Sunday August 23 was a good day. My alarm went off at 9:30 and I woke up. A writer’s workshop I found online had a meeting at noon. For the last previous couple of days I read and took notes of other people’s works. I have not done that since undergrad. The process was actually good for me. I do not pick up on the grammar stuff, but I think I kind of have a skill as to if things are missing from the story, or if a plot development contrasts what was stated earlier. The level of writing varied from quite good to needs a lot of work, but for each one I found the positives of what I could tell the writer, or suggestions to develop their story. I was ready.
I got there and three of the writers did not show, and we had a group of four. Instead of a straight critiquing of people’s work we just talked for a little over an hour. It was actually kind of therapeutic to hear of other people ordeals and successes with writing. I think of writing as such a solitary act that most people you meet do not have an interest in it, and having discussions with aspiring writers is a good thing. It also was good that these were people I did not know. I think of strangers reading your writing as objective observers instead of friends that don’t want to hurt your feelings. We also discussed what people want out of this group and ways to accommodate all interests in writing. The organizer was knowledgeable and I gave him the copy of his work I read with my comments and advice on it. Soon I’ll email him if that helps people or not. Hopefully I can make the next one.
Threatening rain loomed throughout the morning, but when I got back from the workshop the sun gleamed brilliantly. About a month ago I became an assistant organizer of an online skate group. (Vague but I don’t know if I want to mention this site. Hint: It’s the same site for the writer’s workshop) On this skate group I’ve tried to post places and times to skate. I really thought that rain would not happen. How could it rain with that sun? Anyway the subways are all messed up in Queens on the weekends, and exactly when I exited the subway in Manhattan the rain started. I saw two of my friends that I skate with regularly that I meet through this site coming from the park. They told me the park cleared out and they were done skating for the day. Shortly after, I got a call from someone from the group that I gave my number to. Since he just got there too we meet for a coffee. He is an owner of small skate company for six years (a long time for any company) and it was nice to talk with someone in the industry. After a half hour or so he left and we made tentative plans to skate Friday, which was cool. I thought my skate day was over and was unsure of how to deal with rain issues for this group. Maybe I should post a poll on the site. It would probably be better not to worry about it.
The sun was out again as I left the café and I noticed the sidewalks were partially dry. So I chanced it and walked down to the park. When I got there it was open, dry, and not many skaters there. This was around five or so. I have not been to this park in awhile, since my injury and the street course is sub par, people go there for the mini ramp and the bowl. The mini ramp looked a lot bigger than I remembered it. It’s a four foot with a five foot or higher extension, and a spine. The bowl is a six foot to a nine foot, and something I could never skate that well. The mini kind of intimidated me, so I warmed up on the street course. It seriously takes me almost a half hour to warm up before I try anything. Eventually, since I had the street course to myself, I figured out a little run. I dropped in on the big bank, then a axel stall on the small quarter, then a frontside kickturn on a bigger quarter, then treated a pyramid ramp as a bank with a nollie frontside, and then finished with a kickflip or a nollie pop shuv or other flat land trick. I think I seriously did this same basic run one after the next for about twenty minutes. It was fun and I think instead of simply trying a hard trick multiple times it can be more fun to cruise around doing multiple tricks
A couple of other skaters were on the mini. I already wore my helmet, and I got my knee and elbow pads from my backpack and walked to the mini. As I put on my pads I noticed that the coping (the round metal part of ramps) actually moved when people did grinds on it. It is not suppose to that, which made me more hesitant. Eventually I dropped in and decided just to do kickturns instead of trying an axel stall right of the bat. I noticed the transition was a lot more that the three foot mini I’m kind of used to skating at the park near where I live. On my second run I carved my kickturns which I normally don’t do, but I kind of liked it, and felt that perhaps at the tender age of 32 I have learned how to pump. Pumping is the bending of knees as you go up and down the transition of the ramp and is the way skaters maintain speed. I have always been horrible at this and my frustrations with ramp skating has always been that I loose speed way too easily. After three runs I returned to the street course. I wasn’t on the street course that long and returned to the ramp. Eventually I did an axel stall, backside 50-50’s (grinds), rock to fakie, and more importantly from doing carve type kickturns I maintained my speed. On some of the kickturns I kissed the coping with small 5-0 grinds (only the back truck grinds). Promptly at 6:30 it started to rain again.
Walking up to the subway I talked to a twenty year old engineering student who skated. It was fun and I’m glad I got to skate, I beat the rain. Then I walked twenty blocks, bought a shirt (I forgot to bring an extra) and had sushi with my sister. I always enjoy dinners with my sister and after a confusing subway ride back to Queens I talked my mom on the phone.
Again, it was a good day.