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Posts Tagged ‘NYC’

Tonight I am going to cover a subject that means quite a lot to me.  I am Italian and from New York thus I have a very deep rooted attachment to clothes and looking my best in them.  I see way to many people in today’s society discounting the role being well dressed plays in life.  What you wear is a direct reflection of you and you should be proud of every aspect of how you put yourself together.

I am going to share a small rant story.  I am at work finally at the end of my peak dinner rush.  Keep in mind that tonight I had both a catering event to help with and my own meal over at the Mexican restaurant.  I know, an Italian chef running a Mexican restaurant sounds a bit preposterous.  Then again so has been my entire life.  I get to sit down on a milk crate behind to kitchen and check my phone to see if any ladies are chomping at the bit to see me tonight.

As usual nothing of the kind, such is life.  I don’t blame them I guess.  I mean I was way more attractive when I was a failing professional surfer working at a gas station who barely had a pot to piss in.  I really don’t get that expression.  I mean if your poor there is always something to piss in and who pees in a pot anyway.  I would just take a piss in the bushes or behind a dumpster or something.  That is technically my guest bathroom at the palace.  Actually the pharse dates back to colonial times when there was not plumbing.  People had these little pot type things that they would do their business in at night and then dump them out in the morning.  Hence the phrase “pot to piss in”.  I love useless knowledge, don’t you.  We all know Kooky Kyle does.  He is like the fucking encyclopedia of that type of shit.

Where was I?  Oh, the text.  My new roommate whom has barely lived in my place for three weeks texts me “I borrowed your pea coat….bla bla”.  This particular coat is my favorite to wear when I dress up.  It is not cheap, although I got it for a deal and since I walk about a mile and half down town it is key to looking my best on said walk.  If I feel styling and put together on my way to the club it translates down to my demeanor in the club as well.

Dude takes the coat with out my permission and in my book that is very disrespectful.   Shoots if he asked I most likely would have lent it to him anyway.  More then one person has benefited from my extensive wardrobe.  I was at first furious.  It took some deep breathing and meditation to calm myself down.  Then I thought about it further.  Dan is a Californian and mostly besides LA and San Francisco the whole lot of them do not really know how to dress.  I mean the guy is always in khaki’s and shades of blue color button downs when I see him.  He looks like he should be on the Banana Republic catalog or something to that effect.

Realizing this I figured he just may not have understood just how much clothing means to fashion oriented people.  As a result did not fully understand the severity of the offense he was committing.  Shit maybe he got excited when he saw just how flashing my wardrobe is and was overwhelmed becoming light headed and not thinking “hey I should probably ask Chris before taking a jacket this sleek”.  Could have been worse.  He could have grabbed my custom made Armani suit or dabbled in my shoes.

I will reiterate, I am Italian.  Where do you think most fashion originates from?  That’s right Italy.  There is not any Milan in California. Sorry folks.  In the US the hub of high fashion is New York City.  Now I am not saying I am the most stylish person out there, but to be honest the only thing that keeps me from being just that is budget.  If I had rapper money believe me my wardrobe would be out of this world.  Heck I might just throw an outfit away after I wore it so that I would never have to be in re-runs.  I am also a bit insane.

Ever since I was a child having decent clothing was instilled into me by my parents.  My dad always wore nice shoes and explained a good pair of shoes said a lot about a man’s character.   When I made my first communion my mother had my suit custom tailored for me.  It took two days of measurements cause I was so hyperactive and I hated her for it.  I will tell you this I was one of the best dressed kids at that service.  At my conformation my sponsor and I coordinated purple suits,but in a classy way, not too guido.  When I go shopping for clothing it can take hours.  My friends have stopped going with me for that reason.  I think my mother is one of the few people I can shop with.  Italian men and their mothers is a topic I am not about to cover in this blog.

Now I need to mention that I am not saying that a well dressed person can’t be a creep.  What I am trying to say is that how you present yourself shows how you want to be perceived.  If I go out in stained clothing and torn up shoes it mainly says I do not give a fuck.  When you look put together people look at you with a sort of admiration.  “That guy has it going on”.  Most people say I over dress and I always reply, no you just under dress.  If we all went around naked it would not matter, but since that has yet to come to pass, and I admit I would be the first to jump on the all nude all the time band wagon.  It may not go to well with my current profession and the sanitation code, but in general I would have no problem giving up on clothing all together.

Even at work I try and keep a style about  me.  My chef coats are of an angled cut at the neck which suits my body type.  I picked a hat that enhances my out fit and I always, always wear pleated pants.  You may be reading this right now and be thinking “man this guys is one of the most vain people I have ever listened to ramble on about bull shit”.  In my opinion its not vanity my friends, but self respect and respect for others around me.

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I have been scourging through the old Myspace archives to save some of my old writing.  So expect more blast from the pasts then usual.  Not to mention when ever I find myself lost in life I always look back to my past writings to amaze myself on just how little anything ever really changes.  This blog goes back to 2006. At the time I was surfing for this rinky dink small time NJ clothing company called Slide.  At the time I really believed in the thing and thought it had promise.  I dropped O’Neill to sign with them. 

They threw this elaborate party to promote the spring line at some swanky hip club in NYC.  It just so happened to be the same night and same club as Carmen Electra’s Birthday Party.  At the time I was on a hiatus from the party scene.  Being married I was trying to do the responsible settled down guy thing.  As you can see it did not work out, any of it, the wife, life or the sponsor for that matter.  Hindsight 20/20 right.  Fuck it cause I am still partying like a mother fucking rock star, but with out the money, glamour or accolade, but the same destroyed liver.  Who has it better then me??? I wonder!!!??!?

So about a month ago Mark Provost of Slide Clothing invited me to a party that him and Joe Delgado were throwing to promote the line.  He sends me this Evite invitation to my email. I had never gotten an Evite before and I thought it was rather impressive.  Just saying the word Evite made me feel important.  Turns out the party is gonna be held at this club in the Meat Packing District in NYC call AER.

I had no idea what to expect from this event so I decided that the only way to do a party like this was to bring an entourage and I immediately roused the troops.  I always try and roll with an entourage when I step out.  Power in numbers, well I say party in numbers.  If you bring your own little party to another party then you my friend have just made a better party.   My entourage included Nick Kiefer, Grep P., Sindia, Her friend Tina (Tina was this posh chick Sindia grew up with although the two were complete opposites. Her and I never really got along until about a year after this she took up surfing, cashed in her life and moved to Hawaii.  Not even I can hate on that kind of commitment to allowing Surfing to Ruin Your Life)  and her MYSPACE date James (who by the way was one of the most stylish Asian guys I have ever met I was from Jersey, we did not have very much diversity in the town I grew up in) and Tina’s Friend rachel.   The scene was set for a most interesting evening on the town.

Like I said I had no idea what to expect all I knew was that Joe was known for throwing legendary parties and that this was his biggest yet.  So we arrived in the city via train around 11pm and caught a cab to the corner of 13th and 9th where the club was suppose to be.  We got there and were totally not in Kanas any more.  I am talking like we just stepped into the Twilight Zone and were lost in Yuppie Town.  There were fancy resturants, posh clubs, well dressed people, limos and nice cars everywhere.  I was like fuck it lets get this show on the road.

Now finding AER should have been a piece of cake but as it turned out we ended up walking around the same one block radius for about 15 minutes. Sindia finally asked a bouncer from another club where this mystery place was.  He pointed around the corner which we had already walked by twice.

Now the only places on this block was a club called Fusion and another called CVB.   Sindia once again bails us out cause guys dont ask for directions and asked the bouncer at CVB where AER is (Damn NYC weird ass letter club names).  Turns out CVB is AER and that it is one of those NYC underground “It” clubs that does not need a sign cause its patrons are “cool” enough to be in the know. There was a time years before this when I was in the know.

This place had a line, but I was on the VIP list so there were no worries in my mind that we were getting in.  We get to the door and the lady with the list looked us up and down, rolled her eyes an said we had a bad girl to guy ratio and cannot come in unless we found 2 more ladies.  At that point we were on the street trying to find any 2 random girls to join the entourage.

This is where Tina’s Friend Rachel came into the group.  She jumped at the chance and grabed a cab across town to join us and boost our ratio.  AER and its contents was a pretty big deal at the time.  We got to the front of the line again, I have some words with the list bitch and she finally lets us in.  The next hurtle was if Greg’s fake was gonna get bythe bouncer or not.  It worked and we were in.

This is where the raping of our wallets began.  All the guys got hit wth a 15 buck cover charge and then we had to pay to check our coats.  The place is packed.  I am talking elbow to elbow, hard to get around packed.  Turns out the Slide party was in the downstairs VIP lounge. We meander our way through the club till we find an elevator that took us down into the VIP Lounge and the supposed Slide party (we had yet to see).  This room is packed too.  There had to be 200 people packed into a room the size of the surf shop.  The surf shop I worked in at the time was maybe just over 500sqft.

We made camp near the bar in an attempt to find a familiar face.  Nick went off and got an $8 beer.  My figuring was that eventually someone we knew would need a drink and have to show up at the bar.  After a half hour Greg was over it and bounced (not that I blame him cause it definitely was not our scene).  Nick managed to run into his ex-gril friend of 5 years who was with another one of his ex’s.  Whats the odds of that shit? Nick’s had his share of ladies.

Finally Nick decided that we should get wasted and always up making an ass of myself I concurred. See I told you some things never change.  Unfortunately our cash situation had been dwindled exponentially since we got to the city, but then a light bulb went on in my head: Bar Tab. Once again things that never change.  I pull my credit card out and told the bar tender (who was hot in a crack whore sort of way) to run me a tab.  Turns out you have to have $50 minimum.  I figured for 50 bucks we could get pretty thrashed.  Think about it you could pretty much drink yourself to death “Leavin Lost Vegas” style.  I now know after three years of trying that drinking yourself to death takes much more commitment then my wallet and personal triumph at suicide can handle. 

As it turns out it got us 3 rum and cokes and a beer, no one got drunk and not even a little buzz.  I decide we should cruise and try to find Mark and Joe to atleast get credit for being at the event.  Now getting through this crowd was no simple task and definately not for the claustrophobic.  Somehow we made it to the other side of the lounge where I see Joe mixing drinks and puring shots for some of the hottest girls in the room.

Turns out they were getting bottles of vodka brought over to them by the house all night and we could have been drinking for free. Now stoked that we could finally get some rounds free Sindia chimes in that her feet hurt and that she was ready to split.  Chicks always want to throw in the towel when the night starts getting good. Meanwhile I was just getting started, but when I looked to see what time it was my watch said 1:10am and we needed to be on the 1:41 Train which was the last one of the night.  Problem: Miss the train.  Solution: Party all fucking night till the 5am train shows up.

We had to make like Cinderella and book.  As we were leaving the club was even more packed and there were camera crews around.  I was like man the Slide party must really be a big deal.  Later I would find out that Carmen Electra was having her birthday party at AER that night as well.  Her, Dave Navaro and god knows what other famous people were there. If I had known that I would have fucked the train and just stayed till the club threw us out.  After all I did not get home till 3:40am anyhow.

Total Collateral wallet damage: $52.82 bar tab, $30 cover charges, $10 coat Check, $15 cab fares, $30 in Train tickets, $10 in gas and $60 for an outfit for Sindia. Over all I could have bought a board for what I spent at the Slide Party. Will I attend the next one you ask?

HELL YEA CAUSE THATS HOW I ROLL.

Turns out there were no more Slide parties since this one actually bankrupted the brand.  I like how I complained about all the money the night out costed me.  These days I do high roller nights like they are going out of style.  Shit my bar tab last month at the Wild Cat was over $400.  Its not cheap to party.  Forget about clothes, my wardrobe is always popping.  I try to figure out if I was better off back then or now?  Fuck I guess its not for me to decided and all I can do is move forward. 

 

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Kooky Kyle takes the cake on the last UCB of the quarter with the topic “lightning”.  Him and I were actually discussing this topic while cruising around the streets of NYC on my most recent jaunt back east (see blog: A Trip Back East for those deatails). Out of all of my friends he was the only one to come see my performance in the East Village and for that I was rather stoked.  He had never heard me play before and I think was left a bit awestruck good or bad I do not know.  He gets one point for his efforts.  Sorry Kooky no double points for you.

I have two interesting stories to tell about lightning and although rather far fetched I can vouch for both and actually have witnesses for both.  When it comes to something as crazy as lightning anything is possible.  A fellow psychotic die hard surfer gave me some wise advice when I was a teen “There are two things you should never mess with, sharks and lightning”.  I have yet to heed his warning.  I fuck with both.  Surfing in some of the most shark infested water to surfing through full on lightning storms.  That brings us to our first story.

The Flaming Barrel

 About seven years ago or so I was out surfing in front of the Lost Castle (nickname given to my run down beach bungalow I lived in on 2nd Ave, Manasquan, NJ.  Currently we call my abode in Santa Barbara the Lisanti Palace although it is far from a palace and more like a run down crack house.).  It was mid August and the surf had been down for nearly two weeks.  We finally got an inkling of a tropical swell with a very short window.  I am talking hours here.

Conditions were trash with heavy onshore winds thanks to the extremely hot weather.  In the summer NJ on such days as a result of all the humidity is garnished with intense thunderstorms.  The storms bring a good deal of thunder and lightning. They also bring offshore winds with them.  The catch is the offshore winds usually only last while the storm is hitting.  This makes for perfect yet dangerous surfing conditions.

We like to call these surf sessions, electric sessions for obvious reasons.  My buddy Sorbo and I had paddled out at Sea Watch beach and were making the most of the crowded chest high blown to shit conditions.  As we are sitting out there we noticed the ominous black clouds on the horizon, which could only mean one thing, bad weather.  As always when adverse weather arrives on the beach there is a mass exodus of fleeing beach goers to escape the rain and lightning.

The storm cleared the line up and the wind began to pick up turning absolute garbage into perfect little cylinders.  Immediately we found ourselves getting shacked off our ass.  Then it started to rain, torrential down pour.  It was raining so hard it made it hard to see.  Still using my surf senses I was grabbing good tube after good tube.  The lightning started and we could tell this was not going to be one of these thunderstorms where the lightning stayed up in the clouds or hit far away.

Sorbo and I could see it hitting all around us and at one point even felt the heat from the strokes.  At this point we thought of leaving, but my justification for staying out was that it was most likely more dangerous to get out and run up the beach for cover.  Lightning loves to get people on the beach. Sorbo was a tough sale, but I told him I read it somewhere.  Rule of thumb when attempting to convince a person on anything tell them “you read it somewhere or saw it on the news”.  Nine times out of ten they will take your word for it.

Right after we made the decision to stay and surf I ended up snagging a solid head high bowl and backed doored the thing.  While in the barrel all I could see was yellow and orange and it was hot in there.  Then I came out and there was a huge crash of thunder.  I was all disoriented and Sorbo was sitting on the shoulder with a crazed look in his eyes.  According to his account a bolt of lightning hit the wave as I pulled in and all he saw was a bright flash of light and then me coming out of the barrel.

I believe that because I was in the tube the voltage went all around me with the water but never touched me.  I came out griming with no idea what happened or how close I had come to be fried.  Shortly after the storm cleared, the wind went back onshore and the crowd showed back up.  By far it was one of the strangest surfing experiences I have ever had.

The Circle of Death

It was the summer of 2002, mid August. Like I said that is peak thunderstorm season.  A group of my close friends, including my old roommate Cory, Mookie, CH, Brian M. and a few others were helping out with this free one day surf clinic at Manasquan Inlet courtesy of Quicksilver.  This was before all the surf camp mambo jumbo of today.  I was working at Ocean Hut Surf Shop at the time and was let out early to go represent the shop as another instructor.  I got there just as the thunderstorm was beginning to roll in and everyone scurrying off the beach for their lives.

I was standing under this cabana type thing they have up on the ocean walk there (Manasquan does not have a board walk, but an asphalt paved walk way along its beach front) slyly filling my pockets with Quicksilver promo gear.  I heard one of the loudest crashes of thunder I have ever auscultated in my entire life.  Upon looking up I saw all of my friends lying on their backs on the beach.

I wanted to go running to their aid, but then checked myself.   The lightning was not letting up and if they got hit they were probably dead anyway and I was not nearly qualified to give the kind of aid they would have needed for survival anyhow.  I stood there momentarily horrified.  Then one by one they began to get up and stagger back to the cabana.  As it turns out a bolt of lightning struck the sand directly in front of them and the whole group was brought down by the excess shock. Cory claims it was one of the scariest moments of his life.  All I can say is it was nuts to witness.

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Where have I been you ask?  I really hope no one is posing this question.  There was a time when my life could have been like one of those “Where’s Waldo” books.  These days I am rather happily complacent (complacent is a stretch) at my quaint Santa Barbara home.  To be honest I am rather happy, at least the happiest version of Chris Lisanti I have yet to know.

For the last seven days I have been running amuck back in my old stomping grounds Manasquan, NJ and the East Village, NYC.  Life is funny, five months ago if you told me I would be sitting in an airport terminal at Newark, NJ in August writing a recap blog I would have made some strange PHSSSSST type sound effect and cruised.  Here I am.

Proximity

How did I get here?  It all started with a night of depression drinking followed by a series of parties.  That’s right every now and again my reckless lifestyle puts forth an opportunity.  I met this incredibly nice guy, Ken at a party of a mutual friend.  We got to talking and next thing I know he was calling me to work on some music with him for this original play he was looking to put on over the summer.

At first I was hesitant, but I read the script and fell in love with the play, well I think it is the last few lines that always get me all choked up being a hopeless romantic despite my cavalier façade of a womanizer.  Then Ken played me some of the music and I was sold.  He had written one of the most fun contemporary scores I have ever heard for a show.  Being rather burnt out on doing any work what so ever for musical theatre this was saying a great deal.  I signed on not quite knowing what I was getting myself into.

I showed up to this potluck dinner at this ridiculous mansion up in the hills of Montecito, immediately thinking I was in the wrong place.  As usual I arrived about a half hour late.  I find it easier to walk into a party with everyone already there so I can case out the situation and make a stealthy escape if I find the scenario to be one of agitation.  Upon walking in the door I found myself being hugged by eight different people.

That was almost enough to send me running for the hills, but they seemed harmless enough and they were after all theatre people.  It was an amazing evening and the passion these young people had for their craft was mesmerizing to me.  They ended up sucking me in to their “family”, the Proximity family.  Being on my own again for the first time in two years it felt nice to belong to a group so full of goodness and love.

We delved into work and next thing I knew I found myself learning dance steps for a music video, on the beach dressed in all black running through the ocean like a banshee, playing saxophone at a benefit event in a group who’s style was deemed “electro-pop-funk” where I took the stage for the first time in eight years.  Then there were exhaustingly frustrating eight-hour rehearsals, tantrums, disagreements and finally the formation of a remarkable piece of work.

We ran three shows in Santa Barbara for a packed house and were well received.  I had friends in the audience who never even knew I played the sax and were blown away.  From Santa Barbara we were rushed out to NYC to do the show all over again in the East Village, the first time I would play in the city in ten years.  Life can be amazing at times.

NJ

 I took full advantage to of the opportunity.  I usually only get to see my family once a year at Christmas time.  The last time I was at the Jersey shore in the summer time was when I lived there four years prior.  I decided to build a few extra days in before the show to go spend some quality time with my folks and sister.  Truth be told I had been feeling a little bit home sick the last few months and wanted to remind myself why I left.

All I can say is that NJ is a hellhole.  Its hot and sticky even at 2am in the summer and then in the winter you freeze your ass off.  No thank you, I will take the predictable moderate climate of Santa Barbara any day.  The surf was flat the entire time yet some how I managed to break my toe while fucking around in knee high surf finless.   If you want to know more about my Jersey surf sessions visit the surflog.

It rained nonstop for two whole days and was deemed by the weather service a record rain fall for that time of year.  Seriously?  Last time I was home for Christmas I got dumped on by five feet of snow and was stuck inside for three days.  The last time I surfed in NJ before this trip I cut my foot open requiring eight mattress stitches and severed a tendon that never really healed correctly.  That is what you get when you don’t have medical insurance boys and girls.  I am telling you New Jersey hates me.

I did have a grand old time on the party scene, getting to pre game with my boys Kiefer and Greg P at his pad in Asbury, met up with my old roommate and downtown SB partner in crime Cory Kisiel, which lead to a black out, old habits die hard.  Kooky Kyle brought me by the Porch to catch up with none other then Bojangles and Scotty B.  My friend Micheala took me to some fun bar in Asbury that had plastic sand pails full of rum (that was a mistake).  Kooky, Val and I went to some bar in Avon that had tiny little 8oz beers for a $1 where I ended up getting absolutely sloshed for $13.

Kooky and I hit on some random girls just to show my sister what a lurk was all about.  I pretended to be from California, but it went horribly wrong.  As it turned out they knew me from when I lived in NJ and call me out. “Your name is Chris Lisanti right? Weren’t you a pro surfer?”  We slunked away defeated into the corner and had a laugh and half about it.  They were ugly anyway and lucky I even talked to them.  It was only to entertain Val who was nice enough to be my designated driver.  I have a woman I am seeing back in Santa Barbara right now who as far as I am concerned is far better looking, intelligent and straight up more amazing then anything Jersey could even try and temp me with.

I even ran into former Jerseyite Beth Anne, now living in Laguna, but was in town visiting her family as well.  As usual we exchanged the same words “I hate this place, can’t wait to go back to California”.  I bumped into former Lisanti Land character Jiggles, who I barely recognized thanks to a major weight loss.  I guess we should not call him Jiggles anymore.

Catching up with my family was as good as it ever could be.  Besides a few tiny scuffles my mother and I got on famously.  We had some quality walks on the beach, I cooked a few scrumptious dinners, and breakfasts, including banana fosters waffles.  I think everyone gained a few extra pounds on my stay.  My parents and I played a round off golf at the course I used to be the assistant greens keeper at (I asked if the same horse’s ass owned it and I could immediately tell by the look in the girl’s eyes who took our fare that it was, look for an odd jobs on that job one of theses days).  Apparently they have been practicing cause they stomped my ass.  I was easily fifteen strokes behind.  I think it is just that I play better high and the chronic in NJ sucks, on top of being highly illegal.

On my last day I even got to catch up with my good old friend and one of my very first minions, Sorbo.  If you remember back to the myspace.com days he was almost killed in a horrific motorcycle accident.  Since then I guess he has been just floundering trying to figure out his next step in life.  We ended up bombing some hills in the Brielle Cemetery together.  I had not skated that since I was in high school.  I gave him a passport to Lisanti Land and an open invitation.  I really hope he takes me up on it.  A little time out in my world I think will do him a bit of good.

NYC

The last time I was in New York City was also four years ago and my time and a good deal of my money was spent at these gnarly ultra private clubs in the meatpacking district.  I am talking about places with no sign that look like an abandoned building, but then were super luxurious inside.  This time I was there on business to help tell the story of Shandy Wilkes through the melodic prowess of my soprano saxophone.

The show ran from Thursday the 18th to Saturday the 20th at the Robert Moss Theatre in the Village.  Initially I was far from impressed by the capacity of the small sound stage.  As soon as I pulled out my horn and began to blow I fell in love with the room.  By far one of the best sounding spaces I have played in.

Taking the train in everyday was quite the three-hour adventure, driving from my parents’ home in Manasquan to Metro Park, 45 minutes.  Taking the train from Metro Park to Penn Station another 45 minutes, then finally walking from 32nd street to 4th street in the village around another thirty minutes or so.  It was fun for the three days I had to do it.  If I had to commute into the city every day like most workers do I would kill myself.

Friday night’s show went down in front of a packed house, standing room only at times.  I felt in my opinion it was the best I had seen the actors perform the show.  I was blown away and that is saying a lot for me.  Saturday I went into the city with my parents, where we met up with my aunt and ejoyed a nice Italian dinner before heading over to theatre.  It was the first time my parents have heard me play live in ten years.  They really enjoyed the show, although no comment was made about my personal playing either way.  From my mother that means it must have sounded good cause although not apt to give a complement she is the first to criticize.

All in all I would have to say it was one of the more enjoyable trips I have had back to my childhood home.  Still it is very nice to be back in California, which really feels like home to me. One thing I will say and maybe this is me getting sentimental in my old age is that I felt a bit sad to be leaving my family behind for another six months till Christmas.

A special thanks goes out to Micheala for filling Nick the Kook’s shoes in his absence, being in Chile, driving me to surf, lending me a board and helping me stay in the party.  Sorbo gets a salutation for helping me pack and ship some new threads I bought. For those of you who don’t know him, Sorbo is a master at the art of packing and shipping.  Kooky Kyle and Cory Kiesel for buying me one two many drinks and my folks for being decent to me.   And my boy Ryan back in California for holding down the fort.  Thanks everyone, with out you Lisanti Land would be not half as fun.

Here are some really terrible photos I took with my cell phone.  Enjoy and thanks for reading.

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That was probably one too many exclamations points, but then again there is proper reason for excitement.  Tonight is the opening night of the play I have been working on for the last month or so with the theatre group PROXIMITY.  You remember back in July when I was fundraising for this cause?  Well if you don’t we needed to raise $20,000 to get the show off the ground and into the theater, see I am Not a Whore and Im Calling Out to You for more details on that.  We got the money during our benefit show at Soho, read About Last Night for more on that one and have been since working very hard on putting the play together.

When I say very hard I mean it.  These folks have been practicing eight to twelve hours a day for the last month at least.  I did not have do even a quarter of the work they had to and just that little bit was exhausting.  Tonight is the culmination of all of our hard work, Opening night at the Center Stage Theater.  The show starts at 8pm and tickets are $20.  I can personally vouch for the validity of the  integrity of the performance and you have yours truly on the soprano saxophone, so you know you can’t go wrong.

Come and check us out tonight 8pm at the Center Stage Theater in Downtown Santa Barbara.  If you cannot make it tonight or love it so much you need to see it again Shandy Wilkes will be running Thursday (8/11) and Friday (8/12).  For my east coast friends you can catch us next weekend at the Robert Moss Theatre in NYC Aug 18-20.  Hope to see you there.  Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity to have a grand old time and support the arts.

Here are some videos for a sneak peak at what you will be missing if you do not come out:

Shandy Wilkes Promo: Burning Dance from Proximity Theatre Company on Vimeo.

Shandy Wilkes Promo from Proximity Theatre Company on Vimeo.

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A few weeks ago I wrote a blog Im Calling Out to You.  The basic gist of that blog was to solicit funds for this theatre company here in Santa Barbara that I am currently working with called Proximity.  I am not going to reiterate what was mentioned the latter blog, you can click on the link above if your interested.  Instead I thought I would make one more plea to all of you for help.

Proximity is this nonprofit theatre group whose sole purpose is to perform high quality original shows that not only entertain but leave the audience with a thought provoking message, a message that may just help change perspectives and break down barriers.  More importantly we are a group committed to the avocation of the performing arts at no personal gain to ourselves besides the satisfaction of a job well done.  Everyone in the group is a super talented individual bringing his/her personal strengths and creative diversity to form an impervious unit.  Believe me all you need to do is see us in action and it will all become clear.  A picture is worth a thousand words after all.

If we are not in it for the money then why do we need it?  Unfortunately even if our time is free of cost other extenuating circumstances need paying for: rehearsal space, performance space, costumes, sets, and travel.   This summer we are putting on an original show called Shandy Wilkes written by talented NYC based play write Karina Richardson.  We will be taking the stage here in Santa Barbara at The Center Stage Theater From August 10-12th.  Immediately following the Santa Barbara shows Proximity shall be whisked away to New York City to perform Shandy Wilkes at the Robert Moss Theatre in the East Village from August 18-20th.

Why am I wasting your time?  Some of you have contributed already.  Let me be the first to thank my old friend, Sayreville bowl partner in crime and house party enthusiast Nick Kiefer for contributing to the cause.  He actually threw down the first day I wrote about my cause.  I also would like to thank my father Joseph Lisanti whom also made a very generous donation.  There all sorts of little incentives as well for different scales of donations, not that you need such motivation, but its always nice to get something in return for your kindness.

Proximity is a legit nonprofit organization meaning your donations are tax deductible.  If your looking to clear some heavy earnings with the IRS this year  for $10,000 we will credit you with director of the play.  Think how that would impress a date.  You take to the show, she opens the program and reads that you are the director.  She does not have to know you did nothing more then give $10,000.  You can just look into her eyes with an air of satisfaction and watch her melt right there in front of you. Trust me you will definitely get some that night.  For $1,500 you can name a character in the play.  Think of all the fun you can have with that, while helping out a great collection of artists.

Seriously there are over 3000 readers on this blog now and believe me I love each and every one of you, even the those I don’t know.  SurfingRuinedMyLife.net is my heart and soul.  It is me personified. My life out on the internet exposed to the public for all to read and be entertained, be it good or bad.  I don’t censor too much. When I’m hurting I write, when I’m happy I write, when I have crazy bizarre ideas I write.  If you have noticed the content here has gotten a thousand times better then it used to be.  That is because it takes me longer to compose a good coherent blog.

Here is what I am asking from everyone as a thanks Chris for giving me something fun to read all these years.  So far we at Proximity have raised just over $9000, but we still need another $11000.  I know we are all broke, but if everyone here just gave $1 dollar then that would $3000!!! If a few gave $5 or $10 then who knows what would happen.  I am going to up the ante even more for you folks.  Kick starter gives me a list of backers whom have donated.  It does not tell me how much you put into the pot, but if you end up on that list I will write a special blog just for you about anything you want.  Anything.  It could be a special recipe, a blast from the past, a drunken tale, a blog all about you, a fictional story about a hover cat.  You name it I scribe it.  I hope I have to write 3000 of these things.

Once again thank you Dad, Nick Kiefer, and even Nick the Kook for mentioning us on his blog staywet.net.  If you feel so compelled to help out click here to donate: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kenurbina/proximitys-shandy-wilkes-in-sb-and-ny.  If you need help just let me know and I can walk you through it.  Oh and Kiefer don’t worry you will get your blog too, just let me know what you want it to be about.  I hope if you are in the New York or Santa Barbara area for any of the show dates you will come out to see the show!

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