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A good session

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.

 

Weird Times

Time are weird in the America.

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.

Ron Mueck

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.

Here’s a link to some pics of his stuff.

 

Depleted But Not Demoralized

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.

Ideal Lifestyle

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.

UFOs and Skating and Whatnot

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…

Street and Ditch skating

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.

 

 

Summer Skate 2017: Post Travel Report

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.

Summer Skate 2017: Pre-Travel Post #2

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.

 

Summer Skate 2017: Pre-Travel Post #1

I’ll be traveling to London on July 4, then going to Paderborn, Germany with a bunch of my English friends, to the Paderborn freestyle contest. This will be the 20th year of the contest and my glorious return to that hallowed ground after my 2015 manifestation there (having had to cancel at the last minute in 2016 due to a family health emergency).

THEN, in August, I’ll again be boarding a big ol’ jet aero-liner and flying through the ether like a triumphant Thor to the viking village of Stockholm, Sweden, where I’ll be in the World Championships of Freestyle Skateboarding. I did nothing to earn the right to be in the World Championships, and yet there I shall be,  in the “Masters” division, fumbling around in an attempt not to disappoint myself. But I know it will be fun, and I’m looking forward to meeting some skaters I’ve known “on the Interwebs” for many years.

I’ll be chronicling my adventures, both in preparation for these trips and during them, here on this blog.  You’ll see my practice sessions, read my innermost thoughts on freestyle skateboarding and the universe and stuff. The real nitty gritty.

First of my many tasks is to lose at least seven pounds between now, June 24, and leaving on July 4. I don’t want to be the big fat American slob rolling around out there. The gut has to go. I’ve already dropped from 211 down to 206. If I can get down below 200, well, that’s pretty lean for me. I am after all a man of middle age. As long as my sweaty t-shirt doesn’t stick to my protruding stomach, I’m good to go. I think I can do this. True, I just ate half a pizza and had a 20 oz Coke for lunch, but I burned a lot of calories at Aikido this morning. I had to refuel so I can skate tonight. Will need to hydrate well tonight as well.

I have three or four tricks I’d like to have in the bag before I leave, and I’ve not given up on them, but honestly, two weeks before a skate trip to Europe is not the time to be committing to new tricks. It’d be just my luck to really smash myself good, then I’d really be up the creek and uncool.

Well, it is Saturday and 5:45pm, and I’ll probably head out to my skate spot at 6:30. I have to get there before these goth-slasher-film weirdos who have been showing up to film a movie. They ruined my session last Sunday, but yesterday I beat them by 30 minutes. When they got there I was already practicing, blasting the musics from my loud iPod speaker. For the record, I support Goth Weirdness in full. I just can’t have it messing with me.

Later: For the first hour of my skate session there were lots of people playing Pokemon Go, that phone-based game where people walk around “hunting” Pokemon, staring at their phones as they move, walking in front of cars, trains, skateboarders, and generally barely avoiding disaster with Magoo-like ability. They sat on my ledge (yes, it is MY ledge!!!!) and I skated in front of them as they sat there staring at their phones, coming close to their thick ankles. Non-skaters don’t really know that being around a skateboarder and not paying attention is not  good idea, but it’s not my job to make sure they survive. So I turned on my very loud iPod speaker at maximum volume. I pretended they didn’t exist. I had a good session. Eventually they shambled off into parts unknown, leaving me in the peace I so crave. A good session. I win.

The New Thing

Trying something new today.

I am not a morning person. Never have been. But today (Tuesday) is my day to work noon – 9pm at the library. So if I don’t get up early and so something, my whole day is wasted on work. So I set alarm for 6:30am, was up and getting my coffee at 6:55, and I’ll go skate from 9am – 10:45am.

We’ll see how this goes. Never been a fan of skating in the morning, but hell, I want to skate. I think that if I just go to my practice spot to skate, without a lot of expectations of learning new stuff or “really ripping”, I might enjoy it. If not, at least I was awake.