Arts, Music, and New Stuff: ONE Week Countdown

ONE WEEK.  The countdown is on.  Recent warm weather has me "frothing".  Reports are in from RI.  It's killing me.

Got out in the kayak and half-halfheartedly casted the fly rod in the local pond.  I just don't enjoy it like I used to.  Surf fishing is king.

I have a 32 mile race in a couple days.  It's been hard work getting ready for it.  The reason I bring this up is because it's the only thing keeping me from losing my mind.  It's something to focus on.  It's something to keep me from spiraling into cabin-fever induced depression.  I've been trying desperately to keep myself from thinking too much about fishing season, because if I do, I become unable to work, focus, or function.  The running is a remnant of my past life, a time before fishing, and I do enjoy it a lot.  But it's not surf fishing.  Nothing is.  I have been spending all winter on google earth, youtube, surfcasters journal, and google doing tons of research.  The last few weeks I've REALLY ratcheted it up.  Next.  Weekend.  Is. Time.

I've also been trying to put in a lot of time at work to gain credit hours so when May comes around I'm both ahead of the game productivity wise (which is almost impossible), and also have more time off for fishing.  That has actually been easier than I thought- it's motivating to think if I just work 2-3 hours extra this week, I can catch a late tide in May or June, sleep until 11, come into work, and not have to use any time off.  But it's been a lot of LONG weeks- 6 days sometimes- and I'm ready for a break.

Anyways, I thought I'd share some things before the season starts.

First, I promised I'd post this up here.  I won this belt in the Stripers Forever (SF) auction earlier this year.  I support SF via yearly donation, but I also try to buy something from the auction.  Last year I got a painting, this year I wanted to bid a little higher.  Well, I can tell you right now: I'm the one who actually won.  This belt, made by Taf, is a work of art.  Handmade, it's gorgeous.  I love it.  And she is a really nice woman, who is married to a fisherman, and has LOTS of different fish related pieces on her website.  Some with interesting stories- bracelets for example that are derived from casts made from a 50lb striped bass rib bone!  I encourage you to check out the belts.  Yes, they're not TJ Maxx cheap, but I wouldn't hesitate to buy another.  I love mine!

Secondly, I want to show you something my wife made.  She made this, by hand, from scratch, with no instruction, for my Birthday.  She was crafting this at 2 and 3am when I was out fishing last fall.  Crazy!  It's amazing to be married to someone who "gets it".  She made this from cut glass, which she cut herself.  It's about 3 feet long by 16" wide.  It goes perfectly above the TV.

How insane is this?  It's amazing!

Finally, I wanted to bring up something that's been important to me each fishing season.  I am an "audiophile" in that I have loved music my whole life, and have some decent stereo equipment and really care about sound quality.  It started with my father, who would buy old vintage stuff at garage sales and we'd use it until it blew up or we found something better and then flip what we had for a profit.  Anyways, I have a diverse taste in music- mostly rock of a wide variety.  Judas Priest, Nine Inch Nails, and Black Sabbath are a few of my favorites, but like I said I like a lot of things: love James Taylor, Florence and the Machine, Mastodon, Run the Jewels...metal, hip hop, slow singer/song writer stuff, even some opera and pop.  And, I always have some music that I end up associating with a fishing season.  It takes me back to the season.  For example, The Black Keys "Brothers" makes me think of the 2010 season- instantly and every time.  I think of fishing Ocracoke, NC mostly- because that was our vacation that year.  Last year it was Sad Wings of Destiny by Judas Priest.

But, and this is where things get weird, there is ONE album that I religiously listen to almost EVERY time I go fishing.  I'm trying to not to be superstitious about it- but I am.  I ONLY listen to it during fishing season.  Period.  NEVER in the off season- I am worried it'll lose it's significance.  It's almost an anthem at this point, and I just think about it and start to get pumped up. It's a semi-embarrassing throw back to when I was a teenager.  It has no application to my life, and I don't even enjoy the genre.  But it's my fishing album, 5 years strong now.

So what is it?