Thursday, September 16, 2010

Just Right

A few of you may remember when I was staying with a friend of mine Dylan earlier this year in a wonderful twist of events. As previously stated, his family has long been my "Santa Cruz family." We've done numerous holidays and dinners together which have given me some semblance of that familial connection out here.
Well as it turns out, sailing is a family past time. His father, Jim, invited me numerous times to come join him on any given Wednesday night. A few weeks ago I finally got around to taking him up on the offer. It was a quite the adventure for me as it was the 1st time I'd actually sailed on the ocean. (As opposed to Cayuga Lake) We went out on the Elixir a 54 ft beauty. However, it had a bit of a Scooby Doo feel to it as the notorious Monterey Bay fog engulfed us just before we were set to sail. Being the rookie that I was, I still was as bright eyed as could be.
Despite a few gorgeous Wednesday's since, my schedule didn't permit me heading out. But I made it my business to free up for this go round. And was it all one could ask for in terms of scenery and experience. This go round we set sail on Akela, a 77-footer which apparently is quite a beast when it comes to racing.
Although I was given some initial duties, it didn't take long for me to be relieved and hanging over the side of the boat swapping traveling tales with an Aussie from Brisbane. In addition to the expected natural beauty, every single bird in the Santa Cruz area made it's way to water and created quite a spectacle to behold. Even the old timers were pretty amazed to see so many out.
Quiet as kept this bit of practice is actually a race. One no one contested us in at any point, but made for some good laughs aboard as some people took it a little more serious than others.

The surprising part of this whole ordeal is the after party. Never in my life have I been invited to hang out in a "Yacht Club." But I guess my visions of becoming a millionaire are starting to align, amenities first!! It didn't take long for me to connect with the surroundings and the rest of the night flowed Just Right!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Inspiration: Panther Beach

A few years back a good friend of mine, Summer, introduced me to an incredible beach which is just off the beaten path here in Santa Cruz. Roughly 5 minutes up Route 1 lies a cove which offers a variety of feels to it. You can descend and head toward the beach. The 1st of which is tucked in nicely between some cliffs. Which often times providesa nice shield from the winds. But if you're feeling adventurous (and the elements are cooperating) you can walk beneath the natural arch, study the timing of the waves, and sprint across to the other, more extended beach just as the water retreats. A shocking development for 1st timers...let me tell ya! If that's not enough to thrill you, there is alsothe option of staying on high ground, and walking out to the cliff's edge and taking in a very impressive panoramic view of the coastline.

With the Sun just emerging from the typical Santa Cruz fog, something in my gut summoned me to head out to "Panther." To my surprise, upon arrival, a friendly couple informed me I wouldn't be needing my hoody, for the typically windy coastline was being generous this day.

Indeed it was! Moved by a Misanthropist instrumental, I threw my headphones o
n and started boppin my way out toward the cliff's edge. The day was priceless. Moderate waves, cloudless sky, and only a handful of people on the beach below. Actually..4... people on the beach below.

Empowered by the setting and realization that I was just now revisiting an old favorite spot of mine, words began to flow like the waters beneath me. Forceful, unpredictable and ever so fluent.

Amidst my muse, I was vaguely aware of 3 or 4 latinos who seemed to be posting up at a few of the lookout points along the cliff. Focused, I found it passively interesting that the
y too had taken such a likin
g to the view.

I stood atop the power point of the whole layout. Dead center, directly above the arch, where I could see both beaches and everything surrounding, minus a few nooks and crannies obscured by the contour of the cliff's edge. From there I noticed the female in a couple beneath (who had that entire side of the beach to themselves) peel her top off and start heading for the ocean. Needless to say, my focus unraveled immediately! As I laughed with the Creator for providing me with such temptation amidst my previously divine process :)

But in all honesty, I made it a point to divert my gaze as to offer them what little priv
acy they could have amidst such a memorable day. And it was then, as I turned away, that I caught a glimpse of one of the latinos damn near sprinting down the backside of the hill. Less than a minute later, he appeared, hastily walking toward where the couple had set up shop. As he drew nearer, he positioned himself in one of my blindspots so I couldn't be sure as to what he was doing, although I had a good idea his intentions were malice.

The moment the boyfriend saw him walking in that direction, he put on his trunks and went in the water with his lady. Meanwhile, the rest of the latinos I'd seen earlier (and refrained from assuming were together as to avoid pre
judice) had now taken front row seats from above, watching whatever was going on.

Wrestling with my own creative process and an obvious episode unfolding, I did my best to give what I could to the music, all the while, watching things develop from below.

Not 2 minutes after they returned to their spot on the beach did the couple pack up and start walking away, only to stash their stuff not too far from where they were and then set off on a walk. The whole thing reeked of ugly but perhaps I was simply making assumptions.

That voice was quieted abruptly as moments later, the same guy appears on the opposite beach now walking toward the only other couple out there. These two look to be fast asleep in each other's arms. He posts up maybe 20 feet from them (on a wide open beach) and then lays
down on his side facing them...and JUST STARES.

I saw this and said "Hell No..." and started stomping my way down the path toward
the beach. Along the way I scooped up a good sized rock to clear any doubts of my sincerity. As I began to make my way down the hillside, the couple must have awaken, and the guy picked up his stuff and started to walk toward me.

Body language alone made it very clear why I was making my way out there. And as our paths drew nearer, he picked up his cell phone and started to make a call. As soon as I was within ear's range I laid into him.

"What the fuck are you doing?"

Shaken, he responded, "What do you mean, I'm doing nothing?"

I proceeded to chastise him as he attempted to reel in the 2nd victims to vouge for his innocence. I gave them a quick and heated synopsis of what I'd seen from above, and they laid in stunned silence. Meanwhile, Mr Pervert man walked briskly in the opposite direction attempting to get away from me as fast as possible.

I stayed right in his pocket and gave him a healthy earful before shouting some pretty vengeful threats and heading back to my post.

As I passed by the couple, they were like "Yeah man, we saw that guy and we were like dude, what the fuck?"

We exchanged some pleasantries and I headed back up to continue working on my song. Of course, the process was now adrenaline filled and vicious as ever! Some quality shit talking got done! Hope I can rekindle that energy in the booth!

And it just so happened as I finished up and headed back to the car, I crossed paths with the couple. They were two bright spirited travelers who asked if I was making music. Turns out the guy's pretty into spreading the word and putting people out there so to speak. (Go Figure)

I made mention of the situation earlier, and he proceeded to tell me that the man pulled his junk out and started rubbing one out right there in front of them. The nerve of motha fuckas!!

Crazy as it was, that twisted cat had little bearing on what was an absolutely gorgeous day at Panther Beach!! :)

Rock The Bells on

My man Shux Wun has a dope video highlighting the Rock the Bells 2010 tour. Lotsa behind the scenes interviews and snippets of all the hottest artist rocking. Tribe Called Quest, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Rza, Gza, Snoop....Enjoy ya'll..

Friday, September 3, 2010

Will's Wisdom

Most my life people have told me I was like this guy. And it's only today that I agree whole heartedly. This was a nice lil wake up call in terms of some elements that make or break success. Enjoy the words and Spirit of Will Smith..