Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Eco Friendly Wrapping *Paper

For some reason giving up wrapping paper is one of the more painful things for me to sacrifice for the planet. I miss juices, but for some reason wrapping paper in all its frivolousness and being such an obvious and easy thing to give up, is something I miss the most.

I always took such pride in my elaborately wrapped gifts. I would search store after store for just the right wrapping paper. I made bows with jingle bells, beads, pop poms, and handmade tags. Sometimes I even made the boxes myself from origami. People would keep my boxes and bows to re use year after year. I loved Mylar wrapping paper most of all. I knew it was wasteful, but it was just so fun and so pretty.

The first year I gave up wrapping paper was the easiest. I had just completed huge sewing project for a wedding where I made both the bride's "dress" and the grooms menswear. I had a mountain of beautiful fabric and ribbon scraps too small for another project but too big to throw away just begging to be re used. As per usual, people who got gifts from me (almost all non sewers) kept the fabric. I even saw a friend using the velvet scrap I used as wrapping in his guitar case just last month.

Year two I failed. After leaving my husband in August and nearly severing my finger in an industrial accident just before Christmas, my fabric and ribbon scraps had been purged and my creativity tanked, and I gave in and bought wrapping paper at Walgreens at the very last minute and to add insult to injury, quite literally, Even with wrapping paper, it looked like a 5 year old, or at least a mere mortal without my superior wrapping powers had done it. Well, to be honest, it looked exactly like someone who loves to wrap gifts but had recently nearly severed her right index finger had done it.

This is year three. My brother Tom is way ahead of me. He uses comic books that have lost their value as wrapping paper. It looks phenomenal. Mine came from a comic that was clearly intended for adults, so it might not work for everyone. I'm not really a comic book kind of person, so I had no comic books, but I did have a calender from last year, or this year, depending on how you look at it. One of the coolest things about using a calender was that you can use the small versions of the pictures that they print on the back as matching tags. Unfortunately, this only covers 6 to 18 gifts depending on the calendar and the size of the gifts. (tee shirts take two months, btw)

I tried using a magazine for the larger gifts, unfortunately, the magazine I picked was Entertainment Weekly's 2010's best and worst, and guess what was on the center pages I had planned on using: the celebrity obituaries! Not really the festive feeling I was going for, so I had to toss those pages in favor of some others.

Somehow, I know its silly, but I just really miss wrapping paper.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Localvore to freegan

It started with some pots and pans, and a dish drainer. Like I predicted, I broke down and got new pots and pans when I could afford them. Then, some girl who had the same taste in clothes as me left a pile of them on the beach. I don't usually take used clothes, (San Francisco has a bedbug epidemic, this is why I'm saving up for a NEW couch as opposed to a used or free one) but they were all surfer girl clothes, all my favorite brands, stuff I would buy myself. Yes, I'm a materialistic tree hugging freak, so sue me. I even liked the girls perfume, the clothes I found on the street smelled better than mine.

But the eggs put me over the top. I came out of my favorite local produce store, delighted that I had purchased the very first slice of pumpkin chocolate chip cake plastic free, before they wrapped up the individual slices, and there they were, piled high peeking out of the dumpster, a stack of dozens of eggs. I was almost out of eggs. I know that eggs last for four weeks past the expiration date, I know how to tell if an egg is good by putting it in water, and I know that some chickens had to lay those eggs. I looked at this stack of free perfectly good eggs, destined for San Francisco's municipal compost, and couldn't resist, I looked to see if anyone was looking, they weren't even all the way in the dumpster, I opened one. It was perfect. Not one broken egg. I put it under my arm. I got greedy, I looked at the next one. Only one broken egg, just barely broken. I grabbed that box too. It was thrilling.

Now I knew the schedule. I went back a week later, this time at night, with a flashlight. Bananas. I hadn't eaten bananas in almost a year, since deciding to eat only local produce for environmental reasons. Then peppers, a tomato, it was almost like shopping!

I got bananas again tonight. I had my choice of them! I think I lucked out with the eggs, but this is my new habit. My schedule lends itself to dumpster diving. I'm going to shop dumpster first.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

my new neighbors!

I don't know if I've written much about my new apartment yet. I'm very excited and very broke, and it may be full of mold, like my TWO YEAR OLD TOYOTA, and it would win an ugly contest with the Byrne, and the wallpaper is stained and has more holes in it than Swiss cheese, and the yard floods A LOT when it rains, which being in San Francisco, it rains A LOT. Actually, I could go on, its going to be a great set when Drew Barymore makes a "$12 Surfboard" movie. I've got doors to nowhere, a hole in my sink, weird crystals growing in my cabinets, a cabinet door made of cardboard, not the fake wood cardboard, but the corrugated kind. And there are random bars on the windows, like a demented drug dealer used to live here, from the outside it kind of looks like a Liquor store in Detroit, yet it has a glass front door. I just discovered that the window not just leaks, but funnels rain inside in a waterfall if you don't close it right.


I'm a block from the beach. I get to keep my dog. I have a yard with a hose. And best of all:

So this morning, in the first time since forever, I got up and got a morning session in on a Saturday. I suppose most people would be mad if their neighbors woke them up on a Saturday morning. But I was quite literally stoked!

I was having this awful nightmare, I had accidentally destroyed a weaving and was trying to fix it before the weaver came back, and everything I did made it worse.

But then I heard my neighbor Alex saying "Sarah! Sarah are you home?" You see, I live in a building full of surfers, and I am the only one in possession of a yard and a hose. This makes me very popular. Alex was in Costa Rica (more on that later) when I moved in and was storing his wetsuit in my yard, he apologized for it, but I told him he was more than welcome to keep it there. I mean, I have a HOSE (which is actually Alex's but he left it in my yard, and I assumed correctly that he wouldn't mind if I used it) and a YARD. A fenced in yard you can CHANGE in! I would be a very bad person if I would not share this bounty. And, hey, who minds surfer boys changing in the yard? Really? All this for $1100 bucks a month? Who needs real cupboard doors, or doors that go somewhere? Or wallpaper that doesn't make your eyes hurt? And the window totally works if I close it right. I have neighbors that care enough to not let me miss the good surf by sleeping in. I woke up from a nightmare to a happy surfing dream that turned out to be reality. I'm in paradise.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

lately, I've been frustrated with my surfing ability its been months since I had a "good" session. I'm tense when I get in the water, and only slightly less when I get out. I've been in tears nearly every session, and it doesn't matter the quality of the wave, it actually gets worse when the surf is good. or the difficulty, it gets worse when I go to an "easy" spot. Either I'm in tears because I can't do it because it's still above my ability after I've been surfing for so long, or I'm in tears and depressed because I can't even seem to be able to do what I could do a year ago. I'm at my wits end. Just last fall I was starting to drop into overhead waves and now I hopelessly pearl at the god damned jetty. I can't remember the last time I caught a wave and enjoyed it, really enjoyed it. Its like I've lost faith, in everything.

Its not just surfing that I've been struggling with lately. About two months ago I was promoted to "temporary" shift supervisor. I was so excited and proud of myself. But today I had that taken away. I was close to giving it up anyway. I couldn't concentrate. I was making stupid mistakes. I stopped enjoying myself. The guys I was supervising weren't even difficult to supervise, but I buckled under the pressure anyway. I'm so disappointed in myself. But I was in over my head, and my boss had the good sense to pull me out before I drowned. It's disappointing, sure. I thought I could do it, but it was too much too soon. Now I can concentrate on being an amazing machinist. And that's really what I want.

I turned down program director at boys and girls club for a reason. I was a great art teacher, I was one of the best in a city that had the best, in the worst neighborhood in the city. I had some amazing peers, legends in their fields, and I was one of them, to stand with people like Kay and Bill and Mark was an honor, and I knew I was worthy of it. I deserved to be, and I knew it. I would have been at best an average program director, realistically a pretty lousy one, because it wasn't where my heart was. My heart wasn't in supervising. It was in making good parts. And I'm just too dumb or too smart to do both at once.

In fact, if I can be as good a machinist as I was an art teacher after 5 years I'll be pretty kick ass.

That makes me feel better. There were times early teaching art that I was in tears, I did stupid things. I did stupid things and was in tears a lot near the end, but for different reasons. I did stupid things and was in tears a lot, because I cared. I guess that's happening all over again. Growing is painful.

I felt so good after being demoted today. I was sad for about an hour, and then I was so happy that I could go back to just being a machinist again. The two things I was worried about when I took the job were not whether or not I could do it, it was that I would follow the career track of most women in technical fields and wind up managing instead of making, and that I would stop growing as a machinist. I went backwards as a machinist.

The way this relates to my surfing block is this: I've been so frustrated lately its almost like I'm setting myself up to fail. And I know I was setting myself up to fail on my $12 surfboard, learning to surf where no one should learn to surf, but by knowingly setting myself up to fail, I was also accepting that I would fail, and I've lost sight of that. Failing is part of succeeding. Like they said in "Roll Bounce" "If you don't fall, how will you ever know what it feels like to get up?"

One of the first lessons, and probably one of the most important lessons I've learned surfing is that when you wipe out really badly, you don't struggle. The first time I really got tumbled, really held down, I knew this intrinsically after a few seconds. The wave is more powerful than you. You don't know which way is up, so if you struggle, you waste your air and may be holding yourself down for longer, in fact, you usually are. But you are buoyant, your board is buoyant, and waves have a rhythm and cycle and if you just relax, go limp, and give yourself up to the wave it will bring you back up faster than struggling will. But the last two really bad wipe outs I had, I struggled. I even knew better. I made the conscious decision to struggle. I as so angry at myself. I was so angry in general. I wasn't paddling, I was punching the water. I knew at one point I was pushing myself down further. I was so frustrated that I did something I knew was just making the problem worse, and it wasn't working. I had to force myself to give in, and as soon as I did, I recovered. If only life were so simple. I had to give in because I was going to run out of air if I didn't.

I remember the joy of my first real wipe out. I'd slipped off my board a few times, but nothing like that. That was the first time I got tumbled, really tumbled. I was down, I didn't know what was up or down. It was scary. I knew from the beginning that it was coming and if I could get through that, I could keep surfing. I knew there was a real possibility that I would get so scared I would quit. Back then, I still could have quit. I was only out 12 bucks. Less than a sandwich, as Charlie said.

But I realized when I was down there I knew exactly what to do. Go rag doll limp. And when I made it to the surface, it was even better than finally achieving the coveted pop up two years later. I remember that now. Failing really is the first step to succeeding, and lately I've lost sight of that.

Lately I've had the powerful urge to ride the Byrne again. Now I understand. Just like the time I really did drop in on an overhead wave because I knew I could go for it or be pummeled by it. I took it because I was forced to. I didn't even know that the wave was that big until the next day.

Lately, I've been desparate to get back to that. I've gotten lazy by trying too hard. I need to fail if I'm ever going to succeed.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The wonder and horror of abundance

This morning, I wanted to make some boiled eggs for a salad. When I separated from my husband, I took none of the cookware with me, so I had no pots and pans to boil the eggs in. So I took my trusty dog for a walk, looking up and down the streets for a cast off pot. First, all I found was a dish drainer, but I needed one of those as well, so I took it. We turned around after 5 or six blocks and headed up another avenue back home. Sure enough, just two blocks from home, someone had set out boxes with "Free" signs on them and just as I had hoped (and to some degree expected) One was full of just the cookware I needed and more. After I took the dog home I came back and helped myself to a teapot with a broken handle and a missing lid for a pot, two different size frying pans, a crepe pan, three votive holders and two drinking glasses. I left behind four boxes of assorted cookware, children's clothing and other housewares. This morning I basically went shopping on the street, finding everything I was looking for and more, within the space of about an hour and a half.

The poor person in me is delighted. I got what I needed for free, easily. The environmentalist is horrified. It was too easy. we covered 10 blocks to find what was essentially waste. If you multiply that by the space of the city, the space of the country, the face of the developed world, and think of how much I left behind, its a terrifying comment on our society. Whats more, the bulk of the cookware was in bad shape, In all honesty, I'll probably put it back on the curb when I can afford better, and then where does it go? In spite of programs like freecycle, and all the second hand stores, even using things again, it all means we have just too much stuff, and it wears out too quickly.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I'm taking lessons

After 3 long years of struggling to learn to surf all by myself, I decided for the sake of my sanity it was finally time to take surf lessons. There were a number of influences that led to this decision:

1. A native Hawaiian I met on OB named Jessie had offered lessons I could potentially afford.
2. I got a substantial shift bonus at work for switching to nights, so I actually could afford them.
3. I got spooked after a friend I hadn't surfed with before tried to get me to paddle out into waves that were way too big for me and I kept getting pounded. When he asked me if I wanted to go back to the Jetty I got so discouraged I actually went there and got even more discouraged. I'm not JETTY BAD!
4. After taking this particular friend's advice and going back to what was once my favorite place in the world that I now avoid like the plague, I had the third worst day I EVER had surfing, the second worst being the aforementioned trip to the dreaded Jetty, and the worst ever being the day I decided to separate from my husband.

On my last trip to Linda Marr I lost it. After pearling a good seven times in a row, I actually got so pissed off I actually TRIED to break my epoxy funboard in half. I screamed at it for wasting three years of my life. I took off my leash and I threw it in the water, hard, twice, only to have it come back and hit me so hard in the shin it left a scar. I was ready to give it to the next person I saw. I was ready to leave it on the beach. When I came to my senses, sort of, I was ready to take it back to Sonlight, sell it, and my wetsuit, and give up surfing altogether.

But then what would I do? I've rearranged my entire life around surfing. I work nights so I can surf. I have a 60 mile round trip commute so I can surf. I had just spent every dime I had so I could get an apartment on the beach so I can surf, and before that, I lived in a creepy garage so I could surf. I no longer had a husband. Art no longer interests me. All I've wanted to do for the past three years is be a machinist and surf. And I'm not great at either...yet.

So, I figured, I'd tried everything else, I might as well take a lesson.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I got the "Original" Twelve Dollar Surfboard out of Storage!

Its good to have him back. I know as an ocean-going vessel The Byrne should be a "She" but I spend a lot of time riding him and and I don't swing that way, often. My god is that thing lighter than my epoxy boards! I'd like to take him out just for the hell of it, but I'd probably end up sinking pretty fast. I missed him. I've been frustrated with my lack of improvement lately and I thought if I took him out I'd remind me why I started instead of frustrating me like everyone said it would. The fact is, I had FUN on that thing. Yes, I used it as a glorified body board, yes, it may have been the worst board to start with ever, yes, it may be the root cause of every frustration I have with surfing, but its still the thing that made me look at my life and say "(insert higher power of choice) you gave me this, and I'm going to run with it!"

In the end it was me, not the board, that has to learn to surf, in the end, its me that has to practice her pop ups and pearl ten thousand times. It was me who had to get a car, leave her husband, have a 60 mile round trip commute, and work nights all to support my surfing habit. UH, habit, may not be strong enough a word here.

And now I need to go to bed early, I have a feeling tomorrow might be too big for me here and I'll have to drive south to find something I can surf.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I love being single! I LOVE IT!!!!

I married my third boyfriend. I was almost never "single" my whole adult life and jumped into a very stupid rebound- out of habit. My friends want me to date, telling me to get on OK Stupid or whatever, and its not like I have any trouble getting guys, its not. I even got set up with a very sweet very cute guy and we're dating, but I want to put on my FaceBook under interests "Not Having a Boyfriend" Because not dealing with being in a romantic relationship with another person is the greatest feeling I've ever had in my entire life. Its better than being in love!!! SO MUCH BETTER!!!!! I don't know how single people could possibly want to give this up. Being free is the best feeling in the world.

I don't understand why it is that when I say I'm sad about my divorce, they ask if I'm seeing anyone. The answer is yes- well I'm dating someone, but its not serious. I've even thought I should break it off because I don't want him to get too attached, but I guess if he's willing to take it slow, its ok. I'm sad because I'm sad that I'm getting divorced, not because I'm lonely. I'm developing something I needed so badly, a deep personal relationship with myself, and I'm starting to find out that I'm fucking awesome. I should have done this 15 years ago!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I freak out my housemate!

OMG! matter what i do, my housemate freaks out EVERY time he sees me! Hearing somebody squeal "Oh My God you scared me!" when I was making my breakfast, packing my lunch, and then when I went to take out the garbage just wrecked my last nerve. Now I feel like I'm going to have a heart attack. Thanks for sharing, Chaz. as if I weren't under enough stress as it is. I have to remind myself: This is why I'm going on night shift, to move out of this house of horrors!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

"Making a Disabled vet's Dream Come True"

About a week ago, I met what I thought was a "Kid" who wanted to learn to surf, I call him a "kid" because when I met him, because of his looks and mannerisms, I thought he was in his late teens or early 20's. He told me that he had been surfing Ocean Beach in San Francisco by himself, three times, and I was the first surfer he had met since moving here. I told him I was always looking for people to surf with and would call him the next time I went out. I got sick for a week, but called him Friday to assure him that I had not forgotten him and wanted to take him surfing at the Jetty in HMB (a much more appropriate beginner spot) for International Surfing Day, which is today.

Yesterday, he called me four times, because when I called him Friday he got confused and thought I meant I was going to take him out Saturday, I thought he was just confused because he was a stoner, but once I stared spending some time with him, it became more and more apparent he was more than stoned.

I don't know for sure, but I'm pretty sure he's suffering from some kind of impairment he sustained in the war. His behavior is markedly child-like, more than I can justify by him smoking pot. He told me on the way to The Jetty that I was "Making a Disabled Vet's Dream Come True" by helping him learn to surf. Already suspicious that there was something more than pot at work here, I asked him what his disability was, and he told me that he had a plate in his hand, his ankle and his face, as well as PTSD and brain bruising.

Sadly, I think his child-like behavior is more than grom enthusiasm or stoner giddiness. I'm pretty sure he's not all there, and my room mate who met him briefly who is a nurse practitioner thinks so as well.

We lucked out with Jetty conditions yesterday, when we pulled up a couple of obviously experienced surfers told us it was mushy. I'm guessing that they spotted my short boards in the car and assumed we were more experienced and picky than we actually were. I told them it was only his third time and that it was probably perfect for us. Like a lot of veteran surfers north of Santa Cruz, they were more than happy to offer advice and pointed out my favorite semi-secret learning spot just south of the more popular take off point. I call it semi-secret, because not that many people surf the little mini beach break I like just south of the jetty itself, I've never understood exactly why.

It was windy, but the waves were near-perfect, at least for beginners. And we had the normally crowded jetty to ourselves. I think a lot of people gave up because the waves weren't great and the weather wasn't great, but we lucked out and hit the tide just right and the waves kept getting better and better after we arrived.

I know this guy has a crush on me, and I'm not sure what to do. Even though He's an attractive guy, I'm going to have to tell him I'm not interested and I have to admit the reason is that I'm not is that he is obviously impaired and I need more intellectual stimulation than just a really sweet, good looking guy who seems to have the mental faculty of a child.

He told me how much money he got for disability (one thing that makes me think he's not all there because that's not the kind of information you volunteer to someone you've just met) and while it's not a lot, I'm sure its enough that the government would think you could live on if you were completely unable to work a normal job, and he's obviously not suffering from any kind of physical disability. He told me he spends his day at his art studio downtown, and I saw a flier for it in his room, and without snooping too much, I'm pretty sure its some kind of a day-program for vets.

I really do want to help him learn to surf, and would regardless, but now I feel a little bit of a sense of responsibility to make sure he doesn't accidentally kill himself on OB. Fortunately, I could tell he's physically able to handle it, as he was a swimmer and wrestler in high school and has the strength required to be a marine. The common sense though, I'm not sure. I think I'm going to need help with this one.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Newly Single, its becomming more and more apparent I should only date surfers

This is about my dating life and not very interesting or informative so I don't expect anybody to read it unless they really want to know. It's pretty funny in parts though. I guess it would be a good read if you are thinking about dating a surfer so you know what you might get into. Or if you have dated a surfer who behaved this way and want validation.

And JUST IN CASE you've dated me recently, and you find this you may want to move on, I get pretty harsh.

So why am I publishing this snarky master-rant? I don't really know. Not a lot of people read my blog, so it doesn't really matter. And it's about my surf life and how it effects every aspect of my life. Its kind of a warning letter to anyone who would date me, or to people who might be falling into the lifestyle I've chosen, or that chose me.

This doesn't represent all surfers though, just me. And possibly some more...

I've had one rebound boyfriend and a handful of dates since I left my husband last August. The biggest problem with all of the guys- not surfers.

This friend of a friend I met on the beach was talking about how surfers make bad boyfriends. I've never dated a surfer in my very limited dating life, but I'm sure its true from personal experience because were I a guy I would make a very, very bad boyfriend. I'll flake out on you for good surf, without a call or text. I did that this Saturday. I flaked on a baby shower once, and not just anybody's baby shower, these were very close friends! But the swell was just so perfect that day, they were the best conditions I'd been in since I STARTED surfing. I was never a flake before I became a surfer, ask anyone. But sometimes when the surf is good, or even if its bad and you are having a good session "Just one more wave" turns into seven or eight more waves. When looking for surf "I'll be back by two" gets you a call at three that you will be home by six, and you roll in around 8:30 to a very pissed off husband.

The longer I've been away from rebound boy, the more I realize dating someone who turned out to revert to yuppie scum would never work. One time at the movies He actually bought bottled water FOR me, without asking of course. I was thirsty, but I would have rather gone thirsty. I know he thought he was being nice, so I can't really blame him, but he knew how I felt about bottled water. And he used to line paper bags with plastic ones for trash! He thought the practice was brilliant. I wouldn't know, I don't even make that much trash, I rarely get a paper bag, and most of the plastic ones I end up with I pick up as litter. And his weakness for trendy electronics? As much as I really love the video camera he gave me once he got bored with it, in the long run his conspicuous consumption would have driven me mad.

I went out with a guy on Friday. The problem with this guy is that he thinks he's a lot more interesting than he is, and even though I was having fun, all I could think of was how this wasn't worth staying up so late I would miss dawn patrol. He wanted me to visit him on Saturday, but the surf was really good and it wasn't worth it to go see him, even for a really cheap tattoo that I'd been wanting for months. Out of the water for long enough for it to heal? UNTHINKABLE.

On Sunday, I spotted Friday guy at Java Beach, at least I think it was him. The truth is that even though this guy thinks he's original and stands out, maybe he does where he comes from, but in SF he doesn't even stand out among the guys who want to date me! There are probably HUNDREDS of tattooed fifty's retro hipsters who think they are pirates in this city. He said he was a viking? What a joke! The rebound guy said he was was a viking. It was only cute the first time, and in spite of Friday Boys missing leg (really) my co-worker Tyson is a much better Pirate, as he is an actual pirate and not a pirate wanna be. So when I saw what might have been Friday guy at the cafe I tried to hide then I ran away. Not an easy feat with my long board in tow. I decided that since the guy I was hiding from had a missing leg I headed for the Beach. Where I met Sunday Boy.

I wound up fooling around with this really cute guy I met on the beach, but after a few hours the guy got boring and all I wanted to do was go surf. He begged me to go have a drink with him because he thought he was making me uncomfortable because he was worried I thought he as a creep but he was only making me uncomfortable because he was eating up my surf time. It was my own fault for fooling around with him instead of taking off to surf, but I'm still pissed that Sunday Boy took up all my time and I missed surfing on Sunday, especially since the flu I had been fighting off for a week decided to come on full strength Monday around 10 AM and now I'm going to be out of the surf for a week or so again.

Now compare that to the one time I did run into a surfer-boy who I think might have a little bit of a crush on me. He was coming in from a morning session while I was doing my surf check, I needed to go to the Farmer's market so we wound up going to the Farmers Market (FUN!) then going for an afternoon sesh at Sloat (MORE FUN!!) I got stuck in the shore break because it was WAY too big for me, and he surfed with me for a bit and disappeared. He didn't really disappear though, he just went to the outside to catch a few good ones. He apologized when he came to check up on me, but he really didn't have to. This is something I EXPECT when surfing with people beyond my ability, because I don't want to hold them back for my sake. And someday I pray to god I will disappear to the outside while surfing with someone below my ability and they will understand the way I do now. Its also good for me because it helps me push myself when I DO try to follow them. Case in point was when I tried to follow professional big wave surfer Jose "Jarrita" Gomez. I worked so hard that day! If I pushed myself that hard every day I'd probably be surfing Mavericks already. But the point is that when I hung out with him, I had fun and my mind was in the moment AND I was enjoying his company, as opposed to me thinking about how I was bored and wanted to ditch the guy and go surf.

Now I can see how this behavior might piss off a girlfriend who's boyfriend is doing it to her, unless she was a surfer before she met him, in which case hopefully she would have the same point of view I do.

The other problem she had with surfer boys is (or so I've heard and experienced a couple times) is that they tend to have a wandering eye. While I don't really want to perpetuate negative stereotypes about my own people, my complete inability to successfully participate in monogamy is (Obviously) a big reason I'm divorced. Now, I don't blame that on surfing, if anything, surfing helped me stay faithful because it filled whatever need I had that go outside my marriage. But I will say that spending a lot of time around extremely fit people and hanging out in the Ocean and at the beach doesn't exactly keep you away from sexual temptation.

One of my hot (male) surfer buddies just loves to flirt with anything of the opposite sex on the beach in front of me to show off. If I were his girlfriend this might bother me, but as it is I just think its funny. Fortunately, for him I think he's found a girlfriend who also thinks it's funny. Thing is, I do it too! One time a whole truck of teenage boys stopped at the stop sign where I cross Great Highway started to hoot at me, and being a big Ol Cougar I was delighted and turned around with my best flirtatious smile and waved and cooed "Helloooooo Boys!" Another time I was changing in the parking and a guy from a truck full of teenage boys yelled "Show me what's under that towel, baby girl!" So I did! Heh Heh Heh. I am the worst role model ever, I personally have set the woman's movement back 50 years. I suck! This behavior from me is bad enough, but if I were a guy, it would make me a total douche bag! I would be a very, very, bad boyfriend.

So why would I want to date someone who would behave this way? Because I'm just as bad! I need a level playing field here. Don't expect me to commit. I won't to anything but surfing. Don't expect me to only have eyes for you, there are too many beautiful people around me for that. Don't get serious or attached, because I'm already in love with something that you just can't compete with.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Green Pug Goes Blue

Dave and I couldn't wait for Puglet (The Green Pug) to come out with his "World Ocean's Day" video. And here it is!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Its my surfer birthday!

I just realized it was three years ago TODAY that I bought my $12 surfboard from Saver's Daly City! I remembered that I bought it the Saturday before Memorial Day because it was a memorial day sale. Somehow though, even though I'd been looking forward to it, and even considered having a party to celebrate, but it somehow slipped my mind today and even though it was a beautiful day, and the surf was good, I didn't even make it out to surf today. I keep having to remind myself I don't have to surf EVERY day to be a surfer. I feel like I wasted the day- although that's crazy talk because I went to the Farmer's Market and a surf swap, which is certainly NOT a waste of a sunny Saturday. I wish I had headed right out to surf right after putting my groceries away instead of going on the internet. That was dumb. It was beautiful and now it's windy and all blown out. How I managed to kill probably over an hour screwing around on the internet and at home I'll never know, although I did take out the compost and have to gerry rig a leaky toilet, both fairly urgent things. Its ok, probably giving my knee another day to heal won't hurt.

Going Plastic Free in the shower!

Friday, May 21, 2010

I get to wash my hair again!

I haven't washed my hair in... a really long time. Its disgusting. like a month, not kidding. I've been looking at ways to reduce my plastic consumption and got the idea from Fake Plastic Fish to use a shampoo bar from Lush. I also entertained the idea of buying shampoo in bulk, but someone neatened up the bathroom and got rid of my empty shampoo and conditioner bottles. And when I happened by the local co op I didn't have my bag on me so I didn't want to buy anything. That's something I've just started doing. I almost always have my bag, but if for whatever reason I don't, I end up with a plastic one. Its always something impulsive I probably didn't need anyway, so I've just stopped buying anything if I don't have a bag.

*I should note that the plastic bags I usually use for my beach clean ups aren't usually mine. If I do find myself accidentally ending up with a single use plastic bag, my penance is to fill it with litter. I steal a lot of them from my room mates (who will never notice) The bulk of them though, I actually find as litter

Beth Terry does have instructions on "Fake Plastic Fish" for washing one's hair without shampoo, but especially trying to consume less, I could not resist an excuse to treat myself to something from Lush. I almost never buy myself nice girly shampoo and stuff, not that I don't want to, I just want to be practical since I don't make a lot of money. But an ecological reason to pamper myself? Sign me up!

The problem: Lush is Downtown. Which is like on the other side of the country from The Sunset. My commute home takes me around it, not through it, and I hate parking downtown. Who doesn't? Now normally this would not be a big deal and I would either take transit or stop after work, park in SOMA and run a bunch of errands at once, but the ACL complicated the matter.

Well, yesterday my friend was spinning at SupperClub so I was downtown and got my shampoo and conditioner! My hair will no longer have more oil in it than the gulf of mexico.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

More bags than I started with

So since I've been trying to cut down on plastic I've been annoyed that I've had to put my vegetables in plastic bags to weigh them at the farmer's market, don't know why it didn't occur to me to bring my own mesh bags, but when I saw that idea I wanted to jump on it.

I made a little bit of an error with the bags I ended up with. While I intended to make my own, I realized I wasn't going to get around to it, with so I bought some re-usable (but plastic) ones. I thought if I bought those green bags that are supposed to keep things fresh I could kill two birds with one stone, but it turns out they don't really work that well because moisture builds up inside them and you have to be really vigilant about wiping them out. But still I was bringing my own bags to the Farmer's market, which was still an improvement.

Unfortunately, as I was leaving the farmer's market I encountered a tornado of plastic. It was windy and there was this spot where all these plastic bags that had gotten away were collecting. After being traumatized by having the great pacific garbage patch wash up in my back yard, I couldn't bring myself to just do nothing, so I went to the spot and collected an obscene number of bags. I'm not even sure how many I came home with, but it was a lot. enough to fill two of them, anyway.

Well, since I've been laid up with a sprained ACL its been hard for me to sit in one place and stay off my leg and as soon as I felt well enough to walk on it, I did, and I way over did it. So I've decided to spend the day re-acquainting myself with plastic bag crochet. Right now I'm making the yarn, and hopefully I will have enough to go outside pretty soon and sit in the sun and do it. Making the yarn is boring considering I have to do it inside so it won't blow away.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Excerpt from "$12 Surfboard

I'm working on a book based on my adventures with my $12 surfboard, the one you see me holding in the masthead picture. Its the story of how I started surfing and how our life, or at least my life, takes the course that we choose for it. The book is based on writings from my two other personal blogs, and I plan to occasionally re-post them here. I sprained my ACL skateboarding Thursday night, which gave me three solid days with nothing to do while my leg healed except for read, write, and watch TV. I'm actually pretty stoked that I spent most of the weekend off my feet polishing and fleshing out the introductory chapters. So stoked that I felt like posting a short excerpt that I think starts to represent the book conceptually. here it is:

I had always wanted to be a skateboarder. My first boyfriend even built me one for my sixteenth birthday, but I lived on a steep hill on a gravel road and never learned to ride it. Eventually, my heartless mother sold it at a yard sale when I was in college.

Everyone has things like that, things you always want to do and never get around to. Everyone has owned things that represent dreams that were never realized or goals that were never achieved. Eventually, most of those precious but unused items get sold at yard sales or given to thrift stores by parents or spouses who are tired of tripping over them. We try to console ourselves with the possibility that the toy we outgrew, the instrument we never practiced, or whatever it was that we never really finished or committed to went to someone who would do exactly what we didn't. Thats the hope anyway, that the dream we had gets passed on to someone who can use it and treasure it the way we wanted to, the way we always thought we could.

Or it could just wind up in the next person's closet or garage gathering dust until the next parent or significant other disposes of it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Green Costs How Much?

Waiting at the vets office today I overheard the receptionist having a conversation with a friend, I'm not normally one to eavesdrop, they were being really loud, so I didn't have much of a choice, but when I heard "being a tree hugger is expensive" they wandered into my territory. I resisted butting in, but perhaps I shouldn't have, I know with this blog I'm preaching to the choir, but I was kind of shocked at what I heard.

They were complaining about the cost of "Eco-Friendly" cat litter. (really!) And practicably in the same breath, the woman was saying how she "Needed" Trees, Parking, and Big Box Stores. Seriously. Those three things. TOGETHER. In ONE sentence. Justification? I am NOT making this up, she said "I buy water in big flats, I buy toilet paper in big flats" Well, why if she is so worried about money, that she "needs" to buy bulk, is she buying water at all?!! Do I butt in at this point? I keep my mouth shut. Her friend continues that they couldn't afford the "Biodegradable plastic bags" for the cat litter (to be fair, we live in San Francisco where these actually work) So she flushes it down the toilet. A VET RECEPTIONIST!!! How does THIS woman not know that doing that spreads diseases to sea otters? ARRRGGG! There's this new biodegradable product they've come out with, its new, its only been around about two thousand years, its called paper, and they make bags out of it now! Some places even give them away for FREE! I hear they might have some of these things in San Francisco, but that's probably just a rumor. Already stressed out about my sick dog, I have to listen to these two numb sculls complain about the perceived cost of being green. I don't know if I should butt in or not. Ms. "I need trees and parking" says she doesn't know how the people who shop on the bus do it, she COULDN'T do it!" OK, OK, then she's talking about how she stayed at her friends house in the city and had to buy: I know it's gross, maxi pads! And how toilet paper and maxi pads cost SOOO much when you live in the city and can't buy them from a big box store!!!!

One thing I gotta say, and I know this grosses some people out, but I think its the coolest thing ever and maybe I should be more vocal about it, I LOVE MY KEEPER! When I thought I lost my Keeper, I ran out and got a Diva Cup. I was overdue for another one anyway. I swear to my higher power of choice that even if I were an SUV driving, Evian guzzling, Suburban big box shopping soccer mom, and I didn't lay awake nights worrying about shoving a product loaded with dioxin up into my reproductive area, I wouldn't give up my cup for anything!! They can pry it from my cold, dead...So I buy something that costs about 30 bucks, and it lasts me (the suggested life span is 3 years, I'm pretty sure mine is twice that age, oops!) I don't even remember what the other things cost, but I remember being annoyed at the cost of them. I'm sure I spent more than $10 a year on them. Sorry I wasn't hard core enough for the reusable pads, I even bought some but then I discovered the wonder that is the Keeper! Imagine never having to go out and buy feminine products again! (Or at least for three years!) Never having your sensitive areas dried out by all the nastiness that they put in those things! I've had my keeper leak on me twice, in half a decade of using the thing! The disposable versions failed on me constantly. HOW DO WOMEN NOT KNOW ABOUT THESE THINGS!?

The reason I bring this all up in my blog, is that recently, I've noticed something, something that seems to have eluded these women:

Living a lower impact life costs less money.

The golden rule "Reduce" means you spend less money. Rags cost less than paper towels, the farmer's market is cheaper than the supermarket. Taking shorter showers, turning off the lights, turning down the heat, all these things save money. Supermarkets give you a discount for bringing your own bags, Starbucks (and other coffee shops) give you a discount for bringing your own mug. And, hey, I CAN afford fancy coffee in my snazzy re-usable mug because I don't waste money on crap like bottled water.

The other thing I noticed about Ms. "I Need Parking" is that she was significantly overweight, now I'm not exactly a stick, and I will be the first to admit that I LOVE junk food and eat a lot of things I shouldn't, and could myself stand to lose a few pounds, I'm bringing this up because:

I've been losing weight, without trying.

Since the plastic washed up on the beach, and forced me to take a good, long hard look at my own consuming habits, actually thinking about what I eat and how it gets to me has forced me to eat healthier and as a result, I've lost a noticeable amount of weight. My cute carpooling buddy (hot blond surfer, WOO CARPOOL! Save the planet, commute with a hottie!) was the first to say anything. And then I bought a scale for weighing my trash, and I'll be damned, I've been consistently losing about half a pound a week. Its not exactly the next Atkins, but stuff like giving up soda and trying to buy less processed food, food that is produced locally, and food with less packaging adds up to a healthier diet. I can't help but wonder if the woman who was complaining about the cost of fancy cat litter also spends money on Weight Watchers or Slim Fast bars or anything like that. If she's anything like most of America, I bet she does.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I'vebeen thanked!

Three different people actually thanked me for picking up trash on the beach today! The more I get connected to other people who care about the oceans the less silly I feel heading out every day to pick up trash.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Oh Hello, thing I don't want to be reminded of...

Its had been a looooong time since I cleaned out my car, funny that, that I love picking up trash on the beach but when it comes to my car or my room it's kind of a pigsty. Or perhaps a Pug-Sty considering that its Dave The Pug and me. I finally got around to cleaning out the car last weekend and brought in all the stuff that had been in it. The problem with that stuff, is that stuff is all stuff I brought over from my old apartment, that I had initially forgotten but got packed up for me by my ex and his mom. I got through the first wave, but there were a few things left. Among those things were my old dog, Duke's ashes. I have no idea what to do with this. Its strange to hold this box containing the remains of a part of your life. The shell of a departed soul. All that time he shared with me, from the time I was 13 until I was 26. And there's his little body, reduced to ashes held by a little baggie inside a hardwood box. It was almost ten years ago that we put him to sleep, an in spite of having the truly awesome Dave The Pug all this time, somehow I still miss Duke.

I had planned on making this a personal post, but it does tie into my trash blog. One of the things I found on the beach, early on, was a nice little box. It was such a nice little box, I almost kept it, until I picked it up and saw that it was one of these boxes, I don't remember the name of the pet, or even if it still had the name of the pet on it, if it did, it was a common pet name, like "Duke" or "Percy" or "Spot" I do remember that I saw the tag with the name of the pet cemetery that told me what the little box had once held. One side and the ashes were gone, but still, I didn't know what to do with it, and it was only wood, not plastic, so I left it on the beach.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Butterfly Tattoo

This entry isn't necessarily about surfing, but it made such an impression on me that I had to write it down. Last night I dreamed that I was in a tattoo parlor downtown, (there are no tattoo parlors in the neighborhood I was dreaming about, which I thought was strange) With, I think, my Step-Mom and Stepsisters and possibly Scott's sister and her friends, and we were all getting "Souvenir" Tattoos. I picked out a very small traditional butterfly that I wanted on my right foot. I asked how much it cost and the artist told me $10 which was a great deal and I was very excited, and figured even if he really screwed it up it was small and on my foot, and my feet aren't exactly perfect anyway so I could easily live with it till my artist could cover it up. (cover ups are one of her specialties)

The strange thing was, and this won't really make sense to non-tattooed people, what I chose. I chose a piece of traditional style flash, which is kind of strange for someone who's only tat is an extremely unusual and very non traditional custom sleeve. My sleeve follows NO traditional tattoo "rules" which is one of many reasons it looks nothing like any other tattoos most people have seen. Even a lot of my artist's other work incorporates some more traditional elements.
In Tattoo parlance, my sleeve is more akin to a painting on my arm than a tattoo. Because of this, people, whether they know tattoos or not, tend to react to it as such.

So it was odd that I would choose such a radically different style, and odd that I would choose something small, as my only tattoo is very large, and very, very odd that I would choose flash. While most people think that tattoos are a form of individual expression, as most of them are, flash is a little different. Its entirely possible that if you choose a piece of flash, you will run into someone else with the EXACT same tattoo, done by a different artist in a different country. You may even run into multiple people with the same thing! Its sort of like having a sticker put on yourself for the rest of your life! But I was very happy to do it, I was so excited in fact, that when I woke up I was so disappointed that I wasn't really getting the tattoo, that I kept my foot in position in a dreamy haze wishing I were really about to be tattooed and imagining the needle with its humm and the odd pleasure-pain as it injects the ink into my skin.

And it was a butterfly! I have done my best to avoid getting a butterfly tattoo, because its the most cliche thing on earth, I might as well get an anchor, or a heart that says "mom" Or, god, forgive me for even thinking it: a tribal arm band. I mean, I'm walking around with an endangered flower on my arm for a reason! I've only ever seen one person with the same kind of flower, and even then it was a different species. That was by design. And my nickname, come on, it would be so lame and obvious for me to have a butterfly tattoo, I might as well get one that says "Sarah". There are also not one, but two songs, that I HATE about butterfly tattoos!

Yet, I woke up today feeling unusually comfortable in my own skin, and very much wanting a butterfly tattoo on my right foot.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Seems I'm not alone!

Just when I was staring to feel frustrated with my little trash collection project, I came across hope and new motivation to keep doing what I'm doing. There's another girl, also named Sara (she's cool so we'll forgive the misspelling ;P) Doing the same thing! I think she uses less profanity than I do, but you know, I gotta be me!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wipe out

the most spiritual act in surfing to me is the wipe out. The first time I had an honest to god real wipe out i realized in the first seconds in the water, the best thing to do was to stop struggling, go completely limp and accept that I was going to be under water for a little while until the wave brought me back up. The wave was significantly more powerful than I was, so I just had o trust it the same thing happend in a much more prolonged way the time I intentionally paddled into a riptide. I learned exactly what I had been told by the stranger I just met on the cliff was true. I just had to trust the ocean. Right now in my life I am craving a wipe out. The feeling of life or death so real that the only choice is to surrender and accept. its funny how something so scary can bring absolute peace.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Enough time for a Proper Surf

I made it home in time for a proper surf, I'm very happy but I twisted my knee. I was going to go to Riptide tonight but wimped out. I went all the way to Judah to find an ATM that could read my card, and then got lazy about going to riptide. I better go next Wednesday. Is it just me or is it not a proper surf unless you get injured and held down at least once?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Suffering from Lack of Stoke

I was stoked to have the day off, then annoyed that my dog wanted attention, because I had intended to drive down the coast in search of some sun and mellow surf. I made it to the Jetty, then continued on, because it just didn't inspire me. Usually, I'm not picky at all, I'll surf in anything, but I just couldn't get my stoke up enough to put my wetsuit on and paddle out, even after all the work of loading the car and driving all the way down there. The conditions and crowds (Spongers, screaming kids and rental boards as far as the eye could see) and temperature weren't helping, but I'm disappointed in myself and feel guilty for wasting the drive. Still, I got out of the city for a few hours, which I desperately needed.

Coke Rewards Points Litter UPDATE!

I'm up to 141 points on
none of these points are from Coke products that I purchased myself, they are entirely from caps found as litter, so far, all but one cap was found on Ocean Beach.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Finally got a hood

Incredibly, I've been surfing in the frigid waters of northern California for 3 years without a hood. After having to be out of the water for the longest consecutive period since I got the car due to bronchitis, followed by a smashed finger, followed by another cold, I finally gave in and bought a hood. Having to stop by the surf shop on the way home cut shorter an already short session, but the important thing is that I got in the water for the first time since the Sunday before last. It did keep me much warmer, although I also broke down and wore my booties. well, I'm sleepy, so I better go.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Plastic Shit

About a month ago, winter storms washed tons of plastic trash up onto Ocean Beach where I live, I've started a video blog of all the shit I've found on the beach:

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Do they know something I don't?

Its a gorgeous day here, the waves aren't the worst I've seen, and there's nobody in the water. Do they know something I don't? I went all the way from Pachenco to Cliff house, I saw one guy headed out on the way back, I'm going to go for it. I guess I'll find out.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Coke Cap Litter Project

This is my first post on blogger, I will be consolidating $12 Surfboard posts here soon.

Last year I signed the Surfrider Rise Above Plastics pledge.
Since I already used reusable shopping bags, and already thought bottled water was a rip off, I decided to give up my biggest plastic vice: my nearly daily Diet Coke.

Before I signed the pledge I was drinking so much of the stuff that I decided to sign up for Coke's rewards program, I supplemented my own bottle caps with ones that I found on the ground, biking, walking my dog, that sort of thing. After I gave up my daily plastic bottle and its rewards cap, I continued to pick up Coke caps when I found them as litter, I eventually earned enough points for a subscription to Ready Made. That sets the stage for my current project.

For those who don't know, I live on Ocean Beach in San Francisco. I don't want you to think that it's a dirty beach on a regular basis, because usually it isn't. But for some reason, this year, Along with the big winter swells that bring the big waves that Northern California is famous, or infamous for, The Ocean decided it had enough of this plastic crap in it, and decided to spit it back out, all over the shores of my lovely urban home break.

Walking my dog, Dave on the beach, I couldn't bring myself to leave it all there. There was no way I was going to make any kind of appreciable dent in the mess, but I figured it was my opportunity to get at least a little out of The Ocean before it washed back in. I decided I would fill a couple of bags every weekend, that was a couple fewer cubic feet in the already over-saturated ocean.

While doing this, I found probably hundreds of plastic bottle caps. There are probably thousands on the beach right now, and among those were, of course, Coke caps with points codes. So I've started entering the codes on the website and collecting points again. I thought it would be an interesting way for me to track how much litter I'd picked up, and hopefully get something cool in the process. Its a rewards system for picking up litter. I have 48 points so far. Entirely from caps I found washed ashore by winter swells.

The points aren't even a very accurate count of how many Coke caps I've picked up either, some of the caps are so old that they were using a different points system with more digits than the current system and the numbers I enter don't register. Some of the caps are so old that they have no codes on them, and other caps have contests on them that ended years ago. These caps show me just how long this stuff has been floating around out there.