spring Cleaning


After the long, cold winter it's time to take the strata of dirty wax off your sticks. Yesterday I put my two Hammers in the sun and the cold-water parafin liquified in a matter of minutes. A few paper towels later, my boards were clean enough to eat off of. This is always a good time to check for dings and cracks that may have resulted from beach break beatings taken all season. I only noticed a few new pressure dings (that have webs of spider cracks under the glass) but other than that, I think they're ready for the mellow sessions of spring and summer.

These have been my go-to surfboards for the past two years:

Blue Hammer Speed Egg: 7' x 21.2" x 2.8" (with extra tail rocker)
Green Hammer Evolution: 6'6" x 20" x 2.35" (swallow tail)

Destroyer "The Bad Arts"

Built to Swill


Have you tried the new Built to Spill album yet, You in Reverse? It's really great, especially on headphones as you're riding your bicycle in the sunshine. Doug's voice sounds like shandy tastes: sweet, slightly sour, malty, a little fizzy, and sure to give you a quick buzz.

Built to Spill "Liar"

Monday, May 15, 2006

On Golden Pond


For those of you who don't live up here, we're experiencing a strange heat wave today. It is going to be 92 degrees in Portland. We surfed yesterday and the waves were pretty small again, but we still managed to have a great time. I was going to sneak another trip out to the coast today (combining business and pleasure), but looked at the webcam and saw the above image. The ocean is so glassy and flat that you could skip a rock to China. The south swell is supposed to build throughout the day today and tomorrow, so it looks like I'll try again in 24 hours.


Strauss "Blue Danube"

Friday, May 12, 2006

Small



Tuesday was small; I think my toes may have gotten barreled. Let's hope Sunday is better!

Morcheeba "The Sea"

Sunday, May 7, 2006

Big


Yesterday I rode a pretty big wave. The drop was super late so that it felt like my board was stuck in the side of a vertical wall. When I hit the bottom, I was going so fast that I was afraid to cut back. "Hang on for dear life," was all I could think as the board skipped along over the chop. It felt like the time my friends played a joke on me at Pyramid Lake, pulling me on waterskis behind a 1970s jet boat, when they pushed the speed to full-throttle and made a hard turn. But that time I couldn't hold on. Yesterday I did. Without any effort (besides absorbing the chatter with my legs) I stayed in the wave as it keep building, watching a big green shoulder rise ahead of me. On the inside, some 100 yards later, the wave got incredibly steep again as it began to pitch over all at once. I straightened out in the nick of time while the whitewater exploded behind me, threatening to knock me off. Then I ejected, kicking the board away from me. I was so blown away by the ride that I almost paddled in and ended my session after only a half-hour. But I didn't.

Black Flag "Rise Above"
Drawing by Pettibon

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Slap in the Face



"I get no respect." --Rodney Dangerfield

The waves were overhead and the north wind was blowing offshore at Shorties on Monday night, creating ideal conditions for an after work surf. When O.S. and I finally made it to the logs facing the cove, it was nearly 6:30, so we charged straight in. We timed the paddle-out perfectly and made it without having to duck any of the set waves that would pile in every 10 minutes. There was a group of five other surfers out there that were absolutely ripping. One would take off on an A-frame peak, completely disappear from view, and before you could ask yourself what direction he went, a board would slash like a blade over the back of the lip--all the way up to the fins--and snap back down, sending a cascade of water in its wake.

The peak shifted around the second creek area to the north of the cove. There was really no way of telling who would be lucky enough to get the biggest and best shaped waves. I had a couple good rides, but seemed to be getting weird vibes from another surfer who was nearest to me. A few waves before, he dropped in on a wave and went right and I nearly went left toward him, but pulled back. I apologized for almost getting in his way. He just gave me a look that resembled a person who smelled an offensive egg fart.

A few minutes later, a big set wave rolled in from the north and started feathering behind me. The stink-eye guy had been catching some insiders and was well out of position for this one. With O.S. yelling, "Yeah Chum!" I turned and stroked into it confidently, and surged forward with the same sensation that Barry Bonds must have when he lays pine on a baseball and knows it hit the sweet spot. As I jumped to my feet, I noticed that the guy inside was paddling into the wave on the shoulder. Normally, I call a person off to avoid being dropped in on ("beep, beep!"), but this time I didn't have to, because when I laid into my bottom turn and reached out to drag my hand I must have been going pretty fast--my glove slapped the face of the wave so hard that it popped like a firecracker. The guy jerked his board back and I flew by, just working the green wall as hard as I could, feeling the speed and watching the swell reshape and re-bowl several times.

It took me forever to get back to where O.S. was sitting and when I finally did, he said, "I thought you wiped out, because I heard a big smack after you took off." I just laughed and told him about what happened. Then I thought about this blog and about how nobody would believe how good it was if One Speed wasn't there to witness the session. Am I just getting lucky? Or is there another factor, something magical in the woods, bringing me good fortune at Shorties?

The Fiery Furnaces "Paw Paw Tree"

PS - I grabbed this photo off of the Short Sands area of Magic Seaweed because it looks similar to the conditions we had on Monday... Thanks, whoever!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Peen


The first time we walked down the path to Short Sands, Gee and I noticed a strange formation in the roots of one of the old growth trees. At first we laughed about it, joking that the old pines around here have gentile genitals, et-cetera, proceeding to "knock on wood," and create all manner of immature puns and wordplays to kill the next 20 minutes as we made our way to the beach. After scoring good spring waves, we acknowledged the tree on the way back up the hill, thanking "The Peen" for delivering a good session. From that day on, we ceremoniously rubbed it for luck like Buddha's belly on our way down the trail, and most of the time it delivered. Even on days when we had crappy sessions (like the one where I busted my nose) Gee pointed out that maybe it would have been worse had I not paid homage to the ancient dong. I agreed.

We touched The Peen yesterday, Nash, Kato, and I, and that wooden weenie smiled upon us. Short Sands displayed why it is one of the best spots on the Oregon coast, with glassy 3-4 ft. peaks popping up all over the cove. I had one of my best sessions ever. I could fearlessly drop in late, drag my hand, stall back into the steepest part of the wave, release, speed ahead, cut back, crouch low, fly forward again, and turn off the top. Guys were getting tubed and even landing aerials.

It's funny how people diss Shorties, calling it the "Kook Corral" and referring to the beautiful hike as "The Walk of Shame." Then, on nights like last night, when the wind instigates chaos across the surface of the sea, where do all of the North Coast's best surfers flock? Oswald West State Park. Hopefully the haters will keep hating and never discover the secret of "The Peen." It's pretty gay after all.

Anybody else have surf superstitions?


Stevie Wonder "Superstition"

Monday, April 24, 2006

Risk Vs. Reward


Nash and I made the big hike to one of Oregon's legendary mysto spots on Saturday. Two miles down a muddy switchback trail without any indication of what the waves would be like was enough to keep the weekend warriors away, but we'd done a little homework and were fully committed. When we reached the beach, we were greeted by a speedy a-frame barrel rifling in both directions. Not a soul in the water.

I paddled out first and quickly realized that my inexperience in hollow conditions limited my ability to make the most of the waves. For the first hour I didn't make ANY... Some would break with that perfect head-swivelling peel, but others would close out like a curtain call. The difference, when paddling into a peak, was sometimes tough to judge.

I eventually figured out where I needed to be to make the drop - right in the middle of the "U" where the wave was bending. After that I caught a couple steep rights and directed the heel side of my board toward the highest line it could hold, but I never even tried to duck into the tube, content to get speed and distance (and also a little wary about the prospect of getting slammed so far from civilization).

A few hours later, after checking out a peak where a couple other surfers had made their way into the water, Nash and I decided to take a break. By the time we had finished lunch, the wind picked up, the tide changed, and the waves were gone.

As we hiked back up the steep path, I kicked myself for not charging harder earlier. I'd have to get over my new fear of injury if I wanted the reward of my first tube.



Surf Punks "My Wave"

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Snowboarding: Not Like Surfing


At least that's how I felt after last weekend at Mt. Hood Meadows, where I spent a few hours tearing up the bunny hill -- literally tearing holes in it with my ass, my knees, my elbows, and my wrists.

I had snowboarded twice before this on my home "stash" at Mt. Ashland and actually made some progress, going from their beginner run one day to some blue runs the next. But that was 5 years ago, before I started surfing again. It seems like my learning curve made a serious bear descent as a result of the new skills I've picked up in the ocean. Here are the biggest differences between surfing and snowboarding:

1. You can't move your feet.
2. The snow-covered ground hurts.
3. It takes forever to get your boots strapped in.
4. Most of the time, your knees are being tweaked at awkward angles.
5. You can slide sideways pretty fast down a steep hill (until you catch an edge).
6. You can actually slide backwards down the steep hill before crashing too.
7. It is a real bitch to stand back up after you fall.
8. If you "just go straight" you go faster than on a wave.
9. There are big poles, trees, and little children on tiny skis in your way.
10. You need to clip your toenails before wearing the boots.
11. Goggles really squeeze the bridge of your nose, which can hurt if it's broken.
12. People can easily push you down.
13. It takes longer to get to the mountain than to the beach.
14. On a positive note, there is nice music playing all the time and beer close by.

Don't get me wrong, it was such a fantastic day on the mountain. It was alternately sunny and snowing every couple of minutes and the air was so clean it was like sinus rejuvination with every breath. My wife absolutely loved it and she proceeded to show me up in her ability to connect turns and keep herself under control (i.e. going at a snail's pace down the hill with perfect form).


I'd like to thank the following people for making it possible: O.S. for the day passes he gave to us for Christmas (we just barely squeezed it in before the mountain closed!) and Kato and Roomy for lending me gear and a board (pictured) which several people offered to buy off of me - one even offered to trade a new CI surfboard for it.

Today I'm taking my aching arms surfing.

Bonnie "Prince" Billy "A Minor Place"


Monday, April 10, 2006

The Nose Is Mightier Than the Board


It seems unlikely that the face, with all its fleshiness and fragility, can actually be stronger than a six-foot plastic plank, but on Sunday my nose proved that it is more resiliant that the nose of my surfboard. Suffice to say, Sunday was an eventful session, filled with great turns on open faces in the spring sunshine, the lowlight of which was a ride that came three hours into the day when I wiped out on a benign inside reform, falling headfirst onto my upwardly mobile McCoy. I know what you're going to say. My nose looks worse than the board's in the picture. Well, I can assure you that while my broke beak is on the mend today, the surfboard still needs a few patches.

With the complete, unabridged, photojournalistic version of the story still to come, I must pose this question to my surfing friends out there:

What's your worst surf-related battle wound?

Animal Collective "Flesh Canoe"

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Blow me.


We got a late start Tuesday (4pm) so we had to drive directly to a break and commit to that spot instead of searching for more condition-receptive locations. When we got to Indian, the winds were blowing hard offshore, creating great plumes of spray that flew in the air in vails triple the size of the actual waves. The waves, which were about 4-6 feet, would stand up and the lip would jiggle like jello before finally succumbing to gravity.

The gale seemed to present easy drop-in situations, so we decided to give it a shot, pulling on our wetsuits quickly and scrambling down the hill to the waterline. The rip along the northern cliff was pulling like a conveyer belt, sheilded from the blunt of the swell and the whipping wind. Depositing ourselves in the outgoing current, we looked left and I pointed out a perfect hollow wave reeling toward us, halfway to the safety of the outside. The question was, how would we put ourselves in a position to find that peak as we battled the NE wind and resulting chop, not to mention larger outside sets.

Once we drifted far enough outside, we paddled due south, pulling ourselves from the tidal reflux. Nash had the first wave and went right on the peak. Nice drop, but the wave petered. I howled like a banshee, though. I hadn't seen Nash look that comfy on a drop-in and turn before - he was really improving.

After another set rolled in that I barely punched through, I realized that getting caught inside was a bad idea. There wasn't much of an interval and the waves were heavy closer to shore, so getting pushed too far would require walking back up the beach to the rip again to get back to the lineup. I also noticed that the NE wind was blowing us south at a rapid clip. I was soon halfway down the beach and periodically paddling north to stay on the peak I wanted, which I lined up with a saddle in the rocks at the north side of beach and a reddish cliff beyond the shorline.

I spotted a good swell running at me and knew I would be able to get into it. It jacked up to the north, meaning that I'd have to go right, so I paddled and angled myself slightly right to give myself a chance of making the wave. The offshore wind spat water in my face like a motorcycle in a driving rain and I squinted hard as my board propelled forward. I popped up despite the heavy wind and flew down the face, looking back over my lead shoulder. The wave was overhead and I was going really fast, but ahead of me I could see the lip starting to feather and throw. There was no way that I would make the section, as tempted as I was to take a higher line on the wave to see if I could get tubed. So I straightened out a little and bailed into the rumbling wall of whitewater, lunging into it with as much power as I could to get through the back.

When I broke the surface of the sea, I quickly grabbed my leash and yanked my board back to me. There were two more set waves exploding outside and advancing quickly. I pointed my nose directly at the first and paddled like hell to get some speed for the duckdive. When the foam was 10 yards away, I pushed the font of my board deep and kicked the tail down with my foot. When the stick was flat and at arm's length under the water, I pulled my body down to it. The foam passed over head and I exhaled through my nose as I came out the back.

I scratched toward the shoulder of the second wave and duckdove again, this time just under the falling lip. When I broke through the back, the spray rained down in sheets, like hammers and nails.

I would make the section on my next wave.

Love Is Laughter "Corona Extra"

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

My iPod Loves Me.

I put my iPod on shuffle this morning, and this is what it told me:

Wire "Outdoor Miner"
Robert Pollard "The Right Thing"
Jimmy Cliff "Many Rivers to Cross"
BRMC "Ain't No Easy Way"
Camper Van Beethoven "Laundromat"
Pixies "Holiday Song"
Joggers "We've Been Talked Down"
Jens Lekman "Oh You're So Silent, Jens"
Red House Painters "I Feel the Rain Fall"
Metro Area "Nerves"
My Bloody Valentine "Off Your Face"
Love Is Laughter "Idol Worship"
Broken Social Scene "Shoreline"

Sometimes I think it knows my moods.

Saturday, April 1, 2006

Brown Balled


I got sick this week.
Sore throat.
Brown phlegm balls in the toilet every morning.
Needless to say, I won't be submerging myself in ice water this weekend.

T. Rex "Slide"

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Inspiration/Regurgitation





It is hard to put into words the amount of inspiration I feel every time Jimmy and Emily come to town. I've known these guys since they were playing brightly-lit coffee shops in Santa Monica and driving a beat up minivan to work, where they spent their days in a QA dungeon, painstakingly checking the sound quality of thousands of songs that would be distributed by an internet music company.

I've always admired their music and wondered if the rest of the world would feel the same way. Emily is a true poet, constantly creating and questioning. We went to Coachella together one year, determined to sneak into the VIP tent. Once there, while Jimmy and I sucked down margaritas and talked shit, Emily sat quietly, jotting lyrics in a sketchbook she carried with her.

Jimmy is a prolific musician who lives life as passionately as he plays guitar and trumpet. He emailed me before he got to Portland on Sunday night: "We're in town until 6am... dangerous." And it was. After their gig, our reunion was a blur of beer, bourbon and bear hugs, punctuated by shots of tequila and sloppy karaoke. At one point, Jimmy put his arm around me and said, "We're selling out this tour." I'm sure I shot him a strange look, so he clarified: "We sold out the Filmore last night!"

Metric will never sell out. I remembered Palm Springs again, when Emily told me that they turned down a chance to license their music to a Power Puff Girls cartoon. It was at a time when they clearly could have used the money, but instead kept their integrity in check.

I wished I was as dedicated to art as they were. I wished I could go see them fulfill their dream of actually playing Coachella this year. I'm sure my thoughts were slurring by this point. Then, almost instantly, the inspiration I felt was replaced by another sensation, something that I hadn't felt since college. Forcing a bottle of water into my hand, my wife guided me out of the tour bus (how had I gotten there?) into the car, and back home where I vomited.

Metric "Too Little Too Late"

Portland concert photos: jk@justin-kent.com

Finding the G-Spot



The rumors are true. Saturday we held a surf contest in honor of Gee, my surf comrade, who was turning 30 years old. The location was dependent upon the elements, so we spent the night at a beach house in Northern Oregon and got up early to scout out a good spot--or a spot that at least had rideable waves. The horn for the big heat was to sound at 9:00 AM, so we had to make the call with very limited information. We drove 40 minutes south of O to check out the pipe and PC, neither of which looked as good as the surf right outside our window when we woke up. Running into the other invitees along the way, Slim and Nash, we made the call to head back to the beach break at O.

The whole thing was a big piss-take really, since none of us are all that accomplished at surfing, so we came up with some funny categories the contest would be judged upon: Best Wipeout, Longest Ride, Bigget Wave, Best Picture, Smallest Wave, and the coup de gras: Best Tube Ride. Yeah.

The best part of the whole thing is that we had a videographer taping the contest, meaning that we could review any points of contention later, over cheap beers.

Slim was the first guy out and the first man to catch a decent wave, leading the way for the rest of the guys: myself, Nash, Gee, and Onespeed (OS). Then, OS caught a really long wave on his Stewart longboard that I was sure would clench the Longest Ride prize.

The highlight of my session was when a well-shaped peak rolled in and I was sitting next to Slim. It looked like it would A-frame, so I asked which way he was going. "Right!" he yelled, so I took off left. It was a great wave that actually gave me a chance to crouch in the pocket and drag my fingers in the face. I felt a little spray feather over my head and thought, "Best tube ride?" Not. But the wave went on a long time and allowed for some nice turns. When I finally made it back out to the lineup, Slim, who had missed the right, said, "That one is going to have to be reviewed." I told him that he shouldn't have said he was going right.

After a couple hours, the waves got blown out and we had to head back to the city anyway to prepare for the rest of Gee's birthday activities. If it were up to me, the contest results would be as follows:

Best Wipeout - Gee
Longest Ride - OS
Biggest Wave - Slim
Best Picture - (TBD upon video review)
Smallest Wave - Nash
Tube Ride - Not Applicable (although I got a little spray cover!)

I'm hoping to get a chance to check out the video soon, and when I do, I'll get some screen grabs for Sissyfish!





Yo La Tengo "Beach Party Tonight"