Ah, Friday. I was up early anyway; the kid has a fever, and woke us up at 5:00 this morning to ask for a cup of milk. I gave him that and a dose of Motrin, put him in bed with Beth, and set out to find some waves. Drove up to the outer reaches of Ponto - nothing, low tide had drained it out. Drove back down to Home Break. Two areas were peaky; one was even spitting out a nicely shaped left, and I pulled off the road in time to see a guy get barreled.
The problem - two areas were peaky, two areas out of a five+ miles stretch of beach. I'm not ready to take the Hogfish out into traffic. Especially when the traffic consists of shit-hot Encinitas teenagers. Not that the lineup was terribly crowded, but there were a good 10-12 people sitting on those two peaks. I'd have been number 11-13, the Zeta Dog, and humiliation was not on the agenda for today.
So back home I went, thinking a couple of thoughts. One, need to take the doggie screen out of the Xterra - this will allow me to take both boards out when we buy our new car (I'm thinking of a Volvo S40 - Daddy like, Mommy like, we're gonna go test drive this weekend). Two, pulling into the driveway, looking up the looooong, gently downhill sloping street on which we live, this would have been a great morning to ride the Sector 9 that I've put on the birthday wishlist. (Hey, 37 is the new 17, or so I tell myself.)
So last night was my first trip to the OP-errrrrrrr-ah. Ulterior motives - we had free tickets, as the event was billed as Tech Night at the San Diego Opera, meaning that a bunch of Important People from the tech sector would be there, a perfect opportunity to ply my trade, wooing folks to come and work for my company. Before the show, there was to be a networking event - mingling, free wine, food. Of course, we got there late, thanks to horrible traffic - I had just enough time to down three pieces of room-temperature California roll and a half a glass of red before the alarm bell went off, signalling the crowd to move toward the Thee-ah-tah. We followed the herd of well-heeled big wheels to our seats, which were quite good - second row, with an unobstructed view, thanks in no small part to the fact that the first row was exclusive to really, really old people, who were all hunched over in their seats. I snagged my pocket on the armrest as I was sitting down, causing a tear. I bitched about that to Beth, and started to complain about the lack of cupholders, when the lights came down.
The opera was The Magic Flute, or as it's known in the original German, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Die Ubermagitstzenfluerheimtenschteinerwangerwurtztrameinerstruesselplatzubereinsweidrefeirfunfgezenleib-menchgemenschaftstrumundrangadolfeichmanneinstatzkommandoschnappswolfgangpucksiegfriedundroy. (Yes, I'm aware that the whole visual gag of long German words is a dead horse that's been beaten, skinned, fileted, grilled, and served at French restaurants, but it's still GOLD.) It was okay. I took a semester of German in college - the class was taught by a Japanese man who at the time was in his late seventies, which prompted lots of speculation about what he did in the war - and tried to follow along. Two words into it ("Ich bin...") and I was reading the teleprompter. The music was great (well, duh, Mozart), most of the vocal performances were strong (some almost embrassing missed notes that even an armchair Cowell like me could heard), the story was a bit thin (something to do with a prince and the queen of night and the king of the sun and a funny guy who catches birds). I comported myself reasonably well - I did not yell out "ROCK ME AMADEUS!" during intermission, but I drew some unapproving glares when, during the curtain calls, I loudly complained about the lack of singing cats, and where the hell was the big chandelier that flies into the audience?
Living within walking distance of the Pacific is a blessing for many reasons, not the least of which is that it affords one the opportunity for some serious get-your-head-together time. I usually spend that time astride a surfboard, and so it was that I found myself bobbing up and down just outside the impact zone. The surf was a bit of a mess; some size and power, but no organization to speak of. Not a good day to increase my total wave-count (I caught one, and it's hardly worth mentioning). An excellent day, however, to think about writing. Made better by the fact that the break I'd settled on was empty - no surfers, no guys fishing from the shore, no pelicans, nadie.
A few days ago, I'd volunteered to join Kara's Mother's Day Blogorama/Bloggect (can't quite get my tongue around that, so I'm sticking with Blogorama). The mission: write something Mother's Day related. Easy, I thought. I'll write about my mom. I'll spend some time on it, make it good, no problem. As of this morning, though, I'd had a bit - a LOT - of The Writer's Block.
The feelings we have for our parents can twist and turn as we grow older; time becomes much less linear, as we resent being treated like kids, we working mature parents, who forget that we're capable of acting like absolute brats, usually because we resent being treated like kids. I envy those people who say that they have "wonderful relationships" with their mothers; at the same time, I can't help but feel that they're a bit disingenuous, if only because I don't have a "wonderful relationship" with my mom. This is not to say that I don't love her dearly - I do. But how to sum up the myriad of experiences and emotions that run through my head any time I think about my mom? Sitting out there on my board, pondering what the hell I was going to say about my mom, I realized that as a 36 year old, I'm no closer to figuring out my relationship with my mom than I was at 16, 10, 6, 3...
My solitude was interrupted by a pair of dorsal fins slicing through the water - I don't know what it is, maybe Cameron shoulda cast me as Aquaman instead of Vinnie Chase, but the dolphins, they seem to show up when I'm in the water. They cruised slowly past me, maybe five or six feet away (yeah, I've been that close, even closer, to wild dolphins and it never, ever, fails to thrill me). One of the pair was considerably smaller than the other, and swimming just astern and slightly beneath her, a mother and her calf, not an uncommon sight in the springtime ocean. The formation was deliberate - swimming in the wake requires less effort They went on their way, the calf occasionally veering off to check things out, the mother keeping a bit of distance, yet remaining watchful.
Yeah, a bit of an anvil, as they might say at Television Without Pity. Still, a good reminder at the right time, that ultimately we're all traveling through waters that can be placid, or murky, or rough, and we're fortunate indeed to have our moms with us, never really far from our side.