Secondhand Surfer




ORIGIN early 17th cent.: modern Latin, from musculus latissimus dorsi, literally ‘broadest muscle of the back.’

I like this photo. Not because the waves is huge and surfer is in the “money shot”, but because of his muscles. I love how his lats are stressed and defined. Surfers have great bodies.

I’m back south, shooting my pics, and figuring out my camera. I’m stepping off the Automatic mode, no matter what. It’s the only way I’m going to learn. I should say, learn more. Photography is and endless thread of education. Whether it’s my camera, computer, or the environment, I add to my information, daily. And I like that.

I’ve always enjoyed being a student.

I find myself on many different beaches, searching for that perfect lateral angle. I try to get the surfer moving towards me. But that’s not always possible. And I seek out high planes, to get above the inside break.

In this southern latitude, that I roam, there is no lack of waves. It might go slack for a few days, but there’s always a swell on the way. It’s the opposite of what I experience in Florida. When I was home, I surfed two days out of three months.

It’s not good for my psyche. I need to surf and to have my surf photography.

I’ve created two galleries on my www.secondhandsurfer.smugmug. The color is off. But on the other hand they’re great! I edit every photo and only show ones that I think are worthy of my current portfolio. Sometimes it’s not for me, but for the surfer that I choose. Everyone likes pics of them on an ~ overhead high ~ bomb. And as they are watermarked, they are PROOF.

So, whether it’s the dorsi, the angle or the geographical position that moves me, I’m in it for life.

This is my journal.

Secondhand Surfer

Holy Higher Power


Did I hear you use the Lord’s name in vain? You son of a sheep dog.

Don’t you know, there are Sisters of the Square Chairs present.

Their newly Virginized ears are scorched by your heathen language.

Yes, we were once dregs and sluts, but now we are of the non-denominational, New Order of the – No, Alcohol was not our Problem, Joy Club.

If you swear, in our presence, we will stop you by any means.

We have Big Books, that are very heavy, and these Spiritual Manuscripts, are our weapons of choice.

YOU can not read this book. You must be guided by an anointed one.

If you do not conform, you will be banished from the Holy Home Group.

But first you will be offered attempts at recovery through medication – we suggest – Dr. N.O. Vociferousness.

In the beginning, we used meditation, but in keeping up with the times, we felt the congregation, needed to be more in touch with the modern world.

So, go forth my child, with your Starbucks latte and control, I mean, heal the world.

And may the Power of the Twisted Serpents be upon you.

In The Name of _ _ _ _ and _ _ _ ~ Amen

Three Funerals and a Wedding

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

I’m moving on.

I’ve been here, on the island, way longer than I expected. We flew home, when we found out, that my father-in-law, had problems and we were needed. He didn’t live long after our arrival. It was sad, but he was eighty-two. Unlike Einstein’s suggestion above, he had sat in a chair for years. He was a baseball fan and he watched a lot of it. I can’t imagine that existence. But, he lived the life that he chose, as we all do.

Right before our northern arrival, my good friend Jimmy died. I still see him, everywhere and he’s not there. But he is. He always will be, with me.

I lost another friend about a month ago. He was my crazy “associate” (ok, I’ll call him friend), Donny. He died alone, in squalor.  Thank God, I’ve been saved from such a fate-so far.

I’ve been ready to go home. I have so much more to do, down south, than here. My photography and surfing is far more consistent in Costa Rica. But I had been invited to a wedding and I wanted to go.

It was a memorable event. I didn’t cry at the ceremony; others did. However, later I shed a tear, watching videos that I had taken.

At the reception, I was with my family and had numerous recollections of times gone by. I remembered other weddings, and my great-aunts and uncles, along with other absent, family members.

Life goes on. Even when we die, life goes on.

I have a great-grandson on the way, and I have that to look forward to, when I return in the spring.

I will keep on moving.

With a commitment to family, and love in my heart for them and my friends, I will hold my arms out like I’m walking a tight rope.

I will embrace those, that embrace me.

And we can hold each other up and dance.



Ok-we all know that’s an illusion.

But being the Pollyanna that I am ~

I will always-Have Hope-in the motion.

Low Expectations

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADo you see those wires crossing, above my house, and ruining my picture? I hate helter-skelter wires, stretched across my skylines. Don’t folks know they can go under the ground? The local electric company just put in mammoth poles, beginning on the corner to my left. Yes, those are my toes.

I’ve decided to lay down: to take a pedestrian stance.

And why not? Expectations are just a fight in the making. A fight, with others that could care less. And what’s worse, a fight with myself. I never win either one, so I surrender.

I prefer a benign existence.

I have a wedding to go to tomorrow. Two hours before my appointment, my hairdresser called and said she was sick. WHY ME? I should have known. It always happens. I’m screwed at the last-minute. Most people could just go to any hair dresser, but not me. I have issues. OCD, PTSDpanic attacks, and an inner child with a split personality. There’s nowhere to turn.

So, after having a melt down at New York Nails, while Miss Moon, changed my nail color, I decided to wear a hat.

Who cares?

After having just watched 70 episodes of Trailer Park Boys, I’m convinced that everything is going to be alright.

I’m pretty sure I’m not going to get drunk and run into any garbage cans. I don’t have the burden of selling a truck load of stolen grocery buggies, and I’m grateful I got past the tenth grade.

If I just smile, don’t fall down and remember my own name, in other words, lower my expectations.

Everything is going to be alright!

Mi Alma


Enlightened False Consciousness-Reality?


The most elementary definition of ideology is probably the well-known phrase from Marx’s Capital: “Sie wissen das nicht, aber sie tun es” (“they do not know it, but they are doing it”). The very concept of ideology implies a kind of basic, constitutive naïveté: the misrecognition of its own presuppositions, of its own effective conditions, a distance, a divergence between so-called social reality and our distorted representation, our false consciousness of it. That is why such a ‘naive consciousness’ can be submitted to a critical-ideological procedure. The aim of this procedure is to lead the naïve ideological consciousness to a point at which it can recognize its own effective conditions, the social reality that it is distorting, and through this very act dissolve itself. In the more sophisticated versions of the critics of ideology -that developed by the Frankfurt School, for example — it is not just a question of seeing things (that is, social reality) as they ‘really are’, of throwing away the distorting spectacles of ideology; the main point is to see how the reality itself cannot reproduce itself without this so-called ideological mystification. The mask is not simply hiding the real state of things; the ideological distortion is written into its very essence. – Slavoj Zizek

ideology |ˌīdēˈäləjē, ˌidē-|
1 ( pl. ideologies ) a system of ideas and ideals, esp. one that forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy: the ideology of republicanism.
• the ideas and manner of thinking characteristic of a group, social class, or individual: a critique of bourgeois ideology.
• archaic visionary speculation, esp. of an unrealistic or idealistic nature.
2 archaic the science of ideas; the study of their origin and nature.

I was thinking about reality…which is not unlike pondering the truth. The more you dig into the facts, the more IT escapes you. 

The fire in my cerebral matter ignited, sitting at a local diner, T-Ray’s. The flame was sparked, when I landed here in the U.S. My REALITY was altered immediately.

My daily life went from sun filled peaceful days, to images of guns, beatings, riots, beheadings, legal rulings, liberal, conservative, bashing, fearful, defensive, arguments of sin and God. To say the least, these have been busy days, here in my living room.

There was a time when I enjoyed critical thinking, educating myself and intellectual jousts amongst my peers. And what did it all get me.

A Portobello mushroom salad and time spent with a friend, who couldn’t keep his eyes off of his BOX in his hand. Telling me to stay in the moment, as he eyed each girls legs, like they were fried and on his plate.

No time for critical thinking here.

And who cares. Most of the people, who I associate with, here on the island, believe that I was once an alligator wrestler at a local tavern called the Hammerhead. That I smuggled drugs for the Columbian cartel. When they’re not thinking that I grew up in a trailer, a poor white, black girl, who danced topless for the mob. And watch out, because I do have the ability to steal your gold teeth, when you’re not looking.

And all my life, I just wanted to know Jesus and higher education.

And there you have it, the truth, to date, this thirtieth day, of August, in the year of our Lord, 2014.

Or is it?


Donny’s Dead

Donny got his wings.

He didn’t die with his boots on. He was barefooted.

My Dear Donny,

We played a lot of music together. I’ve been missing that music, for a long time.

I’ve not been writing long posts. Who has the time to read them? Who has the time to write them?

But Donny’s life is worthy of words. He should have been a star/was a star. Donny was like an old time, country music legend. The way he looked, the way he lived and the way he played his songs.

He wasn’t always old and out of it. He once was a good looking man. When he played his ballads; the girls would become mesmerized. I would watch them fall in love with him, as he sang and smiled. He should have stuck to singing and never talked.

He would get himself into so much trouble. Donny was the kind of person that would test your nerves. He would push a person to their limits. He was the kind of person, who would get beat up, but would never hurt a fly. He just couldn’t get along.

He lived his life between Amelia Island, Florida and Cripple Creek, Colorado. His mother had introduced him to both. I don’t think he had a favorite. He belonged in both worlds ~  the mountains and the ocean.

I went to visit him, out west, one year. That was a true adventure, chock full of color. The same as all of my stories about Donny.

On this particular trip, I found myself in the home of Linda Goodman, the author of Love Signs. The butler let us in.Yes, the butler. Linda was in Boulder, working on another book. We went to her meditation room. He told me that he had made the stain glass there. Did he? Who knows? Donny always had outrageous stories. Some of them were true. I know because I was there. With a person like Donny you never could tell. He had no boundaries.

He once tried to talk the mayor of Jacksonville, into having a parade. Dorcas Drake, would be driven around the city, in a convertible, following police cars that were representative of Santas reindeer. What! It was a Christmas thing. I think it was a  bi-polar thing. He didn’t care it was the year that people were being shot on I-295. The city had an extreme, danger rating with triple A, due to sniper gunfire. I know he didn’t get that gig off the ground, but he did end up with a limo full of Santa’s helpers, at the Blue Bird Cafe on Beach Blvd. and all hell broke loose. That was in the early nineties, when he still had energy. Excessive doses of energy. No one experienced Christmas like Donny.

We once found a Christmas tree on a bench, took it to his apartment and he decorated it. Him and his son, Shawn. I watched. I had a picture of that tree, that showed off his room. An animal skin bed cover. All of his albums and music books. A guitar on its stand. Donny was naturally, an interior decorator. Every place he lived in would soon take on a look. Magazine worthy.

I don’t have that picture, or any of the other pictures I took of him. He would harass me until I gave him the photo.

There should be a picture of his face in the dictionary beside the word harass. He was relentless.

I once listened to him talk to a Delta Airline’s ticket agent. He wanted to change his son’s ticket for free. It took him two hours but he did it. Smiling and enjoying the entire conversation. He told the agent about his family and his aunt that had worked for Delta, blah-blah-blah. Who even has that much wind?

When I complained to my mother about him, she said, ” Donny is just Donny.” He even got to know her. She once bailed him out of jail, and held his Martin for collateral. He tried to scam her. But you couldn’t press that woman. Her picture would be beside the word, “steadfast”.

It was alway something with Donny.

I can remember looking at the toes of my boots, as I climbed the back stage of the coliseum. Merle Haggard had just opened up with, Okie from Muskogee. I couldn’t believe it. I was going on stage with Merle Haggard. Merle didn’t know it. I was just following Donny. The one time in my life, I told myself, I might go to jail, but I’m doing this anyway.

Actually, I’ve probably had that thought, many times, but not in this context.

We walked onto the stage, and I was thinking, this is what it’s like. We went to the left and sat on a box that was for the equipment. We sat there and sang along. We knew the words to every song. Merle was our favorite. We later met up with him, by his bus. I watched Donny talk to this man, like he’d known him all of is life. Merle seemed to like him.

Everyone always liked Donny, until you got to know him. He was vociferous and demanding. His pushes were taxing.

Later, he thought he would meet Paul McCartney, when he was here for the Super Bowl XXXIX. He had it in his head, that if he got the chance to talk to him, he could invite him to sing at his church. A church where he had generously, written a check to buy stained glass, for all of the windows. Of course, he didn’t have any money in the bank.

Following a fracas, at the Ritz Carlton, where McCartney was staying, he had numerous agencies, along with Homeland Security, throw down on him and haul him off to jail ~ again.

After 9-11, the world was not a safe place for Donny.

Donny ended up being barred from every church, bar and AA hall on Amelia Island.

He set a stage on fire, simulating the Jimi Hendrix Experience, at the Hammerhead Tavern, and scared the hell out everyone. He thought he was boosting the entertainment. He thought it was a compliment to the guitar player.

A local church had a sermon one Sunday, exhalting Wal Mart. I kid you not. The mega store had just given the church a large donation. He stood up and said something about it.He was escorted out of the venue. I was at the second sermon that day, and had the same thoughts, that I was told, Donny had expressed.  WAL MART. What does that have to do with God? But you can’t speak out. You scare people. You have to stick to the script!

At first, the local AA-ers, thought he was a spiritual guru. Women threw themselves at him. I thought, there he goes again, with his Rasputin ways. But, like clockwork, they turned into a lynch mob, when he lapsed into his second language, Northside Redneck. Where, “I’ll blow your brains out,” is everyday, conversational lingo. They threw him out. The day of his reckoning, I agreed with every word he had shared. The same as in the church. I just didn’t have to stand up and tell anyone.

Donny never knew who he was. He never knew the depths of his beauty. He glimpsed it, but remained like chaff.

Or, do I dare make this assumption.

Donny was a BIG spirit. Too big for this world.

Now he has flown home.

I’m sure he spit in the devils eye. St. Peter said, come on in, the bands playing,

Save a seat for me, music man, my friend ~ amen.



HEAVY Conversation

129896330971286075Do I look fat to you?

I don’t look fat to me. But, at the time that picture was taken, I thought I was an unattractive person. I thought no one wanted to know me or talk to me.

How did I get that way?

Could it possibly have been from a brother that told me I was a fatty, fatty, two by four? It was one of his repetitive tortures, that gave him a sense of power.  Or, was it from a brother-in-law, that called me lard ass, like that was my name?

I woke up to the new’s, chatty conversation about the new Scooby Doo Movie. Daphne is cursed with weight gain.

Was I cursed by people’s words?

A curse (also called a jinx, hex or execration) is any expressed wish that some form of adversity or misfortune will befall or attach to some other entity—one or more persons, a place, or an object. In particular, “curse” may refer to a wish that harm or hurt will be inflicted by any supernatural powers, such as a spell, a prayer, an imprecation, an execration, magic, witchcraft, God, a natural force, or a spirit. In many belief systems, the curse itself (or accompanying ritual) is considered to have some causative force in the result. To reverse or eliminate a curse is called removal or breaking, and is often believed to require equally elaborate rituals or prayers.[1]

I believe these vicious words, repeated to me daily became a causative force.

Today, I say to myself and others, Psalm 139:14 ~ I will give thanks to You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

And for those who want to inflict pain on others, with your words and actions, You will reap what you sow.

* I don’t know the answer to the Scooby Doo conflict. I only know my own experience.

7 Steps to Avoid Depression

1. Do not listen to this song!

2. Don’t listen to sad, country music ballads, ever!

3. Do not lay down in the day time.

4. Walk ~ wear headphones ~ listen to upbeat music.

5. Help someone. Get out of yourself.

6. If you find yourself unable to do 4 and 5, watch a funny movie. I suggest a Tyler Perry, Madea film. If you do not laugh, check yourself into a hospital. You are too far gone.

7. Write a blog post about how to avoid depression.

* I am no stranger to depression. As a young person, I loved to listen to sad songs and ballads, having no idea what effect they were having on me. These suggestions might sound trite, however, utilizing them has saved my life.

The Why Perspective

Photo on 8-18-14 at 11.14 AMWhy do I live in a little, bitty house? Why do I drive a rusty, old truck? Why do I have no interest in fashion, hair coloring, or a face lift? Why do I eat right and exercise? Why do I watch the morning news? Why is it, that I can’t wait to get back to Costa Rica?

Because I surf ~ that’s why?

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