Thoughts before my next flight around the sun

Hey there – the untimely passing of pro skateboarder Dylan Rieder hit me hard and I just about damn near wept later that day listening to his Jenkem playlist featured a few months ago. I kept the playlist rolling for a couple of days ensuring interruption free listening by keeping the continuous loop setting activated on my player. After awhile I started to loop particular songs on the playlist. Pitseleh by Elliott Smith was one of them. Elliott Smith I thought. Never heard of him.

IMG 0070 1024x768  Thoughts before my next flight around the sun
Everybody understands, everybody cares

Historically- the last two decades of alternative music make a lot more sense to me now. Death Cab for Cutie makes more sense to me. The National. Bright Eyes. The list grows and continues as I pick through my music collection.

Elliott Smith’s heyday was the 90s. Music was generally shared and discovered through mixtapes gifted by friends. It would be easy to miss someone as influential as Elliott. Still easy to do so now.

I think of the gifts that Dylan gave to skateboarding. His power, speed and style were undeniable. You felt good about life when you watched him skateboard. The fast and strong lines of kickflips over tall stair sets followed by Smith grinds on the tops of picnic tables. I also think about the music Dylan listened to and shared with people. Like a good friend saying, “You need to listen to this. You’ll thank me later.”

Broody songs by Elliott Smith flutter into my ears as I walk through the remaining days of my 43rd autumn. The spent leaves crunch under my feet. The air unseasonably warm and lush with decay. The days are darker, quicker. I feel quieter. Elliott Smith lulling in my background as I think about growing older and what I’ve gained and lost. One thing I still know. I am thankful for the people that still share and open their arms to the life around them. My family. My friends. Skateboarding by Dylan. Songs by Elliott.

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This sick interlude, with all of my heart, part II

While putting together a couple more sequences I thought, how can anyone put together the three hour bowel clenching mega drama Titanic much less a five minute skateboard video? After two minutes I feel that my ideas are shot and I’ve dug deep in my bag of tricks and came up short to keep the viewer’s interest and well, my own.

Nonetheless, I push forward- actually I’m pretty sure what I need to do in order to get the show back on track. I have three more sequences to shoot and it should be good.

1. Memory Lane

2. Eyota

3. Silver Lake, again.

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Let us remember

That one week ago I sprained my ankle (somewhere between a type one and two) and began what is officially known as “My Summer Bag of Suck”. Swelling has gone down significantly but I’m giving it another week. Still sort of swollen. C_ has been my reassuring nurse practitioner. I’m looking into a new board (since the other one tried to break my ankle). I think I want to get a Hook Ups deck (sort of NSFW-Anime). I’m looking for something that is 7.75 or less. I have small feet.

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My own summer bag of suck

Lately all I’ve been doing is obsessing about my sprained ankle. When will it get better? How long will it take? Is bruising normal? Should I see the doctor? Am I going to die? Why doesn’t it hurt more? Am I the biggest whiner on Earth? Why me? WHY? At the height of summer too.

So it goes.

I was at the Eyota skateboard park just this Tuesday when it happened. I’m not even sure how it happened.  I was having a good time of it. Boardslides. Ollies off of the steps. 50-50 grinds on the quarterpipe and just a really lovely day. Move over Sheckler. Tedfoo pwns this park.

I was having trouble landing the longer boardslides so I kept telling myself to loosen up and relax so I could come off of the rail with more control. Well I think I was too relaxed when I slopped up the rail. My left foot (I think) came off the tail of the skateboard and I rolled the ankle. Done. Bag of suck.

I got ice on it right away. Compression bandage (make shift bubble wrap and tape). Rest and elevation. BOR-ING.

So now I read blogs on sprains and rehab. Sucks. Everyone is like – don’t do this and don’t do that. Basically just sit and suck. I believe I have a grade I perhaps borderline grade II ankle sprain. Suck.

Anyway. I’ve started an ankle journal and have been shopping for a new board (the other one is cursed now). Pictures to come.

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New revelations of a recovering teenage skatepunk

Super awesome week skateboarding. I’m always a sweaty mess by the time my  lunch is over, too bad the area of Rochester I work in sucks balls for skate terrain. I make the best of it. Empty parking lot with a painted curb works. It’s right next to a baseball park that has the these two cute statues of children playing baseball. It has a nice homey feeling to it and it is tucked away enough from the road so no one from work can see me. I have officially adopted it as my place to skate.

First things first though- the list:

Up North, Pale Young Gentlemen

A Day in the Life, The Beatles

How High the Moon?, Charlie Parker and Ella Fitzgerald

Been Caught Stealing, Jane’s Addiction

Boy’s Don’t Cry, The Cure

Things I learned about skateboarding this week:

I never tire of watching videos of skateboarders that are a hundred times better than me. It just pushes me harder. I keep thinking- I’ll be able to do that. Be positive.

Be very aggressive when doing a trick. Go all out. Doing it half-ass is only going to end in a sprain or a lame waste of time. Go for the break and try to get on top of it.

Speed speed speed.

Pulling off a trick and working a remote for your camera is bullshit hard. Bring a friend next time.

Muscle memory is so important. Repeat trick a billion times.

You need a lot of force and tension to pull a trick off, but you still have to manage to remain relaxed otherwise you’re going to lock your legs up on the landing and end up on your ass.

Like I said, relax. Tell yourself that a billion times.

Celebrate wildly the first time you land the trick (180 pop shove-it for me!). Do yell out and put your hands in the air and wave them like you just don’t care. I did.

Don’t try to do tricks in the employee break room in front of co-workers and eat it hard. That’s lame.

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Tearing it up at Eyota. Haha.

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