took a nice drive down the coast today to the beach in santa cruz. santa cruz is every cliche about california beach culture, and i don't mean that in a bad way. there is a boardwalk with shops, a main strip lined with surf shops running past volleyball courts and pasty sun bathers to an amusement park/casino complete with two roller coasters and a log ride. you can't see any of those things from the crappy pictures
i took, but they're there.
i went down with a friend who plays volleyball competitively, a sport i haven't touched for about 8 years. i managed to weasel my way into a few games on the beach and was pleasantly surprised that i haven't completely lost my skills. back in high school volleyball was the
sport for me. basketball was just something that i did after volleyball season to have fun and stay in shape for provincial team tryouts, and soccer wasn't even in the picture. but something happened after volleyball season ended in grade 12 and i dropped it cold turkey in favor of basketball. since then i have played very sporadically, instead getting involved in a long laundry list of other sports.
i'm not totally sure why volleyball fell so far off my map, since it's a good game and i still enjoy playing it. part of the reason i think is that i haven't hung around with people that play volleyball. another part is that volleyball is the single most abused sport in the world. the difference between good volleyball and the perverse facsimilie played in rec leagues by fat people wearing powder blue sweat suits is a vast and horrific chasm. most people who are not remotely athletic would never think of joining a basketball league, but they all seem to want to sign up to slap a white ball back and forth across an 8 foot net. i think it's fine that they're getting out and getting active, and i'm not trying to be elitist about the whole thing, but i just wish they could come up with a different name for it (maybe slappyball?) to mark the marked difference between the two. i should start a petition.
getting back to my original point, i really like beach culture. walking around with shorts and sandals on, the sand, the surf, the sun, the scenery - it's all good. it must be instinctive but i'm drawn to that lifestyle. if i had my choice of any way of life i'd pick a house on the beach with a bbq pit and boat tied to the end of a dock, and i'd never wear socks again. until i reach a level of financial independence that could facilitate a sock-free existence i'll just have to go back to the beach to get my fix.