This weekend, I had a buddy in town from South Florida.  He was an old neighbor in a great neighborhood called Coconut Grove.  Well, seeing him brought back a ton of memories from Miami. I went to graduate school at Florida International University.  That’s where I received my MFA.  What a great school.

But I almost love the city as much as the school.  I’ll never forget driving over the Julia Tuttle Causeway in my Buick LeSabre with my father, my brother, and a car packed with all my shit during a hurricane that was quickly degraded to a tropical storm.  My father wasn’t going to allow a tropical storm to stop our travel itinerary.  We had driven down from Massachusetts and stopped at few places.

Well, that was almost five years ago.  Crazy how that works.  Crazy how the world just keeps on spinning — no matter how much you want it to stop.  And for some reason, today was just a tough day.  I couldn’t get started with work, and nothing seemed to be exactly flowing.  I even had two new pieces come out today, but something was just keeping me from getting excited.  Even right now, as I write this, I feel like I’m slogging through, going through the motions, instead of raging against the dying night and the blue-eyed death of summer.

So to escape that cycle of self deprecation, my buddy and I went down to Huntington Beach with my dog.  It had been almost three months since I went to the dog beach in HB.  What I love most about the dog beach is the drive there from the LBC.  Driving down the Pacific Coast Highway, watching the Pacific Ocean burst into sight, and cruising as the ways crash a 100 yards away is one of the most enthralling and invigorating experiences I know.

Once we got to the beach, my buddy and I were throwing a frisbee back and forth, and my dog, Hendrix, would jump and snag it out of the air.  Then we jumped into the freezing cold ocean — even though today was one of the warmer days for the Pacific — and we body-surfed while Hendrix kept an eye on me from the beach.

Sometimes, the ocean can have a feeling of rebirth, almost baptismal.  It can just clear aware all the worries, all the stress.  That’s what I had today.  And that’s what I needed.  Tomorrow, I will be finishing up a piece I’m writing on classic L.A. novels.  Plus, I’ll be pitching like crazy.

Here are the links to the two new pieces: Wilmore Guitars and How Tom Tombello Hopes To Invade Your Personal Space…I blogged about the Wilmore Guitars piece a couple days ago, and you can see the final product. Really happy with that one.