Thursday, June 30, 2011

Texas Surf Musuem - Steve Thomas and Noll Surfboards

Signed by Steve Thomas
I grew up on the East Side of Santa Cruz surfing with surfers like Jed Noll and Steve Thomas. They gave me plenty of inspiration to improve my surfing over the years (Chris Thomas too!), and I was very stoked to be reminded of them recently at the Texas Surf Museum.

On a side note, I recently I wrote an article about Steve, and how much of an influence he was on my surfing growing up. I was stoked to get several of his magazine covers signed, and am stoked that my wife Leyla framed them for me (for my dirty thirty).

Steve hanging at the Texas Surf Mueseum
During my birthday weekend in Port A,  Leyla gave the framed magazines to me, and we also visited the Texas Surf Museum (with fellow Surfrider member Bill Morris). At the Museum, deep in the heart of Texas, I saw the same magazine cover framed and on the Museum's wall. I was super stoked to see Steve in Texas, and this edition of Longboard magazine (now no longer in print) was signed by the editor of Longboard Magazine at the time Guy Motil (I prefer my copy).

There was also a great Greg Noll exhibit at the Texas Surf Museum. In the exhibit there were vintage Greg Noll Surfboards, old decals, photos, mini boards with the different models, old posters, and even a board shaped by Greg and signed by Greg and Micki Dora. It was cool seeing this exhibit in Texas, and reminded me of how stoked I am to be riding surfboards shaped by Jed Noll (Greg's son) for over a decade now.

Here are some pics (most by Leyla Kuhn) from the exhibit, and cheers to being stoked in Texas!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

5 Years Later

My Mom the week before she passed away
5 years ago today was the worst day of my life. My mom left this earth (barely 48 years young), and my life will never be the same. I can't believe that five years have passed since, and I still feel that day like it was yesterday.

Julie (mamba) will never be forgotten, whether it's 5 years later or 50 years later, she is my inspiration to be a better person, and to Live Happily Ever Now. My mom played the Ukulele, and it was fitting that Eddie Vedder released an amazing ukulele solo album recently. Here are some lyrics that resonate with me, and make me think of my mom. Cheers to you sweet Momma, and may we all Live Happily Ever Now!

Eddie Vedder - Goodbye

I've got our love to remember
That will never change
I have you in my head
And though I'll never hold you
And I'm still asking why
I guess that this is goodbye

My dreams suddenly seem so empty
I could go it on my own
But I feel like playin' dead
And for what feels like the first time
I don't know where you are tonight
I guess that this is goodbye

We lived half our lives together
A cloud full of tears, it's a lot of weight to bear
And the sun, it may be shining
But there's an ocean in my eyes
'Cause I know that this is goodbye
'Cause I know that this is goodbye

Friday, June 17, 2011

Live Happily Ever Now - Happy Birthday Mom

The whole reason I started writing and attempting to "Live Happily Ever Now" started when my mom passed away (5 years ago later this month). She had a bulletin board with quotes and pictures, and one of the quotes she had on a piece of paper simply said "Live Happily Ever Now". Those words have meant different things to me over the last 5 years, and have inspired me to be a better person, and to search out the good wherever I can.

Anyone who has lost someone close to them knows how a part of you changes forever, and the easiest way to deal with that change is to stick it deep down inside somewhere and never talk about or think about. For me, I did not want that to happen to my mom's memory, and that is why I chose to create a blog, website, facebook group, and even tattoo this message on my body to force myself to remember her, no matter how painful it is (literally painful with the tattoo).

This is something that I hope inspires others to share their lost loved ones memories, or at least makes them think about all the happy times they had with their beloved family member or friend that is no longer with them. I will never know the impact I have made, but feel this is a noble cause that keeps me smiling. I still have a hard time talking about her death out loud (I am getting better), so this is my way to share by writing.

On the note of not forgetting, I wish my mom a happy 53rd birthday today wherever she is (truthfully I see her in things all around me). She died 11 days after her 48th birthday, and this is the 4th one I'm celebrating without her. I will drink some Pacificos for you tonight sweet mamba, and may we all Live Happily Ever Now.

PS: My mom and her best friend Kim Taylor were supposed to get matching tattoos on their 50th birthdays (Kim got the tattoo image -- below). They found a picture of a peace sign and lotus flower, and thought it looked "cool", and I thought it was pretty awesome as well! I decided to get a memorial tattoo with these elements (my brother Walt did too, and he tattooed himself with a homemade gun -- Aunt Sue got one too), and I took the words and her handwriting straight from her journal. Here's to not forgetting. Live Happily Ever Now!

Kim Taylor's "Cool" Matching Tattoo

My mom's words hand written by her taken from her journal forever with me
Aunt Sue's tattoo
Walt's homemade Tattoo by himself

Redwood trees, the ocean, and my mom's "cool" tattoo all in one

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fear My Austin Beard

It's been awhile now since I grew my beard out down in Mexico several years ago (4 years I believe), and I wanted to thank to my beard for giving me my inner strength (and getting me compared to Jason from Laguna Beach) for quite some time now. I would also like to thank my dad and brother for helping me bring out my inner beard subconsciously (three bearded fellows).

June is my least favorite month of the year (to be continued), so I am calling on you beard (the Austin beard is bigger than CA beard) to help me get through this month. I also need a "fear the beard" shirt one of these days as Brian Wilson is totally awesome (GO GIANTS!!!). Basically just needed a non deep post to help me get through the June gloom: Here is the evolution of the beard:

The first time I grew the beard

Beard in Mexico

Brother (Walt), Poppa (Kev) and I all Bearded
Me before I grew a beard (lame I know)