We must have been 17. I can’t for the life of me remember what spawned it. Regardless of reasons, it happened. Nate and I skated from before sunset to after sunrise. It will forever go down as one of the best nights of my life. No substantial tricks were landed. Nothing crazy happened. Just 100% harmless fun. I really wish I had written this earlier. I will try to recap as much as I can remember but unfortunately, this was 15 years ago and my memory isn’t exactly the greatest. The first thing I can remember fully is going to the tall 7 stairs by the Costco. We must have ollied those like 35 times in a row. That has to be the most fun 7 I’ve ever skated. It’s tall and short so you can actually speed jump it. In fact writing this, I am fairly certain we did speed jump them that night! That was the time that I had frontside 180’s completely locked down. I believe I 180’ed that 7 like 15 times that night too. Such a good feeling when you can know without a doubt you will make ever single try. I remember deciding during the roll up whether I would do a regular 180 or do a 90 on the way up, be at full tuck then, on the way down rotate the last half. We must have gotten bored doing the same trick over and over and over and decided to leave. This night is the night we started the lasting idea of “When in doubt, go right.” We really had no agenda that night and if we weren’t sure where we were going we would just turn right and see where it led us. This night was particularly rare because I was driving. I didn’t have a car at the time so I was rocking the stepdads Oldsmobile Alero. I hated that car so much. It served it’s purpose on that night though. At some point we decided to go skate the Urgent Care 3 stair. I think I wanted to frontside board slide the rail? I will definitely have to check with Nate on some of these details. He has a fantastic memory. Anyway, back to the story. We pulled in the parking lot, it must have been 2 or 3 A.M. at this point, and there were 2 cop cars backed in. They were probably just taking a break or something but Nate sitting next to me lets out a classic “huuuppp” and we flip the quickest bitch of all time. Maybe it was the delirium but we laughed so hard as soon as we knew they weren’t chasing us. We must have looked so suspicious just turning around at the first sight of them. I really can’t remember where else we went at the time. I do know we ended the night at Hollow Hills Elementary (my old school). We definitely skated the tiny little 4 outside the office which is a weird one because the run up goes along with the building so you have to do a hard left turn right before the stairs to actually be in line with them. It worked out for me though because the angle puts the only skateable rail backside for me. I boardslid it a few times which is always fun because it’s kinked and tiny. I think that was actually the first time I ever ollied over a rail too. Being backside I 180’ed it a few times too. The school was never very fun to skate due to it’s lack of spots but there were several picnic tables there. We obviously had to skate those. It is worth mentioning that Nate had set up a brand new deck at the beginning of the night. We were kickflipping off the tables and Nate landed one funny and snapped his board. I remember he wasn’t even all that bothered because it had been such a good night. By this time it was 7 or 8 A.M. so we decided that we had been going long enough and called it a night. I can’t think of a better way to spend a full night than with your best friend doing the thing you love more than life! Even at this age I would do it again without hesitation. I’m sure it wouldn’t be as good this time around as it was completely organic when it happened but I also know it would not fail to disappoint.
Epidemic. n. a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time.
When I go for a drive, I am constantly baffled by the large percentage of distracted motorists on their phones. Not on their phones like “ok I just passed main st. I turn left at this light or the next?” But “oh man Cheryl just posted the funniest picture of her cat.” At stoplights I look to the cars next to me only to see blank faces and fingers scrolling down with that familiar blue background.
Restaurants are even worse. Next time you are out, look at the tables in proximity and count how many children are misbehaving because mommy is knuckles deep in Instagram or how many girlfriends have that combined look of boredom, annoyance and embarrassment on their faces because her dude is writing his daily food review on twitter.
Something’s gotta give people. Are your internet friends really that much cooler and more interesting than spouses, children and real friends? Sure depending on your company they might be but honestly, suck it up dickwad!!!!!
I deleted Facebook and Instagram from my phone a couple months ago. I did it because I realized I was looking at them too much and couldn’t stop myself from opening the apps. How gross is that? I became the person I loathe. Since doing so, i have realized something: pulling out your phone has become a habit. A reflex. It did for me anyway. Ugly. I am ashamed to say I would do it without even realizing. I am certain I’m not the only one.
I am not saying you can’t ever be on social media. It has it’s upsides. I just urge more people to create better experiences while in the company of others. Or at least with me. I’ll come right out and say it. I hate that shit. I am so thankful I am not in the dating game right now. It must be awful! I can only imagine a first date with some chick, eyes glued to her iPhone half-interested in face to face conversation that could actually be riveting if she would just put it in her purse. Please someone single, tell me that I imagine it’s worse than it really is.
I miss the days of Nokia bricks and samsung flips. The pre-sidekick era when we were forced to interact with one another and we were all better for it. When we used the internet for the reasons it was created. Bitching about movies and porn.
P.s. I see the irony in writing about this online. I however, did not ignore any humans during the writing process.
Growing up I was always led to believe being a man meant a few things. You know things like not being a whiny little ninny. As I get older however, I am realizing that I was more or less lied to.
I have been in my trade (machining) for almost ten years. I think in that time I have been on the shop floor with as many as four females. Yeah. Four. Now really think about that. Ten years. Seven shops. Four women. You would think, given societies’ standards, that this last almost-decade would have been relatively free of a certain cattyness. DEAD. WRONG.
Now, since I refuse to be sucked into the drama hole, I have a strong belief that I am becoming known as a “weirdo” or “asshole”. Not that I really mind, (I get jobs to make money, not friends) but I think it’s very sad that I am required to not talk to anyone because I would rather be an introvert than hear about “what Steve said to Kyle last Thursday”.
I wish more people would realize that there is, believe it or not, a life outside of work. Work problems are not real problems as they only exist between the hours of clocked in and clocked out. If you disagree you probably need a new job. I remember being a child and seeing how hard my Dad worked. (Hard can also be read as “much”) He would leave the house before I was awake and not return until after we had eaten dinner on a regular basis. Witnessing that at an early age, I was under the impression “that’s just what men do”. So, until maybe 2 years ago, I lived that life as well. I did this until I was just bloody miserable and miserable to be around. With the help of my wife, I learned that all jobs are simply a means to an end. You should define yourself by what you do while you are not at the office. I am not Josh Takanashi, Machinist. I am Josh Takanashi, husband, dog lover, skateboarder, off road enthusiast, and wanna-be musician. Since having this revelation, my life has become exponentially more enjoyable and I do feel as if I am a little more joyful to be around. (As much as a chud like me can be enjoyed)
I guess what I am trying to say is; Do more of what you enjoy and try not to sweat the small stuff. That crap is not worth the unhealthy blood pressure. Bacon burgers are. Work isn’t.
“Ain’t no matter how big we are, we dream of home. The place where we all belong.”
Andi Deris nailed it on that one. Home. We equate it to safe. It’s comfortable. Familiar. But I ask myself, what’s in location? Why do we put any stock in it? They say home is where the heart is. If that’s the case, why do I find myself homesick with my loving wife and loyal dogs by my side? They are my whole world yet I catch myself dreaming about palm trees, sunny beaches, and bad traffic. I know no place is perfect and problems will follow a person anywhere so why should it matter where I happen to hang my hat?
I was born and raised in Southern California. At the age of 23 I moved to Colorado with my now wife. At first it was nice. Change is good. Change is fun. After a bit we both started thinking things like “I don’t feel like I fit in here. Am I really THAT strange?”. I feel like we are normal as shit. But who am I to know? This isn’t meant for me to complain and sound like a whiny little bitch. If I am coming off like that I apologize.
I think maybe, deep down you just know what you truly want. Maybe to me California is simply where things make sense. I think that besides what I try to convince myself, location does actually matter. Maybe I am shallow and simplistic. Perhaps I am over-thinking this whole subject. In real estate they have that saying: Location, location, location. It must be in place for a reason. I guess I was just lucky enough to have parents that believed it. I got spoiled from the start. I wouldn’t miss it if I had never experienced it right? Even still, we do have heaps of fun out here. It could be monumentally worse. Sometimes we get a little homesick. And on snowy days like today, its’ presence is unyielding. I certainly miss year-round sun.
I thought I’d get this ball rolling with something very, very dear to my heart. I’d like to talk about the first time I fell in love. So here we go. Imagine if you will, a young boy of 12. He is practicing hockey outside against his garage door when he hears a strange noise coming from across the street. (This boy is me if you didn’t figure that out.) The first time I saw skateboarding was through my across-the-street neighbor. He was more or less the “bad boy” of the neighborhood and he had friends over to make a ramp. They were making it out of sheet metal of which, I am certain, was stolen from the continuation school down the road. I can still remember quite vividly, them using a circular saw to cut the metal, shooting sparks a good 5 feet from the group. I watched them in awe sort of hiding so they wouldn’t catch me spying. After that day anytime I would go outside I would check to see if anyone was skating. If I was lucky, someone would be and I would stand and watch, studying every movement wondering how it was all possible. I had caught the skate-bug hard and there was no going back. I found a telephone number for a mail order catalog that sold skateboards and accessories and ordered one right quick. After that began the fun of pestering my Mom to “Please, please, please buy me a skateboard”. Her reply was the same as every other mothers’ at the time. “It’s too dangerous” By this time 7 plys of Canadian maple wood, 4 urethane wheels, 8 Swiss bearings and 2 cast aluminum trucks became the most beautiful thing in the world to me. Fast forward an entire year or so to Christmas. Obviously I only wanted one thing as a present. That morning I ran out to the living room probably much earlier than my Mom would have liked and literally lost my mind. Under the tree was a cheap skateboard from somewhere like Big 5 Sporting Goods. By industry standard these are known as “fake” boards. They are nowhere near the quality expected from the major brands. I didn’t care though. This would get the ball rolling. From then on, it was all I ever wanted to do. If there were chores that needed to be done the only way you could persuade me to do them would be to threaten to take my precious skateboard away. Skating took over my entire mind. You could find me at any given time on that skateboard. Provided of course that I wasn’t at school. My birthday is 6 months after Christmas and by that time my first board was completely trashed. My Mom then began the perpetual, wallet draining drag of being my “sponsor”. Thinking back on these first days, where every day I was learning new things and making new friends, I can’t help but get very sentimental and happy. If you were part of my life at this time I can not possibly tell you how monumental you were in shaping my life. Skateboarding, to me, is more than just a hobby. When I started it was very counter-culture. Something adults strongly dissapproved of. I will never understand that mindset. This activity for “hooligans” has kept me away from drugs and the accompanying lifestyle. It kept me from young heartbreak, something I honestly do not think I could have handled. It taught me ethics, how to get back up and give something your all even when you just had your ass handed to you and you are covered in blood and sweat. I wish I could explain the feeling of landing an elusive trick to anyone reading who has never skated. At that magical moment it seems as if the world is fully balanced and life has never thrown a single negative blow at you. Sixteen years after my first encounter, when I grab my board it instantly electrifies me. (Super cliche I know. Don’t judge me.) I just can’t help it. Skateboarding took me for life, and I can not imagine it any other way. Skateboarding, I love you. Thanks for all the scars.