Nyjah Huston: Fade to Black

Skateboarding

http://www.thrashermagazine.com/articles/videos/dc-presents-nyjah-huston-fade-to-black/

This…I…just…I’m…I’m at a loss of words. As Thrasher puts it, “This is 5 minutes of some of the gnarliest skateboarding in history.” I admit, I got annoyed at how much Nyjah won in the past, but this just changed my mindset. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t an annoyance of hatred. It was more of an annoyance of knowing, “oh, he’s already going to win” before the competition starts.

If you have 5 minutes to spare, please sit down and watch this. Hell, if you don’t have 5 minutes to spare, make 5 minutes. Every one of these tricks could be an ender to anyone’s part of any video. I wouldn’t even consider throwing some of this stuff in Skate 3; that’s how insane they are. This may have cemented Nyjah’s name for Skater of the Year (SOTY), and if it doesn’t I’m writing anyone and everyone about it. I don’t care if you have no association with skateboarding or the industry, you will be getting a letter of complaint. Sit back, relax, and let what happens to your jaw happen; there’s no stopping it from dropping. Keep it up, Nyjah.

Oh, and don’t bother trying to look it up on YouTube. Thrasher has it copyrighted, soooo…click the link.

The Life of a (North)East Coast Skater

Skateboarding

This isn’t another post about how much I love skateboarding; I’ve explained that too many times. This is more of just what us skaters who live on the East coast experience from late November to late March (even though I secretly know drool over the posts where I drool over skateboarding).

Last night my friend Luis and I were playing PS4 when it suddenly hit me: that sprained ankle I was talking about a couple of weeks ago has healed rather quickly, and I’ve been itching to skate. Healed ankle + itching to skate = one hell of a weekend. Now, that calculus-level equation I just wrote out is how I would usually feel, but not this time. The thought of skating had me so stoked that I completely forgot my skateboard and I may be going on a dry spell, because it’s that time of the month year – the time where many East coast skaters must battle the freezing temperatures that bitch Mother Nature so happily provides us. So, when Luis said he was down depending on the weather, I looked up this weekend’s forecast and saw it’s supposed to rain on Saturday, and be windy with a high in the mid-30’s on Sunday. Awesome.

East coast skaters don’t have the luxury of the Golden Coast’s warmth during the wintry months. We can’t throw on a t-shirt and pants, grab our boards, and start pushing down the road. We have to throw on a couple of t-shirts, a hoodie, a flannel, a coat, gloves, and a hat. Well, at least I do. There’s not much meat on these bones to keep me warm. During those 30 minutes of getting dressed, we have to mentally prepare ourselves through personal motivation, saying things like, “just power through it. Once you start working up a sweat, you’ll start shedding the 10lb’s of clothing you just put on.” Here’s what sucks: A) those extra pounds of clothing make you feel like you just ate a Chipotle burrito with double meat (although it does help with falling), and B) once you shed some clothing you better keep skating or else you’ll stiffen up, and there’s no coming back from that. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not bashing the people on the West coast for having such awesome weather, it’s more of a jealous rant I so often go through.

There are two options if you do decide to skate during this time on the East Coast: 1) power through the cold and try not to let it affect you, as I explained earlier, or B) find an indoor park near you to skate at. As frustrating as these two choices are, the latter of the two surpasses the former. Unless you have it in with the people who run the indoor park, or you’re lucky enough to have a park of your own, you’ll have to pay every time you go skate. Some of you must be thinking, “it can’t be that expensive to skate, can it?” and the answer to that is: correct-a-mundo. But, you’d be surprised how fast it adds up. To put it in perspective, take a favorite hobby of yours (reading, sleeping, spying on your sister’s hot friends), and pretend you have to pay $5 every time you partake in said hobby. Doesn’t sound cheap anymore, does it? Exactly. It almost makes you want to stop doing it, doesn’t it? Psyche, that’s a little extreme. Although…you may want to stop spying on your sister’s hot friends, you creep. Take it from…never mind, we won’t go there.

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I Like it Firm.

Miscellaneous

“What is this? You’re posting something two days in a row? Are you sick?” You may be asking yourself these questions, but rest assured I am not sick (luckily). I just feel with my MASSIVE fan base I’ve been slacking a little in posting stuff, so I’m going to try and post more often. It’s all for my fans!

Hopefully the title of this post hooked you faster than a redneck catching a fish on the first morning of fishing season (are there even seasons when it comes to fishing? I sure as hell don’t know). But, apart from my lack of knowledge on outdoor extra curricular activities, I can promise you the title is not what it sounds like. Seriously. I’m not that kind of guy. I’m talking about handshakes, you perverts.

Why am I talking about handshakes? Well, young grasshopper, I am talking about handshakes because I just had an experience – involving a handshake, if you were wondering – that leaves many men feeling weaker than they actually are. Ever since I moved to the desk at the front of the office I’ve been shaking a lot of visitors hands. Just now, literally 10 minutes ago, I had a terrible handshake from a gentleman that walked in.

Let me try to describe to you as best I can what a normal handshake is, because there may be some of you who are too embarrassed to say you are unaware. A normal handshake consists of two individuals extending their hands, overlapping their thumbs on the top of the other persons hand, so both palms are touching, squeezing, allowing for both individuals to exert as much strength as they so choose, and moving their hands up and down. Easy enough, right?

Now I’m 6’1″, 160 pounds, so I look pretty weak to the naked eye. But, I like to think I’m as ripped as Brad Pitt in Fight Club (he’s so dreamy) so, whenever I shake someone’s hand I try with all of my might to make sure it’s firmer than theirs. That was not the case this time. This gentleman decided to prematurely close his hand before reaching full handshake form, resulting in him grabbing my fingers. HOW AM I, OR ANYONE FOR THAT MATTER, SUPPOSED TO GIVE A FIRM HANDSHAKE WHEN YOU’RE SQUEEZING MY FINGERS?! IT’S NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE. Maybe my mind deceives me, and I am weaker than I think I am…*sigh*

I feel so vulnerable right now. If you need me, I’ll be the one swerving in and out of traffic on my way home, crying my eyes out, to be with the only girl that know’s how to make me feel better in situations like these. Her name is 4, PlayStation 4 (read in a Pierce Brosnan accent).

(Side note: THANK GOD for WordPress’s ability to autosave your posts, because I just closed out of the window when preparing to leave work. Fucking handshakes…)

Wait, Where was the Foul?

Basketball

Warning: This post is long as shiiiiiiiiit

I’m a little late to the party with this topic, but in case some of you haven’t heard (or noticed), the NCAA has strengthened their rules when it comes to fouling in Collegiate Basketball. The new rules are listed below. The defender of the ball carrier will be charged a foul if he/she:

  • Keeps a hand or forearm on the opponent.
  • Puts two hands on an opponent.
  • Continually jabs an opponent by extending an arm or placing a hand/forearm on the opponent.
  • Uses an arm bar to impede the progress of the dribbler.

Now, I’m all for making the game better, but the increase in fouls has been painful to watch during the first few weeks of the 2013-2014 season. I’m going to give an example that would probably receive less than a 15% in a college-level statistics class, because I’m taking a sample of two games from the 1,000+ that have already been played to base my opinion on these rules. Before I go into these examples, I want you to know that I’m a fan of both of these teams (Duke and Winthrop), and if there is a hint of bias in my reasoning, or if it sounds like I’m bitching (excuse my French) because both of them lost, it is accidental. It just makes my reasoning a little easier, because a majority of the games I watch are theirs. Without further ado, I present to you my rant on the rule changes:

Last Tuesday, college basketball fans were given an early Christmas present when two powerhouse programs (Kansas and Duke) squared off in one of the many early season tournaments the NCAA provides us. To add more excitement to the already star-studded matchup, two of arguably the best freshmen in the NCAA were facing each other for the first time in a collegiate uniform: Duke’s Jabari Parker, and Kansas’s Andrew Wiggins. Apart from the excitement both bring to the game, the rule change was definitely a highly talked about topic throughout. Between the two teams a combined 53 fouls were committed, which led to a total of 63 free-throw attempts. Kansas won 94-83.

Now, this past Saturday Winthrop, the school I graduated from (who was really good up until I started going there – go figure), faced off against VCU. This game wasn’t deemed as exciting to much of the population as the aforementioned game, but it was for fans of Winthrop, whose team has played a solid three games to start the season (including this one), and fans of VCU, whose team has been elite ever since making the final four in 2011. I was unable to watch this one, because I was in Columbia, SC at the USC/Florida game this weekend, but from the box score I can only imagine the rule change was a hot topic. Between the two teams a total of 54 fouls were committed, resulting in 73 free-throw attempts. VCU won 91-72, and according to the recap, VCU began to pull away late into the second half (just throwin’ that out there!)

Look at those numbers. Between the two games 107 fouls were committed, and 126 free-throws shot. Is that not an outrageous amount of fouls and free-throws? As stated before, I didn’t watch the Winthrop/VCU game, so I can’t say how many fouls were called based on the rule change. But, I did watch the Duke/Kansas game, and a majority of them were results of the rule change. The guards for both teams were getting blown by when defending. With the rule change, if you lose a step on the ball carrier there is almost no way to prevent him from scoring, so it definitely favors offensive players. For the last ten minutes of that game almost every possession ended in a foul, because the guards were committing little hand-checking fouls to defend and prevent the offensive player form blowing past him.

This doesn’t infuriate just the players, but also the viewers. The players are more prone to fouling out when playing defense, and the fans have to watch them sit the bench. Not to mention, all of these petty fouls lengthens the game. You know when you’re watching a game, and your significant other asks you, “can you come here?”, and you respond with, “there’s only 2 minutes left, I’ll be there at the end”? We all know that 2 minutes of a game, especially at the end, is equivalent to 15-20 minutes of real time. Try having to sit through 10 minutes of game-time under the same conditions as there are with 2 minutes left. It added on an extra 30-40 minutes! There’s no way you’re “gettin’ it” by keeping your significant other waiting that long!

That’s enough of my ranting. It’s a new set of rules, so I know players and coaches will have to adjust, and this adjustment will take some time. But, I really do hope the number of fouls goes down, because some of these games are unbearable to watch. And, again – this is a sample size of two games. It may not be the case for a majority of the games, but this is what I’ve seen so far.

Perhaps they can increase the amount of fouls needed to foul out from five to six, similar to that of the NBA? (Thanks to whichever ESPN College Basketball Analyst suggested that!) Anyhow, I’ll just remember to get a larger cup for my drink, and pop some more popcorn when watching Duke/Winthrop play.

-Fin

It Happened Again…

Skateboarding

photo.JPG

Sorry for the small thumbnail picture. The image editor kept timing out, but as you can see

the golf ball attached to my ankle isn’t normal. Also, my toes were cold. Shut up.

There I was, winding down a marvelous Saturday afternoon at the skate park with my friends Luis, Duncan, and all of the other skate rats. It was a windy fall afternoon, one in which if you were being active you could workup a sweat, but if you were standing still mother nature and her brisk winds will definitely have an affect on your genitalia. We were testing out the slow-motion capability of my iPhone 5S while doing a few flat-ground tricks, when all of a sudden one of the worst things that could possibly happen to a skater happened: I rolled my ankle, thus severely spraining it. I was working on my half-cab flips when my right foot slipped off the tail of the board, thus putting me on the DL for a solid 3+ weeks. Now, I’ve rolled my ankle plenty of times while skating in the past, but very few times like this, especially on flat ground. I was on the ground in the fetal position for a solid 20-seconds holding my ankle. When you roll your ankle bad enough to where it starts to burn, that’s when you know you’re toast. Kiss the skateboard goodbye, and tell her you’ll see her later on down the road. It will be tough, but I believe in you. We all do.

Once you’ve severally rolled your ankle in the past while skating, anytime it happens again, no matter the severity, you always fall to the ground thinking it was worse than it typically was. You know those little kids who make a big deal about not getting the newest toy that comes out, just to totally forget about it 5 minutes later? Most of the time it’s like that, where all you need is that 5 minute break before you can hop back on your board and continue skating, but you still freak out when it happens. Call it whatever you want, but I call it taking precaution.

The only other time I can think of where I rolled my ankle this bad was, ironically, right around the same time last year (note to self: never skate during the middle of N(M)ovember ever again, it’s an omen). I was trying to kickflip a set of stairs, and I kicked my board away mid-trick, just to have it bounce back under my feet, causing my right foot and right leg to form a 90 degree angle once hitting the ground. What made matters worse was I was visiting home (DC) while still enrolled at school in South Carolina, so I had to drive 6+ hours with a gimpy right ankle just days after severely spraining it. Also, it was in the middle of our flag football season at school, and I was the quarterback (let’s just say my teammates weren’t too sympathetic). Luckily, this time I had a 5 minute drive back to my house, where I propped my foot up on the couch, and laid there for 8 hours, and I am currently on zero flag football teams.

Thank god the PlayStation 4 comes out in three days. It will momentarily replace the skateboard in my life, only until my ankle heals up. Upon the healing of my ankle my off-time will be evenly distributed 70/30, PS4/skating (fuck being social, right?), and this is only because it’s dark by the time I get home from work, so I can only skate on the weekends. Once the days start becoming longer, it will slowly switch, and I will come out of hibernation. Here’s to a speedy recovery!

(Unexpected) Roooooad Triiiiip

Miscellaneous

This picture has nothing to do with the story. My sister just sent it to me,

and I had to share it with you all, because it couldn’t be more spot on.

Nothing makes you say, “awwww yeaahhhhh!” more than an unexpected road trip:

I was sitting in my office yesterday when I got a call from my boss telling me I had to go to our Pennsylvania office to ship something to a customer. Some of you may be asking, “why couldn’t you just ship it from your office?” or, “why couldn’t someone at that office in PA just ship it for you?” I’m not trying to be rude, but *ahem*: I COULDN’T SHIP IT FROM MY OFFICE BECAUSE IT WAS AT THE PA OFFICE, and IF SOMEONE WAS THERE TO SHIP IT, THEN I WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE TASK. JESUS, PEOPLE, USE YOUR COMMON SENSE.

Moving on. This spontaneous road trip was going to take me 4-hours (round trip) pending traffic, and no matter the time of the day around here there’s a 99.999%(repeating) chance you’ll hit traffic. Luckily I’m getting reimbursed by the mile, so it’s all good.

I start my trip out on perhaps the most scenic road I have ever driven on: The George Washington Memorial Parkway. If my fellow DMV friends (DC/Maryland/Virginia, not Department of Motor Vehicles) haven’t driven on it during the fall time, you haven’t experienced the true beauty it has to offer. You know how on Instagram you can put filters on your photos? Well, during the fall time, “#nofilter” does not apply to the parkway. With the sun reflecting off all of the different color leaves, you’re basically looking through a mixture of the filters “Kelvin” and “Toaster” (I may or may not have taken a picture of my laptop on Instagram to look up the names of those filters) while driving. Not to mention, you look out over the Potomac River and see the Monuments Nicholas Cage walked upon not too long ago, as well as Eagles (don’t question me, I’m an avid bird-watcher) soaring in the air above the trees. Can you say, “patriotic as fuuuuuck”?

Once I get off of the parkway and into Maryland, it’s pretty much country road up until the PA office. Not much to say here, except it’s always cool to see wide-open fields with mountains finishing off the background. I get to our satellite office, get the package, take it to the nearest FedEx to ship it, which was 9 miles away in the capital of PA (Harrisburg). As previously stated, I’m getting reimbursed for every mile, so I didn’t mind. (Sorry if this part isn’t as exciting as the parkway description. It really was as boring as it sounds). I did, however, pull a stunt that not even Evil Kenevil would have pulled. The stunt consisted of taking a picture of the downtown Harrisburg on my way back, with the river in front of it, going over 100mph on the highway, all while dodging bullets fired from mobsters who were out to get me. (Did that make up for the boring, bullet point description earlier in the paragraph? Okay, cool.)

All in all, the trip took a total of 6 1/2 hours, because I did hit rush hour traffic on the way back.

Why did you read this post? You read this post because you’re supporting me, and I really do appreciate it. Why did you read this far down into the post? If it isn’t the same answer from the previous question, then perhaps it’s because I never told you what it was I had to ship. I work for a government contracting agency, and we get a hold of some pretty crazy things. With that being said, are you ready to hear what it was I had to ship? I drove all the way up to Pennsylvania to ship a…drum roll please…

Screwdriver.

Boston Strong

Baseball

And the winner of the 2013 World Series is…those bearded-beauties: The Boston Red Sox!!! Does that banner (pictured above) on Yawkey Way look immaculate, or what? The fact there are two other red ones – red indicating World Series wins – behind it makes it that much better. I have a man-crush on every last one of those players, even Clay Buchholz – the guy my dad thinks looks like a homeless WWII veteranAfter 95 years, a streak that started way back when the Great Bambino wore the beloved Red Sox jersey, the Boston Red Sox clinched a World Series in their home park – Fenway. There are fans who not only didn’t get to see this day happen, but also may not have gotten to see the Sox win a world Series at all! I’m talking about history here, people!

Now, here come the interesting stats provided to us by ESPN and the Elias Sports Bureau: Manager John Farrell joined a prestigious group by winning a World Series in just his first season as a manager of a team. The last manager to do that? Terry Francona, ex-manager of the Red Sox in 2004. Koji Uehara, perhaps the most dominating pitcher in all of the MLB this season, became the first Japanese-born pitcher to record the final out in a World Series clincher. He also has one of the cutest kids you’ll ever see. En route to his comeback after Tommy John’s surgery, John Lackey became the first pitcher to win multiple World Series clinching games for different teams. All of Fenway Faithful, including myself now love him. David Ortiz reached base in 19 of 25 (76%) plate appearances, second to Billy Hatcher in 1990. He also drank from the largest champagne bottle ever seen by the naked eye. Although the Red Sox won the World Series despite a .211 batting average, the lowest by a World Series winner since the 1972 A’s, their pitching was simply amazing – a team ERA of 1.84, the lowest by an AL team in a single World Series since the 1983 Orioles. I guess that just adds more evidence to the saying “defense wins you championships”.

Enough about stats, even though I can go on about those for quite some time, but I figured I would spare you from reading numbers. I do, however, want to talk about one thing that got under my skin from reading comment-boards after Wednesday night (it has to do with the Boston Marathon Bombing). And, before I share my thoughts and opinions on this matter, in no way, shape, or form does it change my views on the Boston Marathon Bombing, because that was one of the most horrendous, disgusting terrorists attacks on this nation. My deepest condolences went out to the families and individuals who were affected by this attack, and it still goes out to all of them. With that being said: the 2013 Boston Red Sox didn’t deserve this World Series win because of what happened on the afternoon of April 15th, 2013. They deserved this World Series win because they fought off pitches, got key hits, made run-saving plays on defense, held runners stranded in scoring position, played the game of baseball. Even if these individuals meant no harm in making that comment, they – most of them fans of other teams, and claim to “hate” the Red Sox on any other day – should be ashamed of themselves for saying it. Yes, the bombing played a role in motivating the Red Sox, and the Red Sox did so much for the community after the attack, but don’t say they deserved this title because of it. It’s kind of insulting to both the Red Sox and the city of Boston.

To end on a lighter note, congrats to the Red Sox again for proving doubters and experts who stated this year would be a rebuilding year wrong. Red Sox nation throughout the world couldn’t be more proud of the heart and soul this team has. I’ll leave you all with two quotes from the two of the more vocal players of the 2013 Red Sox; Big Papi and Jonny Gomes:

  • “When we started rolling, nobody ever stopped the train.” – Papi
  • “As soon as we went to Fort Myers, the movie’s already been written. All we had to do was press play, and this is what happened.” – Gomes

Here’s to a long, yet celebratory off-season!