Lanterns – “Lost in Space”
I like this. Happy Tuesday.
Gregory Porter – “Be Good (Lion’s Song)”
She said lions are made for cages, just to look at and delight. You dare not let ‘em walk around, ’cause they might just bite.
So it’s filmed at a museum and not on an actual train, but still. Gregory Porter is next level.
Also, it’s almost summer, and warm weather gives me full license to listen to a bunch of weird-ass crap. Are you ready?
I was born and raised in Southern California and never learned to surf. It’s always made me feel like somewhat of a fraud. So last Saturday I got on a surfboard for the first time and was reborn a true Californian.
I had my lesson in Coronado around 2 in the afternoon. A seasoned surfer named Steve had the responsibility of showing me the ropes, and after formalities, the awkward act of getting into a wetsuit and a walk to the beach, we got on just fine. I learned that Steve had been stung by stingrays more than 40 times. “That’s why they call me Stingray Steve.”
The lesson started like it does in the movies. Two boards lay in the sand. Steve jumps on and shows me the proper stance, where to put my hands, how to move my hips to control the board. Before I know it, I’m paddling in the sand and practicing a three-step get-up. “Paddle!” Steve commands, and I furiously move my hands to flip sand behind me. “One. Two. Three.” I’m up. Look at me, I’m practically ready for the North Shore.
When we finally get into the water, I’m so stoked. We wade out and he has me hop onto the board. The first couple waves, he pulls me forward and gives me the one, two, three. To my own surprise, I’m able to stand up on the first try. He looks into the distance for some bigger challenges.
“This is going to be a little harder,” he says. This time I have to paddle and there’s no more counting, just an “Up!” I freak and fall immediately as I try to get onto my feet. I psyched myself out.
“You forgot to use your hands,” he reminds me. “Use your hands to steady yourself as long as you can.”
Got it. Next wave: better.
In between waves we chat about travel, California, life. A wave approaches, I ride it. We talk about ocean life and no matter what stings or bites you, you don’t have a reason to kill it. A wave comes, I eat it.
“It’s all about balance. Stay linear. Straight down the middle of the board.” I nod. Another wave. Better.
We talk about writing and photography, and crime and weird things. I attempt to catch a wave and fail again.
“You can’t freak out. You pulled your hands up and put them back down. … You have to finish whatever you start, even if it means you might lose your balance a little bit. Just adjust.”
I’m getting better. Every time I ride a wave into shore I look back and he has got a thumb in the air or is applauding. I smile back.
“It’s not like snowboarding. A mountain is still. Waves change shape and direction. You’ve just got to learn how to control the board. You want to make the board go where you want to go.”
I fall some more. I ride some more. I’m totally hooked. He shows me how to sit on the board to watch for waves. “Just hang out and watch the waves. The longer you can watch them, the better. You gotta wait for the right one.” I bob along for awhile until he points out a good one and I flip myself around to prep.
The surfer thing? I think I finally get it. It’s not just fun or a bucket list item to cross off. Everything you need to know about life you can learn from surfing.
Darwin Deez – DNA
You don’t care, or understand, how it feels to be a single double strand.
Darwin Deez is a huge nerd that writes some of the catchiest tunes I’ve heard in some time. And that voice. C’mon.
In light of yesterday’s news about Boston, I literally have no words that would be helpful or appropriate at this time. Sending love and positive vibes that way.