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.


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.

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.


Hoping for a grand future.  Photo: Christopher Dunlea


When It Rains It…


Photo: Christopher Dunlea

When it rains it pours, shit runs down hill and all that jazz.  The last time I wrote something here I was rather optimistic about life and the world; my life specifically.  OPTIMISM!!! What word, what a dangerous mother fucking word.  It implies that with good thoughts, feelings and hopes good things will be brought about.  Maybe this works for some people. No one I know in particular, but some delusional idiot out there lives by this crap.

Even a pessimistic realist like myself falls into these optimistic ideals on occasion.  It always happens to me when my life starts actually turning around.  Then again had life really turned around for me or was I just starting to believe the lies in order to come to grips with the settlement my life had become?  There were the lies I told myself and the ones that the machine of conformity claimed would bring me happiness.  I am one for total honesty when it comes to oneself, but then again there are times when one needs to believe his own lies in order to accomplish certain goals and ultimately in this mess of an oxymoron a new truth may be achieved.

While I am at it let’s briefly touch on how I feel about the idea of happiness.  I have always subscribed to the thoughts of Aldous Huxley “Happiness is never grand…Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the over-compensations for misery. And of course, stability isn’t nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt…Happiness is never grand.”  This quotation is basically how my life has played out since birth.  If you have been reading here a while then you know.  If not, feel free to indulge yourself for I am not going to bore myself or my loyal readers with my own redundancy (that’s a fucking joke).  Shit I have not written anything for months so I suppose I need to make it count.


Ah the sweetness of adversity Photo: Christopher Dunlea

Now that we got all that philosophical crap out of the way lets get into exactly what has happened in my life over the past four months.  Believe me a lot must have been going on if I was left nearly speechless by it all.  Some one who existed briefly, yet had a major impact on my life recently said that she found it rather odd that I only share the good side of things on my social media.  Clearly she never read this blog for I am the anti-hero of my own story, a modern Sydney Carton waiting to give his life for his beloved Lucie Manette.  Fuck how often am I positive about myself here? To be honest the pain, misery and suffering I had been going through had me so mentally crippled I was for once in my life at a loss of words or at the very least decent words to delineate my situation.  I also have to blame El Nino as well cause if you frequently read the surflog or just surf in California you know how good it has been here in the 805.


Oh it’s been fun! Photo Christoper Dunlea

I guess the best place to begin my tale is in the middle of October.  At this point of my life everything was looking splendid and grand.  Things at work were going well.  I had recently got a solid raise.  My bosses were pumped on me.  I had the respect and esteem of all of my employees.  The food we were producing was in my opinion the best we ever had done in my six year tenure at the college.  I was working with my best friend Bizarro and watching him develop as a cook, which gave me a real sense of kin.  Life was good.

Yet there was something missing I just couldn’t put my finger on. Although production was at an all time high, quality good and waste low I still knew we could do better.  I live by the code of the samurai striving for complete perfection and mastery of whatever I wish to consummate.  “So many aspire to greatness yet so few succeed.”  Maybe I got too full of myself.  My ego can be a bit ridiculous at times.  I might have pushed the kitchen and management too hard.  I don’t really know how it all fell apart, though looking back now I have an idea.  We are not there yet and I don’t want to get ahead of myself.  I may not have wrote for a bit, but I think upon the conclusion of this piece you be happy I waited.


I will stand by my food with my life.

“Hindsight is 20/20” and in life I have always had eagle eyes.  Like I said work was good.  Life was good.  I was surfing a bunch and well. Biz and I were shooting tons of photos.  On the party scene I finally climbed to the top of my circle.  It certainly helped having a bit of disposable income around.  In my personal life I wised up to a certain entity that had been bringing me down for years.  It wasn’t her fault or mine we just kept ignoring the writing on the wall and our own good sense.  Certain instances took place that I am not going to mention, but opened my eyes and saw that as a couple we were never going to go anywhere and although we had found a livable groove that could have went on for another five years, I needed more.
party1I’m a romantic, a Shakespearean, an avid reader of Jane Austin.  For these reasons alone I could no longer exist in a relationship of convenience.   Finally after spending the bulk of September agonizing over what to do I took a deep breath and cut the cord.  I emotionally freed myself from the cage I put myself in two and a half years ago.  Man, it was scary.  As most of you know I am not a person who does well alone.  One thing I have always held true to is that I would much rather be alone for the right reasons then with some one for the wrong reasons.  Loneliness, vulnerability and depravity by themselves are not good enough reasons to pursue a life with another if there is no magic.  Thus I walked away standing tall and proud of the decision I made.

Once again I found myself single.  The dating world had changed quite a bit from when I was in the game.  It is very possible that I had changed a bit too, now in my mid thirties and having very different needs and wants then I ever had before.  For the first time in my life the thought a family crossed my mind when meeting a woman.  I wanted someone I didn’t have to save or constantly help get out of trouble.  I didn’t want to regularly have to turn negative vibes into positive ones.  I really wanted to learn from my past.  Luckily I analyze the shit out of my life and especially my romantic escapades.

I wasn’t perfect either.  In the past I had ruined more then one possible great relationship by being a total ass, selfish, immature or all three.  My temper has always been a problem.  I am Italian after all and we are very passionate people in all aspects of our life.  Temper is definitely a flaw  I am most guilty of.  Over the years I have made great efforts to control such.  There is still a long way to go. We are all works in progress till death comes knocking at that door, probably sooner then later for me.

Ultimately I wanted a relationship with more substance, a person with more substance.  I wanted someone in the industry.  People in my field constantly work crazy hours, nights, weekends, holidays.  This makes having a relationship with someone in the 9-5 world nearly impossible.  When you are off they are working.  When they are off you are working.  When you get off at 10 pm you want to drink a glass of wine, maybe go out, eat a meal. The 9-5’er is already in bed.  On the weekends when they want to rage most likely a member of the hospitality industry isn’t getting off till midnight. It becomes a real strain on both parties.

I thought about other cooks or chefs, but we all have egos and mine is heavier then most.  I knew unless I found the most passive chef  we would kill each other.  I put my sights on the front of the house, waitresses, hostesses, bartenders, managers, etc.  Also let it be said I wanted at least six months to pass before I met anyone else.  Even though my former relationship had been technically dead when we broke off our engagement nearly a year prior we still stayed together for another year of emotional dolor.  By all psychological accounts I needed time to heal.

Day in and day out I went upon my everyday.  As much as I hated the world of internet dating I got back on that horse again to no more avail then I had the first go around.  The difference was I had grown a thicker skin and didn’t really take anything too seriously.  If I met someone cool, awesome and if not at least I got out of the house and made a new possible connection.  One should try to make at least six contacts a day according to many very successful people at life in general.  I had a bit of fun with it all this time around.  Why not have fun? We only get one go around.

My life was good.  That almost brings us up to the fated  blog of optimism I published on November 17th 2015: “A Fresh Start“. Not quite entirely, not even a little bit.  During the aforementioned foray with dating through a digital medium I managed to meet someone whom I began to feel rather smitten for.  I believe she did as well.  The chemistry between us was about the best I have ever felt between a member of the opposite sex and myself.  We had enough in common to be compatible, though not so much as for it to get boring.   There were complimentary strengths and weaknesses existing among us as to be advantageous to both.  The two of us looked good together as a couple both having impeccable fashion sense and good taste (yeah mostly her, my tastes are still very much on the Guido side of things.  You know the saying: “take the kid out of Jersey, but never take the Jersey out of the kid”).


Like I said “Guido”

We genuinely got along.  With all of these aspects of a budding romance in play I decided to legitimately pursue the relationship breaking my six month rule I had set earlier.  There will always exist a spoiler to such rules in this life.  For that spoiler always has been if I think I met someone who could actually be “the one”.  Cupid doesn’t time when he shoots his arrows and I have let plenty of opportunities for love pass me by cause I  ignored his call in order to sort out a different directive.  The impetuous modern day version of Romeo I can be at times threw all caution to the wind and went for it.  By the time I posted “A Fresh Start” I was very much in love and in the midst of a torrid romance.

For weeks I was in a blissful rouse of jovial spirit.  As a matter of fact I couldn’t remember a time when I was more happy.  Its funny how amazing life is when you feel everything is going your way.  I didn’t have a care in the world.   Nothing lasts forever and as fast as love had come to me that was as fast the pitiful wrath of its ending also abounded.  How it all came crashing down at such a hastened pace was beyond me and the downward spiral it would cause was soon to be realized…


Photo: Christopher Dunlea

Stay tuned for more of this most recent saga of my life soon….

A Fresh Start

I checked my mail when I got home tonight after yet another obnoxiously intense day at work courtesy of incompetence of extreme proportions.  Most of which were not of my own causing.  I hate checking the mail and it is a task I seldom get around to accomplishing.  Usually I let if fester in the box till it is so full the mail lady will actually bring it to my door step and leave it there in a rubber banded ball of postal fury.

The reason I made the great effort to walk the extra 41 steps from my couch to my mail box this evening was in the hopes my new debit card would be waiting despite the asinine 7-10 day period the very charming call center operator said it would take. What happened to my old one you might wonder? It was lost in the rapture of a Wild Cat party.  Yep no real surprise there.


When you live the high life the occasional lost card is a consequence one must accept. 

I had actually managed to hold on to said card for nearly two years.  That’s a long time.  Though it is an even longer degree of time when one is the age of two for it is that person’s entire life time.  As we grow older this seemingly long interval of time to us as a child is now no longer then a snap of a finger.  What is two years, or five, or even ten for that matter when your head is buried down to the grind stone?  Its nothing unless one stops for a moment to reflect on all that passed in that period.

For myself the past two years have been a whirl wind both personally and professionally.  If you read here regularly then I don’t have to elaborate cause you already know.  If not feel free to peruse some of the posts on here from the epoch in question.  I can assure it won’t take long for creatively I was a bit spent as a result of the constant emotional bombardment I took on a regular basis. Thus that brings us to the point of my imbecilic ramblings.

Recently  just up until I lost that card a few major changes in my life have taken place or at the very least seeds for some serious change in the near future.  I don’t know how much of this I really want to get into at the moment or even at all with some of it.  As much as this blog has been a vehicle for relief, reflection and accountability for my life and my own actions at times I wonder if my writings here had about as much control over the outcome of my life as I did.  Certainly some of what I wrote altered the course of the world around me.

I still want to write here and I think my silence for the past two months beside of course the surflog has been the fact that I didn’t really know what direction I wanted this blog to go in.  I am going to try something new here.  I want to tell some of my old surf tales from back in the day.  Write more surf related articles.  Maybe try and write something with a bit more substance then some of the crap I used write.

Things are changing and I think, really believe that the tide is finally turning for me in this life.  That’s all I have for now.  I know this is a bit of a cryptic post.  For now it’s all you’re going to get.  Kind of a dick move on my part considering the lack of posts lately.  I blame WordPress.com for making me feel guilty about not writing anything in two months. Hope this made up for it. Oh and its Rincon season again!



When faced with adversity all we can do is keep on keepin on.

When faced with adversity all we can do is keep on keepin on. photo: Christopher Dunlea

Before we go ahead and blame all of the above institutions our story first starts all the way back to Westmont.  Ultimately this is a tale of the American economy, financial system and the sad state it is in.  It’s summertime and as usual my work load at the college reduces quite a bit.  After five years this is a situation I have learned to deal with.  Last year I still averaged around 30 hours a week and my rent was significantly lower allowing me plenty of breathing room.  I assumed I would get the same amount of work load this summer and rightly accounted for such.  One does know how the assumption theorem goes…

I don’t know if someone at the office of Campus and event services dropped the ball or what, but we were at a ten year low for summer events and work was looking grim.  I was only picking up around twenty hours a week and at that point unemployment was worth more money than that.  A few interesting opportunities presented themselves for the summer for both travel and bettering my abilities as a chef. If I left there would be extra hours to go around for my other employees under me. The option to take unemployment seemed the most agreeable choice for everyone.


Summertime is all about cutting loose and having a good time.  Photo: Christopher dunlea

Stoked, I took my leave the first week of June and things were good.  Bizarro and I went down to San Diego for a little jaunt (read about that in the “You cant relieve the past” blog).  I shot lots of photos and scored fun waves surfing.  Cooking wise I got to work a variety of events with a variety of chefs picking up all sorts of technique along the way.  I even tried some new things in my own kitchen and improved my fresh pasta game. Things were looking up.

And Fun I had...

And Fun I had…

In the midst of what was seemingly turning into a summer of epic proportions I was highly disturbed by a letter from the Unemployment office that my case was under review and all funds were to be withheld pending further investigation.  It was alright I wasn’t worried this sort of thing has happened before.  It was not my first rodeo with the Unemployment office. I am a seasoned veteran in the system working seasonal jobs for most of my life.  I had a little paper put away thus I wasn’t all that worried.

As it turned out the discrepancy was whether or not I worked for Westmont or Sodexo.  Of course with the amazingly fast (note my sarcasm) response time of a government agency this was not squared away till some time in early July.  Like I said I was doing alright and as long as the state began to pay out I would be fine.  Sure enough payments began finding their way into my EDD account.

In California you are not sent a check or given the option of direct deposit.  Instead they set you up with some type of prepaid debit card system with Bank of America.  The method is sort of convenient and sort of not, but its better then not getting any money at all.  I grabbed my card since I have had the same one since I began working for Westmont five years ago.  I went down to the atm pumped to grab some money and when I put the card in the machine said it was expired.  Sure enough the card had expired in January and EDD or Bank of America or both failed to send me a new one.

No worries I figured I would just call the bank and they would have me sorted out with a new card in a few days.  I have been a Union bank member for years and every time I needed a replacement card I always got one in about 3 business days.  Apparently things do not quite work that way at Bank of America, on the contrary actually.  Apparently if  wanted to get my card in three business days it would cost me an “expedited fee” of $10.  This may seem like a nominal fee, but for a person on a very fixed income, which unemployment is ten bucks is like two meals.  I was not about to fork across to meals to these crooks, especially when it was their fault for never sending me a replacement card.   Also  I am pretty sure one could ship something as small as a credit card for a lot less then ten dollars.

I fought with various representatives and a few supervisors all who did everything in their power to turn the tables on me and allow me to believe it was my fault for letting the card expire in the first place.  Of course it has been my experience that whenever a card of mine has a expired a new one was sent out to me in the mail before such date was reached.  One surely rep tried to tell me that I might have thrown it in the garbage by accident.  The nerve of them.  I know I am an “unemployed low life” taking advantage of the system and all but I still deserve the respect any other Bank of America client is entitled to.  After a two day battle I gave up and told them to just send the card regular mail (8-12 business days) cause it takes that long to ship a credit card?

Whatever, over it I cruised home to New Jersey to see my folks for a brief visit with the hope that when I got back my card would be waiting for me.  14 days later I still had not received my card.  Now it had been over two months since I had any income whatsoever and at that point I was completely broke.  Not knowing where to turn I went to our downtown branch of Bank of America here in Santa Barbara with the hope of getting some money.  Keep in mind that by this point I had around twelve hundred dollars in there.  The Bank could not do anything for me cause as it turns out although technically it was a Bank of America account being the fact that it was an EDD account gave me no bank privileges.

Besides myself I found my way into the office of the branch manager who was nice enough to call the situation in for me.  Guess what; the mother fuckers at Bank of America never took my request to have the card shipped out.  Finally I lost the battle and had to pay $15 to get MY MONEY sent to me via Western Union.  On top of that I had them finally ship my card standard mail.  Instead of being out two meals I was out three.  My rent was due and my hands tied.  Another case of where the rich get richer and the poor stay poor.  Welcome to America folks where that poem on the Statue of Liberty doesn’t mean shit.  That being the case I guess the Bank of America holds true to the nation it supposedly represents, rich first and poor last.

Over it and tired of fighting the good fight though I knew I was not alone in my plight I left the bank with a feeling of relief that I would soon have my money,  and be able to pay my rent and get a good meal in me.  The next morning I went down to Western Union only to find out that all of their Santa Barbara terminals were down and would not be up for 24 hours.  I thought Western Union’s motto was all about getting your money fast and easy especially when one is in a jam.  Let’s face it more times then not if you are getting money sent via Western Union it means you are in a jam.  Fucked I was forced to go into hustle mode where I managed to cover my rent and then some.  A day later Western Union was back up and running, I got my money and was back in the black.  No thanks to any of the aforementioned financial institutions.

For me this was another situation where I managed to fall into shit and came out smelling like roses.  If you read here regularly for me such is a common situation.  I can only imagine how fucked someone with out half the luck I have would have been.  If I were you I would boycott Bank of America and Western Union cause both to me are inferior services whom do not deserve your patronage.

So what did I do in the end? I bought a new bad ass suit of course. After all no matter what situation life brings you isn't it best to do it well dressed?

So what did I do in the end? I bought a new bad ass suit of course. After all no matter what situation life brings you isn’t it best to do it well dressed?

Finding a bomb at Blacks Photo: Christopher Dunlea

Finding a bomb at Blacks Photo: Christopher Dunlea

Before I lived in Santa Barbara, before this town I call home even registered on my radar way back in 2001 San Diego was my town, well more La Jolla to be exact. Back then I was just a kid from the east coast with a few rinky dink sponsors and a dream.  I rented a room about three miles inland from blacks as the crow flies, with my girl friend at the time.  I didn’t have a car instead opting for a huffy mountain bike.  I rode to Blacks everyday and surfed it everyday.  Wind and Sea and I had a love hate relationship.  I loved the wave but hated the crowd.

That was a pretty amazing few months of my life.  I saw and surfed the many different moods of Blacks Beach.  We developed a relationship that wave and I.  One of mutual respect I think.  It became one of the few waves in this world which I love and are like a home break to me.  If it wasn’t for this tenure I may not be in California today.  Now for me San Diego is  a flat summertime warm water escape from the Santa Barbara stagnation.

Ahh Wind and Sea Beach, I still can't stand ya,, but can't stay away from ya.

Ahh Wind and Sea Beach, I still can’t stand ya,, but can’t stay away from ya.

Since then I have made many pilgrimages to San Diego and always got  my share at Blacks each time.  The last time I was down south was summer two years ago with Bizarro and I must say we had a heck of a good time between ample surf and party courtesy of a solid south swell and Comic Con respectively.  When Bizarro mentioned he was thinking about going home to San Diego for a few days for Father’s Day coupled with the fact that I didn’t have any work as a result of a slow down at Westmont I figured why not tag along.

Santa Barbara in the summer can be quite a drag anyhow.  The waves are beat and at times it is just a good idea to go out and get a different perspective on things.  My boy West lives down there and a visit with him is always at the very least entertaining.  Just like that the stage was set for a little adventure.  I had an appetite for nostalgia of simpler times  and with any luck this trip would be just the thing to satiate it.

One think one can bet on your not finding barrels like this in the town of Santa Barbara in early summer.  Blacks Beach, Photo: Christopher Dunlea

One think one can bet on your not finding barrels like this in the town of Santa Barbara in early summer. Blacks Beach, Photo: Christopher Dunlea

We showed up late or early rather, on Saturday morning, 3 am to be exact.  Getting out of Santa Barbara has to be one of the hardest things to ever do.  The place is a god dam succubus.  We had planed on leaving before noon so I could possibly get in a surf at Blacks.  That plan soon got pushed back to 8 pm.  After dinner and drinks with a lady friend of mine Bizarro and I didn’t get out on the road till after ten.  At least we didn’t have to worry about traffic.

Our weekend was comprised of a healthy dose of thrifting, shopping, surfing and bit of party for good measure. Lets start with the thrift.  There is something refreshing in finding great scores in other peoples junk.  One man’s trash is another’s treasure after all and to top it all off all the proceeds go to charity.  Every one wins at the thrift shop.  I managed a few choice scores the best of which was a stuffed ferret I bargained down to $15 from $30.  At the very least it would be fun to watch Alfie tear it to pieces. My goal was to buy the dumbest most useless thing there and I believe the ferret took the cake.  Oh and I scored some bad ass decorative socks too.

As far as the surf went, though far better then anything I would have scored home in the 805 during that time it was far from amazing.  Blacks had a few choice waves and let me stress the word “few”.  The first day it was super small and windy.  West and I struggled in the wind blown sub par crowded surf.  To add injury to insult some kook on a long board decided to get in my face several times and even at the height of the conflict pulled my leash as I was attempting to paddle into a wave.  It was a good thing he left after that cause there was no telling where the situation would have escalated.

Things started out on the small side, though I did make the best of it.  Blacks Beach Photo Christopher Dunlea

Things started out on the small side, though I did make the best of it. Blacks Beach Photo Christopher Dunlea

After that session a minor south filled in gracing us with some solid sets.  The period was crazy long making sets over fifteen minutes apart.  Throw in a healthy crowd of no less then fifty strong everyday with few inbetweeners and you had some rather frustrating conditions, even more so since we were trying to film.  Still I lucked into a few choice waves per session. I found a session over at one of the La Jolla reefs.  It looked super fun when I checked it, but the tide filled in fast leaving me out the back with little more then mush burgers. Of course despite this fact I was scolded by some ass in the parking lot about how it was at a secret spot though it was in clear view from the road and had a public access trail to it.  No one loves localism more then I do.

Blacks Beach, Photo: Christopher Dunlea

Blacks Beach, Photo: Christopher Dunlea

All of that being said I did have a good time surfing in San Diego and more then anything it was fun fucking around on the beach and between sets with both West and Bizarro. Finally on the party front this year I was bit let down, though rather then blame the San Diego downtown scene I will just pin it all on one club in particular, Flux.  Supposedly it was the hot spot in town to go and Bizarro had his heart set on it.  We brought West with us and hoped for a fun night out.  Bizarro and I were dressed to the nines as usual, I even wore my new Armani suit for the occasion.

I know its a big city and we are nobodies.  We were not looking for a red carpet treatment just a fair shake all things considered.  We got on line and the “promoter” and I use this term loosely informs of a great deal he was obliged to let us into.  Apparently he was letting us have three VIP entry passes for the price of two, a gentleman’s bargain.  Bull shit!  When we got to the door the cover charge girl informed us that our passes were only good until 11 and it was like 11:15.  Now I don’t know what kind of shady promoter this place hired, but I don’t think it is good for business if one of your employees dupes the customers especially for personal gain.

So we finally get in this place already feeling a bit over it and its packed, but not in a good way, in a too crowded to even move around. Also it was dark, nearly too dark to see.  The place was one big circle and 90% dance floor, well let me correct myself, 20 percent of that floor was taken up by a giant circular couch smack in the middle which I nearly fell over several times. The VIP sections were scattered around the out skirts of this gigantic dance floor, which by the way was more like a standing floor, as a matter of fact the only people I really saw dancing was the fat cellulose ridden go go girls.  Despite the darkness of the club it failed to conceal the utter disgrace of not so good looking go go’s.

As I was saying before getting distracted by another rant, the VIP section was practically on the dance floor and many dancers, myself included accidentally spilled into the parties.  If I spent a grand for bottle service I would be rather upset with randoms at my booth.  I will give credit where credit is due.  The bar did pour some rather strong drinks and the clientele was well dressed.  Besides that I would say that if you are ever in San Diego don’t waste your time and money at Flux I am sure there are plenty of other establishments that actually care about their customers.  This is coming from a professional partier.

As much fun as San Diego was I think I can speak for both Bizarro and I about how happy we were to get back to good old Santa Barbara.  As great as nostalgia is you just can’t relive the past.  Maybe that is why one mus just keep moving forward in life.



I know its been awhile and as far as content goes this blog has been a desolate waste land over the past few months.  What can I say for myself except for that fact that I have been rather busy these days.  Apparently trying to make my way in the real world has been a bit harder then I had initially thought.  Anyhow I thought I would take a minute to bring everyone up to speed and reaffirm that this blog is not dead.

As usual I have been rather busy doing nothing of an importance or significance besides keeping my head above water.  I suppose sometimes that is all one must strive for.  At the same time there are a few things in the works at the moment and if anyone or a number of them come to fruition I could be styling on a whole new level.  Since all of this is at the grass roots level there is not much more elaboration I am at liberty to offer up at this time.

Besides that I had a few personal issues go down in my life as a direct result of some of my past writings on here.   I held out and stuck to my originally convictions though ultimately the entire ordeal ended in censorship of my own personal words and even the temporary if not permanent removal of a few of my better posts.  This came as quite a blow to my emotions, artistic integrity and pissed me off creatively forcing a short hiatus from writing anything but the surflog, which regrettably has also been altered to my utter dismay.  Despite all of this bullshit I have managed to keep the regular diligent record of my daily surf sessions.


This is exactly what censorship boils down to in my opinion…

This was not the first instance where I have had to go back and make some changes due to something I have written that hurt someone I cared about in my life.  All I do is honestly speak my mind about the everyday things that happen in my life.  Of course, since it is my life all of the people in it on occasion find there way into my writing and this would not be a problem other then the fact that what I scribe is available to be read by anyone with an internet connection.  As a blogger for many years being in the eye of the public has been a fact that I was more then willing to except and still am.

At the same time I also have to respect the feelings of those other people in my life and understand their reasons for not wanting to be a part of SurfingRuinedMyLife.net.  Maybe I have finally grown enough as a person over the past few years to finally respect that.  Whether I have made the right decision or not is still to be determined.  What I can say is that it was the right decision for me.  This has always been a surf blog anyhow and I think moving forward I will spend more time writing about surfing instead of just bitching about the melodrama of my some what semi-charmed life I in southern California.

Lets get back to the roots of this blog...Surfing

Lets get back to the roots of this blog…Surfing

I think less crying and more surfing will suit all of us just fine.  I will of course do a bit of complaining as usual, but we can all agree it is my useless rants that help add a bit of comedy from an other wise boring work.  Expect some new recipes for I am at times cooking again for fun.  As usual there will be new books cause a writer who doesn’t read is like a fish that doesn’t swim.  Hopefully I will have a few other cool things up my sleeve as I search for new inspiration.  I just don’t mean in writing but maybe in life as well.  We all know things here in Santa Barbara have gotten a bit stagnant for me and I feel its time I picked things up.

I have finally managed to surpass my incessant partying with time in the water.  After nearly five years of self destructive party and ten years of self destructive surfing I believe I  have began to find a balance.  I can attribute a lot of this to the many people who have remained constant in my life and even those who exist in it no longer.  Bizarro has helped me find a new vigor for both my cooking and surfing through his new found interest in both. On the Surfing front we have been shooting up a storm.
11333499_1675042429395234_720614452_nI don’t really know what the future holds and wouldn’t want to know anyway or it would not interesting.  I have bit more free time for the next two months and I am hoping to add more content and have a few adventures along the way.  Finally I thank all of you for reading and sharing my life with me at SurfingRuinedMyLife.net.  Here is looking forward to a fun summer.

Yesterday (5/6) Artist and former Professional Surfer Shawn Barron died at age 44 in Santa Cruz.  I didn’t know him personally, but growing up he was a major influence on my surfing life.  I remember watching the above clip of him doing a barrel roll in one of Volcom’s early surf films.  It blew my mind.  Barron surfed so different from the rest of the pack.  The man pulled some of the gnarliest airs, charged crazy Mavericks and from what I gather was an all around good guy.

Barney came out of a time when surfing was so open and diverse stylistically.  He was at the forefront of the aerial revolution.  It was guys like him who paved the way for all the seeming impossible stuff that is being pulled today.  I had the pleasure of meeting Shawn briefly at an autograph signing and surf demo back in 2003 in New Jersey. I just remember him being full of life and he even pushed some of the groms into waves after the demo was over.  Its a shame of his untimely passing, but I think there is not one of us around who can’t say the man didn’t live a remarkable life.