Why I will never, ever enter a surf contest

Beyond the fact that I surf for sheer enjoyment, it just doesn’t seem right.

Take my friend Charlotte, for example.  She is a champion napper.  This girl can fall asleep just about anywhere and sleep soundly all the time.

I love napping, but I would never challenge Charlotte to a nap-off because a) she’d win and I have a bit of a competitive streak and b) why would I take something I use to relax, enjoy, and unwind and turn it into a contest?

I know it’s for some, and that’s totally cool, but for me — I’m with Laird Hamilton — it’s never appealed to me.  It’s more of an art form than anything.

Advertisements

Beauty in the Sea

Many moons ago I was in this Bible study that spoke of beauty.  While this really didn’t touch my heart all that much (I’m a tomboy at heart), they asked a question during one of the sessions that has resonated with me through the years.

“When do you feel the most beautiful?”

I struggled with this question.  I oscillate between “Why am I in the medical field when I should be modeling swimwear” and “When is it socially appropriate to put a bag over one’s head in public?”  But realistically, I’m somewhere in between.

Even when I get all dolled up, I always manage to find flaws in myself upon reviewing the pictures. It’s the perpetual let-down of, “Oh, I look fantastic, except for the fact I look bloated and my eye-make up smudged….”

Then it hit me: I know where I feel the most beautiful.

In the ocean, with hair down, bikini on, and nearly 8 feet of plastic strapped to my right ankle.  I feel even more beautiful with those big powerful waves with clean faces are headed my way – or as I like to put it – the Lord put the tokens in the wave machine.

Here there are no cameras, any make up would be washed away after taking a wave on the head.  My hair is perfect because it’s covered in salt water and my skin turns a beautiful shade of pink under the sun.  I was made for summer days.

After a bit more digging in my genealogical past, I found my ancestors on my mother’s side originated from what is now northern Poland, on the Baltic Sea – my father’s mother’s family is from the shores of Normandy, France – the sea is in my blood.

And that’s as beautiful as it gets.

My mom snapped this picture of me last summer, heading back out to where the waves are breaking.

My mom snapped this picture of me last summer, heading back out to where the waves are breaking.

An answer to a prayer

It’s really nifty how the crucible I’ve been in for the past couple of years has turned fruitful.  The furnace that I found myself working in turned out it was only refining me, not trying to burn me down.

I got a new job. <insert jumping up and down here>

I found this job on a whim as I was perusing local establishments that would employ people such as myself.  I emailed my resume and they requested an interview; they were calling my references within hours of my interview that I felt I did fairly well.  The job is a trade-off: Less $, better hours, less stress, better life (whereas now I have decent $, meh hours, lots of stress, and a not so good life).  And the real kicker: it’s a 9-5 job.  Never EVER worked a 9-5 job before.  I’ve worked on call, 2nd shift, 3rd shift, hybrids of everything —- but never normal people hours.  I’m 30 and I’m just now feeling like I’m a real adult.  It’s a niche of my profession, that I will confess, is not my strong suit.  It’s always been a struggle for me, but in the past year or so, I’ve gotten really good at this particular task simply because there was no one else to rely on: it was sink or swim.  And I swam.  I’m still not the best (read: The General), but I can hold my own on days when I’m feeling confident – anxiety still gets the best of me sometimes.  Of course, I’ll be trained and the people I’m working with have been doing this for quite some time so I’ll have back up!

What does this mean?  Dawn patrol — or, rather surfing at sunrise.  I love watching the sunrise when I worked nights — I’d keep the same schedule on my days off.  And now all my running and surfing will have to be done during the week in the wee hours of the morning. It won’t be so bad — at least until winter hits — and then I’ll truly become a fair weather surfer.

I am starting my last week with my current employer – they were all shocked I was leaving!  I was shocked they were shocked, but then I realized they don’t have access to my inner monologue.  Or my blog, for that matter.  For being a techie, I’m a good actress apparently.  Even now, to both old and new workplaces, I keep saying, “I need a change, I need to go in a different direction in my career.”  Keepin’ it positive.  Heh.

And so, on to the next.

Ridin’ rims and boards

If you get in a car with me, chances are pretty good you will have an unexpected adventure.

The General was reminded of this the other day when we got into our wetsuits, pilled in the car, and headed to Carolina Beach to surf.  Once we got out onto the main road to the beach, a thwap thwap thwap sound came from the back of the car.  I pulled over and lo and behold, I had flat tire.  Not just a little flat, but riding on rims flat (which would explain the odd marks I have on my driveway).  Thankfully, I had my General who managed to get my airgun tightened lug nuts off (they were just put on with new tires a couple weeks ago).  The donut spare I had was comical.  It was kinda flat too.  Luckily, we were less than half a mile from home.

There was debate about if we should just keep driving to the beach on the donut or if we should go home and scrap the surfing.  The General opted for the more adult thing to do: go home and get the tire repaired because I had to go to work.  ::sigh::  So we went home for a costume change and ran up to the tire place.  “Ya got a nail in yur tire,” Captain Obvious at the tire place said.  Once it was plugged and we got it home, we still had enough time for surfing!  So we threw on our wetsuits again and headed for the beach.

The waves were amazing!  It was a little chilly, but I had a couple of decent rides.  I’m less likely to take risks in the cold water because no one wants to spend more than a few seconds being held under in 14C water.  Brrr.  We even saw a pod of dolphins!  I freaked at 1st because all I saw was a dorsal fin.  We had a great time — The General got some waves and had one epic wipe out.  I love riding the same wave with him.  We just need to work on that whole steering bit.

It’s all about the ride, after all.

“You can’t and you won’t and you don’t stop”

Shhhh.  I’m being a bad girl today.  It feels kinda good.  I totally called into work simply because it was easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. The General and I are heading out on a roadtrip tonight and wanted to leave mid-shift for me.  For fear of being stuck at work due to work load, I figured why not just take the day off?  I screwed my co-workers a bit……and I do feel bad about that…….but I’ve been there every day (plus extra time out of the kindness of my heart) for the last 4 months……so I rationalized it that way.  And I dreamt all night of patients who have a bad pancreas and all the fun that comes with that.

The winds from Irene only made it up to gusts of 70mph here…..so my hurricane virginity remains intact.  ::sigh::  For my 1st major storm, it was a learning experience.  I didn’t realize how strong “the bands” were of the storm that come through bringing gray stripped skies and a crazy amount of wind and rain.  The winds were the worst the day after the storm, I had never experienced wind/gusts quite like that yet.  The worse damage done to our house from Irene was a branch down in the yard with leaves and sticks all over the place.  State Farm kept calling me and leaving messages on my phone of who to call about making a claim…..made me laugh.

Hurricane Katia is churning out in the Atlantic now.  I was excited for some waves…..but it looks like Katia wants to wrap up her summer in Myrtle Beach.  She could turn, dissipate, or slam into our coast — as the computer models are currently predicting.  I’ve decided that I like hurricanes, I love a good storm – it’s the midwesterner in me.  However, now that I am living in my dream house I’m a little more worried about the damaging effects of these monster storms.  I decided when we bought this joint that it was going to be just that: a house.  It will not run my life, it will not be my life, and if the Lord takes it away via foreclosure, storm, or circumstance – then so be it.  We’ll just be on our next adventure  My faith is in Him.

Speaking of waves, the other weekend my nieces Mary (12) and Martha (9) came down with my sister-in-law and we had a blast down at Kure Beach.  I took the girls out surfing — Martha was content to be on the boogie board, but I did manage to talk her into riding some waves I pushed her into on my 7’6.  Mary, on the other hand, was a natural.  It took her a couple of hours what took me the better part of 2 summers!  She caught a couple of waves and kinda stood up, but nonetheless she was stoked and had some great rides.  Mary is also my height and the same bra size as me.  That was humbling.  They said they were coming back down in the fall sometime and I am excited!!!!  It was awesome to share the gift of surfing with my nieces…..and they were eager to wax the boards too!!  I called Mary my “wahine” (wah-hee-nee) which is Hawaiian for “girl surfer.”  Super awesome.  We also played a rousing game of spoons that had us erupting into fits of silent laugh mode.

I am so psyched for our roadtrip to the state gamelands of Pennsylvania!  It’s The General’s family reunion – about 100 people with similar alleles all gather together for fun, beer, great food, more beer, and 2nds or 3rds through the food buffet.  Last time we went we were dating — several weeks before he proposed.  Much has changed, much has not.  I’m looking forward to seeing my in-laws, nieces, and aunt-in-law.  I plan to surprise The General with 375mL of Jim Beam and airplane bottles of Bailey’s for his morning coffee :-).  I have a feeling I’ll be driving home if the dark rum I’m bringing doesn’t get to me 1st! We’re camping out in a tent again and it’s suppose to be warmer than the 10C outside it was last time!  For the 11 hour car ride I also made a huge batch of puppy chow.  Heehee.  I really need to take a nap before we hit the road.

For lunch today, I stopped at Tidal Creek, the local co-op for everything organic.  I grazed off their salad bar (I’m trying to be vegetarian, but with moments of meat here and there) and had the most amazing concoction: chocolate zucchini cake.  OMG.  Nom.  I need to find a good recipe for it — I could taste the zucchini just a tad over the chocolate and there wasn’t bits of zucchini — it was amazing.  I might go back just for the cake.  I’ve been eating terrible the past couple of days and this reunion isn’t going to help, but all bets are off when surrounded by all that wonderful food.  I’m going to try out this “portion control” bit that I’ve been working on.

The title of this post in a line from “Sure Shot” by the Beastie Boys I heard on the radio today while driving around.  The DJ mentioned this clip and I had to share it.  As a former fan of Sesame Street, this is quite amusing.  Enjoy.

A bad day of surfing is still better than a good day at work

While the waves were breaking this morning, they lacked some umph…..I blame the low tide.  My bruise count is now up to 5.  I got caught “on the inside,” where you get stuck where the waves are breaking and so you are constantly getting knocked over and gulping for air.

The General joined me for the 1st time this season and he didn’t do too well either.  The lack of umph was especially difficult for him, being much larger than myself.

Next time, Gadget, next time!

Onto the next: brunch in the breakfast nook, downtown farmer’s market

 

Stoke forcast for today: High

Spend a good part of the morning riding some amazing waves at Kure Beach.  It was drifty and rough, and I got pwned a few times by the Atlantic, but overall awesome.  I had a few great rides, which is huge for me.  I just rode the white water, the waves were breaking too hard for me to drop in (at my current skill level).

I escaped with 3 bruises.

Multifarious

I did end up wearing the midriff bearing shirt (a tight blue sequin number coupled with a mini knit jacket) and it worked well – especially with 5″ heels.  A lady in the group exclaimed, “You dress like that and you’re married?!”  I was taken aback, because outside of the crest of my hips, everything else was covered conservatively.  She meant it as a compliment, going with the stereotype of all married women gain 20 pounds and only buy clothes from Cold Water Creek.  Ha!  The party was awesome!

I’ve lost 3 more pounds, down to 141.  Woo hoo!  Diet and exercise, baby!  Eating smaller portions minus most sugary treats combined with running seems to be key.  And fruit.  Lots of fruit.  And tea.  And oats.

I’ve decided to plant a berry patch in my backyard: strawberries, raspberries – maybe something else.  I need to clear out a spot and get some serious top soil/compost going on to compete with the sand.  I hoped to start that today, but it keeps raining.

Re-doing our living room is almost complete!  The General is using glass ties for our fireplace surround.  Now that it’s up, I’m not sure it works.  It doesn’t go with the decor of the room and it kinda looks like it fell out YMCA circa 1980.  It’s yet to be grouted with white, so hopefully that will finish it off and make it pop.  I love the idea and I think it’s a nifty way to decorate.  I’ll post a picture once it’s done.

Water temp jumped to 13C – or 55F – it’s officially warm enough for my 4/3 wetsuit.  I’m just not so sure it’s warm enough for me yet.  I like the water to be at least 62+ – what can I say?  I’m a fairweather surfer.  Later this month I’m going into the soup as long as the waves are good. Woo hoo, summer is on it’s way!

Katie, my calico kitty, likes ice cream.  She’s a 11 pounds of sugar in an 8 pound bag in terms of being a fat cat – but I just let her lick a little off a spoon.  Everytime I open the freezer now I have a furry little body right by me with big eyes looking up at me. I think I’ve created a monster.  Oops.

The Tradition Continues

Ever since I started surfing, almost every year I seem to have a surfing-related trip to Urgent Care.  In fact, the only reason I’ve been to an Urgent Care was because of  a surfing accident.

  • Board flipped upside down and somehow ran my hand into between the thumb and pointer finger with the fin.  Huge bruise with lots of pain – I thought I broke my hand.  Nope, just a contusion.
  • Bailed off a bad wave, surfaced, and couldn’t find my board.  As I’m looking around, *WHAM* board hits me in the face, causing my tooth to puncture my lower lip all the way through.  30 stitches later, I was healed and you can’t even see the scar

This year was just stupid.  During Hurricane Earl, I got worked (read: tossed around by a wave underwater) and water ended up in my ear.  It was annoying, but I was not in pain.  It’s still there.  Alcohol ear drops stopped working and my hearing was getting so bad, I had a hard time at work.  Finally, I decided to get it looked at today by a fellow surfer who was also a PA.  He flushed out my ears (It was like cleaning out an old coffee pot – the junk that game out was CRAZY), gave me some antibiotics that I wasn’t allergic to, plus nose spray (my sinuses were getting plugged up because my ears were so plugged….).  I still have some water behind my eardrum, but I love being able to hear again in surround sound and not like I’m in a tin can.

So, yes, I can hear me now.

An open letter to Hurricane Igor

Dear Mr. Igor,

Hi.  I am a surfer in the Cape Fear region of North Carolina and it has been Lake Atlantic recently in terms of wave action.  Could you please send some groundswell our way from your massive Category 4-ness?  While the southern part of the United States is known for its hospitality, we would really appreciate if you kept yourself at least 200 nautical miles away from my favorite Old North State.

Thank you.

Sincerely yours,
The General’s Wife

Rum? Check. Gin? Check. Grenadine? Check. Grapefruit and pineapple juices? Check. Triple Sec? Check. Amaretto? Check. Okay, I’m ready!

The Cape Fear region is under a tropical storm warning.  Fantastic.

The General and I hit the waves this morning mainly because we got our new 6’6 and were dying to try it out.  It’s a fast little sucker and it will definitely take some getting used to.  It wasn’t as big and blown out as I thought it was, but there were some waves with real teeth — I managed to get under them at the wrong time.  It’s been 3+ hours and my nose is still dripping ocean water.

It was a blast and half riding the whitewater, there was no way I was going to make it to the outside alive.  Stoke factor was as big as the waves.  Tomorrow is suppose to monstrous with Hurricane Earl headed this way.  Luckily it will miss us, or at least that’s what they’re forecasting.  Hurricanes are like virgos: completely unpredictable until the last moment.

Oh, and we are totally driving to Pennsylvania this weekend: nothing like getting out of town for a huge storm.

So I got all my ingredients — I’m ready for a hurricane.

((I love how this blog went from real estate to a surf report….))

Wavey, with a chance of clams

I hit the surf today, which was minimal, despite having 3 major storms churning in the Atlantic.

It still kicked my butt.

Most of the waves broke hard and fast and about 3 feet….and I somehow always managed to be in break zone.

My next surfing feat is to go down the face of the wave while remaining on the board. So far, as soon as I realize I’m heading down the wave, I bail.  I curl up into a ball and protect my head with my arms from the seafloor or my surfboard (which sometimes thinks it’s a kite) – I look more like a grade school student prepping for a tornado than a bonafide surfer.  I’ve pearled really hard a few times (like today) and that feeling of being at the mercy of the wave with no control is a very scary thing for me.  I struggle cruising down waves on a boogie board – its much more terrifying when you’re on a 7’6 piece of plastic!  Maybe next year that will be my goal, since this year was all about getting comfortable in the ocean and with my board.

It may also help that The General and I are adding to our quiver — our 1st short board should arrive today: a 6’6 turbo fish.  It might be easier to take on those steep waves with something a bit smaller.

The General and I traded boards today, too – I got to try out his 8’0 longboard.  It’s so freaking stable and big compared to my narrow funboard, a very nice ride.  I really had a blast with it in the whitewater when I wasn’t being tossed about by the waves.

One of the many beach treasures I find once in awhile are clam shells that are still connected and open.  The organism has been long gone, but an intact shell remains.  I’ve only found one; I super-glued the ligament (I’m not sure what to call it….) and keep it as a knick knack.  I found one today and put it in my board short pocket and figured if it survived me surfing, I’d take it home.  It did.  Once I got it home, I saw it had a little baby clam inside it, hanging out.  It was still alive!  It had that cilia stuff on the outside of it and after while, it made itself at home, hanging from the top of the clam.  How crazy is that?

I’m debating on weather to take it back to the beach before work.

My name is Earl

Karma?  Or just cuz it’s been a long time?

Hurricane Earl is headed up the eastern seaboard as a Cat 3.

Hi new surfin’ buddy!

The surf was pretty crazy yesterday.  The outside was way too heavy/blown out/strong for me to make it to the outside to catch waves like a proper surfer, so I spent 2 fabulous hours riding the whitewater (the wave after it breaks, throwing my board into the current and just jumping on top of it).  I felt like a complete loon, but there was another guy out there on a longboard doing the same thing I was!  We appeared to be at the same skill level.

I fell a bunch of times, I had no balance.  I have a beautiful bruise on my knee and today I just feel sore, like a I was put together wrong.  I meant to go out this morning, but my blahness + work just didn’t seem right.  The General and I are hitting the waves 1st thing tomorrow morning and I am quite excited!

This weekend we’re going to the wonderful state of Pennsylvania for a family reunion (The General’s side).  I’m excited for a 10 hour roadtrip, The General is not.  I’m a little worried that this guy is going to hit the Cape Fear region when we’re not here….but at the same time, I am glad to get out of his way!

There’s a slight possibility that I will loose my hurricane virginity this week.  Oh boy.  I’m stocking up on the protection, nonetheless.

Also, Mad Men picked up some serious Emmy’s last night!!!!!!!  I wish more of the individual actors had received statues, they are so good at their craft.

Here I am, rock you like a hurricane

The storm activity in the Atlantic was suppose to be “textbook” this year for bad storms.  It was benign all summer until this week.

Danielle turned into a Category 4 storm (the ranking only goes up to 5), but luckily she’s going out to sea.  We just get the waves!  Huge, head high plus waves that are suppose to arrive this weekend. I can’t be out there because it would be like a putting a 15 year old into a NASCAR race: I’d be out of my league and probably get hurt.

Earl looks like it’s heading towards us, at least the 5 day tracking cone is predicting it.

And now there’s another storm that has the possibility to develop into a hurricane.  Yikes.

While I am still a hurricane virgin, I like the excitement; I love a good storm. I messed around back in 2007 with Tropical Storm Ernesto and ended up spending the night at work cuz we locked down.  Hurricanes were so much more fun when I hand renters insurance….

Surf Naked

Here’s what I got to surf today!  I made the picture large so you can see the beautiful glassy face of the wave right as it’s about to break.  I got lucky on this shot, due to my lack of photography skills and the camera I am using has a whopping 3.2 MP.

It was a perfect morning for surfing here in the Carolina coast.

After a rough night of machines malfunctioning (ah, to accidently change the set points…) and learning that I have my very own ova and parasite farm in my house (read: cats got fleas from the porch and now they’re in my dream home), I was in desperate need of some relaxing ocean waves on my 7’6 epoxy.

Despite how nice these waves look, some of them packed some serious punch.  I pearled pretty hard a few times and even managed to get caught in the break zone, stuck on the inside during a couple of sets.

I was amused at how I was almost down the face of a wave and it would lift the back of my board up and *ker plunk* I was in the soup.

Nonetheless, it was so awesome, a very high stoke factor today!

I think I will have to go back to board shorts – even tho thong bathing suits are banned at KB, I had some pretty ugly ocean-induced weggies.  I’m not sure if my suit is just wearing out or if my butt has shrunk more by jogging.

This problem could be so easily solved by just surfing naked.  I would contend with board rash on my nipples if I didn’t have to worry about my suit going every which way. And no tan lines!  I have thought about just showing up in board shorts, I have whatever is less than an A cup is, so I figured I could pass for a guy.

Surfing naked is on my bucket list.  I’m just not sure when – or if – it’ll happen.  It could be never, or the next big wave that hits me and knocks my suit off.  Tequila makes her clothes fall off, why not the ocean?

Updating….

Wow, 2 months have escaped me.  Where does the time go?

It would be too much for me to go into detail about all our adventures, so here are the highlights:

  • Had 24 hours, 8 dedicated to work, to unload our POD before it was due to be picked up.
  • Painted the guest bathroom a dazzling shade of blue
  • Painted the guest room a beautiful sky blue
  • Painted the hallway a beachy sand color
  • And all of the moulding.  Stark white.  Did I mention 3 coats of paint to cover the awful almond color?
  • And all of the doors.  Stark white.  Did I mention the 5 coats of paint to cover the awful almond color?
  • Discovered primer half way through the painting process and have embraced it
  • Painted the master bath a seagreen color that came out darker than I had envisioned, but it is so nice now
  • Oh, and the moulding.  And the doors.  It still needs a top coat.
  • Got couches, end tables, and a kitchen table.  It finally looked like people lived here and not nomad college students.
  • Had a girl’s nite complete with frozen drinks and poker ’til 0200 and it was awesome!
  • Had our 1st quasi-formal dinner party with a friend.  On the menu: mahi, king crab, and potatoes.
  • About to have a house warming party with random people stopping by.  This should be fun!

My new favorite surf spot is Kure Beach.  No paying for parking, no surf zones, less crowded.  Perfect.  I never thought I would find somewhere other than Wrightsville.

Life is good.