Saturday, September 4, 2021

Pick Me Up

Autumn fast approaches which means a time of reflection for me and when my dysthymia hits the hardest. Some years I am okay and hold my own and other years really down in the dumps. I retreat from the world from mid-September until January.  Things pick up come October, when my death date approaches and if the weather is constant days of rain and dark skies, then my mood sinks quickly. 

This year, I can feel the darkness creeping a bit early but each year is different but I have a general idea of what to expect. I have been cranking the tunes as that is one of my tools to dealing with my dysthymia. Yesterday, I discovered I was a day late in learning that Tony Hawk did a cover of Millencolin's "No Cigar." including a music video. It's pretty cool. 

To be honest, I am not familiar with Millencolin but am poking around now. I like discovering new music and learned that Steve Caballero, another skater who was also a member of the Bones Brigade back in the day with Tony was on the song too.  Steve has a band called Urethane with an album coming out in September. I went and checked out his band.

Speaking of the Bones Brigade, I splurged and picked up a Kelvin Hoefler and a Bucky Lasek t-shirt. My birthday was earlier this week and I felt I deserved a treat ofr myself.

I treated myself well this past week as I was also on vacation from my day job.  It felt good to get away but I still feel incredibly burnt out.  Thankfully, I managed to do fun things and even slept in a few days and worked on organizing my story for NaNoWriMo.  I do think things are coming together nicely. I don't have a title yet or settled on the name of my two main characters.  Those will come eventually. 

A few years ago when I was struggling with names for characters, I was watching an episode of Family Guy and noted first and last names of people that sounded interesting.  Some of the last names I turned into first names and created unique names that weren't too odd and fit well for the characters I created. Turns out watching TV can be a good thing. 

Speaking of watching things, I leave you today with a double feature!!!  Tony Hawk's cover of Millencolin's "No Cigar" and Urethane with their track "Gravity" with Steve Caballero rocking out on guitar. FYI, Steve rocks on both tracks!

Rock on!


Saturday, August 28, 2021

Skateboard Overload

I'm not sure what happened but it seemed every skateboard event took place this weekend. The Berrics, Tony Hawk's Vert Alert and SLS. It was a lot!

The Battle at the Berrics had Luan Oliveira vs. Tom Asta which was good. Luan landed full bolts it would seem or you could say with authority. You knew he was landing his stuff. He won and now he'll go up against Kelvin Hoefler in the next round. I like Kelvin and Luan so I'm not sure who to cheer for when the time comes. This is the same conundrum I used to face watching vert competitions with Bucky Lasek and Bob Burnquist going at it. I liked both of them, each of them a favorite but if I'm being honest, Bob had a slight edge over Bucky.  It was hard to root for one over the other they were just so darn good!

SLS returned as well and I'm not liking the new format at all.  I was used to two 45 second runs and 5 trick attempts and the best four scores overall count with all 8 competitors trying to win.  Now it's one 45 second run, four trick attempts, best three scores count and the top four move on for an additional two trick attempts to determine the winner.

I don't know why they changed it, I thought it was working fine. It's supposed to be a skate competition and now you hardly get any skating. At this point, simply call it a best trick contest because that's what it is. I want to see skaters skate, not just their best trick. I don't skate, I'm simply an ally but the new scoring has me baffled. 

Kelvin Hoefler finished 4th, he missed out on hitting the podium and there was one trick that he did that he definitely got robbed on scoring wise. Then again, I'm not a judge so what do I know.

Tony Hawk had his event and that was cool. I really wish that they had recorded the Legend's Demo so people could watch it if they missed the live event. I've seen some videos popping up but it would have been nice to watch the whole thing.  I was busy and couldn't watch when it was happening but from I saw online people were hyped.

I'm glad the event happened, it was nice to see a women's and men's vert competition even if I didn't recognize most of the names. Didn't matter, it was good skating and the crowd was into it.  

Okay, that is my rant for the day.

My idea for NaNoWriMo is coming along. It's starting to form a bit better in my head and I think I have a good idea now on the direction I want to go.  There is still plenty of time to change my mind but for now I think I found my path.

I went digging through the music archive and dug up this Savatage song from 1989. Enjoy!

Rock on!


Saturday, August 14, 2021

Planning for NaNoWriMo

For the past month, I've had an idea for what I could work on for NaNoWriMo come November.  In the past, I've usually had the outline of my story and character names in place well by August and a firm idea by September with little tweaks here and there.

For the past few years, the drive to write or even participate has been a chore.  It's been a struggle.  Last year, I had no idea until the day before and on day one of writing I had no clue what I wanted my story to be or where to take my characters. Amazingly, as always, I finished early.  I was done before the 30 days was up.  I run into this every year where I worry I won't make the deadline but I always do. I normally finish by Thanksgiving and in some cases I have finished between day 8 and day 15.  Mind you, that's a lot of writing as the challenge is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I always second guess myself and you'd think after all this time I would stop. I can write, I know how. 

This year, I have a vague idea which is starting to come together but I think the project is bigger than just me writing.  It feels like it needs to be bigger and it maybe that I do that, for myself. I don't want to get into specifics and what I have planned right now can easily change by the time November rolls around, but I am toying with the idea of writing what it's like to live with dysthymia.  I don't think people are aware of it or understand it and I feel the need to give it a voice.  I want to write about the tools I have in my took kit and write about ones I didn't know I had (see the blog posting about Banana Bread & Bob Burnquist).

I haven't decided how to present the story but I find myself thinking of adding illustration or photos which is typically not something that pops up when I start putting story ideas together. I'm open to this idea and maybe it's exactly what I need to do to help others understand dysthymia.

I invite everyone to give NaNoWriMo a shot.  Give yourself a little challenge and it doesn't matter if you hit the 50,000 words. Give yourself permission to immerse yourself into a world of imagination.

Today I leave you with the Within Temptation song 'SinĂ©ad'.  The Unforgiving is definitely one of my favorite Within Temptation albums and this song has been a constant play for the past two days. Enjoy!

Rock on!

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Chucking the Yuck

 This week the X-Games returned after a year off due to the pandemic which we are still in. 

I watched nearly all of the events and while it wasn't a typical X-Games it was decent and a welcome break of things going on. I was happy to watch Skateboard Vert and Vert Best Trick. There were two announcers which is the norm. The one announcer was a familiar voice and I was fine with him but then there was another announcer who I didn't really know. I had to go look him up. 

While he was enthusiastic, it was a bit much for me. I wanted more explanation of the tricks and what I was seeing.  Saying "That was gnarly!" is good but I want to know the actual trick the person did.  I can see what the person did obviously but I'm not a skateboarder. I want information. I can appreciate the trick, I can tell when its a hard trick but then again I get lost in skateboarding, I get swept up when watching vert.

Things were okay for the Vert competition but then things went wild for the Vert Best Trick when Tony Hawk jumped into the mix last minute.  It was so cool for him to be there. I was happy to see him skating. I was happy to see Bucky Lasek and Elliot Sloan too. A part of me wished that Andy Macdonald and Bob Burnquist had been around. 

The event gets under way and the one announce rubs me the wrong way. Excitement is great but not when it's borderline annoying. I felt the jokes about how old Tony Hawk and Bucky Lasek were out of place. I know that they were talking about the age difference between Tony and the youngest competitor, which is fine but it seemed like they fixated on that too much.  Couldn't they have just appreciated the fact that Tony was there?  It all left a sour taste in my mouth and felt that it needed to be replaced with something good. I decided to chuck the yuck. 

I will be honest here, I have a hard time meditating so the best I can do is light a candle and sit for awhile. Sometimes I can quiet my mind but its hard for me and whatever is on my mind becomes focus.  I lit a candle, sat for a bit and focused on sending thoughts of appreciation to Tony and Bucky. Bucky seemed to have a rough day as his board just did not want to stay under his feet. I felt bad and sent him good thoughts. It seemed only right to do that. Tony and Bucky have provided with me endless hours of kickass skateboarding over the years so why not?

I have to admit after sitting with the candle and sending my thoughts of appreciation that I felt better afterwards. I've noticed when I take time to sit with a candle and focus that I tend to feel better and if I do it before bed, I sleep better.  This may be something new that I put into my toolbox to help me manage my dysthymia.

If you have time, whether it's 5 minutes or a hour, find a quiet place, place some soft music, sit with a candle or just sit in nature. Think of all the things you are grateful for and give thanks and send good energy out into the world. It's a small thing to do but it'll put a smile on your face.

I leave you with the song "Remedy" from Adele which I discovered the other day. Enjoy!

Rock on!


Thursday, July 1, 2021

When Something Moves You

 Last night, I was visiting my usual group of websites catching up on news, watching funny videos and then checking Tony Hawk's Twitter account. I don't have an account but both he and Bucky Lasek post things of interest to me so I look now and then.

Tony Hawk had posted a video about the Olympics and skateboarding. I've watched the video 20 times by now, maybe more and the song, which I am not familiar with struck something deep down in me. Today, I had to know the name of the song. I learned the song is by an artist named Darondo.  I love finding new music.

I don't know who at the IOC decided this song had the right vibe for a skateboarding video. I'm digging and then throw on top of it Tony Hawk's voice and it's one of the best things!!

Yesterday was a tough day but the video turned things around for me.  "It all starts with a push. A push that starts from nothing but leads to everything."  That opening line hit me.

Here is a link to the full video:

I can't really explain why this video is speaking to me so deeply. I am not a skateboarder but yet there is a relatability to it. It's resonating deeply and if I were to guess it may have to do with the fact that skateboarding brings me joy.  Everything does start with a push in some form or fashion and it leads to bigger things.  When I have ideas for a story, it might be a sentence or two and then it grows, it becomes something bigger, it comes to life. 

All I know, listening and watching this video made me feel good.  The stress from my workday melted away.  For a moment, my dysthymia disappeared for a bit. It disappeared long enough for me to enjoy something good.  To feel an inner peace, to enjoy something so small and yet so meaningful. Kind of like when the power goes out and you are forced to go outside and look up at the sky and take in the stars. It's something small and yet wonderful. 

I hope all of you have that moment. That small moment that is larger than life and moves you deeply.

Be well and enjoy the little stuff.

Rock on!