I think that title really speaks to who I am, but I had never thought about this before living in the NYC area. Apparently it rains more on average here than in Seattle (considered one of the most depressing cities in the country, though I loved it there. Great beer joints, the original Starbucks for what that’s worth, and flying fish.) but I feel like we get a good amount of sun as well for being in this weird weather zone. It’s not the 300 days of sunshine that Tucson can claim, I miss that weather, but I think NYC holds its own for being in the northeast. That being said, one flaw in New York’s majesty is the fact that the buildings are SO tall that many times you cannot even see or feel the sun while walking through the city. Many times you have to look straight up, literally, straight up to see the sky. But there are times of the day that the sun shines through the gaps in the skyscrapers and us city goers are allowed to walk in the sun.
I know this probably sounds weird to people reading this that live anywhere else other than NYC, but sunlight on your face comes at a premium unless you are in Central Park or in a gap between midtown and downtown, or you are out in one of the other boroughs. I realize that nearly everywhere else in the world, the sun shines and you can feel it any time, you can see it any time. But think about where you live versus where I live. Open sprawling urban areas of neighborhoods that house two-story domiciles, the open range of farmlands stretching across the bread basket of America, or you just live in a city that doesn’t hold the volume of people who NYC does. I get it and I don’t expect you to truly understand, but let’s just say this is a major detraction for NYC. Read more…
According to Princeton, Karma is “(Hinduism and Buddhism) the effects of a person’s actions that determine his destiny in his next incarnation.” I dont practice Buddhism or the like, but I do believe that our actions come full circle and that goodness is repaid in some way or another in the future. “Pay it forward” is a phrase that I like to think of in conjunction with Karma because this more accurately describes my approach on everyday interactions with the people I come in contact with.
I cant say when I really adopted this concept or began to truly consider it to be relevant in the world, but its been on my mind a lot more lately in light of recent events. I would have to believe that this behavioral characteristic was planted by my parent’s teachings, grew throughout my life backed by family and schooling, then truly became ingrained in my psyche as a member of the Air Force. The teachings, though in different phases of my life and from different teachers, all suggest the same commonality; “be good, do good.”
It seems to me that people inherently are “good.” To what degree this is true, I cannot say, but I think that it is an innate characteristic of human nature to strive for acceptance and to be liked. I feel that if more people realized this about themselves then the world could be a little better of a place. (Im so idealistic right now. I should be eating granola as I write this.)
This week my small town had to bury one of those truly good people in Patrick Bachtell. One week ago a family lost a loved one and a community lost one of its hardest working, most giving members. After hearing all the stories about Patrick and his nature of giving, it made me think that we should all be so lucky to have people stand up and praise our lives. Hopefully this doesnt have to happen at your funeral or mine for that matter. Maybe if you live right and give unconditionally, people will say this about you while you are around to hear it. When I say “you” Im not pointing fingers, its meant to be everyone; me, you, and all those that would care to read my babble. Read more…
Monday was a good lazy day as the weather was shat with overcast skies, wind, and big overhead waves. Since there was no chance to get into the water, I watched a Fantasy Factory marathon, went food shopping, did some studying, took a nap, and just had a chill day in general. I ventured up to Red Bank to have dinner with a friend, chat a little, compare hip-hop “it” songs of the moment, let her roommates cat out by accident, and then drive right back to Manasquan after.
I had just picked up the horror movie remake, the Crazies, from the local Red Box and was good to call it a night when my phone rang from a number I didn’t recognize. I answered and found that it was Cara Hammer, member of NYC’s local IAVA office. I had forgotten to fax my W9 for the Abboud shoot so I thought she was calling me as a reminder, but I was greeted with an invite instead. She asked if I was free to got to CT tomorrow, which is now today (Tuesday) as I have slept and am now on a train to Penn Station. She said they had a last-minute invite to the Bristol, CT compound that houses ESPN and we would be meeting Dana White, the President/brainchild behind all that the UFC is today. He’s actually an incredible story in himself as he took what was a washed up brawling league with no rules into the estimated $2 billion monstrosity that the UFC is today. Rags to riches stories just amaze me.
Time stamps will help in describing my day. All of this is written as it happened. Read more…
“IAVA addresses critical issues facing new veterans and their families, including mental health injuries, a stretched VA system, inadequate health care for female veterans, and GI Bill educational benefits.
IAVA also provides valuable resources and empowers veterans to connect with one another, fostering a strong and lasting community.”
I joined this group a little more than two years ago and in this time I have observed huge changes in the way vets of our generation are now perceived in society, how we are being helped through legislature, and how we as vets are not being forgotten for sacrifices made. Through IAVA, vets are able to ask questions about subjects ranging from medical and educational needs to dealing with transitioning from military to civilian life. Before this group was established in 2004, there was no central place to answer the questions of a new age veteran. Now through an intuitive website, a social media campaign unlike any other vets group, and dedicated, passionate people, IAVA is making moves in Congress and around the country to better the lives of those still who have served and to preserve teh memory of those that have fallen. This organization is one that I hold near to my heart because of the changes I have already seen and experienced in my life since joining, but for the potential this group holds to ensure that we as veterans are not left in the cold.
The more I am privy to interactions with IAVA, the more I realize that I need to be involved, that WE need to be involved. IAVA has two locations, one in the NYC metro area and another in the DC metro area. Both are heavily populated areas of veterans and for those of you looking to do more, I recommend seeking out these people and getting involved with IAVA. It not only improves your life, but the lives of all those troops you and I flew with, and fought and served beside.
If you havent checked out the site before, here it is. IAVA.org
Ive benefitted from this organization already and I feel that those of you who have served will too. Not a vet or active duty member, there are other ways to support so please check it out and become an IAVA supporter in whatever way you can. No I did not get paid to write this, I wish I would get paid for my ramblings. This is merely an expression of thankfulness to an organization that has helped me many times and afforded me opportunities that I couldnt have imagined. If you dont believe me, read my next post.
If you dont watch action or board sports, arent following Bustin Boards, or dont know anything about the industry, let me tell you one thing. Transworld Business is THEE bible of the board sports world. 2 out of 3 shops read it and it has a pass off rating of over 5 times. This magazine touches millions of readers a year….and we finally made it in there!
The female skate revolution is upon us and of course it would be lead by the greatest city in the world, NYC. To make it that much better, the crew at Bustin is the tip of the spear when it comes to this. I had the pleasure of skating with these lovelies many times over the last couple years and actually got to help get the lady skate team set into motion. From there, these gals took off. Sick rippers that definitely put more time in on a board than I do. What could be better than a gang of girls pulling stand up slides, styling slides, and manuals all while keeping it sexy on one of our boards? I can think of too much better, except for female surfer bikini malfunctions. These Bustin Broads are amazing in every way and I am glad they are finally getting a chance to show the world what girl power truly is.
Jenica, Nathalie, and Micku, I am proud to call you my friends. Congrats on the movement you have started. I hope this takes you to where you want to be…if you arent already there.
Check out this link to see what the girls of Bustin are doing to change the perception of female skating one city at a time. BK Stand Up!
Back in Hobo and rocking new duds! SKate duds that is. This board is so fresh it smells like springtime or babies. This board was inspired from the Strike I was rocking all summer long in 2009. I painted it with a teal base, white, yellow, pink and orange “Bustins”. This one is a little different since its mass produced, but it feels good to have inspired a board that hundreds will ride.
Next, those wheels. Jef “walkStar” came up with the “tightwall” name and I played into the blacked out inner design. Originally they were supposed to be black on the backside of the hub as well so that it looks like you are riding with no inner. Hope that makes sense.
Ate at Taco Chulo on Grand in Williamsburg and killed a massive Puerco burrito. It was insanely good. A little pricey, but one of the best burros I have had since leaving Tucson. I would liken it to Chipotle on steroids. Packed with well seasoned, fall apart pork, potatoes instead of the usual rice and freshly made guacamole. If you are in the area of the Bustin Boards shop or anywhere near Grand and Havemeyer, you should stop through and check out these delectables.
Im now back at Chris’s writing this and hanging on the couch. Thinking a nap is in order but since I am running out of daylight, that might not be a good idea. PLEASE let me sleep tonight!
Whats for dinn? Lost is on tonight, sawheat! Happy 4twenty all you clowns out there.
Egg white omelet, early morning chat with Michelle, contemplate the Empire coffee I am craving but decide to hit the gym instead. I guess this is part of the new mindset here. I am trying to get past all my temptations, mostly food, and get back into shape. I have been a serious slacker in this department ever since leaving the military, so why not change that today? I claim today as the beginning of a new day!! Literally. And that doesnt even really make sense, but that’s what came out. Oh and I volunteered to go to Haiti next month.
Over at Chris’s right now working on our game plan for the day. I feel energized and so does he. A good combo for two guys going through lady troubles. Today we are rolling out to Bustin Boards in Brooklyn to claim my Strike, new wheels and just catch up with the old crew. Along the way we are picking up a straggler named Liam, Chris’s friend from high school, for some lunch and whatever ensues. Liam was a part of our infamous Sunday Funday two weeks ago. There will be a censored report of that sometime soon. Read more…