On the road with my mom, the bad-ass.

Last weekend my mom and I met in Los Angeles for a wayward run down the coast. According to the Google machine, the drive to San Diego takes two hours. We wisely gave it four days.

The first morning found us on Manhattan Beach at 6 a.m. The grey dawn was working its way up to 60 degrees – water temps were cooler than that. A line-up of wet-suited surfers bobbled out along the second break.

Locals only. And my mom. 

I had a surfboard that I snagged from our AirBnB. She had a body board. I have no idea if she's ever used one before. I realize now that I never asked. In my defense, she was in the water and paddling out before I had a chance to inquire.  

We got pounded by the waves that day, and the next, and the days after that. It's what the ocean does best: it reminds us of where we stand. It pounds and pushes and puts us in our place. But then occasionally, whether we deserve it or not, it lets us ride. Fast and free and grinning like children.

Life can be the same way. And so it came to be, for four days last week, that my mom and I rode fast and free.

From sea level, to the rooftop bar at Hotel Casa Del Camino, to the wonderfully curvy road leading to the 6,000 foot peak of Palomar Mountain. And then down, down, down, lost maybe a little, until we finally dropped right into the heart of San Diego as if that was the plan all along. Music loud, top town, fueled by joy and a massive cache of roadside-stand strawberries.

Along the way, I learned that my mom can road trip like a champion. I also learned that, as a child, I had trouble pronouncing "T" sounds. So when I wanted my toy truck I'd yell "Fuck!" Or when passing the fire station: "Fire Fuck! Fire Fuck!" This anecdote has no bearing on our road trip, other than it never would have come up otherwise. Also, I'll add, it makes me very very happy.

I've always recommended taking any road trip, anytime, headed anywhere, alone or with anyone who's wired right for road trips. It's never a bad idea. But if you haven't tried it with your mom? Damn junior! You need to get on that!

Bruce Gold: Last of the surfing hippies

I love people that love something. I mean people who really really love something. Every day. For all their days. 

The age of the person shouldn't matter I suppose. Passion is passion. But, for me anyway, somehow age does matter. Which probably explains why I've done more than a few posts featuring old people who are still committed to doing their thing. This includes one of my favorite things that I've shared here: A skier named Snowflake who advocates loving something so much that you forget to go to the toilet. 

With all that said, here we are again. This time we're being invited into the life of Bruce Gold who surfs Jeffreys Bay in South Africa. What's most impressive about Bruce isn't just his passion for surfing, but the extreme life decisions he's made as a result of that passion. As Bruce puts it, "It's hard to be a hobo. But it has it's rewards."

Morgan Maassen made a fine to-do list for you

Don't have your summer plans ironed out yet? Nothing nailed down for this weekend?

Fear not my indecisive one, photographer and filmmaker Morgan Maassen has about 4,000 ideas for you and he's compiled them all into one absolutely gorgeous video called "Motion."

I suppose "Things You Can Do If You're Bored" wasn't his intention when he put this together. But if watching it doesn't make you want to get out and do something (like right now!) I don't even know what to say to you.

Anyway, check it. The footage and the edit are fire and the music track by Kelpe drives it all perfectly. This kid is really really good. At 25, he's already shot for some of the biggest companies in the world. His work doesn't feel that way though which is about the highest compliment I can give.  

He's a good follow on Instagram too: here.

The Art of Lunch Hour

Lemme start by saying I don't draw.

While my travel journals include the occasional "illustration," I only do it so I look more artistic to others from afar. Up close, my "charmingly naive outsider depictions of everyday life" are quickly seen for what they are: "pretty shitty dude."

So as a rule, the only things I draw are the wrong conclusions. (Ba dum dum!)

But today at lunch I saw something on the information superhighway that caught my eye. A piece called "How To Draw A Wave." Holy moly!!!

Long story short, I spent 20 minutes eating a sandwich and drawing a horribly wonky wave. Clearly I wasn't the top student in my one man class.

But it got me thinking about what other stuff I could get done over a lunch hour. It turns out, lots!

Whatcha doing right now? I bet there's time for something extraneous.

Ride with love

Leah Dawson, the filmmaker and co-star of this short video, provides a happy glimpse into the relationship she has with her old-school single fin surfboard named Peanut Butter.

Although I don't get too hung up on possessions, I have a similar relationship with the following: 

  1. my longboard (skate not surf)
  2. my jeep
  3. my hammock

The video ends with the words "Ride with love." I couldn't agree more.

You'll never surf again

The song "You'll Never Surf Again" always killed me. It's from Dan Reeder's 2006 album Sweetheart. Well, I just now stumbled across this animation by Paul Ferraris which only adds to the poignancy. 

You know there's doctors conspiring against us right now. Plotting and planning all the stuff they're going to one day tell us we'll never do again. 

That day isn't today.