Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving stuffins.

This was supposed to be the Bob Pollard post that I've been planning ever since I picked up the latest Boston Spaceships album, Our Cubehouse Still Rocks(which rocks). Not only is it my take on Pollard and how he ties in to my long love affair with rock music but how his music corresponds to some of my favorite artists/genres within the genre. You're champing at the bit to read this thing aren't you? It ain't done and I'm pretty damn anal about the content which three readers are going to digest so rest assured that I'm hard at work on it and it might even be my next post. Maybe. Possibly.

Instead, how about...notes from the recent holiday? The streak of damn good waves on Thanksgiving morn was finally broken as I arrived at the unnamed beach break to discover...lake-like conditions and howling, cold-as-hell onshore winds that froze my facial expression to something resembling shock and awe. C'est la vie. I do want to venture out before I take my "too damn cold" layoff. I've been threatening to surf on my birthday(Dec 17) for years and perhaps this will be the year that I follow through.

As for the actual day, feast, whatever? If you're a part of my wife's extended family in any way shape or form, you roll deep and this Thanksgiving was no exception as we ventured to the South Shore to partake in some enjoyable organized chaos. Even though the guest list consisted of about 30 or so people, including children, bear in mind that this was only a portion of her clan. Thank you once again for the hospitality, food, drink and sparkling conversation folks!

Finally, the order for the Mini Zombie is IN. This will be my first custom board and I'm pretty psyched about it. Granted, by the time I get it, I will probably be ensconced in my lay off and THEN will be suffering from sleep deprivation as SoEM Part Deux enters the world in April but who knows, maybe it will get christened by May or June. Honey, are you reading this? Arrangements for an occasional Mother's Helper could be in order.

Monday, October 18, 2010

All a Quiver

This is it. The sum total of my quiver. I also have the beater that I learned on but I never take it out. I essentially loan it to friends I'm giving lessons to and now, following some self-taught repairs, have to sand the crap out of it.

I recently went back to work and not part-time as I originally indicated, no I wound up going full-time. Fastest promotion ever. Yes, there's a story there. No, I won't get into it save to say that blessings come when they come and I am beyond thrilled to have gotten the job I now have. I digress.

I immediately started trying to figure how to drum up some board money as I can sort of justify the expense now that I'm gainfully employed again. Knowing the ins and outs of one particular board is fine but I don't feel that I can progress without some varied equipment...and I'm a board dork with a love of the esoteric. To that end, I spent this past Sunday at the Raynham flea market trying to sell my comic book collection, my reasoning leaning heavily in the direction of trading one obsession for another. That didn't work out the way I planned it. How was I to know that I couldn't compete against hand-bags and cheap knives with dragon pommels sure to ensnare pre-pubescents(the knives, not the hand-bags)?

So it's back to craigslist with my comics and some bikes. Sigh.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Quaffable Potions and Damn Fine Chow

Man(and wo-man) cannot live on posts about surf sessions alone. That would be boring. Hence, the occasional music or wetsuit review along with some anecdotal whimsy from the parental trenches. No. I'm sensing this online missive needs some more flave. I'm thinking that I need to wax rhapsodic about beer and restaurants.

First up....restaurants. I took my wife to Hungry Mother in Cambridge on Saturday night. Here's a tip, I don't know how long in advance you need to book a rezzie but take my advice, book one. I called before we got there at 6:30-ish and the dining room was going to be filled for a while. Their small bar section is dog-eat-dog, however and we were able to score a couple of seats at the bar.

Although, I was interested in some of their beers on tap, I acquiesced to WoEM's request that I get some wine so that she could have a sip or two(she's pregnant). As far as white wine goes, I dig the occasional Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, so our very helpful bartender recommended and let me sample the Chateau du Trignon Viognier, which fit the bill nicely. Apres that, we ordered the Deviled Chip In Farm Eggs, the featured pork plate of the day which was their own ham and a local swiss cheese on baguette, the Rocket Salad and the Cornmeal Catfish with dirty rice and mustard brown butter. Whenever I go into a place that is working a Southern/soul food vibe, I get catfish. Most of the time, there's a hint of that muddy flavor but at Hungry Mother...nix. Not too heavy on the cornmeal, spiced just right, meaty, yet mild and the dirty rice was incredible. I'm looking forward to going back. The hype is well deserved.

Beer. I was at James' Gate a while back and sampled something they had on tap by local "beer and ale project", Pretty Things. The beer is Jack D'or and I wasn't sure I liked it after my first sip but as I continued to taste it, I found myself enjoying it. Fast forward a couple of months and I decided to track it down. Thankfully, Berman's in Lexington(shout out) stocks it and I've been bringing home the occasional deuce-deuce to re-acquaint my palate. Jack D'or is Pretty Things take on a Belgian saison, also known as a farmhouse ale. I've never tried one before, but if Jack is indicative of the style...damn. It's a complex beer but extremely drinkable. Sort of peppery on the front end and very smooth on the back. I don't know that I can do the flavor justice but I will say this, if you like good beer...TRY IT.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Author Revealed

Yes, that would be your humble scribe playing on some post eye-gor leftovers at Nantasket. It was kind of a weird day out there. Rather than staying near the curl, it paid to get out in front towards the shoulder(if you timed it right) as any turn onto the face close to the peak usually ended up exploding in a wall of whitewater. In this pic, it might even appear that I should have taken the wave frontside but if you look behind me, you can see the wave already breaking. I still had fun but I'm jonesing for some nice clean faces.

What else?

Well, after approximately a year and a half, I return to work, albeit in a part-time capacity(for now) at Brandeis University. It's a relief but also feels rather strange to not be performing my usual day-to-day as SoEM's chief playmate. There's also the fact that WoEM is...pregnant again. To say that this is going to be a major period of transition and adjustment is beyond stating the obvious. Should be an interesting time.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Reigning Sound - We Repel Each Other - Gonerfest 2

Trunkin' It AND Heavy Rotation Part Deux

September is starting to shape up nicely. Unfortunately, when the last swell came through, I had pinched a nerve in my back, effectively keeping me out of the water for a bit. I cleared myself for a surf on this past Monday and headed up to the unnamed beach break for an end of the day sesh with new-ish surf potna Tony P. It's been hotter than hayl all this week and I brought my 3/2 but also threw my trunks and jacket in the car as well. Glad I did it too because that's all that was needed. The water was warm and while the waves were smallish, I had fun and stayed out until the sun was down and crappy near-sightedness/poor night vision made identifying incoming waves an issue.

Sidenote - I don't know what it is but folks on this coast are kind of short on etiquette. I noted some definite beginners in the line-up and perhaps they don't know better but there was also an ok female out there who was a drop-in artist extraordinaire. She pulled that shit on me a couple of times and I felt like I should say something but let it drift. In any case, yeah, I try to be cognizant and refrain from snaking but in general, it's kind of a jungle out there even when it's not all that crowded.

Trunked it again at Jenness yesterday with Tony P. It looked great from the parking lot and then once we were actually in the water, waves that looked lovely would roll right under you and close out close to shore OR break outside and then reform. I don't know. I still had fun and made one legit drop at the beginning of the sesh. Paddled into a right, popped up and the wave almost got away but I jumped to the front of the board to weight it, slid into the trough, shuffled back, popped a hard bottom turn and somehow stayed on my feet. It wasn't pretty but I didn't eat it.

Now then, the following album was actually released in 2004 but probably didn't pop up on too many radars and still remains somewhat unknown. Hell, I just discovered it in the last year. The band is Reigning Sound, the album is Too Much Guitar, the title of the album is apropos. My wife hates this album. I play the hell out of it. Ironically, she would probably like the first two albums by Reigning Sound; Break Up, Break Down and Time Bomb High School as they're somewhat mellower affairs with a heavier country tinge. Too Much Guitar, however, is a different animal that harkens back to frontman Greg Cartwright's former bands, The Oblivians and The Compulsive Gamblers as it stabs the pedal firmly to the floor with opening cut, "We Repel Each Other" and barely slows down long enough for a breather. In short, if the term, "balls out rave-up" is in the dictionary, you'll find this record's sleeve staring out at you. 60's garage punk, Memphis soul, a little's all on here and it kills. I'm sorry I missed them when they played TT's in June. Peep the video in the above post to pick up what I'm puttin' down.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Heavy Rotation - Volume 1(and some stuff about surfing)

Have I mentioned that it's been a crappy summer for waves? One more time then. This has been a crappy summer for waves, ALTHOUGH, there's a nice little system pushing through that should bring some fun stuff to play on over the next few days.

The interesting thing about this summer's wave(or lack thereof) situation is that occasionally a little swell pops up and you had best be ready to jump on it son because if you's gone the next day. I got lucky last week. I headed to Nantasket for an end of the day session. I almost bagged it but the buoy convinced me to go have a look. I got there an hour after high tide and the waves were pretty much dumping right on shore. One guy was out and he was making a go of it but not having much luck. The more I watched, the more I was convinced that it was going to get better so I suited up and went in. It was dicey at first. I took off on a left, had a high line on it and then had to bail as the bottom fell out of the damn thing in some less than deep water. And THEN. Well, it wasn't and then, it actually took about 45 minutes to an hour BUT all of a sudden, it got fun. Waist to stomach kind of fun(I think) and I was feeling my oats. I actually pulled off some stuff that I never pulled off before including a round-house cutback(it's true). Best sesh of the summer this far.

Now then....

Not too long ago, I promised to review some records that may not be brand new but provide me with a lot of enjoyment. First up is King Khan and the Shrines, "What Is?" Sounds a whole lot like Stax, the Stooges and Sun Ra in a blender. If I wasn't going for half-assed alliteration thing than I may have said "60's garage bands" instead of Stooges but since a pretty solid argument can be made that The Stooges were sort of an evolution of the garage band sound then... I don't know what I'm saying. Ahem. This album kills, brothas and sistas! From beginning to end your toes will tap and your butt will shake. There's also a fair bit of tongue in cheek happening with the lyrics and song subjects(give a listen to Welfare Bread and Lady'll see). Play it loud. El Meezy is also damn excited that he gets to see this juggernaut of a band play Boston in October. I hope to see you there.

Until next time...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Little Bit of Everyting

Where to begin this one....

Well, today's Father and SoEM outing saw us at the Burlington Mall with SoEM enjoying the play area and some soft-serve and culminated in the wee scamp crawling into a locked dressing room in J Crew while dear ol' Dad was trying on a jacket. Thankfully, a very nice sales lady was there to let me in and him out, which didn't stop him from trying that little maneuver again. Two year olds. Yeah. He's two. Which sort of leads into another anecdote.
The upstairs neighbors have a little boy who has the same birthday and is the same age as SoEM. Trippy. SoEM's party was a couple of weeks ago, neighbor lad's was yesterday. I was awakened from a nap by WoEM leaning over me and exclaiming, "They're playing with his toys!" One quick shower later and I headed into the back yard to discover, yeah, a small army of kids that were all over SoEM's new birthday stuff. We're not selfish people but we weren't consulted or asked if this would be cool. Anyways, when SoEM wanted a turn in HIS car and vocalized this, a little girl snottily told him, "It's not yours." In a fit of protective snottiness of my own, I looked her dead in the face and said, " is his." Don't mess with SoEM when Dad is around. You should have seen my reaction when I caught the little dirtbag at the park spitting on the back of SoEM's head. I digress. Yeah, the politics of neighbordom can be a bit much.

Surfing? If that's what you want to call what I was doing on the grovelers we've been getting recently. At least I've been able to dispense with the leash for another couple of sessions and it's been kind of cool seeing the sun come up from the water. See the ok cell pic taken at the unnamed beach break.

We're supposed to get a little something this week. I don't ask for much, just something with a little push.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Aquatic Therapy Part Deux - Leashless in New Hampshire

We're dying ovah heaaahh. I may have only been back for four years but so far I don't remember a flatter summer than this. You know it's bad when I'm salivating over the chance of it being knee high and clean.

Tension levels being what they currently are, however, I needed to get in the water. Mom of El Meezy offered to accompany me to New Hampshire and watch over my progeny so that I could indulge in a bit of head clearing.

I was not exactly overwhelmed at the size of the mostly non-existent waves but those that were rolling in off of a sand bar were just big enough to be loggable and not even near big enough to require that I wear a leash, so I didn't. Best ride of the day was a macker of a rogue wave from way outside that I caught lovely. That sucker might have topped my kneecap. Ah well. You take what is given and say "thank you" for it.

Stay tuned for the soon to appear, "Heavy Rotation", a few reviews of tunes that aren't new at all but may have missed your attention. You may begin with the baited breath and all that.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Aquatic Therapy(And It Ain't Whatcha Think)

I've said it before but it may have escaped your notice; I've been out of work for over a year. I've detailed the reasons why that hasn't necessarily been a bad thing, however, it's past time that I got back to it, for as much as I've enjoyed being home with my son, I need to move forward.

The frustration of what might be a normal job search has been compounded by the current state of the economy which has pretty much insured that the competition for each position that I pursue is rather heavy. I recently came close to a job that would have suited me just fine. I feel that I crushed the interview and the essay portion of the exam. I was moved into the final circle only to be told in the 11th hour that I lost out to someone else. My little family really needed this. I really needed it. With my head-a-reeling from the blow and sweat collecting on my brow from the summer heat, there was only one thing to do....

No, I didn't do that. I took SoEM for a swim.

There is something about watching my almost-two-year old go charging down a small slope towards the swimming area at the Arlington reservoir while yelling, "Splish splash!" at the top of his lungs that made my problems seem miniscule. Something about him laughing at the top of his lungs as I swam underwater to squeeze his legs that eased away my frustrations and fears. Digging with him in the mud was probably more relaxing than a mud bath at a spa. In short, an afternoon spent cooling down with SoEM saved dear ol' Dad from wallowing in the mire of despair.

Thank you little man.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Oh the Places I've Been

I'm full of excuses and not many of them are all that valid.

For starters, I promised to write up a show I saw on May 1st and could not get it done even though The Dawg and Poni Show tore it up with a sound that owed a lot to Living Color, Bad Brains and Prince and The 86ers also blew my head open although what else could I expect from a band fronted by George, formerly of Honkeyball(showing my age). Sorry for my slackness fellas, I promise something a little more indepth next time.

Then at the end of May, I wound up with my little fam and some friends in St. Augustine, Fla. There's a reason that most people I've talked to have raved about the place. Plenty of mellow, lots of history, good food, Yuengling and I did ok on the waves with a flat as hell Velzy tuflite. We'll be headed back there.

More to come and hopefully in a more timely fashion.
By the way, the above picture was taken by our good friend and photog extraordinaire, Jackie.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Back for More

Thursday and Friday of this past week saw some truly great weather in New England and also marked my return to the lineup after the obligatory "too damn cold" layoff. To prep, I had been watching surf flicks like I was watching game film and mentally listing all the stuff I was going to try to work into my (limited) repertoire. I have also been getting in some exercise and some yoga to stay flexy.

How did I fare?

Ha. Well, rust is rust. My paddling wasn't great and my timing was off so I whiffed more than connected and the water still isn't exactly bath water but at the end of the day, I'm chuffed that I got back out there and these sessions are just the first of many more. Not to mention, I'm heading to St. Augustine, Fla in a couple months. Surfing in trunks.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Perhaps some of you recall that after replacing the punk rock wetsuit, I intended to write a review of its replacement. Of course, I never got around to it, until now that is.

My original intent was to find a suit not built by one of the bigger companies. No doubt, some of these companies have their product wired but being a fan of the underdog, I figured on going with a smaller outfit. My decision came down to either a suit by then fledgling company Escential and UK based Nineplus. In the end, I went with the Escential suit.

Caveat time. It's probably riskier to go with a newer brand. Bugs need to get worked out and all that. That said, I still pulled the trigger. I ordered the suit(3/2) through Icons of Surf and got it fairly quickly, although it didn't see duty until May-ish.

The Pros - The fit was proper, flushing was minimal, and there is a fleece-like lining in the chest area for added warmth. The suit was also quite flexible.

The Cons - There was no key pocket or loop and within a couple of months, some seams on the inner thigh started to come loose and the glue around the smooth skin on the chest started to gap a bit.

As far as customer service goes, Escential are fantastic. I sent an email to Carl, the owner of the company about the seams and he had me send it back and replaced it with a brand new suit. The newer suit is the one pictured and has held up fairly well, although it has the same problem with the smooth skin around the chest. Apparently Escential has dealt with this problem by doing away with the smooth skin and it has added to the durability, although I don't have one of the newer versions. I recommend this product? I do. For the price, as well as the fact that the customer service is top notch AND that Escential is going to lengths to address any durability issues serves to make them a company worth checking out. I also dig the fact that they're based on the East Coast.

Once again, I don't get anything for the product placement. I just wanted to give with an unbiased review of a good product. If you need a new suit, support the small guy and check 'em out.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Defiant One

Further annals in parenting.

After approaching 18 month old SoEM because he enjoys being told "no touch" whilst touching the dvd player and then touching it as much as he can as you move to stop him, I noted the presence of stink lines emanating from his diaper region and posed that most ultimate of queries, "Hey dude, did you poop?" His reply was a bold gaze and an emphatic, "No!" He had, naturally.

Ladies and gennemen, the toddler has landed.