Saturday, May 29, 2010

The California Surf Project: Eric Soderquist and Chris Burkard

Chris Burkard and Eric Soderquist have created a beautiful tale of two friends living out a life-long dream and combining their talents to share excellent photography, art, video, and print of the entire journey. The friends set out with a grant from the Follow the Light Foundation- which was founded in memory of legendary surf photographer Larry Moore who tragically passed in 2005 from brain cancer (R.I.P.)- to start at the Oregon border and make their way to the Mexican border surfing, bumming, and collecting parking tickets on Soderquist's 1978 VW Bus. The 50 day trek hits breaks at everyone's favorite spots in CA including Humboldt, San Onofre, and my own back yard on the sharkey Sonoma coast. One of the best aspects of the book other than the epic photography of Burkard and the art and funny descriptions  from Soderquist is the lack of what my hard-core surfing, San Diego native roommate would call "Brolosophy." Soderquist's descriptions are a fun read and sound intelligent despite his often laid back approach. He doesn't get into some 5th grade take on eastern philosophy or tell you how they were one with the waves. It's just two big kids in the candy store of life on the left coast where magic remains eternal. Thanks guys.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Anna Karenina: Leo Tolstoy

Hmmmmmm......Well. Have you read this? Will you ever read this? No. I'm going to go ahead and say probably not. Did I enjoy it? No. Did it remind me of the pain and torture that I felt as a kid being forced to read books for junior high and high school english when I tried to forge on despite being blind with bordom? Pretty much. Sure, Tolstoy writes with some lovely similes, metaphors, and analogies, which all in all adds up to some lovely style and prose, but this book could be about a thousand pages shorter. By the time she finally committed suicide I was just sitting there thinking, "Wow, there it was. The one thing that could have saved this book if it happened months ago." I would have killed her myself if I had to read her cry-baby garbage for another ten pages. I know Tolstoy was purposefully pointing the finger at hypocrites in Russian high society, but it reads like five seasons of "The Days of our Lives." The characters that I liked at the front end of this monster, Levin and Oblonsky, became so tiresome and annoying by the end that I could no longer bear them either. Can we revisit the same arguments again Mr. Tolstoy? I haven't heard them drag on about the state of the Russian class system or share-cropping quite enough. Maybe Anna can say the exact same thing for the 37th time? Part of this project is to try and read these masters, but this book makes me think that an attempt at War and Peace could be the end of me. I'm sure there are a million critics who would write me off as an idiot from now on if they somehow stumbled upon and read this, but I just have to be honest. This book drags like a dog's dirty butt across a freshly cleaned shag carpet and has less entertainment value then watching such an act. Keep reading.