Just Say No

I had been schooled about how to say No, and why it is important around here. Around here, if you say No to a Mexican, it means No.  If you say No, and give a reason why, it still means No, and you also don’t have to concern yourself that they might try to weasel a Yes out of you.  Like if I said, “Oh sorry I can’t help you with X, Y, or Z because I have to go to that place and get that thing.”  A Mexican, male or female, would NEVER say, “Well what time are you going to free up, because maybe you could help thereafter?”  That’s not how it plays out around here. The inside trick is to say No, and give a lie as your reason.  This No is understood to be the most serious No of all.  Know what I mean?

When a half relative of my friends sister in law(seriously) showed up to my room with a bag of dog food, I knew I had blown it at some point.  I think I told her a few nights prior that I could maybe check in on a particular Rocky, BUT that dogs at the hotel were.., AND that I didn’t think it was such a good idea if…

It all went down in Spanish, and apparently I foiled myself once again.  I began hoping that maybe they wouldn’t come back with the dog.  By 2pm, still no dog.  An email out of the wild blue read, “Killed a Lagsna last night.  Big ‘un too.  Goina cook the bugger today. ok?”  I knew exactly what it meant.

You see I had been granted Lasagna for Life when I returned to Puerto Escondido with Papa Chango’s Mac.  I drove the hill several times into Los Gatos(pronounced Loss Gattis) to make this Apple warranty dream come true for him.  We played cribbage and laughed all about Dick Cheney.  I walked home at 7p.

I had forgotten all about that dog food drop off, and the grand prize that was sure to follow.  I just had a super fabulous meal.  Had a beer.  Bought a pack of cookies on the walk home.  The swell was picking up, and I knew that beginning in the morning, we were due to get a solid week to ten days of gigantic surf.

The ten month old dog was chained to a fence near my door.  He had food and water.  I knew Rocky.  He didn’t know me.  My least favorite combination.  Labs, Retrievers, Boxers, Lap Dogs..that’s one thing.  But a Semi-Albino, Male Staffordshire Bull Terrier?  Whole Different Breed.  I knew this was going to be a long 24 to 48 hours.  The hotel was full and Rocky was now in the house.  He was all cut up around his neck, and had a choking cough.  Surely due to being chained up hard for the past week or so.  He had a confused spirit to him.  He was thin.  He was all head, neck and jaw.  It was dark.  I clicked into survival mode.  I then began to help with ‘good Rocky’s revival.’  YeahYeahYeah.


Local Legend

Today is Monday, August 29, 2011.   Opening day of The US Open.

I woke up to an email from Edwin saying that my racquets were ready.  Both my tennis racquets were in the shop getting restrung.  I brought a second racquet down with me this trip because I had broken a string on my original racquet.  The strings on the second racquet lasted a couple of sets before breaking themselves.

To save 5p, I walked over to Edwin’s shop.  His shop really isn’t a shop in so much his house.  I was glad to finally meet the guy because I have been admiring his surf photography for years.  If you ever see a surfing shot of Puerto Escondido in any of the mags, or Surfline etc., 9 times out of 10 times, Edwin Morales took the shot.

He travels the globe.  He is beloved in Puerto Escondido.  As far as The Mexican Pipeline goes, he has seen it all through the lens.  He also happens to be The Guy in town that strings tennis racquets.  I opted for nylon.  He wanted 300p for both racquets.  “We should play sometime, I have access to a private court,” he said.



Six Foot Puerto

Most everyday these days, I wake up with very little, if anything to do.  Should the day go as expected, I am able get a good portion of it all done.  Today was no different.  By 3pm, on this particular Saturday, I drifted away from the hotel in search of somebody or something.  Apparently, I was exploding with things to say.

The 50 year old man from Switzerland appeared out of humid air.  Originally from North San Diego County, he’s been living over in Europe since 1985.  That was the year I graduated high school. He left the San Diego area when there was very little on the East Side of Hwy 5. He’s been coming to Puerto Escondido for many years.  He was in his kitchen making pasta sauce, and it looked like he knew what he was doing.  We made small talk about how manageable it has been at Zicatela lately, and in the same breath how a four foot wave around here can bitch slap you silly. We both agreed that you CAN NOT afford yourself to be on the receiving end of any sized lip.  And Yes, even a two foot lip.  He told me that he is finally at peace with not still having to have that perfect, stand up, truck sized, spitting barrel ride any longer.  He then went on to say that he is NOT at peace with never having had that very ride aforementioned.  Heavy duty stuff! I couldn’t help but see right through the middle aged man.  Just then, a massive thunder strike rocked the entire area.  The hair on the back of my neck stood up, reminding me that it was time to hack that shit back.  I told him that thunder and lightening were underrated elementals.  He lit up a cigarette and asked if his right ankle appeared swollen.  I couldn’t help but notice all the open cuts and purple scar tissue all over his legs and feet.  “The ankles don’t look too bad,” I said.  He offered me up a cold beverage and then wanted to know my story.

I told him I was here to be a tube rider, and that after a solid week of manageable surf, I felt I was on my way.  I told him that I was still petrified of the thought of any kind of real beat down on a Six Foot Day.  The Six Foot Day where 44 year old men must choose the proper weapon, leave the rope at home, and find that one perfect barrel.  I told him that I sort of thought that I kind of maybe really wanted it.  I told him that everybody loves 2-4 foot days out in Puerto, not just the old guys like us.  I told him that when it’s 3-5 foot at Main Beach, if the excuses don’t riddle you first, you had better be a solid athlete in the water, because the consequences run extra high in these waters.  I told him that a Solid Six Foot out here is so nasty and dangerous, that if you have any reservations about your strength and abilities, you had best stay on land.  I then started using words like T-Rex, Water Cornices, Underground Vortexes, and the like.  I told him that anything bigger than Six Foot means that most local and visiting surfers alike are forced to surf elsewhere.  Myself included.  I told him that I have a golden opportunity to build up to Six Foot Puerto, and I am taking my time in getting to that point.  I told him about my double strung 8’0” Gun that has never been snapped and built for this exact beast of a wave.  I told him that I still wasn’t too comfortable managing that board at the present time.  I told him that I can almost smell it happening soon based on what I’ve gotten out of myself this past week.

He suggested I come back at dark for dinner.  “I’m making pasta, and I know what I’m doing,” he said.  This is where you can insert a Cosmo Kramer Guh Guh Guh, because that is what came out of me.  I was fired up.  It was 5pm.  The rains had begun, which was sure to bring the evening offshores.  By 6:30pm it was blowing hard offshore.  I waxed up and paddled out for my second Szechwan of the day.  There was one guy out at Far Bar.  I rode my 6’6” Composite with leash.  Like I said, it was still 2-4 foot.  I managed to slip out pretty easily through the Rip.  The distilled water was coming down in offshore sheets.   Finally what looked like a makable four foot wave came right to me, and I went.  If you measured this ‘four footer’ from the top of the pitching lip to the ocean floor, it was more like 10-12 actual feet of mayhem.  For starters, the sea floor is moving like those floor escalators at the airport, and the wave itself is about 80% Vert.  There are no fluffy biscuits and free handouts at the Mexican Pipeline.  I digress.  During the critical takeoff moment, I became ineptly blinded by water and wind.  The wave jacked.  Although my eyes were open, they might as well been closed.  And so it was…..that later….as the surfer told his tale, la la la and then I got thrown out into the flats and was beat down accordingly.  I spent 20 min. trying to scrap back out.  No Cigar.

I showed up at 8pm for pasta, hoping to God that I would be fed enough calories. Dinner was was still an hour away, which left me little option.  I snuck a Double TBSP of Skippy Peanut Butter right out of his Jumbo Jar.  At 9:30pm, I got my plate of pasta.  It was delicious.  Best I’ve had in a while.  It just wasn’t enough..

 Six Foot Puerto

Disco Lemonade

When I got to the shoreline, I realized I didn’t have my ear plugs.  I left my surfboard with one of the beach photographers and ran back up the hill.  I quickly snagged my plugs, grabbed a banana, and made my way back out of the hotel.  It was 8:30am.  The sky was cloudy and overcast.  A hard rain had fallen all night.  I closed the heavy iron gate to the entrance, turned around, looked directly across the street, and there she was.  In platform double suede, yeah there she was.

Me: Didn’t I see you yesterday while I was?.?.?..
Her: You were playing Ping Pong
Me: Yes I was.  What’s your name?
Her: Victoria
Me: Where are you from Vicky?
Her: Greece
Me: How long are you here for?
Her: Tonight is my last night.
Me: Should we make it a special last night?
Her: Sure.  Where are you from?
Me: I live here.
Her: What are you doing here?
Me: I’m a new artist
Her: What were you doing before you became a new artist?
Me: I wore The #10 for the Rebels
Her: I don’t understand
Me: It’s complicated.  I will explain later.
Her: OK.  So where are you staying?
Me: (I point up the hill) I’m in charge of Agua Azul.
Her: Wow!  Like the manager In Charge?
Me: That’s right.
Her: I don’t believe I caught your name
Me: I’m Charles. 
Her: Hope to see you later Chachi
Me: Yo tambien.  


Chango- might need your help.  came home from surf this morning and water is shooting onto the street through the big rock wall.  walk upstairs and the sistern is overflowing.  the sistern at the grass level that pumps water up to the three Tinakos on the roof is overflowing.  it took me an hour to figure out that i had to turn the water off at the street level.  until i figured that out, i was carrying five gallon buckets of water up to the roof and putting them in the Tinako.  i did that ten times.  fucking brutal.  did save 50 gallons.  the Tinakos are all only half full which has me worried.  normally they always stay topped off.  estela had some band of fellows around noon time come have a look.  they were all in uniform.  two of them drank right out of the hose.  couldn’t understand a lick of what they were saying.  can’t see the float in the sistern.  i have la bomba off, but even when i turn it on, it doesn’t turn on. should i be freaking?  your thoughts. -Kid Nacho

Mille Bornes

I know this dude, he goes by Jones
He’s almost five feet tall
He doesn’t like his vegetables
You can ask his dad’s friend Paul
I gave him an early birthday gift
For ages eight and up
He had to wait a couple months
For Shanklee he’s a pup
But now that special day is here
As darkness turns to light
The little boy flies down the hall
And plays all day and night
He helps his baby sister learn
He’ll even let her win
The Chocolate Man knows how to roll
We love our Skinny Min


I made myself a lesson plan on the back of a wet napkin, or receipt or something.  That in itself is all you need to know.  What teacher does that?  What the hell is my problem?  I could be doing so much more, but I guess it’s not in my makeup.  Nor are wearing shoes or a shirt to class.  Right here dude!  Although I shed them before class as a courtesy to my students, I routinely show up wearing dark backups for the backups to my backup Kaenon Polarized sunglasses.  Yes, the Ipod is typically on shuffle, though today I had Michael Franti going extra loud.  I had my ratty pocket dictionary.  Earplugs of course.  I brought money for a Collectivo in case the run back was going to fall under the hot sun.  Today I also brought the only pen I own.  I was hoping new ideas would pop into my mind during my decompression session. I had decided the emphasis today should be centered on the vowels, and that all five of them, and sometimes six, can be pronounced four or five different ways.  Maybe even more.  Ten ways, I don’t know.  Where’s a video camera when you need one?  What a total fucking nightmare!

Who made me the teach?  I learned English on ESPN and Seinfeld.  How do you say ‘lacking a syllabus’ in Spanish?   My Spanish is only So So, and English has a million freakin’ rules and exceptions.  English is beginning to make less and less sense even to me.  English is all about memorizing the weerd weard weird spellings of complicated wurdz that lack simple guts and semi-genuine latin derivatives.  En Espanol,  A is Ah.  E is Eh.  I is Ee.  O is Oh.  U is Ooh.  Clockwork.  Perhaps there are exceptions, I just don’t know them.  In English, the pronunciation of just the vowels are littered with confusion.  It almost takes two E’s(EE) these days in English to get the E sound?  Hug a Tree and See.   Much easier if it were Tre, but then it would probably be breaking some kind of English rule where an E that follows an R is pronounced Eh.  It should be spelled Trie or Trea, or better yet, Chre.  And what about The Big A?  How do you explain the different pronunciations of the letter A in words like Name, Car, Apple, and Uh Merrick Uh.  Oh, and what about all these English words that end in E?  Silent but Deadlee.

Once again, for the third Sunday in a row, I had my back against a wall.

…about Jack and Diane

I wrote a new song called Come on In.  

The words came to me long before the melody.  

Once my agent heard the melody, he signed off on it.  

And once the musicality was approved, I was quick to record it.

Casa Agua Azul

I am living at and managing Casa Agua Azul.  It is located in the heartbeat of Puerto Escondido.  A wonderful little hotel of sorts.  Big and awesome apartment rooms is closer to the truth.  It’s nice here.  Very nice in fact. We don’t have a website, and we like it that way.  You can’t check us out on VRBO and use your Pay Pal, and you’ll appreciate why.  There is nobody between you and I with their hand out.  If you’re reading this, Casa Agua Azul is for you.

Here’s Something Virtually Tangible.  If you are part of the Facebook crowd, and I know that you are, check us out at:



Feel welcome to “Like”, whether you’ve stayed here or not.  Is that cheating?



Casa Agua Azul

Life of Pi

When the head popped up, I knew exactly what it was.  Been seeing these beauties in the lineup for the past month.  A fascinating creature.  When the second head showed, I knew exactly what was going on.  These two massive sea turtles were getting it on right in front of me.  I paddled closer.  I got about five feet away and watched it go down for maybe two whole minutes.  The bottom turtle was euphoric.  Eyes rolling all over.  Stomach all pink.  The top turtle was locked and loaded.  Flapping his wings or rudders or whatever they are called.  He and I made distinct eye contact.  I gave the nod.  We were both stoked.  I had to immediately scrap out of there without another thought.