Archive for October, 2010

As a teen on Long Island like most other places in America Halloween shifts from getting candy to seeing how much and to what degree of senseless acts of vandalism  you can perform before the cops are called.  Also on Long Island you and your crew would be armed with shaving cream and eggs so that if you encountered another crew you could have a pseudo gang fight.  From there most of my Halloween nights cosisted of getting doused in eggs and shaving cream (we would stick a pin in the nosil of the shaving cream lid, melt it, pull ou the pin and it would shoot up to 8 feet)  and ended with atleast one Kenyan track star run from the police.

I think my favorite tale from this era was when I was 14.  My boys Peter, Tom, Vinny, Frank, John, Eddie and I were cruising around the streets since like 3pm causing trouble and reeking havoc on the neighborhood.  We thought we were a pretty bad ass crew and could take on anyone.  Earlier before we all crewed up Tom Vinny and I ran into this smaller crew of seniors and ambushed them with cream and eggs, retreating quick enough as to not get the wrath of their retaliation. They most likely would have beat the shit out of us had we been caught.  Even though we thought so the three of us were not all that tough.

Later on that night we were chilling in the front yard of Tom’s house waiting for another crew that might dare pass by our “turf”.  We were kicking it when these three cars loaded with dudes come racing around the corner and slam on the breaks in the middle of the street in from of our camp.  12 guys jump out of the cars armed with eggs, shaving cream and paint ball guns.  Turns out it those seniors we hit earlier regrouped and spent the night hunting us down.

It all happened so fast that we had no time to escaped.  I ended up jumping into a bunch of hedges and as luck would have it found a piece of plywood to use as a sheild from the paint balls.  I could only sit their and watch in horror as my boys got pelted with eggs, shot with paint balls and forced to eat shaving cream.  When the seniors finally cleared out Vinny (who had also took to hiding) and I came out unscathed only to unbelievingly behold the carnage of our friends terrible misfortune.  Tom got the brunt of the paint balls, which left welts all over his body.  Peter was covered in shaving cream in the middle of the street and Eddie completely in shock by the whole orccurance jumped on his bike and rode home nearly in tears.

Turned out Frank and John whom had left our company earlier got jumped by a few of the guys we thought we so craftily ambushed and were forced to sell us out or be beaten.  I dont blame them I dont think I would have held out either.  We were 14 year old pampered rich kids not Israli green berays.

After that tramatic experience we all decided it best to call it a night. Vinny and I lived near each other so we decided to walk home together.  I guess we were about half way there when we saw a car that looked to be one of the ones in the convoy that hit us not long ago. Thinking we were just paranoid we picked up our pace but stayed on the road.  When the car came up next to us our fears were realized.

It was the same car paint balls in hand.  Basically we got hit by a drive by paint balling.  I got hit twice in the side and once in the leg.  Vinny took two in the back.  That shit hurts fucken pretty bad.  The welts lasted for like 2 weeks.  We figured we were in the clear and afterall it was only fair since our boys got the brunt of it ear;ier.  We sat there on the ground for a moment to gather ourselves on what just happend but before we had the chance the car pulled a U-turn and was coming back for a second round.  Deciding not to stick around to see what was in store for us next we bolted.

Vinny and I took off down the street in the oppisite direction with car hot on our tail.  We had like a good mile lead on them and then we came to a fork in the road.  It was here that we made the call to split up allowing one of us to get away safely.  Ofcourse who do you think they followed.  You guessed it; Yours truely.

At this point dude is out the window shooting paint balls on almost rapid fire.  He must have had that double pump thing down.  Some how though matrix style I managed to avoid the shells and ran into the woods unharmed.  I knew the a short cut through this vacant spell of pine trees and then trough one of my neighbors back yards which would bring me only a few houses from mine.  When I get in the woods I thought I was sitting pretty (keep in mind there is nothing more scary then being in the middle of the woods in the gloom of the night on Halloween.) and slowed my pace all out of breath from the previous chase.

All of a sudden I hear foot steps behind me and I bolt into the darkness running full speed through pine branchs, jumping over under brush.  I had not been back in the woods in a few years and it was pretty dark so I was kind of winging it.  Some how my spidy sense got me to my neighbors backyard and ofcourse he had just recently put up one of those wood fences that are impossible to climb.

You know how people say that in moments of extreme adversity the human body can perform rediculous feats of strength, like a man lifting a car off a child sort of thing.  Well I was hoping that this was one of those moments and ran full speed at the fence and went for the jump.  I jumped grabed onto the post which was a solid 6 feet up and attempted to catapult myself over it parking meter style (when you jump a parking meter with nothing but your arms pushing you over it).  As I was coming over somthing hit me square in the back of the head.  It was an egg from the seniors.  As it exploded all over my hair (which was long, actually it was the first year I grew my hair long) it threw off my momentum and as I as about to clear the fince my left foot got hung up and I went down on the otherside of the fence head over heels

God must have been shining a light on me that night folks cause some how I managed to not break my neck although I did manage to tear the leg nearly clean off my jeans form getting snagged on the fence post. I took a minute to take stock in my current situation, paint balls welts, egg all over my hair, cuts, scraps and bruises all over my face and body from the woods run, but I was alive and how alive I felt too.  I took a deep breath and took a victory lap home.  Sure I got the shit knocked out of me, but I survived and at that moment felt like I could do anything.

Turns out one of the other cars caught up with Vinny too and he was forced to endure 10 minutes of getting pelted by eggs and shaving cream before ultimately getting sent home beaten and dejected.  All and all one of the most exciting Halloweens ever.


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Here is a tale from my early years experience with Halloween.

As youngin Halloween was as it is to any kid one of the most awesome days of the year.  I got to dress up in these sick costumes my Mom used to sew for me by hand.  These were not your ordinary k-mart plastic pull over costumes that every other kid would wear.  The shit my mom made was pretty bad ass.  I remember one year (probaly her best work) she made this frog outfit for me cause at the time that was my favorite animal, think I might have been in like 2nd grade or somthing absurd like that.

This costume was crazy.  It had both webbed hands and feet and the head was tight all stuffed.  I actually looked like a frog. It must have taken her like a week to make the thing building her own custom patterns and picking out the right fabric.  You think I have bad OCD where do you think I got it from.  My Elementary school had this costume contest every year and I always came close but that year we thought I was a definate to win (see even Halloween was a contest).  To my mother’s dismay I got 2nd to some kid in a high priced rented gurrilla costume.  I actually think she still has that frog costume some where.

That parade was a bunch of bullshit anyway.  I think it was rigged.  Certain kids who won seemed to always be those kids who get the breaks in life.  Whatever fuck’em I did not need the box of candy or whatever first prize was.  I got mine every year on the trick or treat beat anyway.  My mom was all about efficiency in that case as well utilizing the car in order that we hit several neighborhoods besides our own to maximize our candy potential.  It was like an after school job, from 2-3 we hit one section of town, then 3-4 another and finally the last sector from 5-6.  It was bizarre but we always had candy almost till Christmas from the whole ordeal.

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This week Mauriello finds his way back on top with the UCB topic Midgets.  He further elaborates with have I ever touched a midget and would I like to.  If I had a son that was born a midget would I cut my losses and murder him?  Truth be told I was at first a little appalled by this topic finding it a bit inappropriate, a bit juvenile and overall stupid.

Then I remembered that all three of those entities are exactly what this blog thrives on.  If there are any little people out there or vertically challenged humanoids as the politically correct term for them, I do not mean to offend.  Its all in good fun.  Hate the game not the player.   Even though using the word midget is technically like using a certain “N” word when referring to people who came to America from Africa years ago, Im going to use it anyway for this blogs purposes.

First off let me just say that I find midgets to be extraordinary micro people of whose presence on this planet I find to be unrivaled by any.  I could sit around and watch them all day with their little arms and legs and their tiny clothes.  I think midgets should have their own little villages where only they can live but us big people could visit on occasion.  Sort of like an Indian reservation, but with out all the casinos and alcoholism although I guess if the wee men decided they wanted those things in their village it would be ok by me.

I would much rather it though if they set up a sort of shire type existence like in Lord of the Rings.  Those Hobbits were real fun loving people so why cant a village full midgets be the same way, but with out the hairy feet. That shit really nauseated me.  Hopefully they wont be as gay as Elijah Wood and that Sam guy were.  Fuck. I’m getting the hebbie jebbies just thinking about it.

Just Imagine getting to take a weekend getaway to midget town USA.  It would be like people who enjoy going out to Amish country to get away from it all and get great deals on hand made furniture.  I don’t really think midgets would be very good at making furniture due to obvious constraints in their physique but they could give hours of entertainment, especially if we make a law that says they have to dress up like great rolls played by movie midgets, such as the star wars characters, or Mini Me, or the Muppets (I know they were puppets but it would be great to go to a midget town where everyone was a Muppet).  That would be better then discounted furniture any day.

They could even have all midget sporting event leagues.  Imagine watching a midget football or hockey game, that would be classic.  As far as touching a midget, I have never had that pleasure, not sexually or just mutually like a handshake or hug.  I have never had the luck to meet a midget as an acquaintance.  Would I fuck a midget lady?  If she had all the goods I would do it.  They had this cute blond midget on an episode of Sienfeld once that I totally could have got down with.

As far as a midget child goes heck no I would not kill him. On the contrary I would have so much fun with that kid.  First off he would have to dress up in different costumes weekly.  Monday would be Ewok day, Friday Yoda day, Tuesday Froddo day, Wednesday he would just dress like a dog and crawl around on all fours.  The other days he could be whatever he wants but it would have to be some type of festive costume.  Also he would have to become skilled at juggling and other circus type tasks of entertainment so that I could have my own little carnival at home.  I could even loan him out to friends for parties and other fun events.  A world without midgets my friends would be a very sad place indeed.

This video clip from the movie “Being John Malckovich” pretty much gives you the idea of what Im talking about with a midget town

Who wouldnt want to have a beer with her?

Imagine a whole village of there guys!!!

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Every Halloween I like to post a tale from a Lisanti Halloween Past.  For me Halloween has always been one of those ridiculously insane Holidays where I have almost died, been arrested, made trip to hospital or a combination of all three.  I have a few Halloween blogs from the old Myspace Blog and over the next few days I will post them up here as blasts from the past and then on Halloween post a brand new Halloween tale from the Lisanti Archives of gnarl.  As always any text seen within the blog in the color red is a commented added for this edition.

Halloween of my junior year of High School I was running with the artsy crowd.  A group of musicians, artists and alternative thinkers.  Basically it was our excuse to think we were better then all the “cool kids” and gave us an excuse to smoke pot and drink on a regular basis writing it off as helping our cause.  Now unlike in NY where trick or treating and vadalism all go down on the 31st in NJ the day before Halloween is called Mischief night and that is when you go out, break shit and cause trouble. I grew up in NY and moved to NJ at 15 for those of you who are new to this blog.

We did not go out on Mischief night opting to get high instead.  So Halloween was going to be our night.  We began this night as any other in my buddy Matt’s garage crowded around the bong while doing shots of Smirnoff (plastic Handle, of course, classic high school).  After getting good and baked we headed to Wall’s favorite health and recreation spa located in South Wall (I wont give the name of it so as to not find myself in trouble later, but you should be able to figure out where I am talking about) to relive a Halloween past time for this group.  It was only my 2nd Halloween here in NJ and I spent the first one with my girl friend at the time so this was all new to me.

Turns out the last two Halloweens this crew would go down to the aforementioned health club and knock over the three outside vending Machines near the pool before bolting from security. I am always amped to get into trouble was down for the challenge.  The thing we forgot was that the previous years no one got as baked. I in no means condone drug and alcohol use among minors, but I was young and dumb as you will see as you read on.

We got to the back of the health club via the woods and hopped over the fence by the soccer fields and stealthily made our way to the Pool.  The lay of the land was there were three vending machines spaced out along the grounds.  One next to the pool, one near the tennis bubble and one up against the side of the racquetball courts.  To accomplish this imbecilic ask we had to break up into teams of three or so in order to make sure we tipped them all at the same time cause when the shit fell down it was super loud.  If we attempted to do each individually we would definitely get clipped.

Stew, Hugine and Jay took the one near the Tennis bubble, Ellen, Fisher and Shelly took the Racquetball one and Matt and I got the Pool.  Everyone got into position and when each team was ready we quickly shined a flashlight in the air.  When all three were seen we would count to three silently and flip the machines.  Everyone had three people but Matt and I so we had our work cut out for us but were up to the task.

As we knocked our’s over Matt’s sweater got caught on something on the front of the machine and he ended up going over with it.  At that moment all that was heard was the crashing of vending machines that had fallen over with a loud bang  followed by the shattering of broken plastic and to my dismay Matt’s scream of sheer pain.  I look down and his arm is now caught under the vending machine crushed by the weight and there is blood everywhere.  I guess the broken shards of plastic shrapnel must have cut him up good.

I looked toward the other side of the compound and saw the other teams retreating off into the woods unknowing of our situation.  I quickly was able to pick the machine up enough for him to get his arm out.  When he pulled it out the shit was mangled.  I’m not going to lie dude’s arm was definitely broken and the lacerations from the plastic definitely needed stitches.  Matt sat there in shock for a moment, but before we could take stock on the situation a security guard was hot on our trail.

I was like “Matt we go to run”.  I ripped my shit off and made it into a make shift sling for him to hold his arm with as we took off running.  Security was on us from all angles.  They even had the golf carts out chasing after us. We made it to the fence and I could tell by Matts eyes he was not going to be able to flip himself over the fence.  I cradled my hands and boosted him up and over the fence.  He fell to the other side flat on his face landing square on his good arm.  As I would find out very steadily would no longer be a good arm.

I made the hop over the fence, pick up Matt on his feet now with two broken arms and we took off running through the woods as fast as we could till we came out on the street.  By now I figured security had to have called the cops and they would be out patrolling for us in the surrounding streets of the perimeter of the club.  I pulled off my jacket and put it over Matt so as not to bring attention to ourselves.   After all a kid shaking from shock with two broken arms and blood all over might alarm some people. Then I grabbed some decorations off some guy’s front lawn and made ghetto costumes to pass as trick or treaters.

It was good we did too cause the next block we came to there was a cop car eyeing up everyone around.  By the time we made it back to Matt’s house he was just about ready to pass out.  The crew was not there either.  I figured they probably went out looking for us.  I had to drive Matt to the Hospital in his car with just my learners permit, an act that if I caught doing would make  me not able to get my license till I was 18.

We arrived at Jersey shore and Matt was fucked up.  He ended up with 2 broken arms, casts all the way up to his shoulders, surgery on both and 133 stitches combined.  It was pretty funny.  He could not do shit for himself for around a month or so.  Worst part was we had to tell everyone he fell down a flight of steps in order to not get busted for the health club thing.  Everyone at school thought he was a retard.  It was classic.  Another epic Halloween in the can.

Imagine getting crushed by one of these.

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Chili Lemon Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I thought with it being Halloween week and all I would do a recipe a little more seasonal.  This one is easy and fun for all.  I went pumpkin picking over the last week with Ades.  I love going pumpkin picking in the fall.  I know it’s the cliché thing to do but fiddle sticks I like it.  Ades is quite the pumpkin carver creating all sorts of crazy creations.  After she took all the insides out of the pumpkin it left me with tons of seeds.  I saved all the insides for a possible attempt at pumpkin pie from scratch.  Roasted pumpkin seeds make a great snack.  Usually I just do them with some salt, pepper and butter but this recipe is more of a Mexican take on pumpkin seeds.


Total Cost:  $10 (that was what I paid for the pumpkin)

Feeds as many as you want to pass them around to


  • Pumpkin Seeds – 1 medium sized pumpkins worth
  • Lemon – 1
  • Chili Powder – 2 tablespoons
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon
  • Pepper – 1 teaspoon
  • Butter – 4 tablespoons
  • Olive Oil – 1 teaspoon
  • Vegetable nonstick spray

Step 1: Remove seeds from pumpkin – take seeds out of pumpkin being sure to clean them of any pumpkin pulp residue.  Then put into a medium sized bowl.

The Extracted Seeds

Step 2: Season Seeds – In mixing bowl Squeeze lemon juice over seeds.  Add chili Powder, salt, Pepper, Olive oil.  In a small boiling pot melt butter, then pour into bowl also.  Mix together till evenly coated.

Step 3: Roast Seeds – In a backing pan large enough for all the seeds to lay flat spray surface of pan with vegetable spray accordingly.  Add seeds into pan evenly spreading them.  Roast at 325 degrees F in oven for 20-25 minutes or till golden brown.

The Jack o'lantern

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I hate Idiots, but I especially hate idiots that surf and surf badly at that.  All day at work today while I was in the midst of making 75 pizzas by 11am and then from 11-1:30 while I was serving them and from 2-3:30 while prepping for tomorrow’s rotisserie the only thing on my mind was getting out of there to take advantage of the NW wind swell/groundswell combo.  Finally when quiting time came I was out of the kitchen faster then a fat kid runs to eat a piece of cake.

I went straight to Rincon where I was let down for the second straight day in a row (read Surf Log for more on that session).  From there I cruised to Pitas for a hopeful repeat of yesterday.  It was a little bit bigger probably around chest to head with even the occasional bigger set.  There was a little cross chop on the face but from the looks of it the top of the point had some solid killable walls pushing through with only six guys on it and it appeared they were missing more waves then they were surfing.  I was on it.

I got out in the lineup and was having a pretty decent time hitting beyond vertical backside reo’s.  After an hour of this about four other guys came out, two of whom fit into that bro, I think I surf well but I look like shit category.  My least favorite of all the surfing genders.  Of course these idiots come out and immediately start paddling every one too deep.  I was having more fun riding the inside double ups anyhow to be bothered with the set waves which were mushier and I could not be bothered with jockeying with average surfers who think they are in a world tour event or something.

While Im sitting on the inside relishing this section of the wave a good size set most likely overhead came in.  Mr. Bro decided he was going to take off on the biggest close out of the set.  I paddled deep to get out of his way but sometimes at Pitas the bowl shifts back deep, backs off and then doubles out and closes out like something you would expect to see from shore dump.  This was the case with this particular wave.  All of a sudden bro was dropping in right on my head.

Now he had plenty of time to see that A) this wave was going to dump and not be worth his while, B) even if it was not a close out the drop itself was well out of his personal skill set and C) there was a surfer directly in his path (me) and pull out of the wave.  Of course “stupid is as stupid does” brostapha air drops right onto my head.  Luckily as I was about to duck dive I realized I was more likely then not about to get decapitated by inferior surfing ability and ditched swimming as deep as I could to save my own skin.

I knew I would come out unscathed but my board on the other hand took the full brunt of the hit.  When I surfaced I found my relatively new board sliced clean through in two places and a third hole half way through as well.  The two worst slashes measured longer then four inches a piece long.  My board was trashed.  Bro looked at me was like “Dude are you ok”.  I responded “Im fine but my board is trash”.  He retorted “duh, sorry but I got stuck and could not turn and had to take the air drop”.  I looked him square in the eye and said “Its kind of hard to do anything when you paddle for an obvious close out, FUCKING DONKEY”.  Upon which I splashed some water in his face and took my next wave in ending my session an hour early and ruined what was turning out to be a great board.

I hate bad surfers, but more then that I hate stupid surfers.  Sure I have had a few collisions in my day but those were more or less due to poor paddling decisions on a paddlers side or miscommunication in a game of chicken.  In most cases with the exception of one everyone came out alright anyhow.  This is like the fourth time since I have been out here in California that I have had a board destroyed by some jack ass.  There was a time when the line ups used to be full of only competent surfers and were run and dominated by the elite.



The first picture is before the incident the other two show the extent of the damage.


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By now I think the word has gotten out in surf communities up and down California and around the US as well.  This past Friday 10/22/10 a surfer (well body boarder to be exact, not that it makes a difference) was attacked here in Santa Barbara County up at Surf Beach, a meager surfing out post up in the northern portion of the County, 30 miles or so north of point conception.  Im not going to talk of the particulars of the incident because I was not there and only know what I read similar to you.  If your interested in the particulars click here: http://www.surfline.com/surf-news/shark-attack-at-vandenberg–ucsb-surfer-loses-leg-and-dies-from-blood-loss_49145/.


For me and many of my surfing brethren up here in Santa Barbara this attack came as quite a shock and rude awakening.  Sure I have heard plenty of shark attack stories on the news, heard the second and third party exaggerated horror stories even gave my sympathies to Bethany Hamilton.  But overall it was all second hand smoke.  This one was very different.  Some one was taken in my own backyard at a surf spot that I on occasion surf.


Shit I almost went up north to surf that very day but at the last minute found out I had to go do ding work at J7 so I decided not to bother.  Never before in my life has an attack happened in the near vicinity to my personal surfing scope.  All I can say is it’s a heavy realization.  The men in gray suits are out there and you never know when they are going to strike.  I could become food just as much as the next schmoo.


Then I started thinking man Im never going to surf up at Surf Beach again.  Yet it is a key summer spot exposed to swell from all angles.  On further introspection I decided that yeah I probably will go back.  I have never lived my life in fear and I don’t intend to as of late.  As this crazy body boarder I met in Oz once said “I reckon mate if you get taken and live to tell about it you wont ever have to buy a beer again, and if you don’t well no worries then”.

Ahh good old surf beach, apparently there are angry locals both outside and inside the water.

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