I’ve probably posted this before, but skateboarding legend Tony Alva recently turned 60 so I’ll post this again.
As a young skater, the whole Alva/Dogtown thing never appealed to me. I didn’t get it. I wasn’t into the whole beach-dirtbag thing, haha. I didn’t understand what it was all about, and I didn’t have a big brother to explain it to me.
Then in the late 1980s, I guess I found the whole toughguy image associated with Alva Skates to be dumb. Again – not my thing.
When I saw this video a few years ago I became an Alva fan. I like it when people grow up to be good humans. No one is perfect, and we all start in different places, with different challenges.
Been a while since this movie came out. Been thinking about it a lot (or at least some).
I decided it sucked.
Toho needs to seriously up their game if they do another Godzilla movie in this particular “universe”, as this movie was damned near unwatchable. Good ideas for socio-political commentary drawn out into massive tedium. A monster you really didn’t care about.
Tonight I forced myself to go skate. I’m just so over this heat. Tired of it 100%, but I knew I needed to skate. As I’ve written here lately, I’ve been a little burned out, from just about everything, actually. All I’ve wanted to do is hang with my wife. Just be at home with her. We had our anniversary the other day, and went to a Rangers baseball game, which was great. I wish every day was just the two of us doing fun stuff. As I get older, I’m starting to resent more and more that our time is not 100% our own to use this way. Childish? Maybe. But damn, these are our lives.
Anyway, for the first time since my London/Germany trip last month, I got all my stuff and went to my spot. Board, iPod, speaker, water. It wasn’t too bad. Got there at a little after 7pm, and while it was still hot and pretty humid, it was not horrible at all.
Having not practiced much, I went into this session with no expectations. I spent about 30 minutes just doing simple footwork and space walks. Then finally I started doing some tricks. My friend Tony Gales tells me I need to reduce the setup time between my tricks. Since he just won the world championship in Sweden, I think I’ll listen to him. I started working on it. One push, quick setup (more efficient setup), and right into a trick. I think this is good way to practice. If you can skate this way, you can alway draw things out, but if you always draw things out, you can’t immediately do things quickly. So I did some one push into 360 shove it practice, and by the end of the session I was getting that pretty much every time, and managed to start doing a rolling fingerflip on the other side of my spot. Two tricks where I usually only do one. So I’m pretty happy about that.
I got not real answers to all these problems. I do have a suggestion. Go do some nice stuff for someone, at work or off work, wherever. Or just be nice to people, show some kindness, especially if they don’t “look like you.” I’m mad as hell about the racist uprising out there, but since I can’t make them suddenly cease to exist, I guess I’ll just try to be better than them.
We went to see an exhibit of Ron Mueck‘s work this last weekend at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. I’ve seen a couple of is smaller pieces before, and they are incredible and disturbing. This time I got to see the giant baby and some others. Blown away. You just expect them to start breathing.
Didn’t realize how burned out I was. I’ve barely skated the last few weeks. Just layed around the house, mostly reading. Not a bad thing to do. August in Texas is the hottest part of the year, with the orange hate ball in the sky beaming its wrath down all day, which of course radiates back out of the concrete at night. Work has been busy. Between that and the heat, I have felt quite depleted.
However, I’m going to skate tonight. An old-guy-skateboarding group on Facebook wants me to submit footage for a group video. I’m really kind of excited about this. Going to do some freestyle-esque street skating for the video, as well as some ditch skating and curb tricks. Should be a fun, and the project will be fun to be part of. I am flattered that anyone cares, and flattery will get you everywhere.
Also, at work a colleague and I are working on a conference presentation about the potential of the Punk/DIY ethos to positively influence library program design and the way we do things. I’m not really a punk guy. I’m a skater. Skating has always been primary for me. But the ethos is much the same. Reinterpretation of one’s surroundings. The urge to do something. To make something happen. To make your own scene.
Get up whenever the body says get up — probably about 8:30am.
Have some good coffee and a light breakfast.
Write a little bit.
Lunch in a nice little cafe with my sweetie for a couple of hours.
Read and drink some more good coffee in a chill coffee shop with no goddamn music.
Go home, have a light dinner.
Go skate for a couple of hours.
Come home, chill. Write, play a game, watch a movie.
Repeat every — single – day.
Not gonna lie. I was not really happy with this run. I was jetlagged, tired, and felt dull, though I had a fantastic time during this trip. It was nearly Texas-Hot in Germany that weekend. Anyway — here’s my run. Put on some headphones and crank the sound, because the song sounded magnificent.
There’s this skateboarding group on the Facebooks called NeverWas Skateboarding. It’s kind of like the old bonelessone.com site that Mike Moore and I used to run, but not as Texas. Anyway, the guy who runs it, Brian Czarski (of Baltimore Curb Stories — over in the sidebar) is putting together a video of skaters in the group, so I’m going to be collecting clips and lines and stuff to send him. I took a couple of things I filmed recently and made this thing, which has only gotten one Like on Youtube, which makes me feel diminished as a human being…
After months of just doing freestyle, it is time to return at least part time to the street and ditch board. Though I like an interesting shape, I find the modern popsicle to be pretty functional. And easy to find. Thing is, for me street skating involves a lot of freestyle. I just hit curb or ledge while I’m at it.
At Paderborn my run was not really that great. I think the thing that saves me, or so I am told, is that I move well on the board. Apparently I have a little smoothness. I can tell you I didn’t develop that from freestyle. It’s all from street/ditch/bank skating.
Well, I’m back from London/Germany. Good trip. I got 3rd in the “legends” division, which means old people. Pretty happy with that, even if my run was not as good as I’d have liked. The trip back felt rough. Jet lag seems like it was a lot worse coming home. I think the weariness of the trip and stress of travel was rough.
I’ve cancelled my August trip to Stockholm. The travel just kept getting worse, as the airline has changed my connection times to the point they were impossible. Frankly, I’m glad. I don’t even want to go anymore. I’m tired, and I want to be home with my wife and my cats and just skate.
As my trip approaches, and the Paderborn freestyle contest draws nearer, I must remind myself that I am skating for me. Not for a contest. Not to win. Not for a prize. But for me. To show what I can do, enjoy the company of my friends from all over the world, and contribute to the greatness that is freestyle skateboarding.
This is my weekend to work, so I was off a half day today, and I’m off all day tomorrow. I got a lot of my trip prep done today, and will finish tomorrow.
I got in a good session today at 7pm. Skated pretty well. Had a good time. I’m feeling good. Body feels limber, agile, and strong, if a little bit heavy.
Worked on my rolling finger flip today. Not that many of the old guys do these. I haven’t done them in about a year, frankly because I’m lazy and they require a lot of effort. However, since they are a trick that gives a lot of old dudes trouble, and since I can do them, I’ve decided to practice the hell out of mine so it is on lock for these contests. Today I spent 30 minutes on terrible attempts and bad landings, but then got the foot placement and timing worked out and made some good ones. I need to go a bit faster, but that will come. A good, solid finger flip is the main thing. Smooth. Even if a bit slow. Good landings. That is what I go for.