Page 4 May 2009
Recently, on a trip to Cuba, Chris Nieratko and Mike Anderson became BFFs. We thought it'd be cute to see listen in on a phone conversation between them to figure out what these two very serious men talk about while alone:
Chris: Mike, What are you doing?
Mike: Just relaxing. Not doing anything.
What are you wearing?
I don’t want to tell you. It’s kind of embarrassing.
Oh now you have to tell me.
Ok, I’m wearing board shorts bro.
Are they the kind of Matix board shorts that hold a beer in them?
Actually, no they’re not. I’m kind of bummed. I can’t fully bro down right now.
Tell me about your lady friend’s sexy thigh tattoo.
Oh, it’s the same tattoo as your arm. Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. It’s like the Virgin Mary or what is that? What’s that lady?
Our Lady Of Guadalupe.
Yeah that one. It’s huge going across her thigh and up the side of her stomach. Not bad.
How come when you showed me the photos you wouldn’t show me the ones that showed her beaver?
I don’t know. I guess sharing is caring but I guess I got kind of weak.
That was totally weak. If my wife had a tattoo there I would show you.
Oh well have her get a tattoo, man.
It’s too late. Our Lady of Guadalupe would be just all stretched out. It would look like Mary was pregnant.
Do you ever worry about getting your girlfriend pregnant when you’re porking her?
Oh man. Don’t fuck with my head right now. I mean obviously everyone’s a little scared of that.
Well, you’ll be happy to know that it’s only like a 30-hour window every month that you could actually get her knocked up.
Oh really? Are you fucking serious?
I need to figure out this window.
You got to get her to start taking ovulation tests.
Oh yeah and then run with it. I don’t want a pregnancy so I want to avoid that window.
Exactly. They don’t tell you that in high school. If they told you that in high school you would take those odds.
Yeah but then a lot more chicks would get pregnant but still. Goddamn. I need to get on that man. I got to do some research.
The window! Use the window as the condom.
“Do you use condoms?” No, I watch my window. I look through my window.
Yeah, put a little glass window in that crotch.
I keep it closed during those hours.
So, what’s it like riding for Krooked?
Really cool. Going skateboarding with Mark Gonzales it’s probably one of the funnest things you could ever do a skateboard. It’s a cool new little family that I got.
Does Mark pull any boss moves ever?
Shit, I don’t know.
I can’t imagine him doing it.
I mean I think at one point he said, “I want Mike on Krooked,” but I don’t even know if that’s true.
Do you think maybe Mark Gonzales doesn’t want you on Krooked?
Yeah, maybe he doesn’t want me on Krooked. They don’t listen to him.
Maybe he doesn’t want you on Krooked and then they just stuck him with you.
He’s all bummed. Whenever I call him he just gets really bummed out.
When you’re skating with him does he seem sad?
He’s really sad. I’ll see him skate across the street and he’s all happy. Then he sees me and he’s super bummed. When I’m skating with him he usually turns into the kid that focuses his board every time he doesn’t land a trick. He’s just really over it whenever he skates with me.
Just trying to end the session as quick as possible.
Yeah. Just so he can get away.
Does that make you nervous? You should probably be looking for another team.
Well the problem is no one will take me. I filled out applications for Tiger Balm Skateboards and they weren’t into it. And Camel Lights Skateboards weren’t into it either. But that’s pretty much it. Krooked’s all I got.
Your career’s gonna be short.
After this interview, yeah.
Well maybe they’ll see the Cuba footage and see that you did something nice and they’ll be stoked.
Yeah, they’re like. “Oh yeah, you know, he tried to be good; he tried to be nice.”
Tell me about the Cuba trip.
Well, first of all thanks for inviting me to go on that.
I didn’t invite you.
You didn’t invite me? You didn’t want me to go either huh?
I got an email from Mark Gonzales saying “Don’t take Mike Anderson on that trip.”
No, he said, “Take him on this trip so he doesn’t come to New York.”
That’s how I got stuck with you.
Yeah, you got stuck but whatever, I had fun. That’s all that matters I guess. No, it was sick. I didn’t know about Cuba other than how we weren’t allowed to go there. I really didn’t know what to expect and I felt like it was a time machine and we went back to 1959. But it was a great time. We met a lot of cool kids…when they start drinking a lot they could get annoying.
What was the deal? They were like wasted 12-year-olds?
Yeah, 12, 13-year-olds. Meet up, go skate and within a half hour of skating with them they’re all hammered and singing and yelling and being drunk teenagers.
Do you think that has anything to do with the last bunch of guys that went there being Anti Hero?
They’re like, “Yeah this is fucking sick. That’s how they do it!” But they don’t realize that Anti Hero are the only dudes that can actually do that. Everyone else just can’t skate. Those guys get better and everyone else gets shittier. Then they see us, they’re like, “These guys aren’t that good and they’re not belligerent so fuck I guess we gotta drink more damn it.”
Did you smoke any of your fake cigars with your Dad yet?
No. I didn’t smoke them with him. I just smoked all the fake ones with a few homies and I gave him the two legit ones. ‘Cause those fake ones fucking suck. I swear those things gave me the fucking Swine flu.
You had a little adventure getting them, huh?
Yeah. We were looking at a cigar factory and then this dude walks up like, “I steal cigars from the back. Come to my house I’ll give you great deals.” All that bullshit. So me, Rob and Scuba are the idiot Americans that go, “Oh yeah that sounds cool.” And we go over there and he pulls out all of these boxes of cigars and I swear he gave me a cigar from one of the boxes but he like you could tell he was really searching for the right one. And that fucker smoked a good cigar but the second I got into any of those other cigars they were all just shit. Fucking terrible. I don’t know, but the first one that he gave me was a legit cigar. That must be how they do it. Give you the good one then they sell you the shit.
How much did you pay for them?
Well, me and Scuba were the only ones that were stupid enough to actually buy them. They are 45 pesos for a box of 25 fake cigars.
Didn’t the guy have you like in the closet or some shit?
Yeah we went to his house and we bought them and then we’re walking out and he yells at us to get back in the house. We’re like, “What the fuck is going on?” He locks us in his house. And we’re like, “Should we be scared? What’s going on?” I guess there was a bunch of cops outside and we had to wait there for 15 minutes for the cops to leave. Not all of them left. The dude was like, “Don’t tell them you came here!” We skated away and the cops didn’t say anything to us. So it wasn’t even that cool. It was just a shitty story. I’m kind of bummed I even told you it.
The ending was good though. What was the demo like?
The demo? I suck at demos. I don’t like skating in front of people but Rick McCrank was fucking destroying it and so was Zered and Quim and Ron seriously destroying it and I was hiding in the background. That’s pretty much it. All the kids were really psyched. So many kids were ecstatic about getting boards and there were kids crying because they were so psyched. There were families hugging each other when the kid walked up with the board. Everyone just overly happy and excited and it was a really cool thing.
How many boards do you think we put together?
Probably like 50 completes and then maybe like 150 decks and a bunch of wheels and all kinds of other stuff.
Did you see Scuba put that truck on backwards?
Yeah. One of the better photos on my computer now.
What was the story about all the completes you brought?
Oh man. Years ago Blind made like a bunch of like miniature skateboards. Like ones that you can’t even skate. They had original Blind graphics and some of them were ones that Mark Gonzales had done. They didn’t get his permission or anything to reprint these. Then Deluxe and Mark found out about it and instead of suing Blind like they really easily could have done, Mark had the great idea of asking for one hundred complete skateboards. So Blind sent him one hundred skateboards and they’re all Blind minis and micros and just the tiniest boards. These Blind boards have been sitting at Deluxe for a few years and they didn’t know what to do with them. So they found out about the trip and then they called me up to give them out to kids so we brought about damn near 50 Blind completes over to the kids covered all the Deluxe stickers.
What did you think when they showed up at your house?
I had them sent to my parent’s house and I didn’t tell them that I was expecting a box. All the sudden three fifty-pound huge boxes showed up. My mom calls me like, “Mike, are you expecting something? There’s really huge boxes at the house.” I was pretty psyched on it so when I actually got there and saw it, it was pretty cool. It was very generous of them to give me all of their free Blind skateboards for the kids.
Did you disassemble them in Ventura?
No, my little brother for three whole days was disassembling them and then my Mom organized them into different boxes and then taped all the boxes together. And then we had to reassemble them at the pool.
While you were reassembling them you were getting checked out pretty heavy by the old dude in the Speedo.
Oh, God, dude. Shut the fuck up! Grandpa was just curious.
Yeah grandpa was at the pool… lonely.
He wanted to check out your skate tool.
He wanted to check out everyone’s skate tools. And the hardware. He wanted to help assemble hardware.
That was pretty much the most fun I think I ever had putting boards together.
Oh man. That was awesome. Setting up like 50 boards for the whole group of people and everyone was just all psyched. That was fun.
I renamed Scuba Steve “Time-Lapse Steve.”
Time lapse Cuba Steve?
What is with that dude and the time-lapses?
I don’t know. He got that high-def camera… I don’t know what they’re called, the Panasonic thing. Ever since he got that thing and filming with Mike Manzoori he just got bit by the bug and now any time he’s out filming skating it’s gonna be a time-lapse.
I was just sitting in one chair drinking all day and he shot a time-lapse of it.
I think he missed out on half the trip cause he was time lapsing. But later on he gets to look back and be like, “oh shit. How sick! I was there?”
Were you by him when he got mad at that kid for bumping into the camera mid-time-lapse?
We had to hear about it for the rest of the night.
So your brother that took all of those Blind boards apart has a pretty awesome nickname, huh?
Yeah it’s crazy. It came out of nowhere…Janderson.
What’s his real name?
He just must be super stoked on you?
Little bro? He’s stoked on me but he’ll never let me know that he’s stoked. He calls me a little shithead, and “fucker.”
Your Dad seems super cool. He built a ramp for you in the backyard right?
Yeah, about two years ago he helped us build a ramp. That was pretty cool. He let us do it. The folks are down for it.
Who was telling me? Maybe you were telling me that your Dad was trying to give your sponsor me tape to somebody on some movie set?
I don’t even know. I didn’t know about that. I remember he told me ‘cause he does prop making for movies and he met Steve Berra. I don’t know really what happened.
Who told us that story?
It was on the Berrics park website thing.
Oh. I thought somebody personally told me.
Yeah, I mean you could know the website personally. They do have a MySpace.
I’m losing my mind I felt like somebody really just told me that.
Who knows? Maybe Steve Berra told you.
Yeah through the computer. I’m really fucking losing my mind.
You just got called out on a skate nerd moment.
Don’t tell anyone. So what super-famous skate spot do you live near?
I’m not telling you.
So you can pretty much get wasted whenever you want and go get beat up over at LA High.
Exactly. I go through phases. Sometimes a couple times a week. Sometimes I won’t go for months.
What’s the most tuned up you went over there?
The most tuned up? I don’t know, man. I was drinking, dude.
I got a pocket dial from you guys one night and it just sounded like Sharon Tate’s house. It sounded like bloody murder.
Yeah. I never told you that?
I think Ron’s [Deily] phone pocket dialed while you guys were wasted and I could hear the wheels on the bricks. It sounded like someone had knifed all of you.
I wonder what happened. That did happen. That happens every time. Any time we go there everyone’s just eating shit everywhere.
Well, my glass of wine is empty and your lady is probably lonely.
Yeah, she’s crying.
So check her window and then go for it.
Yeah I’m gonna go examine the window. Look through it.
They have to invent a dipstick. Like a little window stick. You stick it in there like a thermometer and if windows closed, we’re good.
I’m in, that’s amazing. Don’t put that in the interview. We gotta find some smart person and get this invention going for us.
I got a bunch of ideas.
That sounds like the best idea ever.
Remember that one idea I had going into the elevator in Cuba?
Oh yeah. Walking by and just palming the side of that woman’s head?
That would’ve been sick.
That would have been pretty sick living in a Cuban jail too.
But it would’ve been funny.
So the next few days were filled with taking taxiing around the city and skating. Not a bad deal. Everywhere we went to skate, we were distracted by our surroundings. “Take a picture of this, Scuba”, Manderson would say. Everywhere we looked was intriguing to us. One day we were wandering off on our own and found the sketchiest handrail. Manderson and Ron Deily skated it for a while. Behind the rail were old broken down beach homes—which time had forgotten. We’re talking ocean front property that was uninhabitable. Pools that had decayed and nearly fallen into the ocean. I wondered what this place must have been like in the 1950’s. Probably one of the nicest places ever. Cuba used to be a popular tourist spot and a gamblers paradise. All that was cut off after the Revolution in 1959.
As with any skate trip, we always get to explore a city in a different ways than most tourists do. We ended up in some neighborhoods that tourists never visit; they were not dangerous by any means, just unaccustomed to visitors such as ourselves. It was good to see how the Cubans lived. Really eye opening for myself especially, as sometimes you forget how good we have it here in the States. The Cuban people, for the most part, are not starving, but they are really poor. The government takes care of their people in the vital aspects of life; food, housing, medical care, jobs. Cubans do not have a lot of extra money to buy things that are not necessities. As you can imagine, skateboards fall into that category.
As we continued skating around Habana, I really started feeling like we were in a time capsule there. I’ve already touched on the old cars in the last update, but people also didn’t have mobile phones, no computers or credit cards taken out on the street. It was pretty awesome to have that feeling. We were disconnected from the world, and it felt good.
The Cuban cigars you ask? Well Manderson and myself were on the mission for them. We were standing in front of a cigar factory when a man approached us and told us he had cigars for sale. So Mike, Rob Meronek and myself followed him through some alleyways and into his living room. He brought out every kind of Cuban cigar you could imagine. Too good to be true we though, at half prices, we decided to buy a box each. Of course we asked for a sample and the man carefully selected a cigar for us to try. They are real, “one box each please”…we were hyped. We got them at 45 pesos. So we arrive at the hotel later, excited, and pull out a few cigars. We light them up… turns out they’re fake. The man who sold us the cigar had given us one real one to test out. So we got taken.
Look out for part three next week.
Congratulations to the éS Game of SKATE Internship of a Lifetime winners! The Interns are:
Photography: Phil Blair, from Chicago, Illinois.
Filming/editing: Deiter Galvan, from Beaumont, Texas.
Writing/blogging: from Indianapolis, Ind., former éS Game of SKATE winner Patrick Binkley.
And if Dieter Galvan’s name sounds familiar, it may be because he won Active’s Scuba Steve Contest a couple years ago.
Each application was reviewed and each entrant's work was evaluated for quality. An assessment was made based on how each entrant portrayed themselves and how they viewed skateboarding and filming, shooting or writing. Some finalists were interviewed by telephone before the decision was made.
We want to recognize a few other finalists, too. For the photographer spot: Nick W., Ryan S. and Nils W. For filming: Jordan J., Adam M., Jonathan N., Dorian Warneck and David Stoessel. Finally, for the writer spot: Paljum Tshering, Justin Ringley and Geoff Christ were all in the running.
Thanks to everyone who entered and we’ll see you on the road!