An Outerlands Adventure

This video was born out of a love for a very special restaurant in my neighborhood. Ok, so it’s not the most objective reporting I’ve ever done, but you go there and then tell me you aren’t inspired to write a romantic poem about that delicious bread.
Please enjoy, and if you haven’t been yet, go!


Take this social networking survey!

Please take my social networking survey! I’m writing an in-depth story about Facebook and relationships and I need 100 people to take the survey total. Please help me out!!!

Ocean Beach whale mural comes alive

This is a beautifully done video by Angel Marin about the recently painted whale mural at Sunset Co-op Nursery School by Chris Del Moro. Check it out!

Chasing the pow

Photo credit: boolve via Creative Commons

We’ve had a great early snow season so far, and those of us who live for the white chilly goodness are salivating in anticipation for another dump … or two or three!
But one ill does plague many of us still. This wicked recession is making it hard to eat, let alone go on a quick vacation to Tahoe.
So this is a guide to making it work. Where there’s a mountainous will, there’s a three-feet-of-new-snow-just-last-night sorta way.
First, make friends! If yours can’t go, find some others that want to play in the snow as bad as you do. There’s always Craigslist rideshare which might sound creepy, but realistically can be really effin cool for making new connections.

Photo credit: Gwennypics via Creative Commons

Carpooling is absolutely essential for saving money and making the trip cost effective.
Second, hit the grocery store before you leave. Buying bulk can feed more people and go farther. Make sando’s for the slope and get something easy for breaky — like granola and yogurt.

Photo credit: bensonkua via Creative Commons

And let’s not forget the sauce. Alcoholic drinks are astronomically expensive at resorts so invest in a cheap flask and buy some yummy spiced rum or tummy warming whiskey to sip on.
Third, find sleeping accommodations. If you have to, there’s always the possibility of driving up and back in a day, it’s not thaaaat long. Without traffic we’re looking at about three hours, no biggie. If you’ve got a little extra cashish, check out Craigslist rentals or Tahoe listings on VRBO.
There’s also some killer hotel deals in nearby towns such as Auburn. It’s definitely the more the merrier when it comes to crashing out. Floor space is crucial. Finally, we come to the gear and pass. Ugh.
Without these two, learning to snowboard seems nearly impossible for students and those of us that fall into the low income bracket. But never fear!
You can rent ski’s or boards and boots and bindings at Tahoe Dave’s for a mere $29 a day!

Photo credit: fun-g via Creative Commons

For great lift ticket deals check out this site!
Honestly, if you love snow like I do, getting a season pass just makes more sense. And if you’re a student, even better! Right now you can get a pass to Sierra, Northstar and Heavenly for $279. It may seem like a hefty chunk of dough, but as long as you go more than four times, the pass is golden. Then borrow some clothes from friends. Most snow bums have multiple jackets, pants and beanies. Even goggles and helmets! Get it!

Photo credit: alexindigo via Creative Commons

Still unknown whether GG body belonged to arm

Photo credit: davco9200 Creative Commons

It remains a mystery whether the severed arm discovered in Golden Gate Park last Sunday was part of a body also found.

For more information please check out the SF Examiner story.

Note: an earlier version of this story contained the full text of the Examiner story. I apologize for this indiscretion.

Best. Weekend. Ever.

Okay, maybe not ever, but pretty darn close.
If my honey had been around it would’ve been the best for sure. And if I’d gone surfing twice daily. I’m still too freaked of OB to go alone. For good reason I think. Note to self: find surf buddies for weekends like this.
Alas, I’m gonna break all the conventional journalism rules and just write about my weekend, being the first I’ve spent really enjoying my ‘hood while soaking up some well deserved (and rare) Sunset sunshine!
I started the weekend at the Save The Waves Film Festival at the Victoria Theatre in the Mission. Aside from the chaos of bartending for all involved, it was an awesome event. Transparent Sea was inspiring as was 180 Degrees South. Can’t wait to get out and do some more world travel.

Sachi Cunningham debuted a part of her three-part series on big-wave chasing and riding which was a really innovative look at the sport. Her footage featured GoPro shots from the front of the board being ridden into eighty-foot waves. The new perspective definitely heightened the level of respect I have for all of those folks who paddle into giants and successfully tame them. WOW. And by the way, Sachi Cunningham is my new hero and when I grow up (ha ha) I want to be her. Or like her. Do what she does.
Los Angeles Times multimedia crew, hello! I made a connection with her and am STOKED to perhaps maybe who knows have an opportunity to work for/with/alongside her.
I also finally met Ocean Beach Bulletin‘s Mark Lukach face to face! He has been helping me stay in the Sunset loop in regards to stories and connections and I interviewed his partner Tom Prete when the website launched. I have to admit it was kinda awkward as it was my first time meeting someone for real, after web-only contact for some time. Nevertheless it was great to connect in the physical world, and I’m looking forward to a possible internship at the Bulletin next spring.
Saturday morning was a little hazy after the past evening’s tequila and whiskey drinking, but I managed to pull on some shorts (yes, shorts) and meander down to the Sunset Cooperative Nursery School to check out Chris Del Moro‘s whale mural, which is highly worth a trip to see.
I enjoyed it Saturday morning, evening, and Sunday evening again as I cruised by on my evening run. A sweet addition to OB!
My buddy Shane Anderson hadn’t spent much time in the outer regions of SF and what an amazing day!
After the mural peeping, we meandered down to the sand to check out the river of moon jellies that washed up the previous night. Thanks to our friends at OB Bulletin and their breaking news coverage, we knew about the occurrence before we even got out of bed!
Right on local news coverage! That’s what I’m talking ’bout!
So yeah, crazy indeed.
Not sure what the deal was exactly. Some said it was normal, others were freakin’ a bit. Alas.
Shane geeked out (as any good Bio teacher should) and showed me the inner workings of the peculiar creatures. Fascinating and slimy.
Post-jelly fun we headed to Outerlands for some brunch.
Free-range bacon and organic fried egg on homemade toast with some fresh greens was the purrrrr-fect hangover helper. And let’s not forget that bomb ginger lemon apple cider. Sooooo delicious and spicy.
Then we headed to get a cup of coffee at Trouble and window shopped at that little store next door. What is it called?
Super cute, and the backyard has a green house filled with succulents and cacti!!! Yesh!

Then we peeped in Mollusk to see what was up. Amazingly, the peeps working were very friendly! I don’t know about you, but I’ve never felt ‘cool’ enough to shop there. They always play this weird “the customer isn’t right” thing and sometimes don’t even look up when you come in. Weird. And after delivering stellar customer satisfaction four four years at Patagonia, that shite is the epitome of baaaad service.
But not this time, so cool cool.
Then we found a couch in the street and Shane sat on it. He tried to make me, but I have a phobia of abandoned furniture so I declined.
Alison Agosti aka Just_Alison on Twitter said it best when she decided that:
“Bedbugs wouldn’t scare me so much if I could buy tiny hats for them on Etsy.”
After I took Shane to the BART station it was back home for me where I proceeded to skip dinner and sleep eleven hours. Awesomeness continued into the night as I had an epic dream about a Megalodon and whales (thanks Rasta and CDM for putting sea mammals in my brain).
Sunday was just more chill time. I recorded some footage for a video story I’m doing about Outerlands (thank you to Shane for the idea) early morning and then booked north to have brunch with the boys at the Novato firehouse.
Captain Davis brought his sweet little pup to work, a half Australian shepherd half German shepherd that smelled just like puppy! Go figure. Totally cute until it frantically munched some grass, puked up breakfast, and proceeded to just as quickly gobble it all back up. Who’s hungry now?
Then it was home to the beauteous Sunset again for some homeworkin’, facebookin’, sunbathin’, and then another sunset run.
A sweet weekend indeed.

Note: First three photos (from film festival) were taken by Giovanni Agnoli. The rest were taken by me.

Sunset whale mural by Chris Del Moro

The Sunset Cooperative Nursery School is the official site of OB’s newest completed mural project, a whale painting by artist Chris Del Moro. The mural project was initiated by Save The Waves, an environmental non-profit organization that works to protect endangered surf spots around the globe. The project was completed over the course of two days and served as an introduction in honoring ocean conservation and the Save The Waves Film Festival on Friday, Nov. 12.
Del Moro is an artist living in southern California whose art has appeared on everything from murals to t-shirts.
The film Transparent Sea, is a documentary (shown at STWFF) about Dave Rastovich’s 700km Australian voyage with friends (including CDM) from Byron Bay to Bondi Beach in Oct. 2009. The crew followed the whales along their migration path to both observe and attract more attention to the majestic and gigantic sea creatures.
According to the Transparent Sea Voyage’s website, inspiration for the journey sprang from environmental concern for marine creatures and the desire to raise awareness and ultimately, someday, real legitimate protection.
“For sixty million years the largest brains on Earth have swam and surfed harmoniously within the ocean. Today, industrialized man threatens the future of our oceans, whales and dolphins via commercial fishing, domestic, industrial and acoustic pollution, and direct kills. The Transparent Sea voyage expresses the surfing worlds desire to surf with cetaceans in an ocean that is clean, clear, and protected.”
Now OB can enjoy land whales too at the Sunset Co-op on the corner of Lawton and Great Highway.

Holy Waterproof Camera, Brah! STW Launch Party 11/11

From the STW’s official press release:
Please come out on Thursday, 11/11, at the Park Chalet for an intimate gathering with Save The Waves Coalition, Surfers for Cetaceans, Waves for Development and San Francisco Surfrider:
It’s a Happy Hour Launch Party for Save The Waves Film Festival! (STWFF is the following night, Friday, Nov 12)
WHERE: Park Chalet.
WHEN: 6pm. Thursday, November 11, 2010.
WHY: Get STOKED for Save The Waves Film Festival!
With your $5 donation to Save The Waves you get happy hour prices at the bar all night. This $5 donation also gives you a chance to win tickets to the following night Save The Waves Film Festival at the Victoria Theatre!

“At this Launch Party we will screen BALI HIGH, the seminal 1981 surf classic featuring one of the best soundtracks, ever. We will also screen CAPTURE, a very special short film about the wave-blessed community of Lobitos, Peru and the experience of surf travelers who dedicate their passion to helping local youth. We’re also welcoming surfer-artist-environmentalist Chris Del Moro of Surfers for Cetaceans, and his new mural at Ocean Beach. Other local filmmakers and good friends will be there as well.”

A sad day in surfing: Andy Irons passes away at 32

November 14, 2010:
Today thousands from the surfing world from around the world celebrated Andy’s life with a memorial paddle out in Kauai. Watch the video here.

Photo credit: surfglassy, Creative Commons

This week has been a whirlwind of emotion for San Franciscans. Our beloved Giants won the World Series, we exercised our right to vote on the midterm election, and then we lost one of the greatest surfers of all time, Andy Irons.
The news was first broken by the Honolulu AP and picked up by the Los Angeles Times.
As his family and the surfing world mourns the young surfer’s death, the mystery remains: how did this happen?
Irons left Puerto Rico with Dengue Fever. He never made it home to Kauai. Allegedly, some heavy duty sleeping pills and methadone (a drug used to overcome heroin addiction) were found at his bedside.
Did Irons battle drugs quietly before finally falling under the sword of overdose? Or did the virus he carried need hospital attention?
Some think it’s disrespectful to even ask such questions, but as a journalist I feel it’s important to know the truth.
The truth provides closure and gives meaning to senseless deaths. At some point over the next few weeks, toxicology tests will reveal this truth, and the last piece of the puzzle will be complete.
In the meantime, and forever, let’s honor the three time ASP world champion pro surfer for being what a friend of mine described in meeting him as “kind and humble.”
Irons leaves behind a big family, a soon to be mother and wife, and a surfing world that has idolized him since his early days as a teenage surfing prodigy.
Andy, we miss you. Those who knew you well, and those who only watched your skillful maneuvers from afar, hoping to one day give you props. May you rest in peace.

NorCal local Lara Novak with AI in Oz. Photo credit: Steve Sherman

A few more thoughts from Lara Novak, a surfer friend traveling in Australia:
“Andy’s passing is on everybody’s mind in Oz. I am on the Gold Coast, the epicenter of the surfing industry and all the flags are at half staff. He’s not even Aussie. I talked with Andy for a minute after his heat at the Quiky Pro. Chatted small talk and about the waves, he asked where I was from. Point Arena. HE KNEW POINT ARENA! I was blown away. I asked him for a photo after our convo, Steve Sherman was standing next to me (awesome photog), I asked him to take our photo. Steve didnt’ know how to work the camera of mine — It took 3 tries! Poor Andy. He was really sweet.”

Ocean Beach welcomes new surf shop to neighborhood

There’s a new surf shop in the neighborhood and it goes by the name of Sunset Shapers.
Located at 3896 Noriega St. (at 46th Ave.) and spearheaded by OB local James Mitchell, the shop not only retails surfboards from his own brand Las Olas, but also a variety of other Central Coast shapers, demo fins, wax and other essentials, and also houses a shaping room where Mitchell and other aspiring shapers can hone their skills.
Mitchell was generous enough to let me shadow him for a time while he embarked on the intricate and precise process of shaping a board.
Watch the audio slideshow here!

All photos by Lindsey Graham-Jones. “Get On Board” by Oneness, music courtesy of Creative Commons.