Posts Tagged ‘art’

I got home from surfing today and decided to check mail for a change.   I check the mail once a week at best and that is only so I can get my copy of New York Magazine.  Its kind of a real uppity magazine, but I like to read it and imagine what it would be like to have a bunch of money in NYC.  My Dad reads it and sent me a gift subscription, which I think was done with parsimonious intentions to make me miss home.  I must admit it brings a lot of nostalgia to me.

The box was bulging, which meant I most likely have not checked the mail since before I left for New Jersey.  The mail lady always gets pissed whenever this happens.  In response to my utter laziness she takes all my mail wraps it in a rubber band and angrily tosses it on my front door.   I opened the box and was showered with an explosion of mail.

Upon picking all of the mail up off the floor I  noticed a small package in my box addressed to me.  I didn’t order anything on my bread and water budget and was not expecting anything.  There was no return address on the thing.  My first thought was someone sent me a mail bomb, although it looked a bit small and felt too light to contain an explosive device.  My next thought was anthrax, someone sent me anthrax.  Then I thought a little harder about the whole thing and figured who am I that anyone would even care about killing me, let alone going through all the effort to do it via the United States Postal Service.  Unless the mail lady really was completely fed up with my shit.

I went inside and sorted through this mess of circulars, envelopes and Magazines.  While I am at it I think my dyke mail lady is stealing my Play Boy.  The nudity is trash.  I can watch way dirtier shit then that on the internet, but the articles are rather clever and entertaining.  I had trail subscriptions to five different magazines and the only one I found worth my time to read was my Play Boy.  I tossed the usual notices from creditors.  “Hey guys I miss the early morning wake up calls”.  Threw away all the circulars cause they were way out dated.

Then there was the package.  It did not look crazy or anything thus I decided to open it.  Inside was a book.  I am always delighted by a book, at least until I read it.  It so happens that I finished reading The Picture of Dorian Gray last night.  There was no letter with the book or any identification of any kind.  The title: Tuesdays with Morrie.  I opened it and noticed some of the pages were folded.  Inside the cover it was inscribed “Yes, the folded pages are important”, signed A Friend.  I must say I am very excited to sink my teeth into it.  To my mystery benefactor let me thank you in advance for the gift.  Depending on the content my opinion may change.

That brings me to the reason I am writing in the first place.  I have been reading like crazy as of late and not been updating the book club at all.  Shame on me.  So here are the past three books I have recently read and our latest book.

Book XV: 1984, George Orwell, 1949, 297 pages

“War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength”.  This was a re-read for me.  I came across this copy a few months in a box of books I found while stumbling home from the Wild Cat one night.  I remember first reading it back in 8th grade and taking very little from it besides the “Big Brother” reference although not really understanding the meaning behind it.  I needed additional reading material for my trip to Portland at the end of this past August and decided I ought to re-read it.  The problem with reading some of these novels at a young age is one is not at the level of maturity or understanding to fully appreciate the meaning of the book.  Schools pick books for their curriculum based on vocabulary and readability.  I know in 8th grade I missed all of the themes behind 1984.  Also depending on what is happening in one’s life a novel may at times take on a completely different meaning and emotional response.  Here Orwell portrays a futuristic Utopian society based on strong class division, war, fear and power.  Not to mention an interesting and very disturbing profile of human behavior.  I will do a “Chris’ Notes” on this one at some point.  I definitely suggest giving 1984 a read.

Book XVIWays of Seeing, John Berger, 1972, 155 pages
This book was actually handed to me by my co-worker Meat Cat.  She is an artist and devote to art for the love of art.  Art does not pay the bills for most thus forcing her to work at Westmont.  She had been telling me about the text for some time and how most of the ideas proposed for viewing art can also be applied to life in general.  As an observer of life  and a lover of art, I felt compelled to give it a read.  English art critic and author John Berger certainly makes many interesting points about art and how it is looked upon in modern times.  His take on nudes and oil paintings is certainly enough to make the book worth a look, but then he makes some very good points on art and advertising as well.  It is a very dense read and I actually read a few of the chapters twice to get a better grasp on their message.

Book XVII: The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde, 1891, 349 pages

“The common hill-flowers wither, but they blossom again.  The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now.  In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis and year after year the green night of its leaves will hold it’s purple stars.  But we never get back our youth.” This was another re-read for me and actually is a novel I read often.  I believe this was about the fourth time I have picked it up.  The story of a young man who mistakenly makes a deal with the devil to stay young forever.  In this tale Wilde comments on the dangers of vanity, cynicism, arrogance, selfishness and conscience.  Sometimes when we get the thing we wished for most in life we find it to be more of a curse then a blessing.  I always pick this book up and read it when I feel I need to check myself and be brought back down to earth.  I must admit it had not helped with my current depressed state.

There you have it folks some new suggested reading for you all.  I am tearing through shit at the moment so expect new entries fairly regularly.  I guess Book XVIII is going to be  Tuesdays with Murray, by  Mitch Albom.  After all if someone decided to go to that much trouble to give me a book they think is a value for me to read then it must be put to the top of the list.  Happy reading.

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Your never know what you may stumble upon in the great outdoors.


Today I experienced a most unexpected delightful, yet strange afternoon.  3:30 finally came closing out a rather hectic day of nothing working out as it should.  First someone accidentally turned off the oven containing the bulk of my roasted vegetables, a catastrophe I discovered at 10:45am when I checked on them to make sure they were not going to burn up.  Now roasted vegetables take around 25 minutes to cook and I needed them for an 11:15 service.  Luckily I had one axillary pan in a separate oven and it was just enough to get me started.

Then my mashed potatoes came out a little too dry from my liking and a bit on the bland side since we were all out of fresh garlic.  How does a professional kitchen run out of fresh garlic?!!!!?  Finally someone must have bumped into my rotisserie oven and mistakenly turned off one of the motors thus keeping an entire side (four racks containing 50 lbs of turkey) from turning.  One side was completely charred.  I made out like a bandit in this case also because after cutting off the burnt side the rest was still usable and actually still quite tender all things considered.  My meal was serve able and as it turns out was completely eaten.

If all that was not enough my boss thought it would be best utilize my skills for cleaning the entire kitchen for the last two hours of work.  Needless to say when that clock striked 3:3o I was more then jubilant to get the fuck out of there.  After missing a surf yesterday (see surflog for details) I was chomping at the bit to get some water time so it was off to Rincon.  I knew the swell was down from the previous days, but I had hopes I could find something to surf.  Unfortunately for me as I passed Santa Claus I noticed a serious lack of waves, strong onshore wind and a -2 low tide.  That being the case there was not going to be many places to surf besides either Rincon or Cstreet and since Santa Claus is a Rincon indicator I immediately lost my enthusiasm.

I cruised to the Con just the same and strolled down the trail to see if there were any grovel able waves.  It was super small maybe knee to waist high, but clean and long lines, plus there was only three guys on it.  Still not decided I began to bumble my way up the the top of the point to see what was coming in up at both Indicator and River Mouth.  About mid way up the point I noticed this gathering of people chilling on the rocks just about adjacent to where one would line up to surf proper cove.

As Im approaching this ensemble I hear one of them say “lets ask the chef’s opinion”.  Immediately proceeding the hollering of  the word chef in my direction.  At first forgetting that I was still wearing my coat and work uniform I did not realize it was myself to whom they were addressing.  I meandered my way over to them and saw they had quite the quaint little spread going on.  This gang of out door enthusiasts had a splendid little picnic going on right in the midst of one of the best right hand point breaks in the world on a day off.

They had the most adorable little round coffee table made from roth iron with a little removable bamboo wood finished round top.  On the table they had a loaf of olive bread, a giant bowl of guacamole, an opened bottle of Chenin Blanc, a silver decorative platter with these roasted tomatoes with mozzarella balls and basil on it and next to that another large silver decorative bowl with a mix greens chicken salad.  Under the table was a copper ice chest filled with a type of fruit salad dessert and another two bottles of wine.  Like I said it was a real classy set up.

I walk over there and the first thing they ask is if I would like to join them, sample their foods and give my “professional” critique.  Little did they know that Im hardly a chef being nothing more then a lowly bulk food line cook, but I can play any role and since I will be a chef in a few years figured a white lie could not hurt anyone.  I sat down and enjoyed a gourmet afternoon snack with interesting strangers at Rincon while debating on whether or not to paddle.

I ended up hanging out for a half an hour enjoying wine and food and getting to know my benefactors.  There was this older English guy totally grey with a Sean Connery beard (maybe he was Sean Connery Im always in such I fog I would not know the difference anyway).  He was wearing a super nice grey with black poke-dote smoking jacket, nice slacks and loafers.  Totally rich man casual.  To his right was this older couple in their fifties who brought the food and owned an avocado farm in Carpinteria  thus explaining the big bowl of guacamole.  On their right were these two twenty something lesbians from San Fransisco (no surprise there) both of which were quite hot.  Sitting next to them was another older guy who owned an antique shop in Carp and next to him was this crazy old hippie woman wearing a tunic.

Sean Connery had an interesting group of friends and as it turns out lived in one of the houses right there in the Rincon Point exclusive community.  I must say the food and company was most refreshing.  I had a great time.  While I was sitting there I noticed a few really good sets in the close to chest high range come in and peel down the point now with only one other guy out.  Derek Hynd on his crazy fin less board he has been riding at the Con the past week and his lady friend were just exiting the water.  He kills those crazy fin less boards.  You would not believe the speed he gets out of them until you see it in person.  What would you expect from a surf icon of his esteem.

If it was good enough for Derek it was good enough for me (Im just glad he was not with Jack Johnson like he was the night Slater was out.  I hate Jack Johnson.  See The Champ has returned blog for more details).  I suited up and paddled out.  I ended up getting tons of great waves and few classic larrels as well as two legit barrels.  I had a ball.  There was a picturesque sunset. I stuck a perfect two foot out nose pick air reverse and met a chill guy named Donovan who gave me a free bar of wax before getting on his scooter and riding away sitting on his surfboard.  What a most spectacular afternoon.  It was definitely one for the books or for the blog in this case.  I dont really know why things like this always happen to me.  It could just be a right time right place coincidence, but it happens so often that I have to think there is more to it then that.

Sean Connery always knows how to have a good time.

One of surfing finest, Derek Hynd and his fin less wonder.

Speaking of strange things......

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