Wild Times: Sex, Drugs, and Mammoth Mountain

I have a friend who wrote a book, which in and of itself is an amazing accomplishment since my own book is stuck in limbo somewhere between my head and a few notes in this computer, but this isn’t even his first foray into publishing-he authored Zen and the Art of Surfing, too.

Greg Gutierrez is an amazing human for many reasons. He’s an artist, an educator, a vocal supporter of the environment, and a powerful local community activist.

Also a surfer. Also a skier.

When I first started to read Mammoth Mountain, I was immediately transported back to my own college years when I split my time between San Diego State University and Mammoth, where I lived part of the year on Lupin St. For me, those were spectacular days with tons of snow, skiing from first light to dark. If I didn’t have a ride up to the mountain, I’d start walking and someone would always pick me up. It was a great little community before the whole mountain exploded in condos and timeshares and tourism.

I never met Greg back then–our paths never crossed–two ships in the night and all that, and my own experiences in Mammoth were TAME compared to his, that’s for sure!

The subtitle of Mammoth Mountain is “Follow the 1980’s life of Drew, a pot smoking, thieving, womanizer…”

Now I don’t have PROOF that Drew is Greg…but I’m kinda sorta connecting the dots, if you know what I mean.

I don’t want to give away the storyline or the ending, but this is way more than a journal that chronicles one debauchery after another…there’s serious substance here, a coming of age, a rite of passage, painful growth, self examination, and enlightenment.

He lost his way, his life went off course, but what did he find?

He found himself.

There’s love, there’s a lot of love here, and at the end of the day, that’s all we have. That’s all that really matters. To love and be loved.

And if we don’t love ourselves, we can never truly know love.

P.S. Who should read this book? EVERYONE. 

Cogitate and Vegetate

writerblockcatI’m sick.

Not with a fever or muscle aches or even allergies….

I have all the symptoms of “writer’s block“, a disease peculiar to writers — or in my case, a wanna-be writer.

I have lots of posts started — none finished.

One-hundred-twenty-one posts in the Drafts folder.

That’s a lot of procrastination.

This’ll be one-hundred-twenty-TWO.

Maybe I’ll be struck by the muse after a few glasses of this…or maybe not.

writers block wine

Happy Friday, y’all!

Happy Birthday, Edward Albee

Edward Albee

Edward Albee-Courtesy of flavorwire.com

“Well, when I was six years old I decided, not that I was going to be, but with my usual modesty, that I was a writer. So I starting writing poetry when I was six and stopped when I was twenty-six because it was getting a little better, but not terribly much. When I was fifteen I wrote seven hundred pages of an incredibly bad novel—it’s a very funny book I still like a lot. Then, when I was nineteen I wrote a couple hundred pages of another novel, which wasn’t very good either. I was still determined to be a writer. And since I was a writer, and here I was twenty-nine years old and I wasn’t a very good poet and I wasn’t a very good novelist, I thought I would try writing a play, which seems to have worked out a little better.” — In an interview with The Paris Review, 1966

Don’t bury the lead

My tugboat man called last night.

When he’s near land, he tries to call at least once a day. I know he’s concerned about me being here alone and a phone call or an email eases his worry.

I spent about ten minutes blithely chatting away about my car that slipped a little on the wet streets because it was raining and everything else I did: went to the gym,  how I was planning the menus for my son/DIL’s visit and what kind of birthday cake the Angel Boy requested (chocolate), and how we were hoping the weather would be nice for them.

Screen Shot 2013-03-09 at 7.57.30 AM

When I stopped to take a breath,
he told me what was happening on the tug –they played cribbage,
he lost–he was tired and
going to sleep, and oh, by the way, the assignment was winding down and he’d be flying out in a couple of days.

WTF? WHAT?

WHAT. THE. HELL. DID. HE. JUST. SAY?

What did you say? You let me chatter on for all that time and never stopped me to say you’re coming home? YOU BURIED THE LEAD? Who does that? You’re supposed to LEAD with the important part of the story. Geez”

“I was planning to, whenever you stopped talking.” he said. Oh SUH-NAP.

What every writer should know

BURYLEAD

Every writer, every journalist, EVERYONE knows that you never bury the lead!

Once upon a time, there was this thing that was made out of paper that had words printed on it. It was called a newspaper. People just like you and me read them every day to learn about the world around us. That was before television even, and well before the internet. Writers and journalists were a key element and held in high esteem. (This is MY story, right?)  Those of us who took journalism and writing classes in college learned the old adage: Never Bury The Lead.  In the pre-blog paper based publishing world, page space held a premium. All writers knew their magnificent five hundred word story might get hacked up on a busy news day. If the shortened version didn’t “have legs” on its own, the piece could be killed. That’s why news writers are concise.  The survival of their by-lines depended on it.

hisgirlfridayNothing like the good old days, am I right?

Our conversation would have taken an entirely different path if my tugboat man had started with “I’m coming home”.

Barring more delays (entirely possible), he’ll be here early next week!

Picture me spending that time finishing the spring cleaning, grocery shopping, and baking — oh, and planning what to wear to pick him up at the airport. I think it’s time for another new outfit to match my new and improved face,  don’t you?

Happy International Women’s Day and Happy Friday, everyone!

For your enjoyment,  another Cure song (of love and sadness) along with one of our favorite Bob Marley songs (of love and joy).