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Archive for January, 2011

After work tonight I cruised to Rincon for the last hour of light.  There was a new NW filling in, but strong NW winds had picked up tearing the ocean to bits.  Driving down I could see nothing but white caps.  I knew the cove would be somewhat protected and the conditions would at least keep the crowds down.  I pulled into the lot and there were ten cars at the most.

 

I got a close parking spot to the trail and began turning my suit right side in when I noticed a rather large congregation of people on the other side of the parking lot.  They were taking pictures and all scrambling around something. Then I saw the man, or legend, ten time world champion Kelly Slater in midst of this mob.

 

Ironically I was just thinking yesterday after watching some video of him surfing Pipe recently on surfline.com that I had not seen Slater out here in Santa Barbara yet.   I was being to wonder if he was going to find his way here at all this year considering the surf has been less then average.  What a shame it would be if he did not put some time in at Rincon.  There is no one I would rather watch surf it then him.  Of course he would come here now its almost time for Snapper and he always says that Rincon is his favorite training ground for the Gold Coast.

 

Upon seeing him I smiled to myself, but was saddened as well.  You know I understand that Kelly Slater is a huge pop icon as well as surf these days and is a celebrity. You think though at a place like Rincon on a Sunday afternoon with shitty two foot blown out surf and almost no one around Slater could have a moment of peace to get dressed, run down the trail and surf a few waves.  No that was not the case; the poor guy was mobbed by his own kind, brothers and sisters of the ocean.  If anyone should understand it should be surfers.

 

I mean the guy just wanted to go shred some waves.  Maybe he just got in town today and it was his first surf back in Santa Barbara.  I have not seen or heard that he was in town so I am assuming such was the case.   I know when Im fresh off a plane the first thing I want to do is hit the ocean. You could see it in his eyes that Slater wanted to get in the water, but he had to spend over 15 minutes shaking hands, taking pictures and signing autographs.  He finally got into the water, but with only a half hour of light.

 

What is the big deal?  I love Kelly Slater and would probably take a bullet for the guy if I were ever called into such action.  I have surfed with him a number of times at various locations all over.  Never once was I temped to go over and be a fan.  I respect him as a fellow surfer first and a pro second and understand that when he is not shooting photos or surfing in a contest all he really wants to do is surf and be treated like any of other surfer in the Rincon lot.

 

How important is that photo of you and Slater anyway?  And why?  So you can hang it on the wall (post it on facebook.com) and show all your friends how cool you were to go bother the poor guy when he was just trying to have a surf?  Or wouldn’t it be cooler to just know that you shared a session with the greatest surfer who ever lived and it was like surfing with anyone else except the dude absolutely killed it.  Isn’t it better to tell Slater as he is changing next to you “some funs out there eh?”  Instead of “dude your Kelly Slater let me take a picture with you”.  I will let you be the judge.

 

All I can say from my own personal experiences with Kelly is that he loves to surf first and foremost even after all these years and amazing waves.  Here it was an absolute shit day at Rincon by local standards and an atrocious for someone of Slater’s standards yet he was stoked to be there.  He sat out in the line up and did not jockey anyone.  He waited his turn, got his waves and from the smile on his face had a good time.  Just think a few days ago he was riding firing Back Door and today he was groveling with me at Rincon.

 

I guess all I am saying is that maybe when we see high profile pro surfers just free surfing we should try and treat them as we would any other surfer out surfing and let them enjoy themselves, not making a big deal about it.  Their lives are so sold out already with all the commercialism bull shit that has made their careers.  Be stoked they are out with you and that they rip, but please just let the guy surf.

Slater enjoying a far better day at Rincon then the one in this blog.

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Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala was a dish that my dad always used to order when we went to Italian restaurants.  I never really had a taste for it up until a few years ago.  Marsala being a Sicilian dish it was not one of the recipes brought over to America by my grandmother thus no one in my family ever cooked it.  I did some researching of different recipes and put together my own that I find to be rather tasty, easy and as always well within the nuts and bolts budget most of us live on.

Total Cost: $10.51

Feeds 2-4 people, 1 breast for two people so add breasts accordingly

Ingredient List:

  • Chicken Breast – 2 (halved and thinned)
  • Pasta of Choice (spaghetti pictured) – 1 lb
  • Cremini or White Musrooms – 8 oz (around 10) (Chopped)
  • Marsala Wine – ½ Cup
  • Sherry – ¼ Cup
  • Flour – ¼ Cup
  • Salt – 1 Teaspoon
  • Pepper – ½ Teaspoon
  • Garlic – 1 Clove (Minced)
  • Oregano – 1 Teaspoon (Dry)
  • Butter – 4 Tablespoons
  • Olive Oil  – 4 Tablespoons
  • Green Onion – 4oz (Chopped)
  • Creamy Marsala Sauce
    • Cremini or White Mushrooms – ½ Cup (about 6)(Chopped)
    • Green Onion – ¼ Cup (Chopped)
    • Marsala Wine – 1/3 Cup
    • Salt – 1 Teaspoon
    • Pepper – ½ Teaspoon
    • Oregano – ½ Teaspoon
    • Heavy Cream – 1/3 Cup
    • Milk – 1/8 Cup
    • Butter – 2 Tablespoons

Step 1: Prep ChickenCut chicken breasts in half long ways through the center of breast so that you are left with two thin cutlets.  Beat each piece with a tenderizer.  Take flour, ¼ of a cup or enough to cover each cutlet and pour into a mixing bowl.  Add 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper and 1 teaspoon of oregano and whisk together.  Pat chicken in this mixture till it is completely covered.

 

Step 2: Chop Vegetables and Cook Pasta Chop all mushrooms and green onions, mince garlic.  Boil water for pasta and cook it.

 

Step 3: Make Creamy Marsala SauceIn a small sauce pot melt 2 table spoons of butter.  When melted add 1/3 cup of heavy cream, 1/8 cup of milk, mushrooms, salt, pepper, oregano and Marsala wine.   Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer around twenty minutes.  Add green onions.  After that create a roux to thicken sauce using 1/8 the amount of roux to sauce.  Melt about ¼ of a tablespoon of butter in a separate saucepot.  When melted add an equal amount of flour to it.  Mix together and cook on high flame till you get a brownish blob looking substance.  Pour half of your Marsala sauce into this pot with the roux and stir till both are well blended then pour back into the main Marsala sauce pot, stir well and let simmer on a low flame for five minutes.  Turn off heat and let sauce stand another five minutes and sauce should thicken up nicely.

Your finished sauce

 

Step 4: Fry ChickenIn a large frying pan melt 4 tablespoons of butter in 4 tablespoons of Olive Oil.  When completely dissolved add chicken and cook both sides till golden brown or 165 degrees F.  Add mushrooms, sherry and Marsala Wine, Sautee till mushrooms are soft.  Add green onion.

Your chicken in the cooking process with all ingredients added

Step 5: Put it all togetherTake finished pasta and put it into a plate.  Put finished Chicken breast and mushrooms on top of pasta.  Pour sauce over all and enjoy!

 

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Sit back and let an expert explain all...

This week’s UCB makes a victor of my boy Brennan whom I believe is claiming his first win ever here at SurfingRuinedMyLife.net, although he did win a few back in the Myspace.com days.  He proposed I write a blog about when one should pull the plug on an out of control drunken relationship, be it with a significant other or a close friend.  This topic is one that I definitely have authority over considering I personally have been on both sides of the coin, the out of control drunken friend and victim.

I use the word victim because it is what one becomes when he is on the receiving end of the drunk shenanigans.   About two years ago when I first moved here to Santa Barbara I was a bit of handful.  I went from going out a few times a week, getting buzzed and trying to pick up chicks to going out nearly every night of the week and getting black out drunk.  Most of the time when I get drunk I don’t get all that crazy (unless Im partying with one of my two friends: Tequila and Bacardi 151.  If they are involved then there is no telling what is going to happen) and usually if anyone is going to be victimized from my drinking it is myself.

I know at one point the bearer of this blog and my greatest wingman ever Brennan had just about had it with me.  He claimed by that point it was not fun for him anymore and that he felt more like a baby sitter then a friend when we were going out.  Also I was not a good wingman to him when I was so sloppy drunk I could barely stand straight and talk with out slurring my speech.  Ladies surprisingly don’t find that very attractive.

He approached me about it and at first I was really angry and did not go out with him for about a week.  Then I realized what a jackass I was and eventually came around.  In most circumstances that is the best way to handle the problem.  Before completely giving up on the person in jeopardy confront them and explain to that person just what is going on.  Some people don’t even realize that they are “that guy” until a close friend brings it to light.  I know I didn’t.  Ultimately if things stay the same I would then break off all contact and get off that sinking ship.

This leads me to two separate situations.  The first happened back in New Jersey circa 2002.  I used to go get drinks with some friends and this dude Mike (that wasn’t his real name, for his sake I have changed it to mike) who had just moved back to the shore from a couple of year stint in Oceanside California.  Mike was a great guy, good surfer and an all around fun friend.  When we went out for a party things changed really fast.

Now I have a pretty high tolerance for bullshit.  For starters my sense of adventure is a bit more warped then most.  My motto in most situations that would have regular folks running for the hills has always been “lets see how things play out”.  Truth be told I have been rather lucky that things never played out in the worst case scenario although bad.

Mike was the kind of guy who loved to do crazy drunken feats of strength, whether he was challenged or not.  When we first started drinking together he used to say things like “you think I am going to punch myself in the face?”  And then he would do it.  I found it rather amusing.  Then it steadily began to escalate.

Another time we were sitting at the bar having a good time, when all of a sudden he would be like “you think I will pour this pitcher of beer over my head” as he was pouring it over his head.  Then the bouncer would throw us out.  From there it was “hey I just ripped the urinal out of the bath room wall” or “lets throw this full beer bottle at that cop car over there”.  For me that was the final draw.  One of my fine lines is police interference.  I don’t like jail.  I spent a little time there once for being an idiot and it was enough to scare me straight.

That was it for Mike and I.  The other incident happened out here in Santa Barbara.  I met this 21 year old train wreck downtown about two years ago.  My first indication to stay away should have been our meet cute, which happened when the drunk bitch stumbled into me and fell flat on her face on State Street (an occurrence I would later find out happened way too often) a block from the Wild Cat.  Lets call her Emma for ease of story.  I found her rather amusing and the sex was good.

This crazy bitch got me into so many compromising situations it was not even funny though at times somewhat exciting.  She got into a bar fight with a group of my Jersey friends, had me jumped by her 19 year old brother and two of his friends downtown, had sex with a few of my other friends behind my back, caused a scene and a half in front of Tonic that had me slink off into the night and had me take two unnecessary kicks to the back in two unrelated incidents.  All of which happened while she was completely wasted and I literally had to carry her home on numerous occasions.  The only the thing she was not was a vomiter.   If she were that would have been the final straw right there.

Still that was not enough to turn me off.  The last incident that sent me packing went down at 3:30 in the morning. I found myself in the street in front of a crack house in Isla Vista, where she was trying to satisfy a coke binge inside. Meanwhile I got into a brawl with a coked up black dude, then ended up forfeiting what was left of my money to keep one of Emma’s friends from getting molested by a shady cab driver, finally saving the same girl from being raped by another random drug addict at which point I was ready to get out of there.

I went looking for Emma only to find her popping a handful of non descript pills to off set the coke as she put it. I walked into the room to retrieve her and get the fuck out of there upon this request she told me to go fuck myself as she was sitting spread eagle and all three guys in the room were looking at her exposed panties courtesy of her stained hocked up mini skirt.

I lost it, called her a drugged out whore and (not far from the mark) walked out of the house leaving her to get ganged rapped by the three guys there.  I had to walk the streets of IV till 4:30 am till I finally stumbled upon a friend who was able to give me a place to crash for the night and a ride home in the morning considering there was no more money left in my wallet and I left my plastic at home.  Condition three personal safety is another consideration.

So there you have it.  When is enough, enough?  You need to ask yourself three questions:

  1. Am I really having a good time: If the answer to this is yes at least fifty percent of the time Im still on board, but you can set your own parameters.
  2. Will hanging out with this person eventually have me ending up in prison: For me this is a deal breaker after the first close call.  The moment our relationship has me ducking in the bushes from the cops at 3am its over.
  3. Will this partnership lead to my life coming to a hault or me maimed, disfigured or dismembered: Like I said in the Emma example, personal safety.  Im ok with cuts and bruises, but when we are talking potential hospital stays or worse, well I don’t have the proper medical coverage to handle any of that.
  4. Bonus: Your mental health is another brief consideration.  For me this is never really a concern, but if you are a logically thinking person then you probably have a limit to how much bull your brain can take.  Then again your reading this pathetic excuse for a blog so your tolerance for bullshit must be quite high after all.

These are just some guidelines that I personally follow with the drunken insane.  So far they have kept me alive for over 15 years of heavy duty partying with some of the craziest drunks you will ever meet.  In my case I guess it takes one to know one.

I think this falls into the personal safety category and the jail one.

Is this enough? Your call.

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This is one of those bittersweet tales that usually plague my life and I guess life in general. Usually I get the bitter end of the tale. The story I am about to convey is one of the rare occasions where I found mostly sweetness, although there was a bit of sour in it, as you will read.  So sit back and enjoy a tale of yet another night at Wild Cat where anything can happen.

I woke this morning exhausted with a bit of a head headache, damn tequila shots.  One thing was for sure I was not ready to put on my coat and slave in front of a hot grill for eight hours, but tis the life of a lowly cook.  Adding injury to insult the damn cats, probably Alfie in an attempt to get Mustafa to leave him alone flipped the litter box over and scattered dirty cat litter all over the bathroom floor.  And strangely next to it was my friend Devin’s wet boxers and socks, while he was passed out apparently butt naked on my fold out couch?!!!?

Of course this is what I should be greeted with hung over and with barely fifteen minutes to get to work, which I had already anticipated being late for.  I cleaned it up as best I could in the time allotted and went to work, half way there I burst out laughing.  Something hit me as I was passing State St. on the 101. I remembered that I found $100 dollars out side of Wild Cat the previous night.

That’s right One Hundred Fucking Smackers, A C NOTE!!!!!!  The funny thing was I did not even want to go out.  I was exhausted and kind of thinking about snagging the incoming tide at Sand Bar or Hammonds before work, but a very persuasive Devin (ok all he did was call me to see if we were going out) talked me into it.  We got out late as usual and as a result had to wait on line.  I hate waiting on line to go to a dump that I have been drinking at for years just because it some how has become the it place downtown.

We were standing there talking to this odd looking possibly Mexican or some type of Latin chick and here short fat stubby little friend, who was out for her 22nd birthday.  Fatty was suppose to be a make up artist by trade.  She must work for the circus because with the way she did herself up she looked like a fucking clown.  I had to keep pinching my thighs in my pants pockets to keep from bursting out laughing.  Devin was trying to work the other one.  Over it I started spacing out looking down at the ground.

I noticed a crumpled up piece of paper that looked like a bill of some denomination.  Not drawing any attention to myself I stepped on it with my foot and dragged it over to me.  I looked to see if anyone was looking around to which no body was and then nonchalantly bent down in a vain attempt to tie my lace less loafers, picked up the bill and stealthily put it in my pocket.  I mean whoever lost that cash was obviously wasted and a lot better off then me financially if he is going out with hundreds in his pocket.  If someone at that moment started claiming the lost the money I would have certainly handed it over, but Im sure the unfortunate soul was already in the club and too drunk or stupid to notice.

Devin and I got in the club for a $7 cover thanks a lot Amber for pretending to not remember me you bitch (Amber is the cover charge girl/cocktail waitress at Wild Cat.  My old roommate and good buddy Brennan had a thing for her and would always buy drinks from her in search of an opening to ask her out.  But its hard to pick up bar staff cause they are constantly being hit on and accosted by creeps so their guard is always up, but picking up bar staff and Brennan’s brief and fruitless Amber infatuation are entire blogs by themselves and not to be covered here.).  Once inside I reach into my pocket to see what I found and low and behold in my hand was a $100 bill.  Well it was right up to the bar for us.

You see there is something about standing at the bare waving a 100 in the air that gets the bar tenders attention.  Most nights it takes a few minutes for me to get drinks, but not this night.  She came right up when she saw I was with Ben Franklin.  Then it was Patron shots and mixed drinks for us, and a healthy tip for her as well.  After all it was not my money, easy come easy go.  The rest of the night was pretty uneventful I played a few games of pool with some random forty year old guy, but we were missing both the nine ball and the que ball while Devin was off doing his own thing since I could not find him for that duration.

Then I dance floored it where Devin and I reunited till last call.  It was the only night I went downtown with ten dollars in my pocket and came home with over seventy.  To who ever lost that money it could not have gotten in the hands of a more appreciative party.  Better luck next time bud.

Chit ching!

Benjamin Franklin

Me and my boy Benny F conferring.

I wounder if this guy found all those bills on the Wild Cat Line too?

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Cornish Hen ready for the eating…mmmm citrus!

Creating a Tasty Citrus Brine

This weeks Recipe D’Jour I am going to enlighten you on how to create a very tasty citrus Brine Marinade that goes great with all poultry and pork.  First off a brine is a water based mixture that contains two parts sugar to one part salt.  By using a brine you will have a scrumptious marinade that will spice up any dinner.  There all types of brines but for today’s purposes we are going to focus on a citrus brine.

Total Cost/Feeds: Depends on what your going to brine

  • Turkey – $22, feeds 8-10 people with sides
  • Chicken – $14, feeds 4-6 people with sides
  • Pork Lion – $10, feeds 4-6 people with sides
  • Cornish Hen –  $8, feeds two people with sides

Ingredient List: (use the proportions on this recipe and increase as needed to the size of the meat you plan to brine.  Keep in mind that the meat should be completely submerged in the brine.  This recipe makes about a gallon of brine.)

  • Meat to Brine
  • Salt – 1 1/2 cups
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Water – 1 gallon
  • Pepper – 1 teaspoon
  • Oregano – 1 teaspoon
  • Basil – 1 teaspoon
  • Thyme – 4 oz (Fresh)
  • Sage – ½ teaspoon (Dry)
  • Orange – 2
  • Lemon – 3
  • Lime – 1
  • Lemon Herb Seasoning or Lemon Zest
  • Parsley – 3 oz (Minced)

Step 1: Create a brineIn a large container big enough to completely cover your meat combine 2 parts sugar to one part salt in water.  Stir well.  Should taste like a sugary salt water.  It will taste rather gross but should taste more sweet then salty.  I have four cups to two but you may want to adjust according to taste and size of meat you are going to marinade.  Obviously it has to be proportional to the water and you are going use more water with a turkey then a Cornish hen.

Step 2: Marinate MeatIn the container from step1 add Thyme, lemons, lime and oranges.  Be sure to cut fruit in half and squeeze juice into brine after which insert the left post-squeezed fruit as well.  Whisk till it is mixed.  Then add meat you wish to marinade and let sit in refrigerator for 8-12 hours.

A Pork Roast in the Marinade process.

Step 4: Dry Rub MeatRemove meat from marinade and place in a baking pan.  In a bowl add spices, Salt, Pepper, Oregano, Basil, Sage, Lemon zest (which you can get off the left over lemon ends from the brine) and parsley or you can buy a prefabricated lemon and herb seasoning.  Pour over meat in pan and rub around in it till completely covered in spices.  Put about a quarter of an inch of Brine in baking pan with meat to keep it moist and help to absorb more flavor.

Step 5: Bake – Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and bake for whatever the proper amount of time for what you are cooking.  Chicken, a little over an hour, pork loin about the same, hens just under an hour, turkey about two and half hours.

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I have loved this song since I was a little kid.  I remember it would come on the radio and I would dance all around the house to it.  Sure it is a really cheesy pop song, but sometimes those are what puts a smile on the face.  You got to hand it to Billy Joel, he is a guy who came from nothing.  Supposedly the song is about him falling in love with super model Christie Brinkley whom he married and then divorced years later.  Watch the video even though you have to sit through a twenty second commercial cause its pretty classic.  There is nothing more comical then a bunch of supposed to be hardened mechanics, black dudes and bikers dancing around a gas station singing Up Town Girl.

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The first UCB was taken by none other then the almighty Kooky Kyle (no real surprise there kids) with just a one word submission (see how easy it is to play), “Cheese”.  Now under most circumstances an idiotic non sequitur suggestion would be thrown out and Kooky a subject of my ridicule.  For whatever reason I have actually been thinking about cheese every since I read his stupid comment. Cheese has been sole preoccupation of all my freethinking time.  For his efforts or lack there of Kooky gets 1.5 points, the bonus .5 for scoring the first UCB blog of the quarter.

 

I love cheese I think its great.  Being Italian my favorite type of cheese is mozzarella.  I can eat that shit all day long.  Provolone is pretty tasty too.  If I had to list my top five cheeses in order it would go as follows:

  1. Mozzarella
  2. Provolone
  3. Ricotta
  4. Mascarpone
  5. Parmesan

 

I have to say Im not a huge fan of fancy cheeses.  I don’t care much for Brie although I can make a pretty tasty appetizer out of it with fruits and nuts that goes great with white wine.  Still I find Brie to taste like sour mush.  Soft cheese on a whole I don’t have much of a liking for.  I detest any type of cheese that comes out of a can or can be produced in powdered form (with the exception of parmesan cause that is how it grates).

 

Gouda is decent I find it goes good with red wine and crackers.  Cheddar cheese is essential to most Mexican dishes and with out its presence nachos would not exist and I love nachos.   Monterey Jack cheese works well when trying to spice up most sandwiches.

 

Quite frankly I find the word cheese rather entertaining to say.  It is just a really funny word.  Cheese, CHEESE, CHEESE!!!!!  You see, say that three times stressing it a little more each time and tell me you don’t fall out of your chair laughing.  I do, almost pissed myself eight times while writing this stupid blog.

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