hey hey.. first off.. the typekey authentication thing is all screwed up.. Hopefully in the next few weeks i'm going to migrate the whole shebang to wordpress and we'll be off and running all fresh. I've been super busy at work and don't have internet at home so i haven't been able to get to it. Thanks for your patience and i apologize for the delay.
Cadaver sent me this missive:
Hey, I was attacked by a seal at Bolinas last weekend. Seriously. Me
and a couple other surfers. No blood was let, though someone did end up
with seal tooth marks on his board. We couldn't figure out if the seal
was sick or horny, but he kept swimming around close (and we were close
to shore) and lunging at us. He ended up on my board a couple times.
Very strange. It was too weird to actually be frightening, and it was a
seal, for godsakes, they're so cute, how could I be afraid? I'm hoping
he was just young and confused, rather than sick and about to die.
I did call the Marine Mammal Center, expecting that they would dispatch
a helicopter rescue unit immediately upon receiving my report of a
strangely behaving seal (eventually the seal beached himself, which
seemed like a bad sign), but the woman I spoke to seemed quite
well-versed in de-escalating the crazy lady on the phone, and ended the
call by telling me they "might send someone by to check it out", but
that sometimes seals behaved aggressively towards surfers.
Anyhoo, careful of them horny seals when you head out in the waves.
Check this letter from my friend in China:
we read that if youre in china for one day, you want to write a book
about it; one week, you want to write an essay; and one year, you cant write anything bec you dont know where to begin. already i dont know where to begin! what an interesting city this is. it is very hot and humid (my FAVORITE weather) and there are many bad smells. that aside, it is amazing. the food has been outstanding, whether in restaurants ($3 for us both to have dinner, which was a bowl of wonton soup and a plate of crispy sauteed bok choy) or cooked up right
in the street (i took a video of 4 ladies whipping up peking raviolis
from scratch, cooking them in the biggest frying pan you ever saw) or from a mobbed shop window, again a massive bamboo steamer (at least 3-ft across) filled with steamed buns, so delicious, so SO delicious, a bargain at about 9 cents each. yes! filled with meat, or red bean paste, or (my choice) chopped greens with tiny mushrooms. oddly, we have eaten no rice yet. vegetarian eating is really easy, but frankly, i couldnt turn down a few delicious ginger-flavored pork
dumplings if my life depended on it (:
also the taxis are super cheap, like 2 dollars for a 20 min ride. how
is that possible -- isnt gas expensive everywhere? and they are always A/C blasting! anyway this has meant that we can just wander without fear of getting lost, since its cheap to get back to the hotel. but today we took our first bus, the 911 (!) the bus costs 12 cents but its double that if its A/C. my mind is boggling. since x has felt a bit ill, we are staying in a nice hotel ($50/night)
but our other expenses so far are utterly negligible.
this morning we explored the old city, narrow twisty alleyways which
were my first glimpse of real third world conditions. (x has seen it before, in india, peru, etc). everyone does everything right in the street -- cook, wash clothes, brush teeth, etc. many people were walking around in their pajamas, but no wonder, its too hot to get dressed. some men in only boxers. everyone is selling noodles, or watermelons, or very rusty old bicycle forks. every minute was
super-interesting (and thus im exhausted now). people were quite friendly, and my bald head is a great conversation piece, er, gesticulation piece. i am surely the only bald white lady in china, tho the buddhist nun we met in a temple had a shorter cut than me! she spoke great engl, and when x asked her "how do you speak engl so well" she said "why not?" good answer! we also witnessed a brutal incident with a mouse, a lady had caught it in a little wire cage, and to kill it, she doused it with a whole kettle of boiling water. not fun for the mouse. then she smashed its head with a scissor. but hey, who wants mice running around the house? no, she did not eat it afterwards, and no she did not put it in the dumpling to sell it either. silly/ignorant american...
we have seen many pet dogs being walked on leashes. all small, mostly
pekingese i guess.
chinese tv is a real trip too. we have it in the hotel room, and as xaq was running a fever on the airplane, we have been resting in the hotel a fair bit so far. (also me and the heat, you know the deal). i would say its 70% chinese epic movies about warriors/kungfu/monks. but there is a fascinating show on early in the morning called Touch Beijing, about life in the city, by french chinese-speakers, with english subtitles. most of the tv offerings have no english component whatsoever, but still anthropologically interesting at times.
on the whole people are really nice and helpful almost all the time.
oh and the BICYCLES, some of course are three=wheeled with a
wheelbarrow behind, and some of the wheelbarrows are loaded up at least 6 ft tall with stuff, so the whole contraption is more like an elephant than a bike. the bikes always have marked lanes in both directions even when the cars are one-way, and the bikes pretty much go wherever they want. actually, so do the cars, and amazingly we
have seen no accidents yet. its pretty increduble how aware every
traveler seems to be of ever other traveler. everyone (cars, bikes, motorbikes) beeps their horn CONSTANTLY, and motorbikes fly by even in the tiniest alleyways. children stand between their parents' legs on the motorbikes. i saw a man on the side of a big busy road, teaching his small child how to ride a bike. at first i thought
he was mad, but frankly it makes perfect sense, since those are the
riding conditions the tot will face. no helmets and no lights! these people are mad. no wonder foreigners are forbidden from driving cars here -- we lack the reflexes.
though boston biking seems not unlike shanghai biking in certain ways
(and yes, we brought our helmets, so we will be the only two bald
helmeted bikers in kunming, where we are heade next and will stay for a month)
shanghai is (acc to the guidebook) the richest part of china, and we
havent even faced a real chinese toilet yet. but soon i think we will be longing for our immaculate hotel room with western bathroom situation. sorry, did i say "hotel room"? it is actually a "lie fallow chamber" according to the guestbook. (:
pondering of the day (besides the cheap taxis): the Be For Time Tea House.
miss and love you all
look how glassy!
Lay in bed and look at the trees out my window.
Ehhh.. not too windy.
Decide to suit-up and grab a quick, scrappy session before work.
Yesterday was miniscule and cruddy so i figured today would be the same.
Over the dunes and... what the!
Not raging.. not really even working.. but..
Olas por favor.
Found a semi-consistent zone.
Some head-high peaks cruising through.
Caught a mediocre left.
Nobody out cept a red logger.
A bigger peak rolls in.
I'm pretty deep but i push to backdoor the right.
Balance myself for the drop and stand as the wave pitches.
Briefly fire down the line and turn up toward the lip.
Best ride in weeks! ha!
Another nice right a few minutes later.
Do a cutback into the meat of the wave.
Another fun left.
End of sesh.
Experimental music i've been listening to lately (mostly Zorn and Laswell projects):
Don Cherry (album called Brown Rice)
Slater missed his first round heat at JBay because he was "caught in transit?"
Daly City surf contest this morning
I always thought this one looked like the view from road to Bolinas, looking back over the lagoon.
This one has always been my favorite.
the summertime surf doldrums seem to be upon us.
Get thee to the southern hemisphere.
Chili rock-ledge lefts.
Kiwi picturesque beachies.
Mozambique sharky right points.
Sechelles on a huge swell.
Male Pasta Point reveling.
Gnaraloo gnarly gnashings.
Burmese jungle-fed rivermouths.
Goa full-moon early morning sliders.
Tonga, Rapa, Samoa, Tuamotu.
Perfect waves peeling right now.
We're in our cubes.
People are chilling in 75 degree water getting barrelled.
Post Love-Supreme Coltrane.
Don Cherry musings.
His own death foreshadowed.
Reaching and striving for that elusive sonic plane.
Rushing headlong into the absract netherworld.
Pushing, hemorrhaging, amassing, erupting.
Fans and critics strewn along the road like bludgeoned offal.
Coltrane striving outward with his whole being.
A space-traveler in previously unknown worlds.
Humanity's illustrious emissary to the gory, dripping purgatory of loose, slipping musical insanity.
images culled from the surfermag forum
Neal Miyake photo
Don't know who snapped this.
JellyBean art (from fecalface.com)
Camping along the central coast during a huge NW swell.
Mysto spots coming alive.
Chargers charging tucked away chargeable thrice-a-year bomboras.
We drive around, searching for our spot.
15 guys on one nice, glassy ledge.
Hoh! did you see that spit!
Arg.. lots of closeouts though and not quite working.
Pass another delightful looking point/reef.
Aura of localism.
We keep going.
Drive down to a semi-protected beachie.
Sideshores hint at onshore.
A few sections amidst the voluminous closeouts.
We're out there.
20 on the head.
A few hell-raiser drops.
Limited rideable walls.
We're all caught inside and not making progress.
Leave the wetsuits on and back to the car.
Back to that offshore-groomed, protected point-reef.
We brace ourselves for steely glares and stinkeye.
Pull up and only 4 people out now.
Wait in the car for a bit and hail shiva.
Thank the surf god the four guys look to be exiting.
We scamper down there and one youngin tells us to go away.
Umm.. sorry mr diminutive tough-guy surfer dude.
Another friendly bodyboarder tells us how to negotiate the rocky entry.
Mustache and mullet and post-session stoke.
The three of us share the boil-strewn, character-rich lineup for a few hours.
The tide is probably too low for most people to consider it working.. but we don't care.
The sets lope in. 3-5 sets of 7.
Shorn, rounded mountains in the distance.
Pumping for speed to make the sections.
Iceman shots from below the border
Black Mountain Group
Cars honking on 6th street
Mozart over Bach
Duration over pitch.
In America the students listen.
In Europe the adults listen.
Interpenetration of unlimited centers.
Rilke looking at a tree and wondering whether you were yourself or were the tree.
"the traditional reason for making a piece of music in India: to quiet the mind thus making it susceptible to divine influences."
"I would say the function of music is to change the mind so that it does become open to experience, which is inevitably interesting."
cool Bernie Spear poem:
Long flight back to the Upper East Coast.
Trees and trees as the night fades.
Pre-dawn new morning crossing the border.
Ferry to the island questing for all her riches.
Bumpy jeep ride to outer east of the islet.
Eyes bug out of your head as it appears.
Sweet hollow peeling perfection reeling.
Paddle out eye the horizona as you take it all in.
Hit the razor edge lip and hide in the liquid cloak.
You are scoring.
photos by Chris Beacham from www.surfin.com.au
Huge squadrons of mission hipster bike posses around Delores park yesterday.
pseudo-retro road bikes.
No hand brakes.
Small, dainty handle-bars.
Color coordinated wheels/rims/pedals.
pad along the top bar.
Clique-oriented cards thread into spokes.
Small Asics or other colorful sneaker.
Tight pants - the defining stylistic element.
Slightly disheveled, mod/mullet-esque hair.
Tight, vintage-store sweater.
Pabst blue ribbon.
photos from www.powersourcesurfboards.com
this is what i'm talking about