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Posts Tagged ‘Kooky Kyle’

The last time we checked in with our friend Kooky Kyle it was nearly two months ago and he was about to embark on a most excellent journey for the noblest of causes (check out “Good Bye Kooky” if your lost).  He was headed to Tanzania for two years in the service of the peace corps.  Be assured that he is still alive, probably well, and from the sound of things most likely was not raped.   Seems like a win/win all around.  Limited transmissions have passed between us here at SurfingRuinedMylife.net and Kooky.  Mauriello got a FaceBook.com message from him when Kooky first got out there reading “Africa is gnar bar”.

Then it was a month of silence until this week when our hero decided to grace Mauriello with following brief and vague words:

“Tanzania is okay. I am in the southern highlands outside of njombe. I have seen elephants and monkeys and shit. I am not happy with my site, but I am going there for the first time today. so I will know for sure if I am going to ask to get transferred. I am at like 6000ft elevation. So even with spf 30 I sun burn in 30 minutes”…Kooky Kyle

Fucking A’ Kooky, I guess you should have brought the SPF 50!  Seriously, two months in Africa and that is all we fucking get.  I have described shits that I have taken with more detail then that.  In light of the weak ass passage Kooky was generous enough to share with us I have decided to take matters into my own hands and imagination and give a photographic account of what Kooky Kyle may have likely been up the past few months.

He grew a pair of breast and has been nice enough to help nurse the children
KookyAfrica1

He decided the whole peace, loving helping thing was over rated and signed on with a militant group of African nationals.
KookyAfrica2

I don’t even know whats going on here, but its something fucked up.  Somebody tackle this guy, Kooky has run wild in Africa.
KookyAfrica3

He decided the best way to handle the hunger problem was to load up a beater car with bananas and hand them out to those in need.
KookyAfrica5
Once again we find our Kooky in among another wild mob scene.  One thing is certain the kid has certainly been busy. Or at least that is in the warped imagination of my mind.
KookyAfrica4Yes I am terrible at photo-shopping, a terrible person and have a terrible sense of humor.  In all seriousness I do hope everything is going well for Kooky.  I hold the guy up to the highest of admiration for having to courage to strike off on his own to one of the heaviest places on Earth and try and do a bit of good to boot.  While most people (myself included) just sit around and bitch about how fucked up the world is there are a select few who have the balls to put their money where their mouth is.  Kooky Kyle is one of these people and I am more then proud to call him my friend. I can’t wait to share a drink with him at the Wild Cat and a session with him at Rincon upon is return.

***Disclaimer: This blog was written in all good fun and humor.  I am not condoning any of the activities in any of these photos.  Its just a good laugh for myself and some of Kooky’s other close friends who know if he could read this post he would get a laugh out of it and appreciate the stupidity.******

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KookyKyleCow

Its been quite sometime since we have heard from our corespondent from the outer reaches of Lisanti Land, Kooky Kyle.  Those of you who have been long term readers might remember some of his earlier blogs in his segment Kooky’s Korner know this man needs no introduction.  I asked him to give us all an update on whats been going on in his life as he is about to embark on an unparalleled adventure with the Peace Corps in Tanzania. Enough of my words and onto his:

So you may be wondering,“What the hell happened to Kooky? It has been a long time since we heard from him” Rest assured I didn’t kill myself and am doing fine. Right after you last heard from me, I ran relief supplies from NC up to NJ post Sandy. Following that I quit my restaurant job and went to set up shop for my boss in NJ. They saw how many people I knew and the income level of the area and thought it would be a great place to sell solar generators. Long story short, I surfed a shit ton while my boss and his business partner dragged their feet on getting me what I needed to launch the branch in NJ. By the time I was set up to get the company running their window of opportunity passed and it was not a success as they had hoped.

This left me in a predicament before summer started. With nearly no cash and no work up in NJ, the solar guys had me move back to NC to work for them. Since they couldn’t give me full time work they also set me up with a gig driving for a friend of theirs’ limo company. Unfortunately for me the solar company had a bunch of legal and logistical issues and basically shut down for a month. The limo company didn’t tell me that I would have to get an NC license and then wait another 8+ weeks for my limo license to clear. Throw in two months rent and a speeding ticket, what money I did earn down there disappeared completely.

I can’t complain I had some fun in Wilmington and NJ was flat as a pancake so I only missed one swell. Before I left I connected the solar company with West (If you don’t remember him then you must read “The Christmas Dread” Saga” Parts I,  Part II and Part III). The company had a solar top that fits on golf carts. West loves golf, and the company was looking to get a west coast sales presence so I figured it would be a good fit. Last I heard West was doing pretty well with getting the word out and interest generated. I really believe of anyone I know he can make those sales and be a success.

With my bank account empty my friend Dave called me up and said if I wanted he could get me a job doing construction with him. Business was booming in NJ and he could pay $150 a day.  How could I go wrong? With in a day had I packed up all my shit in North Carolina and drove back to NJ.  Ah, it was great to finally be making money again. If you have never been essentially unemployed for a long period of time you don’t realize what a relief it finally is to be putting money IN the bank rather than taking it OUT!

Honestly my boss, Bob, was easy enough to work for and the pay was kick ass. The only thing that sucked is that the work dried up.  After having talked to other people who have been working construction, everyone is in the same limbo in the area. Those who had money to repair from Sandy have done so and are waiting to get reimbursed by insurance. Those who didn’t are all fighting with the insurance companies to get the money to get their homes repaired. Insurance companies take your money in case something happens and then you have to fight them to get the money back when you need it.
KookySurf

To keep us busy Bob had us help him move out of his house in Vermont and down to his house in Charleston. After that he found work redoing a basement down in Charleston so I spent about a month down there over the course of the Fall. Right now, I shall codify Kooks first law of surf: If you absolutely will not be able to surf, there will be swell. Every time we went down south, there would be the only swell for weeks in NJ; whenever we got back it would be flat.

Tanzania

Back in October, after the Federal shut down ended, I got a long awaited email. It was from the Peace Corps. I was accepted and offered a position in Tanzania as an environmental/agricultural volunteer. For those of you who don’t know what the Peace Corps is, it is a program of the Federal government whose goal is to alleviate the sources of poverty around the world and promote a cultural exchange that encourages peace and understanding between the host country and the U.S. As an environmental/agricultural volunteer, I will likely be living without running water or power, which will be an interesting experience. Usually a volunteer gets a minimum of four months notice but thanks to those assholes on Capital Hill who would rather play games than create laws that help American people, I got bit less notification and had to rush to get all my stuff done before the deadlines.

I am very excited about this trip. I don’t have the funds I wanted before leaving due to work slowing down, and I didn’t get to visit my friends in California before I left, but that is okay. This winter has been excellent in New Jersey wave wise. There have not been many really big heavy days but there has consistently been hollow head-high days. I am doing my best surfing I have ever done which is reassuring considering I had about a 6 month spell of almost never surfing. The first few sessions were rough but I am back to progressing. Tanzania has a coast, though it is heavily swell shadowed from the predominant swell generator for the Indian Ocean by northern Mozambique and Madagascar. If there are surf spots there I will find them. Fingers crossed I can swing a trip over to Madagascar and explore some of the amazing set ups they have over there.

Thanks for reading. I would also like the give a special thanks to Chris again for helping me in my year long surf adventure that helped me get my Peace Corps position and all that he taught me. I am sure I will have plenty of tales from my African Adventure and I will hopefully check in every once in a while with the Surfing Ruined My Life readers.

So there you have it.  If Kooky doesn’t die of the plague, get kidnapped and sold into slavery, Kidnapped and killed, killed in some type of mass genocide or find death in one of the many other gnarly ways for one’s life to end in a country as remote and uncivilized as Tanzania you can be sure I will publish any writings of his adventures he wishes to send me to share with you all.  Stay tuned and wish Kooky luck!!!

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I know I have been writing a lot about surfing lately.  What can I say at the moment I am, well always have been I guess perpetually stoked on it.  How else could surfing have ruined my life if I was not.  Surfing Ruined My Life and alcohol will most likely take my life in one way or another be it cirrhosis or drunken mayhem.  Sadly I probably will just end up dying a rather non poetic death chocking on a frozen bean and cheese burrito cause I was too lazy to cook a decent meal.  Then again I guess there is some irony in that now isn’t there?

What the fuck am I rambling about?  Why, a Power of Ten list of course, my favorite of the UCB.  Mauriello takes the last ten list of the quarter and the year.  As usual it is nothing but a collection of pure moronic fun.  Its about time I wrote some stupidity here.  I know I for one can always use a good laugh.

1) Alfie and His Similarities to MyselfAflie and I are two peas in a pod.  The poor cat is an almost 100% product of Lisanti Land.  Sure Sindia had a hand in raising him, but ultimately it was yours truly that took up the plight.  Alfie is a gnarly cat, borderline feral.  Like me he is very vocal and usually of the negative persuasion.  He can take a licking and keep on ticking.  That cat should have died so many times he used up all his nine lives and is on borrowed ones.  Maybe he steals them from other cats.  He is always up for a fight and rarely backs down, but will gracefully accept defeat.  He always has his claws out.  Most cats keep their claws in unless necessary to bare them.  Not Alf when he walks around on my wood floors all one can hear is the clacking of his claws.  He is small for a cat, yet makes up for it in persona.  I am pretty sure if he could talk he would spout tons of egotistical, narcissistic bull shit.  He has trouble getting along with other cats and is skittish around new people.  He likes to case out a situation before putting himself in it.  For all these reasons Alfie’s existence may help prove the nurture vs. nature argument.  One more thing Alfie and I both look amazing in the color black.

Now tell me those are not two good looking guys.  Note the similar look of aggravation on both our faces.

Now tell me those are not two good looking guys. Note the similar look of aggravation on both our faces.

2) How Does Everyone in California Not Work but still seam to live an extravagant lifestyle?: This is a great question and one I have not only given a great amount of thought too, but am also part of the illusion.  First off there is a lot of wealth in California to start with and a good portion of that money is new money owed to some type of career in the entertainment or arts industry.  These occupations pay the beneficiary a great sum of money for a short period of work.  They usually contain some type of royalty or dividend type system which allows one to make money from doing absolutely nothing.  Throw in a large concentration of trustafarians (people who live off trust funds or inherited money), spoiled rich kids living off mommy and daddy, rich foreigners and finally a host of college students also living off their parents dime or the governments’ and you have a large group of people who either do not need to work or work very little.  Finally you have the last collection of people, the majority, the crew I belong to: Lazy People.  In this sect most of us have some type of job that renders us as much money as we can possibly make, while working as little as possible with as little effort as possible.  We live with roommates, find all sorts of ways to make income on the side, work the best deals on everything we own and none of us ever have a penny to spare.  We have learned how to make a dollar out of fifteen cents and spend 100% of our income on frivolous entertainment and possessions.  Since we are so strong in numbers and all understand our cause this counter culture, unproductive life style is celebrated rather then shunned as it is in the north east.  Basically we enable each other and love it.

Enough Said.

3) “The Law of the Club and the Fang”This was a quote and philosophy written by Jack London in A Call to the Wild.  Basic Idea was that dog will yield to either the reign of blows of the club by a man or the bite of another dog.  Here in Lisanti Land I have adopted this philosophy with a passion.  When you think about it, this totally applies to our life.  Everyday you are either fighting or yielding to the club of your superior or doing the same to the fangs of your peers.  Basically it is the idea that life is not pampered and that you are either taking or being taken.  Its living tough.

Kooky and I demonstrating Law of the Club and Fang

Kooky and I demonstrating Law of the Club and Fang

4) Breakfast CerealCereal is an amazing entity.  I eat it just about every day and have since I was around 12.  Couple it with milk and you have quite the nutritious meal.   When I was a professional surfer and broke as all hell (I say this as if I am not still broke as hell) I ate cereal for just about every meal.  I would buy a gallon of milk at three bucks and the giant box of generic corn flakes for four dollars.  I usually got six meals out of that.  Six meals for around seven bucks.  Where are you going to find a deal like that?  Also it is one of the favorite foods of Jerry Seinfeld.

Check out around 1:40 for the applicable clip.

5) The Hobbit MoviesAll I can say is I want my fucking $12 back.  I had not been to a movie theater in nearly six years, SIX YEARS!  I decided to break this incredible streak a few weeks ago to see “The Hobbit” in 3D.  What a fucking sham that was. I had to sit there for three fucking hours wearing a pair of stupid glasses, which gave me a head ache all so that I could watch the occasional item popping out of the screen effect.  Going into this thing I had no idea there was going to be three movies.  I thought they would have summed the whole book up into one movie as they had done with the previous three.  Instead I guess they wanted to milk the shit for all it was worth.  They do not even get out of the Shire until the first hour or so.  The film was just too slow.  If I had not went to see it with my roommate who drove I would have walked out.  One thing I can say I did find the acting and cinematography to be well done.  The screen play adoption certainly did stay very true to the novel as well.  If I were you I would save my money and wait for it to come down to DVD or go find a boot leg.  Or better yet cut your losses completely and just go watch some midget porn.

This is better then any scene in the Hobbit. What do you think really goes on in them Hobbit Holes?

This is better then any scene in the Hobbit. What do you think really goes on in them Hobbit Holes?

What Would A Lisanti Offspring be Like What a question and a good reference to number 1 on this list.  Unfortunately I am not sure I want to be a breeder anymore.  I was dead set on children and a family not long ago, but these days I find myself rethinking the whole thing.  I really like my life as selfish as it is.  I am not sure if I would want to make the sacrifice children force one to make.  If I were to have kids gender regardless both would be very well educated.  Constant reading and writing a must.  I would encourage the study of both science and mathematics even if I lack in both those categories.  I would teach them domestic skills just as they were taught to me.  Of course they would surf and surf well.  I would not be one of those “surf parents”, but I mean I have skill so I would assume they would  as well.  I would instill strong values along the lines of kindness, understanding and patience.  Art and music appreciation a necessity.  My children would understand the finer things in life just as I do.  A male I would teach to grow up strong and self determined.  He would need to learn to be an alpha like myself.  A man needs to take what he wants no questions asked.  If a female I would teach her grace and courage.  I would want her to be self actualized.  She must learn to defend herself, above else manners, courtesy, modesty and integrity, for both sexes for that matter.  I must be honest I kind of don’t view men or woman any different outside of sexuality.  I think both should be prepared equally for the world around us.  The day of inequality between sexes has long since past.  It goes with out saying my offspring would be ridiculously good looking.

CircumcisionI don’t know how much I really have to say on this topic.  I am circumcised and am pretty happy with that situation.  From what I have been told it is more hygienic then not.  I have never met a woman who has been with a guy who was uncut so I don’t really know if there are any sexual advantages or disadvantages.  I am not a bird watcher so outside of pornography have never seen one in real life.

Do Fat Chicks Give Better HeadI can see all my female readers shaking there heads at this point.  On the whole it has been my experience that fat chicks are better at most everything in the bedroom.  Fact of the matter is they are just so appreciative that they are getting some action they are always willing to go that extra mile.  On the other hand take a stuck up hot bitch.  She thinks she is god’s gift to man and thus just lays there dead fish all night.  There are exceptions to every rule.   I must add that I am not a huge fan of fillacio either way.  I respect it as a fun form of foreplay but ultimately could care less about it.  From what I have been told it is the gay dudes and Jewish women who give the best head.  I have yet to experience either.

Life Guard or Coast GuardIn general with the exception of the North Shore of Oahu life guards I have little if any respect for such.  Where I come from they are lazy ass rich kids who wanted an easy job for the summer or teachers trying to make an extra buck for the summer.  They all think they are the shit and tell all these lame ass stories about guarding.  The rest of us roll our eyes and then make fun of them later.  As far as I am concerned they make enjoying the ocean too easy and are weakening the race by allowing the weak to survive.  Coast guard on the other hand is bad ass.  Those guys have all sorts of gnarly ass shit to take care of from drug smugglers, to human trafficking  to illegal immigration to crazy life threatening rescues.  Those boys have always gotten my utmost respect.

Who would win in a Fight, Kooky Kyle or an OstrichThis one is a tough one for me.  Kooky Kyle is pretty gnarly.  Then again so are Ostriches.  I think if its just one ostrich Kooky has odds.  That guy is fucking resourceful.  Some of the shit I have seen him do here in Lisanti Land and heard of abroad gives me plenty of faith that he will prevail.  At the end of mankind it will be just Kooky and the cock roaches.

Kooky taking out prehistoric birds and little kids in one fell swoop.

Kooky taking out prehistoric birds and little kids in one fell swoop.

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Besides contracting tape worms and bumming around on a beach in New Jersey pretending to have a job as a life guard Kooky Kyle decided to pack it in and move south.  As much as we would have loved to have him back out here in the Barb a man must do what a man must do.  But don’t take my word for it take his as he learns that even the bets plans in life don’t always work out…

Crew

As I sat  in my bedroom, in the wee hours of the morning on my birthday, the 16th of October I will proceeded to wake up, go run a crew practice, go for a surf, go to work and come home to repeat it all again the next day. In other places and other lives I have led, this would have satiated me. Here, back in Wilmington, I am not satiated. Surfing is something that isn’t happening often enough to make me happy. Crew is the main reason I came back to Wilmington

The crew team gave me a lot as a student; a body of friends, a physical outlet to keep me active, and an identity. I wanted to give back and help the team. Now that I have returned as an Alumni to coach it is not the same. I would have killed to have a coach when I was on the team and it feels as though I am not wanted and more of an annoyance than the boon I could be for the team.

There are several reasons for this. First, even though I made it clear to the Alumni (most of whom remembered) instead of coming back as the sole coach of the team, there is another coach. “I hadn’t heard from you” Everyone else did and no one told me you were in charge of this, last I heard it was the person I have been in touch with. The other coach rowed for a year and a half, has no prior coaching experience and last rowed in 2001. I on the other hand, rowed four years, have studied coaching under an Olympic level coach and have experience dealing with the school and the team and last rowed in June 2011.

Take your pick. I don’t want to correct him in front of the rowers but he is giving them some shitty advice that I know I am going to have to correct on the water. Additionally, I want to provide the team an outline of what they need to do to win. I know I wasn’t always in a focused boat that had the drive to win. When I was it was awesome. When I wasn’t, it sucked. The varsity seems to have no desire to do what they need to do to match their competitors. If this is because they think they know better, they are wrong. I was in the only boat to medal in the past decade, in vastly inferior equipment and at immense disadvantages.  I need to sit down with the board and talk about this, but right now it is bothering me.

Work

Next we come to the topic of work. I was kind of told I had a job waiting for me in Wilmington when I came back. My friend backpedaled pretty quickly from “Yea, I definitely want to hire you” to “I am not sure I have a position for you.” I understand not giving me a job if you do not have the business for it, but do not tell me I have a job waiting for me and then take it away. Do not feel awkward about it, business is business.

I applied to be on a burn crew but missed the cut off date by 6 hours. I will still do burns to build my resume but I won’t be getting paid. I also have a resume in for the Peace Corps. In the interim to pay bills I have taken a restaurant job. I am working at a restaurant called Siena, an Italian Trattoria, whose cuisine I am pretty familiar with having lived with Chris. I was given the job within three hours of dropping off my resume. Boy did I walk into a shit storm.

It was an existing restaurant that had just hired a new chef and was starting their new menu that week. Apparently the chef was a dick and they had fired a bunch of people and others quit because of him. As a result they had the dishwasher making pizzas and she is still constantly fucking up. They were going from Italian comfort food standards to a slightly more upscale menu. It was pretty cool, they brought me in as a pizza cook and to work sauté.

Two days later the chef checked himself into rehab and I became the third most experienced cook in the kitchen. That has changed as they rehired the old Sous chef and an additional line cook. I am now working all the prep, which is the level I am most comfortable at. I start at noon and am out by 7:30. I am a little pissed about the pay, which should be higher. After the Chef and Sous I have the fastest knife skills in the place and can pretty much cover every position in the kitchen, whether pizzas, salads or sauté. They said at the end of 30 days we could sit down and negotiate a higher wage.

The Trailer Park

I am currently living with my roommate from my junior year, Jimmy. Jimmy is 50. We met when he decided that after having cancer he was done being a carpenter in southern California opting to become a marine Biologist instead, thus he enrolled in college. Back in my college days I moved into an on campus apartment with my friends and we had a random roommate. That roommate was Jimmy.

In many ways we are both grouchy old men. He constantly bitches about how lazy and stupid most kids are, how we have been babied our whole lives, have no sense of style, make shit music, have this attitude of entitlement and are basically emasculated. Some of that is true. I thought I would move back in with him since he was older and had his shit together, and didn’t seem like a slob. I was mistaken. He has all his shit piled in the living room. It has been two months, and he is constantly promising to do something about it. Any attempt I make at getting the piles of beer cans out is constantly thwarted. I thought the apartment was a mess because of our other roommates when we lived on campus turns out he didn’t help the matter.

I left finding a place up to him this past summer since I was not around. He is solely responsible for my degradation down to trailer trash. “Hey man it isn’t really a trailer park, there aren’t meth heads running around and cars on blocks, the grass is mowed” It is a bunch of mobile homes, ie, its a trailer park. The woman next door has her daughter, grand daughter, daughter’s boyfriend (who is not the father of her grand daughter) and her boyfriend all living in the same house. She mows lawns in the trailer park to make money, but hey at least “the lawns are mowed”.

Our landlords are completely racist, the other day they told Jimmy that “We have a timeshare down in St. Thomas, but there isn’t much to do there and there are too many n*****s. They are getting pretty pushy too.” They also feed all the stray cats in the neighborhood so it is somewhat like the Dumpster Cats of Westmont except there is no compact button to crush them all with. On top of that rent isn’t substantially cheaper than elsewhere in Wilmington and it is far as fuck from any sort of social life I could have here. It is so far from all the bars and where everyone else lives I can’t get a cab.  I have to crash at a friend’s house. Social life, bye bye.

Getting My Freak On or Lack There of…
Speaking of social life, wow, I forgot all my friends have pretty much moved on.  I have two female friends who are here but busy working as waitresses, so they are not any fun these days. My buddy Kacey is off becoming a pilot.  My friend Nick is still around but he doesn’t really go out and I hate his girl friend. My friend Jacque is going through a bad break up and is a shut in these days. There are a few kids still on the team that I am friends with from when I was on the team, but since I am a coach there is a limit on the social interaction I will allow myself to have with team members.  While I would make exceptions for them, I am keeping myself out of team parties until the season is over.

Things did not go as I had planned here. I am currently weighing my options. I really want to bail to Morocco for the winter but that is financially out of the question, unless I get some things turned around.  I need to get the fuck out of Wilmington, though I am not in the biggest of hurries. I can always return to California. I am very interested in checking out San Fran. I know I always have a place at the Lisanti Palace in Court, as well as some other connections I made traveling . I wouldn’t mind getting the work Visa and doing a year in New Zealand.

I also want to see how the Peace Corps pans out. I would be super stoked to get that but it is quite competitive and frankly I coasted through college, not doing all I could to set my self up with a strong resume. Part of me wants to return to the primal side of things. Something I have ignored and barely fostered for a few years now. I want to nurture that part of my soul as that has always made me the happiest I have been outside of when I am surfing.  I just don’t know how that can pan out with relation to my future. Happy Twenty Fourth Birthday.

 

 

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The first UCB of the quarter goes to, surprise, suprise none other then Kooky Kyle.  The man the myth, the UCB Legend.  A man who’s obscene head of hair in its massive lusciousness ate a hair net.  Shit that thing may have eaten a small fucking child at one point.  He posed the topic: Who do I think Alfie misses the most?  For his efforts he gets 1.5pts and he also nailed a bonus question in the surflog earning him one bonus point.  The kid already is starting out with 2.5pts.  Don’t let him walk away with another quarter and thus another victory.  The kid is already a member of the Lisanti royal court and has a passport to Lisanti Land.  Step it up people there are eight more weeks in this quarter, two Power of Tens up for grabs and at least ten bonus points currently floating around.

Hide the wife, hide the kids, Kooky’s hair is loose.

Alfie as if you did not follow this blog is my disgruntled little bastard of a black cat that happens to be my black cat, my personal cross to bear, my proverbial blue ox so to speak.  If an animal could consciously commit suicide I think Alfie would have ended his miserable existence two years ago.  Shit the cat was addicted to heroin for like six months, but since has weened off it very nice and looks like a normal cat again.  As my buddy West put it back in December “That cat will haunt my dreams for eternity”.  West’s Adventure Tour got really out of hand you can read about it here: Part I, Part II, Part III.  There are a ton of new people here as of late and if you missed these three gems it is some serious entertainment and shows just exactly how out of control a Lisanti Adventure can get.  Just ask Micheala who almost killed me and is coming back for round two in just a few short weeks.

I guess the best way to go about this is to give a quick history on Alfie’s background.  He started off in Lincroft, New Jersey where he was born an ally cat and abandoned by his mother in the middle of a terrible blizzard.  My mother’s friend John saved the litter from near death and nursed them back to health.  He did not want a litter of kittens already having too my cats of his own.  My mother convinced my ex-wife Sindia and I into taking one.  We did and Alfie had a happy home.  A year later we adopted another cat from the same mother, black also, Alfie’s Step brother Turtle, circa 2003?  Maybe Sindia can shed some light on the time table if she ever reads this.

Alfie and Turtle Circa 05


The four of us lived very happily for a couple of years in this dilapidated little beach bungalow Sindia and I rented from my parents for $500 a month.  The place was haggard and really tiny but life was really good there.  Now that I am older looking back those may have been the best few years of my life.  I think Sindia may feel the same.  Things were very simple back then.  It literally was my “Walden”.  There were wild parties, late night skate sessions on the ghetto backyard half pipe, swims off the dock, wild ducks, horseshoe crabs, crazy old lady neighbors, and lots and lots of surfing.

One of those awesome backyard sessions at the Bungalow.

Times changed and my parents decided to build another “dream house” of theirs on the lot where my bungalow existed.  The place was scheduled for demolition and just before I threw a sledge hammer party that nearly ended in the death of all its participants when Bojangles and I knocked out the main support to the roof.  I wrote a rather good blog about such back in the Myspace.com days.  If someone goes and finds it and posts the entire blog in the comments, not just the link but the actually text I will give you three extra points.  Click here to start your search.

From there we moved to a really nice colonial duplex in Spring Lake, NJ.  My marriage was on some serious thin ice between my constant traveling for surfing, her constant traveling for science and finishing her PHD in Chemical Oceanography things just were not as they were.  The cats could sense it.  We took in this crazy guy Jason as a roommate who was highly recommended by my asshole friend Adam.  Turns out the guy was a complete nut job and that is saying a lot since I walk a very fine line of sanity myself.  We also had this roommate Crystal who worked as a veterinarian’s assistant and as a result had like thirty different pets in her room.  She had this cage of ferrets that should let out and they would just reek havoc on Alfie.

The little fucks would back him into a corner and then just bring him down.  It was terrible but really funny at the same time.  Turtle on the other hand would not even come out from under the bed.  I came home from a surf trip and she had pets every where, there was a chick and a duck in my bath tube.  The place smelled like a farm. She had to go.  Crazy Jason threatened me with violence as he threw the cats’ litter box out of the second story window.  He had to go.  I don’t think Alfie missed either of them all that much.

Then there was this polish immigrant, Conrad living there, who actually really liked Alfie and this marble cutter, Dave, who chain smoked cigarettes and bud all day long renting the place, while I was traveling all over to trying and make it in surfing and Sindia had moved to Australia.  Meanwhile both cats were under Conrad’s care.  I was in Santa Barbara by this time and I got reports that things were not going so well for my cats back in NJ.  As a result I flew home and closed up shop there, had the cats shipped to California and was done with it.  I do not think he missed those guys either.  

I picked up two very bewildered Cats up at the LAX loading docks a few weeks later and brought them to what is now the current Lisanti Palace.  At the time gay Lucas the giant was living here and I don’t believe him or Alfie gave a shit about one another.  Then Brennan and I moved in together.  He  lost my cats in a drunken pass out mishap.  Alfie returned shortly while Turtle after many failed capture attempts was never to be seen again.  You can read about that adventure in The Great Escape from Mission Street. I think Alfie may have been fond of Brennan cause he got rid of Turtle for him and I believe Alfie never cared for that sorry excuse of a cat anyway.  With any luck Turtle got devoured by a coyote.  

Then Alf and I moved back to the Lisanti Palace although at that time it was under the reign of my former roommate and brother from another mother Cory.  Although allergic to felines Cory had no problem with Alfie and since he did nothing but sit around on the couch and drink beer all day I think the two of them got along famously.  After Cory, Adrienne moved in.  She payed a ton of attention to him and the waste of space she was spend the bulk of her weekends just sitting around on the couch from what I have been told staring at the walls.  Alfie loves a good friend on the couch.  

Ades brought this bullshit kitten I so endearingly called Mustafa since she never named him. I think she still actually calls him Kitty.  Real creative you stupid bitch. Yeah I am having one of those weeks so deal with it.  Mustafa terrorized the shit out of Alfie and wrecked my apartment.  Shortly after, Ades decided she liked short fat bald old guys better then me, yet failed to inform me of that decision ultimately ending things in a mess.  The event leaving me in my current state of rapture.  Alfie definitely did not miss Mustafa.  He did miss Adrienne a bit.  

Mauriello lived here briefly but he used to fuck with Alfie all the time so I am pretty sure Alfie was not all that broken up about his departure.  Heroin Bryan was never around all that much so I am sure Alf did not care a bit about him.  Sleepy Time Nick helped Alfie get his dope so he probably misses him a bit.  Rye Guy who occupied the couch for like four months was pretty kind to Alfie.  Alfie loved kooky Kyle and never left that dudes side the whole time he was out here. I think he likes Danny my new roommate since Dan has an affinity with picking all of Alfie’s flea bite scabs.  Charlie Sean got along famously with the alfster as well.

So who does Alfie miss the most after all that?  My first thought would have been Sindia.  Then on further thought I doubt he even remembers her.  Its been over five years.  I barely remember her.  If I keep drinking the way I am I should be able to erase every trace.  Its sort of like “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”.   In all seriousness I really did love my ex-wife and we had some amazing times I hope to never forget.  

Alfie misses me the most.  That’s right.  When I am at work or away for a few days all he does is walk around the house crying.  When I come home from work he is sitting in front of the door waiting for me even if Dan has already fed him.  As I write this he is happily sitting on my lap.  You know why?  Cause after all these years I have stood by him.  I took care of him and always gave him a home.  He knows with me he will always be safe and he respects such loyalty.  You can say lots of bad things about me but the one thing you cant shake a stick at is the extent I will go to take care of and protect the ones I love.

Alfie eternally standing by my side just like Sir Gawain in “The Knight with the Lion” One of my all time favorite King Arthur tales.

 

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While its been business as usual here in Lisanti Land since our good friend Kooky left the couch and set out on his own personal solo adventure.  I thought since it had been some time since we heard from our good friend it be pertinent to bring him back for another edition of Kooky’s Korner.  Kooky recently was on an El Salvadorian adventure with another suringruinedmylife.net all star John Mauriello.  Yours truly almost pulled the trigger and jumped on this bandwagon as well, but unfortunately had previously committed to a Lisanti Adventure Tour that fell in the same time frame.  Here is an account of a surf adventure from two of my better friends, brothers even and “I mean that way black people say it cause I find it is way more meaningful that way”.  (Where is that from and who said it for an extra UCB point)….Chris Lisanti

Luckily, Maryland and New Jersey were hot and sticky as a crotch before I got on my plane to El Salvador; I can’t imagine the temperature shock John must have had coming from San Francisco. Everyone I know warned me about going there. “Dude it is super dangerous.” “Highest murder rate in Central America”. “60 guys out at every point” . “Locals won’t give you a wave and they will burn you every time.” “Man, I am El Salvadorian and the last time I was there I almost got stabbed for my wallet, I will never go back again!” Then again everyone warned me about living with Lisanti and I survived

After going smoothly through customs and finding my shuttle to the hotel I arrived to find John and his friend Jason napping in our room. They had already gotten a surf in and I was anxious to get wet so we headed out to the end of the street we were on and surfed this fun river mouth La Bocana. It is a very high performance rivermouth that is usually a rippable left and has the occasional punchy right. It felt good to get in and wash off the airport ride.

The following morning we checked El Sunzal, which looked mushy as hell but like it might get better on the lower tide. We had our morning session at La Bocana again.  It was pretty crowded with the locals really holding the peak and forcing us to take scraps. John stuck to the inside and got a ton of waves, I tried snagging wide ones like I did everywhere else I surfed this year and got nothing all that great.  Jason elected to sleep in. After Breakfast we took a little rest and then surfed Sunzal. It is a lot like C-street and according to John it is very much like Maria’s in Puerto Rico. I found my punchiest waves on the left. Regardless, it was a decent session and my best at the spot.

After the session John and I were on a quest to find something that was a little more high performance. Punta Roca was nearby and we were told that the bus was easy but the language barrier and John’s aversion to risky situations precluded us from going. Luckily some helpful locals told us it was super easy, just get the bus to La Libertad that runs about every 10 minutes and get off at the point. Sure enough it was that easy.

The bus dropped us up the street from the promenade that goes along the point and we started seeing small glassy lines peeling down it. We got to the top of the point and there was a pack of locals sitting up the top of the point and perfect barrels rifling down the line.  A few would be cut in half by some of the gnarly barnacle encrusted boulders but most would drain out for a long perfect little round barrel. Once past the boulders at the top it looked like the Cove at Rincon. This was the session of the trip. I spent a ton of time in the barrel (Jason saw a few of them) and did some of my best turns of the trip.

That wave is as good as anything in the States. Mid afternoon weekday crowd was totally manageable we shared it with a few locals and a knee boarder who absolutely killed it. One of the locals was the little Occy like goofy foot. The kid, Charlie, couldn’t have been much more than 14 but threw more water than most grown men, full on Occy hacks. Right before we got out Jason nearly ran a local over and got yelled at. Luckily I was already out. The boys cut up their feet pretty good getting in and out. John had a particularly gnarly gash on his foot that I had to clean out for him. If you want a visual picture the scene in Forty Year Old Virgin when Steve Carell gets his chest waxed.

After Monday we were pretty surfed out and luckily the swell was down for the next few days. We rested and recuperated. Unfortunately I made the mistake of eating some bad street food and started to pee out of my butt, so did Jason. Though it could very well be the photos I saw of myself surfing that made me sick. Jason changed none of his eating habits and just dealt with it. I decided to fast and flush it all out. It worked, but it eventually returned with an evil vengeance. On one of these lay days we met this Floridian Rory while at breakfast. The guy spoke the best Spanish of any American I have ever heard. “Hola, yo queero un Sandwhich cone eggs e….bacon e cheese, poor favor”.

Make sure you read that and pronounce it as if it were written in English. Anyways he sold us on the idea of K-59. He said it was a really fun wave and had no problems with a crowd there. On one of these lay days Jason and I ventured to the bar next door which advertised a wide beer selection and extensive liquor list. If you know me, you know I love good beer. We figured it would be all shitty Central American and Mexican beers. Were we wrong, 40 rums, and 30ish beers. And while they did have the smattering of tropical pils, which the Belgian bar owner said sound like tropical piss, they did have a good selection of European brews. It turns out they were opening the first craft brewery in El Salvador and were going to have the beers ready before we left. We tried those as they were ready and they were good. If/when I go back I am staying there.  It was awesome.  I am sure if I smuggle them some hops they will hook me up.

On Friday we decided that with Punta Roca being such an easy adventure we would try our luck using the bus to get to K-59. It was as easy as getting to Punta Roca it just required a longer ride and a longer wait for the bus. Rounding the last bend, we could see K-59 and it’s sister point K-61 through the forest. Upon disembarking from the bus we wandered through the maze of dirt roads down to the point.

The place definitely has potential but we didn’t score it. In the morning there was some morning sickness from the previous nights thunderstorms. The point is tiny maybe 75 yards long and the wave hugs it. There were a few but I was slow as usual and feeling a little weak from the whole not eating for two days thing. We got out and a local cooked us up lunch, which was awesome. While we ate john let him borrow his board and go for a surf. During lunch it was the best we saw the spot the bobbles were out of the wave, and the afternoon chop hadn’t destroyed it. When we got out after eating the place quickly stopped working. It was frustrating to say the least.

The weekend came with the swell and crowds. The biggest act of angry localism came Saturday morning when this kook dropped in on a local at La Bocana the resulting was a lot of screaming in Spanish and “todos cebollos” had to leave. Later the offending kook burned me at Sunzal. But the world is an odd place. Later that day I went to pull money out of the ATM after he had just done so. He left his card, giving me the perfect opportunity to inform him of his complete and utter obliviousness both in and out of the water. Sunzal was crowded as hell too. There were some angry longboarders who would yell at the people they dropped in on. One particularly surly one even shoved Jason. The best though was one dropped in on John. Over the course of the ride he tried to box John out of the wave, but John was having none of it. He just kept doing his turns and crossing the guy’s wake. Eventually they collided much to the delight of the local guide at our hotel and down the douche went. I am sorry but if you are on a longboard and shortboards are taking off outside of you, there is a problem. Apparently the assholes are weekend warriors from San Salvador who don’t respect anyone.

 

Sunday the swell really filled in with the afternoon being DOH at Sunzal. We headed to Punta Roca. A fairly empty line up and a few 10ft sets. Guess who was sitting in the parking lot. The guy who Jason nearly ran over. Like a pussy Jason looked at the ground and walked past. I made respectful eye contact and for that I took the lashing for his infraction and orders that we better be respectful or else. After informing him of the local’s instructions, Jason then paddled out straight to the front of the pack. If he got in any more trouble I would have thrown his ass under the bus and let him take the wrath that was due. It was a fun session until I met the rocks getting some nice cuts on my hands, arms and legs. Some locals got some footage and it was pretty frustrating watching myself surf.

 

Monday was another fun ass day at Punta Roca. It was head to head and a half with friendly happy locals; it wasn’t as hollow as the previous week but certainly fun as hell and rippable. Tuesday we went back to Punta Roca for another helping of racy rights. Light crowd and our new neighbors at the hotel were there too, complete kooks. One of them burned a local at Punta Roca and sadly did not have his face torn off.
The night before, these guys had gotten a hooker and ran the train on her. I guess that is what happens when you get old. You get married, have kids and then cheat on your wife with third world hookers while on vacation trying to escape your miserable life. It was funny talking to them telling us about their kids in a vain attempt  to be buddies with us.  Then one of them would come down shirtless and slap his buddy on the shoulder and say, “You’re up!” And the fat fuck would go off to get his turn with the worn out third world cooter.
Wednesday John finally came down with the shits. Jason and I left him miserable in bed and went and surfed the last of the swell at Punta Roca. It was fun, it was like the first Monday but not glassy. We had the place to ourselves with Ricky and Proctor of Proctor surfboards. They were very friendly and we all had a good session. Overall it was a pretty marginal session and when we got out it was terrible.
We finished our last morning with a quick surf at la Bocana and at 11 I got in the shuttle to the airport and went home. Flights are always a crapshoot. Half the time you wind up getting crammed between two pigs like you are headed off to the slaughter house or someone who wants to tell you their whole life story when you just want to sleep. Sometimes though you get lucky. The flight back was great; I sat next to the Guatemalan Ambassador to the US with a whole extra seat in our row. Then once in the US, I got to hang out with the former US Ambassador to El Salvador while we waited for our bags. Nice guy, turns out he was originally from NJ too. When he was in his youth he surfed back in the 50’s on old redwood boards and he used to surf with some of the classic surf characters of the era. All in all the entire trip was worthwhile, even as my bowels are slowly recovering from the traumatic experience. But now the question arises, where will I go to next? I am thinking somewhere with cold water…

Punta Roca, one of the Jewels of Central America

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Mt. Taranaki

When we last heard from our surf adventuring friend Kooky Kyle he was getting ready to cruise out of Raglan in search of greener pastures and new emprise in Taranaki (read about his last entry “A Change of Venue“) .   Taranaki for me was a very magical place.  It is basically one  big semi circle type peninsula that was formed by the volcano Mt Egmont or Taranaki as it is more popularly known.  As a result the entire coast line is made up of volcanic rock reef breaks with a few point and beach breaks thrown in.  The beauty of Taranaki is that the coast runs 180 degrees in direction allowing for different wind and swell directions to work with different spots leaving lots of options.  

As far as surf spots go there are upward of I would say at least 1000.  Access to some is quite easy where others involve long hikes through cow pastures, over electric fences and ample beach and rock hikes to get to.  Its usually the ones off the beaten path that allow for some of the best experiences.  I know when I was there, I went for two weeks on one occasion and then three on the other.  I surfed in total close to 50 different waves.  I mean there are lefts, rights, barrels, mellow waves, slabs, monsters,  you name it Naki has it.  The only downside is all the driving that one has to do to explore the place properly.  Gas was not cheap when I was there seven years ago.  I can only imagine what it cost a liter now.

It really reminded me of a rocky version of the Outer Banks, North Carolina as far as different coastal facings, open space and crowds.  The beautiful imagery of the place is amazing.  Before I let Kooky run away with this thing let me paint a mental picture for you while you read about his endeavors.  Imagine waking up, whipping the dew off your window and looking out over green grass and hedges.  You clean off your wind shield and head to whatever spot the current conditions seem best for.  Its all a crap shoot any where there since the weather is so erratic and changes hourly at times.   To your east is Mt Taranaki in all its ominous splendor.  

As you drive you think about how it is still an active volcano and for all you know could erupt and level the place at a moments notice.  There is snow at the top of it.  Winter is on its way easily discernible by the cold dewy  mornings.  Soon the entire mountain will be covered with snow.  You turn west at a giant boulder with the words Stent Road painted on it.  At the end of the that road is a rather fun right point break, a handful of A-frame reef breaks and a few left reef breaks as well, although Stent is the gem.  Driving the 2km it takes to get there you pass nothing but cow and sheep pastures with to odd modest little farm house.  

Nearing the end of the road you see the azure blue of the ocean, the color amplified by the black rock beach and bottom.  In the grass parking lot there are a handful of cars.  The waves are chest to head and glassy. You made a good choice.  Once in the water there are wispy clouds in constant motion overhead to remind you just how small you are out in the middle of the ocean.  Behind you is the giant volcano in hibernation and in front of you is a perfect right hand peeler about to dredge and barrel.  Things could not be better. ..Chris

Taranaki is basically a big wheel with tons of little tiny fingers of boulder reef jutting out into the ocean. No wind protection, only a change in the orientation of the coastline. Man, there are a ton of spots there not in the surf guide.  The Thursday after my last post I hopped in a rental car and booked it down there. A guy I met at solscape had a house in Opunake and said I was welcome to crash at his place if I was in the area and felt so inclined.

I took him up on the offer. The only problem was he didn’t have a cell phone and only left me his email address. It was cool though, I had met a French Opair who said I would be welcome to stay with her in New Plymouth. The plan was to stay with her and when I got in touch with the other guy to go to his place. As it turns out she was busy and couldn’t get me a place to stay.  She insisted before I left that we must meet up for tea or beers (We met up for tea). Here is the million dollar question, leave your opinion in the comments. Do you think Kooky banged her out? 5 to 1 odds that he did not.  I spent the night at a local back packers, woke up and went straight to Stent Rd.

It was super fun, a little overhead, slight offshores and never more than 7 guys in the water my whole session. Half way through, who paddles out but the guy from Raglan. He told me how to get to his place and to pick up any groceries I needed in New Plymouth. When I showed up at his place it turned out he had no kitchen,no electricity, and no hot water. It was basically camping in a makeshift back building of the house he owned and rented out.  Not quite the Lisanti Palace. It was all good, a free place to stay makes those dollars go a lot farther.

Down in the southern portion of Taranaki I had a hate session at Sky Williams. Sky Williams is a left hand reef point that looks sick from the parking lot but is one of the most frustrating waves to ride I have ever come across.  It is like Lead Better but a left.   I scored a  fun time at Arawhata (Arawhata is a right reef pass with some other scattered reef passes up and down the beach.  Its very consistent and playful although never epic), got yelled at for walking down the trail after my session at Mughume (Mughume is a right reef on the other side of Sky Williams that throws pretty hard although is very shifty) and surfed a few secret spots. The first secret spot was only a little outside of Opunake and was a lined up right reef that had a solid wall and the odd barrel. I left with a wind storm looming on the horizon.

 On my way down into Taranaki I saw a sign for a wood turning studio, needing a wedding present for my cousin I  followed the signs and went in. It turned out that the guy was coming home from work, but his wife invited me in for a ginger cordial while I waited. They were very friendly and he offered to make me a piece by tuesday and told me if I need a place to stay I was more than welcome to stay with him and his wife. After the swell faded out of Opunake I cruised on up the coast and took him up on the offer.

I killed the day by surfing and exploring the coast up in Urenui just north of New Plymouth. It was small, but this wave would hit the seacliffs at the end off the beach and bounce back out to sea. As it did, it would feel the bottom of the beach and wrap back in and break like a little right point. If another wave was coming in at the same time, it would wedge and pitch out in the form of a super square stomach to chest high barrel. It was really cool. After my surf I took a wander up the coast and found three spots that with another meter or two of swell have incredible potential, none of these are in the surf guide. Ask me in person and I will draw you the treasure map.

That night I had dinner with the wood worker and his wife.  We talked about  where I was going in life and how he had done his travels on the backpackers trail through South East Asia. We talked about his time in the military and how he would always figure out the best way out of work. He was also a coxswain when he was younger(the person who steers a crew boat and yells at everyone). As it turns out he was one of the craftsmen for the Last Samurai that was filmed in Taranaki and he even got to be in the film for a few seconds. He is pretty sure it is because he is short and wouldn’t make Tom look his real size.

After a lovely dinner and great conversation I spent the night in their guest house.  In the morning I drove all the way up to Piha, a surf spot on the West coast just outside of Auckland. A tropical system was lashing the east coast with 30 kt on shore winds and those were offshore in Piha, which was throwing out some solid left barrels.  Piha is a good wave.  It sort of breaks in the middle of this semi protected cove thing with a huge rock in the middle of the beach. It is usually rather crowded due to its proximity to the city. I managed to not kook it on two but most either went fat or I got swallowed up when I pulled in. Anyways I only have a few days left and I will update everyone on what happens when I get back to the states in a week…Kooky Kyle

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