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Alfie, Alfredo Lisanti, passed away Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday 5/29/21. He went peacefully at home. It was a natural death. He was nineteen and half years old. As far as a cat’s life goes I’d say Alfie lived a choice existence. He was and always will be the King of cats in the Lisanti Land Kingdom.

To me Alfie was more then just a cat. First and foremost he was a most loyal and loving companion. He was the only constant in my life for the last twenty years and a symbol of my adult life. The magnanimous black cat lived in six different abodes, traveled cross country from NJ to California and survived seven other house cats.

Alfie and I just one week before his end

Alfie was a lap cat. Nothing gave him more satisfaction then to curl up on a warm lap and fall asleep. He did a thorough job of pre-washing our dinner dishes with his tongue. Catnip and raw beef were his favorite vises of choice. It was rare to ever find him not purring.

People would joke that when I would pet him it was like playing a musical instrument with all the different meows, purrs and coos of satisfaction he would make. He snored all day and night long when he slept. Halloween was his holiday being a black cat and all.

Alfie, Bizarro and I doing our Blues Brothers costume
Adela, Charles and Alfie, more Halloween fun

Alfie first came to me in January of 2002. He was found orphaned by his mother in the middle of a snow storm and thus came into my care. I had never really considered having a black cat as a pet. He was such a special little thing I had to keep him. I was just twenty myself barely figuring out my own way in the world. He quickly became a major part of my life.

He was a little black fuzz ball as a kitten

Together we grew and experienced life as quite the pair. I always likened Alfie and I to folk legend Paul Bunyan and his blue ox. Chris Lisanti and his black cat. When I hurt my knee and was out of the water for months Alfie was there. I use to actually take him with me to check the surf in the morning when I lived in NJ. He loved riding in the passenger seat of the car and sunning himself on the dash board while I decided where to surf.

He touched the lives of everyone who came through Lisanti Land over the years. Whether it was in New Jersey or Santa Barbara I always had lots of good people constantly staying on the couch or renting a room or just passing through. People always were hanging out anytime all the time. Alfie loved the company and the lap variety. If you were lucky enough to spend anytime with him at all you know exactly what I’m talking about and how special a cat he was.

He had lots of cat companions off and on his entire life. Some he got along with better then others. He even met a chow and didn’t back down even though the pup was five times his size. That was the kind of spirit he had.

Alfie & Charles (top), Alfie & Turtle (bottom)

Alfie was a hunter. Whenever he got out I always found a trail of dead small animals around the apartment. Any mouse that dared to brave his way into the Lisanti Palace never made it out alive. As far as sneaking out he was very crafty. No door or window could be too secured or he would be gone. I remember he had been missing for three days. I was walking home from the Wild Cat at 2 am and he jumped out of the bushes at City College and into my arms. He was ready to come home.

He was the smartest cat I ever had also. He could open door knobs. If one left food out no matter how it was packaged he would find away to get it. He figured out how to open a butter container and ate two whole sticks in one sitting before I caught him. Alfie even once ate two 1 lb 8 oz pizza dough balls I left out to proof. I never saw his stomach as fat as that night.

At the end of his life Alfie was still very strong for a cat his age. He still loved to play right up until the end. His appetite always superb. He was the sweetest old thing with his white whiskers and salt and pepper coat. Sure he was def, partially blind and walked with a bit of a limp. In human years he’d be around 95 and that isn’t too bad in my book.

Fierce all the way to the end

Alfie was an excellent cat and he will be missed. Even an insensitive fool like myself had a soft spot for him. He is survived by Charles & Raymundo, two three year old snow shoe cats. They will continue on in his stead. I know a good number of you did meet Alfie and knew him personally. Please for him and myself leave your favorite Alfie story or memory and what he meant to you in the comments. It would mean the world to me.

365 Days of Surfing

This is something that I have been keeping under wraps outside of the surflog. My reasoning for such was because I didn’t want to as per usual tout some lofty goal for a new year and then a month later give it up and look foolish.  Not that I have ever cared about playing the fool.  Looking foolish is one of the things I am best at.  What am I rambling about you ask?  The dream; surfing 365 consecutive days in a year. 

Ever since I was kid it has been something I have always dreamed of doing.  I remember seeing that crazy dude from northern California, Dale Webster in “Step into Liquid”, he had surfed 14,642 days, roughly everyday for ten straight years!!  Webster did it having to brave some really cold, really stormy and very scary conditions. I live in Southern California. Surfing 365 days straight should be easy.

With waves like this who wouldn’t want to surf everyday?

As a kid growing up in New York with out any transportation I was relegated to summers and weekends when my parents felt the benevolence to take me.  Luckily for me my mother had an affinity for the beach even in the winter.  With such effort in my early surfing life I believe I grossed about 90-100 days a year.  By high school my family and I moved to Manasquan, a small beach town in New Jersey.  Living only three miles from the beach and being older this allowed me the freedom to get to the ocean whenever I pleased. 

The only problem with the East Coast is although there are some epic days of surfing by anyone’s standards it is not surf-able 365 days a year.  On the contrary it can literally go flat as a lake for weeks.  At this point in my life my dream of surfing everyday for an entire year was moot.  The best I could do was never miss a day of surf, to which I held pretty steadfast minus illness, injury or the occasional (or in my case regular) school detention.  I had one physical education teacher Senior year who never forgave me for breaking her stapler during a marching band practice my freshman year.  When I had her as an instructor my senior year she always found a reason to give me detention and then forced me run the track for two hours after school.   I think she was sexist of the fact that even at that young age I was a bourgeoning Adonis.  That is an entirely different story all together.  During these years I would estimate I surfed around 200 days a year.

After my schooling years one might think it should have been easy, especially when I was a professional surfer.  Except one forgets that there is a great deal of travel and expense involved.  I either missed a day or two as a result of being in transit to the next contest or photo location or I was grinding through a few weeks of hard labor back at home to earn enough dough to get to my next event.  Thus is the reality of the bottom feeding pro after all. Through out my twenties 365 days of surfing eluded me.  I dare say I probably averaged 290 days a year during this time.

By the time I was thirty my professional surfing career had dwindled to little more then a surfboard sponsor who kept me around cause I helped with ding repair and other duties at the shop and a wetsuit sponsor who sold me suits at a hefty discount out of legacy respect.  I was living in Santa Barbara full time at this point and that year I could realistically say I put in around 330 days plus.  There were two weeks I went home to see my family in Jersey where I did not surf for a few days, an injury where I cut my foot open and missed a week and five days I spent snow boarding up in Tahoe.  Then an odd day here or there for various reasons.  This would be the closest I would come to my goal for ten years.

My thirties, if you have been a long time reader or know me well, were spent living hard and fast in the Santa Barbara party scene and beyond.  More then a few days were lost to multiple day benders, hangovers and other bullshit that looking back if I had any real regrets it would be to not have wasted so many years away.  Despite all that calamity and insanity I bet I still managed 300 plus days a year.  Not too Shabby.

Talk about a party monster!!!

2020 was supposed to be my break out year.  My gig as a high end event chef was taking off.  For the first time ever I had more money then I knew what to do with and I considered it a rough week when I averaged over 20 work hours.  I was getting married in the spring to an amazing woman and we were going to have the wedding of weddings considering it was my business.  My wife and I were also looking at buying a beach house down at the Silver Strand.  Then Covid came along and kicked me and a great number of other Americans down to the ground. Instead of 2020 being my year I was relegated to waiting on line at the food bank twice a week in order to survive.  Scroll down a few blogs to hear all about that. 

All of a sudden 2020 turned into a wipe out

I found myself December 31st 2020 sitting in my Tuxedo on my couch next to my new wife dressed in a beautiful gown with a bottle champagne by ourselves making it the lamest New Years Eve of my life since I was twenty when I fell asleep on a couch in Florida at 10 pm.  I woke up that New Years morning back in 2000 and vowed never to stay home on NYE again.  It took a global pandemic to break that vow. 

My occupation was cut down to US Postal Service Processing Plant Custodian and salary at a laughable income for most places let alone California.   As we counted down to 2021 I knew there was not going to be a whole lot to look forward too except for more let down and heart ache. I needed something to get me through what posed to be yet another hard year.  A goal maybe…5..4..3..2..1…Happy New Year!

The most lame NYE ever. At the very least we were well dressed.

Then it clicked at the exact time my champagne flute clinked onto my wife’s.   I stood up and made a proclamation:  I am going to surf every single day in 2021 no matter what it takes.   Today May 28 2021 marks 148 consecutive days of surfing (technically I had not missed a single day in December 2020 either, but for the purpose of this quest we will focus on 2021).  I have almost made it to the half way point of the year!  Don’t think it has been easy thus far.  There have been lots and lots of terrible conditions, some painful injuries I have had to surf with, and at times a very upset wife.  Just read the surf log, which is updated with my day to day surfing almost daily.  You can follow my progress there. 

There have been plenty of absolutely terrible days of surf

All I can say is that my hat is off to Dale.  148 days has been exhausting.  I can’t imagine 14,642.  Here is to another 218 days of surfing to a successful Goal.  Being that it is my 40th year of life and come August my 30th year of surfing I couldn’t think of a better time to fulfill a childhood dream.  Unlike the rest of my bull shit proclamations I plan and seeing this through to its fruition.

The issue of over crowding in the line up is not just frustrating but can be quite perilous as well. All photos by Adela Lisanti unless other wise noted.

On Saturday March 6th 2021 surfer Gerald Gilhool Jr died at Rincon. I wasn’t there when it happened. Rincon is one of the last places you will find me surfing on a Saturday due to the usually annoying, large and somewhat kooky crowds. If you read the surflog I was scoring fun El Capitan.

Perfect long clean lines is what makes the allure of Rincon a surf magnet for the masses

I found out about the incident while surfing Rincon in the days that followed . From what I gather Gerry ran over another surfer who was paddling back out and as a result of the collision wiped out. Ironically the guy who got ran over took some minor head injuries while Gerry’s was fatal!?!

There isn’t much I can say about Gerry. I didn’t know the dude. I probably saw him out there a handful of times though I didn’t recognize any of his pictures in the papers. It’s always a shame when someone dies surfing, especially on a day that wasn’t considered life threatening by any standards. He was a local, hailing from Ojai.

Everyone wants to ride that perfect wave, but we also want to live to tell the tale

I would like to use this tragic incident as a forum to speak out on an issue that has been growing painfully bad and really came to a head in the wake of Covid19. Surfing has been overrun with an influx of participants from all walks of life and all different levels of both surfing and ocean competency. The diaspora across this new somewhat unmanageable Surf population has caused quite the conundrum. The recent incident at Rincon is a perfect example of things becoming out of hand.

Ever since I became a surfer thirty years ago the rules of the sport were engrained into me early on. Back then I don’t even know if one could even call surfing a sport. It definitely had a very different timbre about its participants then it does now. In general we were a counter culture of bums and burn outs, considered the dregs/outcasts of society. As a result surfers of the time formed their own set of rules, ethics and morals within the sport. Though some what backward thinking many of the laws were, they governed the line up and kept order and safety as opposed to the chaotic free for all that takes place at just about every surf spot today.

Large waves used to separate the novice from the elite. These days it’s a free for all.

Not even conditions seem to control what goes on. I can’t believe how crowded a spot like Mavericks or the Hawaiian outer reefs are when it’s scary big. Is nothing sacred anymore. It is because of this over crowding that many new comers to the sport in the last ten years or so may have misunderstood the perilous nature of wave riding. Sure entertainment and surf companies sell it as a fun happy go lucky life style. Ben Gravy is out there charging everything on a glorified wave storm showing that anyone can just go to the nearest Costco, fork across eighty bucks and is instantly a surfer. Whooo hoooo!

Even Pipeline Legend Gerry Lopez has his own signature soft top available at Costco.

Surfing is inherently dangerous, as is the ocean. There are so many factors that can be life threatening out there; waves, rocks, rip tides, sea life, bottom contours are just a few and lets not forget the dangers of other surfers. A list of ocean hazards could go on for pages. After thirty years I’m still finding new dangers. Like I said surfing is fun but dangerous.

We may not be able to control the natural perils but we certainly can control our own safety and that of other surfers. First off, know your ability level and comfort zone and choose where and when you surf accordingly. Even I have my limits and know when a line up is too gnarly for me. By making the call not to paddle out I’m not just protecting my own life but the lives of the other surfers out in the ocean and the lives of water rescue services who would have to come save me if I got into trouble.

Not being at an elite level of surfing ability can put you in harms way by not being able to anticipate what a surfer on a wave coming at you may pull.

Also let’s take a moment and talk about the level of surfing at certain surf spots. There are plenty of waves to surf up and down the coast all with different levels of expertise needed to enjoy them. If you pull up to a line up and everyone out there is surfing at an expert level and your surfing isn’t up to that competency then maybe it’s a good idea to surf elsewhere that day. Also ask yourself if at your current ability levels if you are even going to have fun at such a spot, especially if a mile up or down the coast there is a perfectly fun wave for you. Your lack of ability in this crew would for sure at some point during the session put you and possibly another surfer in danger.

The surfer paddling back out anticipates what the surfer on the wave is doing and reacts accordingly to stay out of the way.

This goes for advanced surfers as well pertaining to paddling out into a crowded line up of beginners. This too would make for a potentially dangerous situation. Try and surf with in the confines of your ability level. Obviously there are always going to be line ups that are mixed bags in this case be alert of your surroundings.

Don’t be that frustrated ripper caught in a kook orgy.

Finally something I have been guilty of more then once, a good wave or section is not worth hurting someone or yourself over. There are plenty of instances where I had a great wave, barrel or air section ruined cause there was another surfer who got in my way. Sometimes it’s not the guy in the ways fault. We have all gotten caught inside or just come up from a wipe out and found ourselves in a potentially dangerous situation where we could be struck by a surfer on the next wave. When in doubt pull out. If you’re already in the wave try and avoid hitting the surfer floundering on the inside. Worst case scenario ditch your board out of the way and try and soften the blow that is about to be taken.

If you collide with another surfer and get hurt your session is over. If the other party gets hurt you are most likely going to have to help that surfer into the beach. If you’re equipment gets damaged that’s the end of your session and a costly ding repair. All for the the self gratification of fitting in one more turn. There will always be another wave to surf.

It’s hard to give up a perfect tube because of a kook on the inside. Photo: Christopher Dunlea

Take poor Gerry as a lesson. Because of his collision at Rincon he tragically won’t be able to surf another wave. Like I said I wasn’t there when the accident happened. At the post office (my personal hell at the moment) the motto is that 99% of all accidents are avoidable if the right care is taken. Next time you’re out there think of more then just yourself and pay attention to your surroundings and other fellow surfers. I know as surfers we are inherently selfish but if that’s the case use that selfishness to want to continue surfing by not accidentally hitting another surfer.

Post script: I was almost ran over by a friend of mine at Silver Strand. I had failed to make a barrel and came up right in the impact zone as my friend was about to drop into a heavy one. He saw me last minute and bailed, but got sucked over the falls. I managed to duck dive him and his board. This is was an unavoidable incident that both of us used our skills to prevent going badly. Of course if I hadn’t kooked my wave it wouldn’t have even been an issue.

With a little bit of caution we can all get out in the ocean and get that perfect wave. Photo: Adela Lisanti

I can’t believe that it’s October and we are still in the grips of this pandemic .  I know I said I was going to write more, but its really hard to churn out anything of substance for me these days.  I have to put a cap on the amount of drivel I actually publish.  Sometimes I have good ideas and then they flop in the planning stage, or the surf gets fun and I just completely forget what it was I wanted to write about in the first place. There is always a daily does of trash to read in the surflog if you’re really hard up. At the very least I thought I would compose a little something on what has been happening or lack there of in my life since April.

Like everyone I got dumped into the “shelter in place” prison that was my apartment and limited sphere of influence.  For me I decided that included my surf spots, considering I pretty much keep to myself anyway and do my best to stay away from people with or without a pandemic.  Pretty much all I did was surf and hang out.  It kind of felt like summer vacation back in high school.

As far as work went, like over thirty million other Americans I was shit out of luck.  My career, being a chef, event manager, kitchen manager, etc.  was basically destroyed.  All large scale events were canceled and then banned by the government, which was where I made the bulk of my money.  Resturants, always my fall back were forced to do take out only and then very limited seating after that, translation; very little cash flow meaning no jobs.  Like the masses I got onto the government unemployment.  Thanks to the extra $600 they added a week I was actually doing pretty good financially, especially when one considers that there was no place to spend it and gas was cheap!!!

Life was almost alright except for the fact that I was suppose to get married on April 17th.  Initially my wife and I had this elaborate wedding planned with 180 guests and all the works.  Trump kept saying he was opening everything up April 12th.  Being the gambling man I am I held to schedule despite the pleas and arguments from everyone around me.  The reality of the situation for me, being in the industry was that with all the cancellations if we were to cancel too it would be sometime before we could re-organize.  One doesn’t just re-plan a wedding on the fly after all.

In his classic fashion since election day Trump let me down and the quarantine continued.   At that point I was left holding a bag of goods and no where to sell them so to speak.  My life has been faced with adversity from day one and I was not about to let anything even a so called global pandemic stop me from achieving my goals.  Lets flash back a moment to when all this Covid 19 crap started to get out of hand.

I got some inside information that the county of Santa Barbara was about to eliminate issuing marriage licenses.  This was back during the first week in March.  I quickly grabbed my now wife, but fiance at the time and we ran down to the county clerks office literally on the last day to get a license for the duration of quarantine.  If we were to be unsuccessful the marriage would have to be postponed.   Luckily my calculations were correct and we got the license unopposed.

The next issue was finding a justice of the peace, a venue, a hair stylist and photographer all willing to take a risk.  The photographer was easy and actually one of the reasons we were able to persevere .  My good friend Ryan and surf photographer way back when I was still a professional surfer was on my guest list and the day I was ready to pull the plug on the whole thing he sent me an email stating that he couldn’t get his plane ticket refunded and was coming no matter what.  I told him it was all good as long as he would shoot the photos and help us stream the wedding live over the internet so all of our friends and family could watch.

The venue, which will remain nameless was provided as a big favor to my bride and I.  We knocked on several doors before we found a Justice of the Peace.  In the end my wife’s sister had a friend who’s sister was licensed and she agreed.  Hair and make up was done by a long time friend of mine and actually a high school friend of my wife, whom I had met years before meeting my wife, small world.  Thank you Brittany. The guest list we kept to the government mandate of 12 people, our wedding party and my wife’s parents.

Due to strict regulations up in Santa Cruz Gabe my only grooms man, next to my best man Bizarro was unable to attend.  I had a tuxedo in a very tiny size that needed to be filled.  Luckily around the same time I got the bad news about Gabe, one of my Clarks Surfboards team rider and friend AJ happened to be over my place picking up a used board to ride.  I sized him up with the tux and a grooms man was had.  Now the wedding party was  balanced 2:2 for the photos.

We decided that for the stream we were going to do the entire program of the wedding, just compressed, or as I sold it “sueded” like in the film Be Kind Rewind.   It would consist of the ceremony,  a toast to the people at home, our first dance spun by DJ Curley who was nice enough to come set up an play the music for our song: September by Earth, Wind and Fire, though we danced to the Marcela Mangabeira bossa nova version for elegance, we cut the cake, a small tres leche from The Rose Bakery on the West Side and signed off.  Besides almost tripping on the carpet and then my wife’s train during the dance it went off beautifully.  For a small little honeymoon, cause let’s face it everything was closed, we got a room for two nights at the Bacara in Goleta.

It was a bit of a wild ride but now here we are husband and wife in our sixth month of marriage. I lost my $1200 deposit that I was suppose to get back from the Tent Merchant, that they never sent me and have since gave me quite the run around.  Whenever things get back to normal and you need rentals don’t go with the Tent Merchant in Santa Barbara.  They are overpriced anyway.  Another couple of hundred was lost on other miscellaneous items. In the grand scheme of things it’s only money.

My wife had 180 wine cork keep sakes she was making during her mandatory arts and crafts time (it kind of got like the nursing home in Happy Gilmore towards the end there.). I think the first thing we did was throw those things out in a fit of anger. We got married and though it was not what we had planned our small intimate affair was in a lot of ways more special and romantic. It took a lot of drive motivation and love to pull it off. Thank you to everyone who watched online and shared this special day with us.

The ironic part was we were one of the first couples to do one of these small COVID weddings that has now become just about the standard for weddings in 2020. Looking back I don’t think I would have had things go any other way. Things in Lisanti Land never do quite go as planned. If it did it why read about it. Ultimately what it came down to is that I am just happy to be married to my wonderful wife Adela Lisanti and knowing she is there makes everyday just a little bit better.

If you want to watch our magical Covid19 wedding web cast feel free to on the below link.

With everyone stuck indoors I thought why not throw down some of the books, movies, shows, and jams I have been enjoying as of late.   Since beach closures are growing exponentially, maybe faster then the spread of the actually virus surfers everywhere are going to need something to fill that one to four hours a day they would normally be chasing surf.   I have been reading lots of social media posts of people looking for good books so lets start there.

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I will give you five for now.  Keep in mind I am a slave to the classics with a favorite in British Literature from 17-1900.

Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy 1895 roughly 500 pages edition dependent

Hardy’s book were way ahead of his time and all are full of pushing the acceptable social conduct of that era.  Full of sexual angst and content in a decadent way you can’t miss a good Hardy novel.  He always challenges religion and government as well.  Jude the Obsure is actually his final fiction novel because it was so heavily criticized in his day it led him to give up fiction.  That being said scholars today consider it to be maybe his master piece.  Isn’t that how it always goes with genius.  Basic plot follows a peasant dreamer through his life of misadventures and poor life choices ultimately leading to his downfall.

A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens 1859 roughly 450 pages

Dickens is with out a doubt one of my favorite authors.  If you think times are shitty right now just think how much they sucked living in France post revolution.  Love, lust, honor, blood shed and unrequited romance make this novel a winner.  It is also one of my personal favorites.  A must read for everyone.

Measure for Measure – William Shakespeare 1604 5 acts

Considering he had just lived through quite the plague why not enjoy a Shakespeare comedy set about a corrupt government official ruling poorly at the hand of his own selfish vanity.  Sex, pirates and plot twists all make this a fun filled read.  If you really feel eager why not act it out with some friends over face time.  You may not survive this Corona plague but Shakespeare’s words will.  At the very least you won’t die an illiterate.

1984 – George Orwell 1949 roughly 340 pages

Keep giving up those rights because you are scared and George Orwell’s dystopian future will become a reality.  1984 is an ugly truth about human nature and the corruption of power.   Throw in a little romance, sexual content and some good old fashion torture and you got a decent read.  Better read this now while you still can before we start burning books of it’s nature.

Sea Wolf – Jack London 1904 roughly 330 pages

An intellectual gets impressed into being a sailor after being picked up a float from a boating accident in San Francisco.   The schooner is a gnarly seal hide trapping boat with a schizophrenic captain ready lose it at any moment.  Its a sadistic fish out of water story that sort of works out in the end.

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Solitary confinement

I never really saw myself writing about something likes this.  Sure I made a few doomsday predictions back in my younger years, most likely penned a word or two on it here.  None of us are really ever prepared for such times as we are now living.  I suppose that is because it seems rather counter productive to focus on the extreme negative.

Like most of you I don’t own a safety bunker or escape shelter out in the middle of nowhere.  I don’t have a years store of MRE’s and non-perishables.  Nor have I stock piled weapons.  Up till recently I just lived my life and did my thing assuming the status quo would remain.  One could say I may have bitched and complained about minuscule things in the grand scheme of life and preoccupied my time with mainly bullshit.  I don’t regret this for I have lived a rather charmed life as it stands

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This could be my new home

This is actually the third blog I have attempted to write on the current state of things.  The first one was a bit too nonchalant.  The second a bit too militant and extreme.  On the third try I have just decided jot down a few thoughts, that are my thoughts; so please as per usual take them with a grain of salt.

Before all of this pandemic stuff began my life starting in 2020 was off to a rather hectic start.  I had a wedding to plan, my wedding.  What started as a mellow affair steadily became a 180 person black tie event.  Luckily it is my industry and that being the case I had the insider edge every step of the way.  On top of all of that my  work life was getting a bit dicey.

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My lovely betrothed and I

My major employer and mentor for the last four years suddenly decided to retire and move to the east coast.  Considering I was entering my slowest time of year it became evident to me that I better begin hunting for some new form of hopefully more gainful employment.  Through a few connections I had a few possible opportunities afforded to me.  One in particular was as close to a dream job for any chef looking to mellow out.  It was a position that I could have retired in.

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Doing what I do

At the same time my surfboard company Clarks Surfboards had been churning out some of the best boards we have ever done and finally had tested and proved all of the various models in the catalog.  We were ready to take the next step and really go after a piece of the surf market share.  Talk about exciting times.  A possible great new job, marrying the woman of my dreams in just a little over a month and my surfboard business finally gaining traction after years of hard work and sacrifice.
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This was all shattered by a few tourists from China who may or may not have eaten at bat?  At this point there is so much misinformation out there it is hard to know what to believe.  The government has managed this whole situation very poorly.  As a result people panicked and now we have a bit of a food shortage on hand because the sheep decided they had to buy every last can good, roll of toilet paper, non perishables and  dairy out there.  Surprisingly I have noticed a fair amount of vegan food on the shelves.  Luckily for me my lady and I go shopping every other week for a big grocery load and had just before things got really nuts.

As a chef I tend to keep more raw ingredients in my home then most and have a par level I keep for the basics to make anything.  By my judgement we could hold out eating decently for over two months on what I had.  After that I could churn out two eight ounce portions a day of protein gruel for up to six months.  I figure between fishing and foraging, maybe trapping of small prey like rabbit and squirrels we could last indefinitely.  Of course this is me just “doomsdaying” it, which I really hope it doesn’t come to.  Anyone who knows me knows how much I hate camping and in a resource lacking future everyday would be like camping.

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I suppose with a view like this camping isn’t so bad

At this point I am taking my life day by day.  Minus being able to go to the Wild Cat and having a job my life hasn’t really been affected all that heavily.  Lets face it I have not really worked a steady job in the last four years.  I think few people are as crafty about making ends meet with out a job then me.  I live with my fiance and my best friend, they are my quarantine buddies so to speak.  Besides that my disdain for most human beings usually keeps me at a distance of six feet from others anyway.  I pretty much spent my life avoiding crowds of any size shape or form.

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There is a certain peaceful solace to not traveling in groups

It is a bit annoying going to the market and having to be a more creative on what I am going to make for dinner.  I will say this all the fresh foods like produce is still very plentiful.  Maybe people will learn how to eat real food again instead of all the processed garbage out there.  I don’t like feeling guilty every time I leave my apartment even though I following all of the current  “social distancing” rules.  It breaks my heart that any day now the government will close the beaches and I will no longer be able to surf.

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At least we are entering one of the junkier times a year surf wise

For now I and the people dear to me remain healthy, we all have enough to eat and can still laugh and smile at times.  My fiance and I have decided we are going to get married on the 17th of April no matter what even if we have to do a civil ceremony with ten people all standing six feet apart.  Being out of work, the realistic difficulty of rescheduling (as an insider in the wedding industry venues, caterers and rentals are going to be short and booked for months maybe years because of this.  The wealthy will be able to get what they want, but poor people like myself will have to settle or wait) and the fact that we won’t have any available funds due to the heavy losses taken being out of work, to even pay for the event leaves us to this somewhat crushing decision.  Our union was always about the love we have for each other and not some ridiculous overzealous party. All we can do is play the hand that we are dealt and so be it.

That is really all I have to say on this topic for now.  I am taking life on a day by day basis during these seemingly desperate and scary times.  It is the only course of action any of us can take.  Maybe this will blow over at the end of the month, though most likely it won’t.  If everyone stays calm we just may get through this with out major catastrophe and life as we know can get on in a civilized fashion.

To this avail I will be more active writing.  I don’t really have anything else to do at the moment.  For the most part I want to keep it light.  The surf log will still contain my day to day whether or not I am in the water or not.  I would like to pen some fun blogs on surfing, tell some of my old surfing stories from back in the day and thoughts on all things surf related.  Whether we can surf in the near future or not lets still keep the stoke alive here.  Feel free to suggest anything you wish to read about in the comments like we used to do in years prior.  Stay strong and healthy everyone.
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Nine Years!!!

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I checked my inbox here on word press and as it turns out today is the nine year anniversary of SurfingRuinedMyLife.net.  Yeah; I haven’t wrote a piece in quite a while mainly due being pressed for time and a lack of reason to write.  Ever since the Surflog took over as my day to day life happenings I have not really seen the need to write about it here.  For my regular readers I feel it would just be a horrid redundancy.  Maybe if something really special happens, but even then it for the most part it gets covered daily in the surf log.

After nine years I figured I may as well write about a few revelations I have had in both my life, surfing and blogging.  At the very least it may shed some light on why I have been rather quite as of late.  Why not get back up to speed on thing.  The last time I wrote was New Years day of last year.  I’d say its about time to sound off.

A Brief History

 

Bear with all the photos, these are my 63 favorite posted on here over the last nine years.  Its been a pretty wild ride to say the least and if you had told me I would still be alive and writing in 2019 I would have said you were crazy.  In all my stupidity and gnarly endeavors some how I didn’t die.  Lets grab a quick history on how this blog came about.

It all started back in 1991 at age ten when I stood up on my boogie board and began surfing, had that never happened there would be no SurfingRuinedMyLife.net.  From there the obsession progressed from a fun childhood activity, to amateur competition, to the professional stage and then life after professional surfing and coping with such.  The written word began when I was in fifth grade and was forced to keep a daily journal by my English teacher Mr. Gestry.  There were a couple of adolescent journals (one I still have on my book shelf) before then, but nothing of any concrete literacy.  I liked the idea of writing and continued to fill volumes of black and white note books for years after.  All of which were destroyed when the crawlspace of my parents beach house flooded in 2014.

In 2002 while rehabbing a knee injury a buddy of mine and I launched a surf and music website called Hard Core Surf Productions.  It was basically a surf and music blog before blogging was really a thing.  That lasted around two years,  halted because I forgot to renew the URL and we lost it.  Right around that time I started surfing for Globe Shoes and it was also the height of MySpace.  Part of my rider obligation was to keep a blog on Myspace of my surfing escapades.  It would later lead to a weekly segment on Globe’s website. During this time period I penned a number of mixed surf media pieces that got published.  2008 was a black year for everyone in America as the housing market crashed along with countless banks.  So did the surf industry.  All of a sudden every average pro surfer got cut from payroll and smaller companies didn’t even survive.

I was one of those pros getting paid to pretty much do nothing but fuck off and party, thus pulling the plug on me was not a hard decision.  As a matter of fact Globe just about pulled out of surfing in America all together.  Devastated I ended up taking a job at a gas station as the night manager (of course the only person I managed was myself).  I had lots of time on my hands at work and continued blogging on Myspace.  My readership was steadily falling off as Facebook was taking over and Myspace began to be the home of sexual predators.

My good friend Nick Kiefer suggested I create my own website blog and call it “Surfing Ruined My Life” after a short autobiographical sketch I did called “How Surfing Ruined My Life” and that is how this blog was born in 2009.  At that point I was a literary ronin.  This left me total freedom to write about and sound off on anything I felt like and when the satirical and comedic ranting and complaining took over the blog.  As a result it was as the about section claims more gibberish then surfing.

Soon sub sections were added like the surflog, recipes etc.  The only thing that really remains updating today is the surflog.  My life kind of began to fall apart on me in my early thirties.  Feeling a bit like a rebel with out a cause I went a course of  downward spiral of heavy drinking and partying.  That lasted till around 2015 or so when I slowly began pulling my life out of the gutter.  The process of which left me very little time or even patience for blogging.  Maybe it was even a reminder of all the years I pissed away.  The hardest part has been figuring out how to define myself or this period of life without using the millennial word (which I hate) ADULTING.

I suppose that brings us to now, August twenty first two thousand and nineteen, the ninth year commemoration that you are now reading.  The first thing I have written besides the surflog since January 2018.  Let me say with out spoiling the rest of this blog that I have for the first time in almost twenty years found a balance in my life allowing for a healthy homeostasis that includes all of my favorite activities.  Things are good or as good as they can ever be, cause we all know how I feel about declaring that one’s life is good.  It is a cop out to stop trying to improve. We were always meant to improve ourselves.  Here are a few brief Surfingruinedmylife.net topics I want to touch on.

The Surf log

 

 

Actually let me take a moment to reiterate a few things about the surflog since I have fielded some questions about how it works and the like.  In all fairness it has evolved quite a bit over the years.  Basically I am like Rain Man when it comes to stats.  I love them.  When I was a kid Nick Carroll wrote an editorial in the now defunct Surfing Magazine about how many waves he surfed and a lamentation for not being able to remember.  This sparked the beginning of the surf log.  When I was a kid I would write down the surf conditions, who I surfed with, and any notables from the surf every day.

I gave it up as a adult, which is a shame cause I wish I had some data from all of the surf trips and amazing days I scored during that epoch of my life.  When I started this blog I decided, why not have a surflog section.  At first it was just where I surfed, the conditions and session notables.  Then I started keeping track of the number of waves I surfed and how log I was out there for.  A few years ago I was having a conversation with one of my friends who was eluding to how many miles I drove a week to surf.  From that meeting I began diligently keeping track of the round trip mileage from my apartment to my surf destination, including any surf checks that are out of the way.  At this point I can say with proof that I drive upward of 350 miles a week on average to surf.

When I don’t surf I still make an entry usually, about my life and why I didn’t surf.  The conditions report is from the Surfline.com afternoon C-Street Ventura report.  If I am out of town land locked this is the conditions report I use.  If I am someplace that is surf-able but its flat or I don’t get in the water I use the report for that area or my own eyes.  This also goes for days I drive around looking for surf and find nothing.  Plenty of times Surfline is calling it 2-3+ ft and its barely knee high.

There have been some altercations and incidents as a result of the surflog.  Some people happily use it as tool to find good waves to surf and get a better understanding of surfing in the Ventura/Santa Barbara area.  To those guys I am stoked to help you score.  When I first moved here I was clueless and had to learn from other kind surfers.  All I ask is that when you show up to the break be respectful, follow the rules of the line up and don’t bring too many people at one time.

Then there are the antagonists.  There are surfers out there who blame me for blowing up spots. For the most part every wave I write about here is on surfline anyway.  I am not giving away any secrets.  Still I will run into some ass in the water who will burn me and be a dick because of my writings.  Sorry bud, but California is overcrowded as is the surfing experience here.  Its not my fault. I am just a minute part of the problem.

Sometimes I fall a little behind.  This is for three reasons.  Either the surf is so good that I am exhausted when I get home and just pass out, My work schedule is insane on top of my surf schedule leaving me no time to update or I don’t want to give away a sand bar or spot that has just started popping off, thus I will wait two or three days till either the swell wanes or the crowd finds its way with out my help.  Its usually the later.

2019

Its been a decent though hectic year for me.  I am still doing freelance chef work in Santa Barbara and beyond and extensively building my resume and experience as a chef allowing me to get to a level I never saw myself excelling to. Sometimes cooking all the time can be a real drag.  It does leave me with a flexible schedule to surf.  I have always enjoyed feeding and making people happy with my craft.

 

I am still with my current girl friend now three and half years in.  We got a cute Snow Shoe Siamese Cat named Charles who is now one year old.  The relationship is going great and maybe the most positive one I have been part of.  Alfie is still alive.  That is probably the hardest thing to believe.  He is sixteen and half years old and besides having some arthritis, and being near sighted he gets on just fine.  Bizarro still lives with me and is still an avid partner in crime when it permits.

 

My surf board business Clarks Surfboards is in its fourth year and we are starting to almost make a small profit I think?  Its been hard, but tons of fun too.  I am just a proud parent of how the whole operation is shaping up, no pun intended.  The boards ride and look great and are priced starting at $450.  If you want one hit me up.  Mention you read it here I’ll give you $25 off.

 

Other then that I still manage to make it to the Wild Cat on occasion, though rarely (for me).  I got a few big things cooking (also no pun intended) for the future that I don’t want to go into here.  As usual I just “keep on keeping on” cause that’s all any of us can do.  Happy Anniversary everyone.  If you feel so inclined leave something in the comments on your feelings, a memory, a suggestion, a photo or anything else that came to your mind while reading this post.  Thank you all for reading…..Chris

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What I learned in 2017

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Another year has come and gone.  I am not really one for resolutions, since I have yet to keep more then a handful of them over the years.  2017 was a bit of a hectic year for me.  One could argue that about any year in my life.  It wouldn’t be Lisanti Land with out a certain level of drama, action, adventure and stupidity we have all come to know and love.  I thought being a New Year I would sit down and attempt to write something, especially since 2017 was devoid of any new pieces.  I would like to say that 2018 would be better, but that would be a resolution…and I have already explained about that.

I Don’t Really Need Gainful Employment

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Its about time I came to this reckoning.   2017 saw yet another year of getting my hopes up at another potential “career” only to find my walking papers steadily handed to me before I even got my foot in the door.  In their words “You are just not a good fit for our company”.  If I had a dollar every time I have heard that line, well I wouldn’t be rich, but I would definitely have enough to buy a bottle of Remey Martin V.S.O.P. to help ease the pain.

I will give all of my former employers this, each one gave me a few more skills and knowledge then I had previously and that is invaluable in this life.  Truth be told I have always been an odd job type of guy, “A Renaissance Man” as I have been affectionately called.  At the heart of the matter I was born an artist and therefore can and should not be expected to fit into the mold of the common world.  Some how I am shocked each time I get fired, when really I must realize that I am not a good fit for any organized establishment.

At the moment I have been doing freelance Chef work, chef for hire as I like to call it.  I have been more fulfilled occupationally then I have felt in ten years. Though the pay not handsome it allows me ample free time and flexibility.  A feat that regular corporations have never been to able to afford me and subsequently frustration and anger have always been the result.   Somehow I always manage to get by one way or another.  I choose time over money, which easily segues us into my next lesson.

Free Time is an invaluable Commodity

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Photo: A. Lua

I feel like everyone should live their lives in the guise of this mantra.  Now I understand that the responsibilities of life get in the way most often , but one should never forget that he cannot put a price on leisure.  If he does then let that price reflect the amount of opportunity that sum will bring for future enjoyment.   I am the exception and not the rule, but think about how great, amazing and happy the world we be if this was the rule.

Imagine if we had shorter work weeks and less of a need for money.  If everyone worked less then there would also be more jobs.  That is an entirely different subject that I am not about to get into.  I have basically structured my life to allow for the maximum amount of free time to work time.  This doesn’t come with out sacrifice.  I know I will never own anything, and must make sure no other person financially depends on me. One would say this outlook is rather narcissistic and I would agree, but I have never claimed to be a martyr.  I suppose I didn’t really learn this in 2017, but remembered it to be fact.

I’m a Relationship Guy

This may completely contradict everything that has transpired thus far and even impossible.  One would say if she is the right woman for me then points one and two should not be a problem.  I have always operated more efficient, healthy and logical when I have a girl friend in the picture.  Left to my own devices I tend to make many questionable decisions.

A girl friend has always helped filter out some of those interesting and questionable decisions I have become infamous for (fuck if I didn’t make some interesting decisions reading my stuff would get pretty stale).   She is also that conscience I seem to lack or am reprehensible to.  A relationship is sort of like a business if one doesn’t hire help then he is doing everything himself and when busy how can one change and grow?  Sort of like all of the jobs I have lost, each woman teaches me a bit more about myself.

In 2017 my current girl friend of two years now moved in with me.  I don’t know if I highly recommend this step or not, but it does greatly help with points one and two of this blog; for a decrease in rent allows for both free time and freedom from gainful employment.  All jokes aside I do find that moving in with a significant other puts the relationship in a pressure cooker.   A couple either evolves for the better or dies.  Its pure relationship Darwinism when one thinks of it.  My current girl friend has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me.  The only reason I do not talk more about her or our relationship here is that I have learned over the years to respect the privacy of others especially when it comes to romantic involvement.

I Am Absolutely Ridiculous

Negative or positive you can be judge.  Very little I do, say or write can be taken all that seriously.  For the most part I just try and enjoy and live my life to the fullest ever day.  Whatever that entails for me you may agree or disagree with.  I am tired of all the hate mail on all of my social media, this blog included.  Don’t the haters out there have something better they could do with their time then composing barely articulate and sometimes illiterate responses to my actions.  If you are going to spend the time to be negative at least do it in an educated manner.  

Really, try and understand that I am not a normal person.  I suffer from the social mental disability, Asperger Syndrome (something I may actually explore a bit on this blog in 2018)  and though I find your disgruntled comments mildly amusing I would much rather you take point number two and better utilize your free time.  Like I said earlier I am not a good fit for this humanity company, but since I have yet to be fired do your best to put up with at least some of my bull shit.  Of course I don’t want to be naked like in the story of The Emperors New Cloths.  Constructive criticism is always welcome.

So Happy New Year to everyone out there.  I hope 2018 brings, health prosperity and happiness to all of you.  Those who enjoy my stuff thanks for reading.  It is always pleasure to meet any of you in the water, checking the surf, at the Wild Cat or anyplace else I get approached.  I know I say this every year, I thing nothing but greatness is utterly inevitable in 2018.  If we don’t start the new year off that way then what is the point anyway.
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The sands of time continue to pass through the hour glass unrelenting.  As that time passes we grow older and subsequently our lives change.  More for some then others.  Myself I always seem to travel in some kind of cyclic motion never finding a means to an end. Maybe that is just the existence I have been so accustomed that it is the only reality I know.  Many of you might have thought I gave up on SurfingRuinedMyLife.net.

The thought did cross my mind for a host of epithelial reasons. First off there is a personal cost to blogging that in some ways changes the writer’s life.  Sometimes in the past I found myself wondering if my life was leading the blog or it was the blog that began to structure the outcome of my life.  This idea finally became so ingrained I needed a break to sort it out.

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As long as my life goes in this direction maybe I don’t really care what’s leading it.  Photo: A Lua

What I found was that after taking nearly a year off from writing, besides the surflog, was that my life still went on in the same status quo it has.  I have been publicly writing about myself on the internet since 2005.  That is over a decade.  I sort of forgot what life was like before documentation.  At this point SurfingRuinedMyLife.net has become a part of me making the thought of letting it go seems impossible,

On the topic of costs, there is and has been an emotional cost to blogging.  Mainly it is more or less pertaining to the emotions of the important people in the main subject’s life.  It is impossible to write a life style blog based on oneself with out including the important people in that life.  They are the supporting characters in my life that alter its course and adventures as much as myself.  In most cases there has been minimal backlash, yet in few cases, as my long term readers know, there have been some retractions.  Truth be told I have lost friends, family, girl friends, connections, jobs, and more likely then not other cool things I will never know about due to my writings.  Our actions have consequences and such I too am not impervious of.

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Here I am about to learn the consequences of high performance surfing. Photo: A Lua

You know what “FUCK ‘EM”.  I didn’t start this blog to make friends (though the unexpected awesome people I have met and befriended because of SurfingRuinedMyLife.net have been amazing, you know who you are) and I never have lived my life in fear of my actions. To be honest I am really tired of making excuses for myself and the path I have chosen to take.  Despite the care free fun life that I portray it hasn’t come with out the omittance of other life experiences.   In the pursuance of surfing, doing and saying what ever I want it has left me in a sort of box that now as bit more of an adult I have found the world has sort of left me behind.  Or let me rephrase that, I have let it leave me behind. The ability and drive to catch up has almost completely alluded me.  Thus I am at the moment stuck in this proverbial box.

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Life moves fast like the cascading lip.  If we don’t keep up then we get left behind.  On another note I don’t mind being stuck in this box. Photo: A Lua

I hope this has shed a little bit of light on some of the reservations I have had about moving forward with SurfingRuinedMyLife.net.  This is also a declaration of my intent to write again and restore my inner voice. From this point on I am back to writing whatever it is I feel like cause this blog is not sponsored, supported or endorsed by anyone but myself.  Therefore I am going to be true to myself, my thoughts and beliefs  Take all your death threats, hate mail, bad comments, spitting at me in various surf locales I frequent and shove it up your ass.  Last I checked we lived in a country that values free speech.  In a world of easily accessible surf cams, information and social media my blog is a minor cog in the machine that is crowding and clogging our line ups.

That being said I do want to take a new direction on this blog because as life changes we change and some topics that I may have thought poignant to go on about in verbatim seem futile now.  There are some new thoughts and ideas I have that a few years ago were not even a twinkle in my eye.  I just wanted to announce my return to blogging and I once again would like to thank you for reading and supporting me.  My greatest hope is that I can write an even better, more entertaining and informative surf blog then I had in the past.  If you folks are down to go on this journey with me then please let me know in the comments.  I can use all the motivation I can get.  Welcome back everyone!!! I am glad to give this another stab.

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Here we go again! Photo: A Lua

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Its moments like these that really count. Photo: Christopher Dunlea

It’s still a mystery to me how this life works or even why.  I know the religious cats out there like to leave it up to their god or gods.  The fatalists believe our lives are already predestined according to the rules of fate.  The transcendentalists like to watch how life unfolds in front of them.  As for me I spent most of my time confused and boggled by both my everyday life and the greater scheme there of.  In addition I find myself in a constant state of awe and utter amazement of the world around me.  Most of the time I just plain spend too damn much time attempting to figure out just what is going on instead of just going with the flow, a motto I have very much been carefully learning to adopt.

Maybe If I had been able to “go with the flow” so to speak things would not have gotten as out of hand as they did.  For there has always been a fine line between going with the flow and standing up for what you believe in.  Whats right is right after all.  A friend of mine took note the other day that my blogging seems to revolve around my former relationships to define epochs in my life.  This thought began to marinate in my mind a bit and I thought that maybe my friend was right. My life for at least the last ten years or so has been defined by one woman or another and each one subsequently led to my personal demises.

Once again this little blog saga that I have been dragging out is nothing more then a pathetic epilogue , a sad testament even,  on some level to another failed romance.  If I have learned anything from all of what you have already read and are still to read it’s that women in general are fucking nuts.  Believe me I know crazy.  I’m completely bat shit, certifiably insane. I crossed over that line and never looked back around ten years ago.  Ultimately my thoughts are that I will never understand the female psyche and I suppose I don’t really care to anymore.  I am just going to do my thing and let them do theirs.

Anyhow so last I left off I had been jilted by yet another she devil. I know now she was just a rebound, but at the time it killed me.  I think the hardest thing that anyone has to do is get over a relationship and many of us can’t help but jump right into another one to if even for a brief moment be able to relive the same feeling of love we had with our exes.  This momentary memory becomes pure bliss and we forget our troubles.  What usually happens at least for me and others I have talked to is that I end up putting way too much emphasis and pressure on this new budding relationship causing it to falter before it even got off the ground.  This was exactly the case this time around, though it didn’t help that she had one of the least agreeable dispositions I have ever come across in a relationship.

After the break up that was the pretty much the premise of the “When it rains it” blog I went into my usual downward spiral of drinking, drug abuse and incessant partying.  At the same time I was also losing interest at my job.  I was promised all these so called changes that were going to take place to make my life easier.  Instead they just made my job harder and way more annoying.  Over it and feeling very aggravated with my life in general I began to act out against the management a bit.  I even began to stir up a bit of mutiny among my fellow employees.

The fact that it was an El Nino winter and the WNW swells kept pouring in didn’t help either. In fact I began using my sick and vacation time in pursuit of catching good days out at Naples, El Capitan and other of my favorite waves.  At that point I was over missing decent waves for a job that was going absolutely no where and for a management system that completely didn’t care.  When I think of all the great days of surfing I have missed for that stupid job it makes me sick, including the once in a life time Hurricane Marie swell.  You can click this link for that skinny on that one.

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Saying the winter was solid is almost an understatement.  Photo: Christopher Dunlea

I guess it was late January when everything went down.  The hard part about work place politics and one I have never been all that good about is knowing who’s ass to kiss and who to side with.  My problem always is that I don’t kiss anyone’s ass and just about all the time say exactly what is on my mind good or bad.  I finally had enough of all the new changes going on with out any consultation of my own.  I steadily began making complaints and inquiries into everything that was taking place.  I suppose my bosses and a few other employees who were looking to climb the ladder a bit at my own demise got into cohorts against me and began compiling incriminating evidence, most of which was absolute bull shit, against me.  I was the only one with the integrity and gall to challenge what I felt was unfair policy and as a result like any great martyr I took the fall for it.

Ultimately it all led to my termination for a charge of which I was guilty of just that it had been known that I was an offender of such since I initially began working there six years ago, and was never warned or questioned about.  As a matter of fact my own bosses used to joke with me about it.  I am not going to get into here cause it is a tad embarrassing and could hurt my professional reputation.  The evidence against me was severely lacking and mostly hearsay.  I actually consulted a few lawyers about the possibility of a wrongful termination suit and was advised against it, being told although I had a decent case it was not worth the time, money and effort.  In the end I took what little severance I was offered and moved on with my life.
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By February and my birthday I found myself totally and completely at a loss.  I had no job, very little money, no prospects and no girl friend.  Some would say my situation seemed rather bleak and if I was a normal person I would have felt the same.  As I dug deep into my inner self and came to grasp with my situation I actually realized that my current state of things though sounding a bit desperate was the best possible scenario one could ask for and one I have found myself in before.  Life had basically in one fell swoop handed me a do-over.

Basically I was involuntarily handed a clean slate to draw up whatever plans or lack thereof I saw fit.  Slowly I began to climb back up to my former self. As of press time after a tough spell I feel greater then ever.  The world is my oyster and I’m hunting for pearls.  The winter was amazing.  I got to do and experience lots of wonderful things that my career had taken from me the past six years.  I finally remembered what it was like to live.  In the end as angry as I was at Sodexo and everyone involved in my unemployment I feel the need to express a great sense of gratitude for setting me free.  I don’t know what’s next for me at the moment, but I am exploring some different avenues all a bit outside of the box. Time will tell my friends, it always does.

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Hoping for a grand future.  Photo: Christopher Dunlea