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Archive for February, 2011

Book IX: Peer Gynt, Henrik Ibsen, first published in 1867, 169 pages

I feel like I have been on a world tour of literature lately.  I went from British lit, to French, to South American and now with the addition of the play Peer Gynt find myself taking a stab at Norwegian literature.  Written primarily in verse Henrik Ibsen takes the reader on a lyrical journey with main character Peer Gynt.  Supposedly the play is based on an old Norwegian folk tale of the same title.  Its rather easy to read and the form flows quite nicely and this comes form a person who is not a fan of poetry.  I am about half way done with this play already considering I have not had a chance to make this entry here yet.  Never the less I implore you to pick Peer Gynt up and give it a read.

Summary of Book VIII: Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Garcia Marquez has yet again managed to captivate me in another of his novels.  I rather enjoyed Chronicle of a Death Foretold although a bit disturbing.  The whole book is written knowing the main character is going to be brutally murdered from the first sentence.  In  Marquez’s usual style there is plenty of sex, scandal and moral upheaval one has come to expect from his works.  I definitely suggest if you missed this book when I first entered it into the book club to give it some look.

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Avon Pier looking wedgy

A few weeks back Kooky Kyle made a UCB request to write on what I missed most about the east coast.  To be honest at the time of his posting nothing major had really come to mind.  Of course the obvious friends and family came to mind, but that is a given.  Recently I have been reminded in a few select surf session of the East.

What do I miss the most?  Cape Hatteras, North Carolina is what I miss most about leaving the east coast.  I miss having it only a 12-hour drive away.  For me Hatteras was a quick and easy escape from reality.  All I would have to do is jump in the car and cruise down there and be able to surf a variety of beach break practically to myself some days.  One can always surf alone there.  The place has miles and miles of empty coastline some only accessible by four-wheel drive and others only by foot.

Sure the main spots draw a crowd but when its good it does not really matter cause the surf is so consistent.  Speaking on consistency there is pretty much a ride able wave at the lighthouse 365 days a year.  It may be small but there will be something to grovel.  If there is any kind of swell in the Atlantic Hatteras is sure to pick it up someplace and amplify it.  The barrier islands form a big semi circle allowing NE, E and SE exposures to be had, thus accommodating every swell and wind direction.

If you are keen offshore wind can almost always be found.  There is a legitimate left point break on the island.  It is one of the few places on the east coast you can easily get triple over head surf.  The surf can go from waist high in the morning to nearly triple overhead by the evening.  The place is nuts.

Man does it barrel.  I have scored some of the best surf sessions of my life down there just getting pitted off my ass.  Im talking so hallow you cant even do a turn.  Its no coincidence that OBX Local Brett Barely showed up at the pipe masters last year and was a serious contender.  There can be some serious tubes out there and I remember watching him and a couple of the boys at the lighthouse a few years back charging serious ten to twelve foot surf that was heavy as hell, super drifty and very few make able rides.  Those guys were just out there getting their asses handed to them and loving every minute of it.  Me I went to the point and had a fun session.

There are mysto sand bars that just happen over night and can be gone just as fast.  The first thing I do when I get into town is go hang around the Food Lion (only grocery store for 45 minutes) in Avon and just ease drop on any surfer looking type person and even fishermen.  Fishermen can tell you a lot about potential set ups cause most of these bars have deep water on either side of them or in front that fishermen froth for.  Usually in an hour or two I can find out where one of these are if such a miraculous thing exists.

I remember one year there was one all the way at the very end of Frisco just about at the end of the island.  It was an easy five mile hike to the place or accessible by 4×4.  I did not have one but luckily was picked up by a friend.  That sand bar literally was like lower trestles but a left.  It was easily peeling for 100 yards and as killable as a wave can be.  Another year I remember this bar set up for the last two days of my trip over in Avon at ramp 39 and it was like a mini pipeline.  Im talking spitting left and right tubes with solid hurricane swell feeding it.

Then there is “S-Turns”, maybe one of my favorite surf spots in the world.  I think it is in my top ten for sure.  I guess at one time or another when the island was wider right at the beginning of Rodanthe there was a forest that got washed away considering the island is barely thirty feet wide there now and floods all the time.  The stumps were all left behind and it created perfect sand banks thanks to all the roots and stumps holding in the sand.  Basically the place is eight or ten peaks of perfect a-frames that can either be a skate park or a barrel fest depending on the day.

Finally OBX is scattered with dilapidated fishing piers that all have their own distinguishing characteristics. Frisco pier is in my opinion the best, but I have scored Kitty Hawk pier, Rodanthe Pier, Duck Pier, Avon Pier and Nags Head Pier pretty damn epic as well.  Shit I got hooked six times by some red neck at Avon Pier and would have drowned if not for some fellow south Jersey guys and the help of the Geilselman family.

Bottom line the place is a surfers dream.  If it were not for the inclement winters I would have moved there instead of Santa Barbara.  Unfortunately even though it is the south the water still dips into the low forties and the air goes way worse then that.  The place is pretty pristine and will always stay that way thanks to being a National seashore.  All the towns are super small and have miles of undeveloped coastline between them of just huge rolling dunes, marshlands and open beach. Its beautiful out there and I recommend it a visit for everyone.  Although if you want the best surf/weather go between August thru November.

For me Cape Hatteras will always be a very special place.  I have had some great contest results, surfed excellent waves, met many of good friends, spent real quality time with old friends, partied like a rock star, lived in a tent, nearly blew myself up with fire works and always felt refreshed after a tenure there.  I hope to go back someday for a week or two one fall, but until then she will always be in my heart.  To my east coast friends and especially my Hatteras friends get a tube for me.

Here is a slide show of my favorite pictures from Hatteras from years past.

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My Best Shot from the day. Rincon February 17 2011, Photo Don Jayne

Last week I wrote a surf session blog called Big Name Pros, Stupid Car Surfing and Aggressive Line Up Tactic involving super fun Rincon, my boy JD finally having a good session (probably his best of the trip) and professional surfers Kelly Slater and Sally Fitzgibbons.  If you missed it I suggest clicking on the link and checking it out. It was a pretty entertaining surf blog.  Occasionally I find other blogs, photos or internet type stuff that links in with a blog I wrote.  When that happens I like to post it here.

This one was actually found by my former roommate and lurking partner in crime Brennan (Brennan has recently gotten some play here in the last two blogs:  The Paradoxical Plight of the Eunuch Cat and The Great Escape from Mission St. those are worth a read too if you missed them, more the latter).  This link comes from SantaBarbaraSurfer.com and has been featured on the both the myspace.com blog and SurfingRuinedMylife.net.  I really should feature them in my link section but have been too lazy to bother with it.   Its a pretty cool blog completely devoted to the Santa Barbara surfing community.

There is some text relating to the session similar to my blog on the day.  If you read you will notice the author also ran up to El Capitan for a surf like myself, except he must have gotten there about an hour earlier then I did because he actually was able to get some water time.  The slide show is pretty cool.  It shows you how the cove was on the day in question.   There are some amazing pictures of Slater, Sally Fitzgibbons, J7 friend/team rider Arson, Tom Curren’s older son and even three shitty shots of yours truly, Chris Lisanti.

In the comments he mentions something about even running a few pictures of the guys with “stinky style” when he gets the occasional shot where they are not embarrassing themselves.  Im sure I fall into that category.  Whatever, I have a ton of fun, even if 90% of the time I am completely kooking it, flailing around like a wounded condor. I have shots #33, 86, and 87 in the show. There are some pictures of the crazy equipment Slater was riding as well.  If you got a minute I would check it out: http://www.santabarbarasurfer.com/index.php/news/article/thursday_at_the_con/.

Kelly Slater always brings out the admirers.

Here is a classic example of what they call "Stink butt style".

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Before I get into writing this blog or reposting it rather let me just say that Kooky Kyle is a mother fucking internet animal and SurfingRuinedMyLife.net all star of all stars.  Last night I threw out a challenge to all my readers and UCB enthusiasts alike to go back into the Lisanti Blog Myspace archives and dig out the blog I wrote back in October of 2009 about the painful loss of my cats Alfie and Turtle of which only one returned (Alfie) and post it in the comments.  Well sure enough who got down and dirty and pulled it up; none other then the phantasmagorical mad man Kooky Kyle.  For his efforts he will be awarded two UCB points, not like he really needs them to stay on top anyway.

I for one am totally appreciative for his efforts.  Thanks buddy, your the man.  I promise if you actually make it out to Santa Barbara this year to take extra care that your Chris Lisanti Adventure Tour is all that and a bag of chips. So the following blog was posted on October 24 2009: (as usual notes I jot down in Red was added to give my thoughts on the issue at this most current posting)

About almost three weeks ago or so my cats escaped from my wholesome abode thanks impart to my roommate Brennan getting drunk and passing out with the door wide open on a Friday night. He calls me at like 4:30am frantic and still rather drunk, all upset that the cats were lost and I had to come home and find them. I replied “Dude its 4:30am your drunk, Im tired as hell, its pitch black outside, we don’t have a flashlight and they are black cats. Go to sleep its not going to happen tonight”. I was really banking on them coming back in the morning as they always have in the past when an escape takes place.

In Brennan’s defense my lazy ass never got around to fixing the front door, which due to some rotting wood was tricky to stay closed in the frame (remember that mental check list I referred to a few weeks ago in Groovin’ High? Well this was one of the things that was on it). Heck it is hard to close that door sober let alone shit faced. It took me about three weeks to realize this fact. Initially I wanted to kick the door to his room in and hack him to pieces with an ax Dostoyevsky style (at the time I was engrossed in reading Crime and Punishment, a master piece in Literature by the way). Since then he has long since redeemed himself. Im glad that is the case I really did not want to have clean up that mess and then drive all over town dumping his individually bagged body parts in random garbage pails, although I probably would have eaten some part of his remains just to see what human tastes like. I bet it just tastes like chicken anyway.

Alfie as expected came home in time for breakfast the next morning and has been home and safe ever since. Turtle however has not been so easy. For a period of about a week he lurked around the premises running under the house every time an attempt for him to be caught was made. We had a chance one night when we cornered him in the garage, myself, Brennan and my neighbor, white trash Travis (this dude was a class A California red neck constantly working on this beat up 1960’s VW Bug, ass crack showing and all). Unfortunately I was a bit drunk after drinking 2 shots of jager and some rum after getting worked up about the whole cat situation and a not so stellar conversation with my mom about the situation. As usual the missing cat was all my fault cause Im irresponsible, a careless low life bum with out a real job. Yeah mom Im sure that is why he ran away you narcissistic bitch (no hostility there).

Net result was the cat gave us the slip by running out the back of a parked car, passed my drunk ass and then did a six foot vertical leap over a fence and was gone (to this day I have never seen a cat jump that high). Next day Travis and Brennan came through with raccoon traps. First night we caught a possum that freaked out and shit all over the place. The second night we successfully captured Turtle. I was not at home, but apparently Brennan brought him up stairs, let him out of the trap and Turtle as usual went nuts and then ran into my room. Brennan went to check on him and heard a tear. Turns out Turtle tore through the screen and jumped out the window. He has not been seen or heard from since.

We continued to put the traps out all week. We caught the same possum again. This time Brennan took him up to the Mission about a mile or so from our house, to prevent him from continuing to spring the traps and a very nice new home I might add, that is a very desirable neighborhood to live in. We did that little guy a favor. Yesterday we caught a skunk the exact scenario we had feared since the inception of the traps. After leaving him there for over 48 hours Brennan finally freed him this morning. The thing sprayed all over the place so now it stinks all around my house and when I left for work this afternoon the stupid beast was still in the trap.

After all this still no sight of Turtle.  At this point Im going to assume he has moved on to a better place (inside a Coyote’s belly), hopefully one still on this plane of existence. Monday I am going to check with all the local animal shelters to see if anyone has turned him in. Overall its pretty shitty since now I only have 50% of the cats I started out with and after I shelled out over a grand to get them both out here, moved off the Mesa for their sake and spent $50 in anti flea paraphernalia. Plus Turtle was like a son to me, sure he was a fucked up hairy little black kid, but mine none the less. Turtle where ever you are I hope your pimping it. I miss you buddy. Please come home.

As you may have figured Turtle never returned.  Since then Brennan and I are still friends and I no longer wish to kill and dismember him.  If you missed out on yesterday’s blog The Paradoxical Plight of the Eunuch Cat check it out cause it is sort of a type of precursor to this one.

Alfie and Turtle circa 2004

Turtle as a kitten, circa 2003

In addition to receiving extra UCB points Kooky also wins one "dont ask dont tell" weekend with this sexy creature. Its on its way to your place at this very moment Kooky!!!!

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This week’s UCB makes a victor of John Mauriello with a topic that I was not going to write until my boy JD on his recent visit out here this week also brought up the same subject.  What am I referring to?  “Do you think Alfie is pissed off that he can’t have sex”?  Believe it or not this topic comes up more times then not in my house when we are all sitting around shooting the shit.

If you don’t know who Alfie is by now then you’re either new to this blog or retarded.  So just in case you’re in the dark here at SurfingRuinedMyLife.net let me enlighten you.  Alfie is my all black cat, the remaining feline out of the two black cats I had shipped out here from New Jersey.  Turtle the other cat escaped from my home when I lived up near the Santa Barbara Mission never to return again.  Odds are he is probably living it up eating trash and the like, but I like to believe he got eaten by a coyote.

There were a good number of blogs on the great cat escape back in the Myspace.com days a year ago or so.  If you missed them they are some where in the depths of my myspace.com profile of which I believe there is a link to on the home page of the site you are now on.  It happened around November 2010 if you’re so inclined to go looking.  Good luck.  If you do find it copy and paste the entire blog into the comments of this blog and I will give you Two UCB points for this quarter!!!!!

So Alfie is now my remaining cat and is joined by his new partner in crime Mustafa (see Cat Calamity for more on who Mustafa is), whom consequently is also a eunuch.  Honestly do I think Alfie is pissed off he cant have sex?  My answer has to be absolutely not.  I don’t even think he has the slightest inclination towards sexual desires what so ever.  Alfie was neutered when he was only six weeks old or so.

Technically he never reached sexual maturity thus eliminating any desire to want sex.  Now this was just my belief, but since I was sure there was definitely scientific research on the subject I did a little investigating.   What I found is that 85% of all male cats neutered at a young age do not have sexual desires.  There is a small group that on occasion some of the testicle is left inside the cat and in which case that cat would then still develop sex hormones.  Alfie is not of the latter group.

I don’t believe that he is pissed off that he cannot have sex.  Alfie in my opinion is rather happy and content in the microenvironment I have created for him.  Besides Mustafa being a pain in his ass half of the time these days he has it as good as can be.  He gets three solid yummy cat meals a day, Ades throws him the occasional cat treat and when ever Im carving meat that I am going to cook he gets all of the fatty ends and scrap.  I would say as far as a cat’s life goes his is top notch.

Sex is the last thing on Alfie's mind

Speaking of Eunuchs here is a great clip from Mel Brook’s History of the World Part 1

What most likely became of Turtle 😦

This Lady may have eaten the Coyote afterward though.

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It must be just another day at Rincon and more trials and tribulations with the occasional pot of gold at the end of the rainbow here in Santa Barbara.  It all went down yesterday (2/17/11) in what I thought was going to be a complete and total skunking.  The night before all signs pointed to some very good conditions for a surf on this faithful day.

There was plenty of WNW swell mixing in with new NW swell and the winds were suppose to be somewhat light or variable.  Early on the wind was down, unfortunately I had class making a dawn patrol out of the question.  I got home at 9am and the wind had already changed to SW, or the devil winds, as we like to refer to them here.

Distraught, since the thoughts of getting either El Capitan or Sand Spit dancing in my head since the previous night were now shattered, I decided it best for us to wait for the tide to drop and hope for the best.  The wind went more WSW and JD and I made the Hail Mary play for El Capitan despite the poor winds.  Sometimes miracles happen and back when I worked at this NJ surf camp we always told the kids to live by the phrase “you don’t know unless you go”.

Indeed go we did.  As soon as we got up to the Gaviota Coast the wind was whipping twice as hard and El Cap was an absolute mess to our dismay, but was as I expected.  We watched it feeling rather dejected before opting to make the run back south to Rincon and just make or break it there.  As soon as we got to the Rincon the wind let up a bit and the sun came out.   The surf was solid head to overhead with bigger sets up top and side shore off shore conditions.  Upon checking it we saw someone surfing regular just destroy this head high wave through the cove making a near impossible first section across high Cove.

Then I noticed there were three cameras on the beach and put two and two together.  It was none other then Kelly Slater doing what he does best, killing it.  For JD it was a real treat to surf with the champ in person.  He had on this weird ass blue and black wetsuit with one white sleeve and gloves, but no boots.  The crowd was still rather light only about twenty five guys or so in the Cove and maybe another twenty up top.

JD gave the top a go while I as usual hit up the cove.  I jump in just as a solid set was approaching.  This overhead one comes right to me and I was the deepest. I saw Slater paddling in on the shoulder and was like man maybe I should give the wave up to the champ.  Then I thought fuck that he gets tons of great waves everywhere he goes.  This one is mine and besides out in the ocean he is just another surfer just like anyone else trying to get waves.  Rincon is my spot now so fuck it and I went.

I was pretty deep and was not sure I was going to get around the foam ball anyway.  I came around the foam ball just as Slats was starting his first cut back.  I hit it straight up and down behind him.  Then he did another whip around and as he was coming out of the turn he got hit by the spray from my second reo.  He gave me an aggravated look and then pulled off.  I hit that wave another fifteen times taking it all the way to the call box.

On the paddle back out I was definitely getting stares by people and heard whispers “That guy just picked one off Slater”.  Some kid, probably from the Valley or LA (same difference) said to me “I can’t believe you just took a wave off Kelly Slater”.  I looked at him and said “Who’s Kelly Slater, just another surfer like you and I” and paddled away.  Then I started thinking maybe that was a bad idea and I should have given the wave up to him like everyone else does out there.

I think Slater should be able to appreciate the fact that I want to surf a good wave as much as he does.  Then three waves later I did it again, but Slater did not go this time.  He pulled back as soon as he saw me drop into it twenty yards deeper then him.  That one went all the way through too.  There was some crazy modeling shoot happening mid point that has been going on all week, super professional too.  It looked like a pretty serious shoot.

Slater kept stopping at that house every lap up the point for whatever reason.  About my sixth wave, a real bomb might I add about mid cove on the paddle back out, I was beat on paddling back out and way too far down the point anyway.  I made the walk back and as I was walking up the point Slater’s videographer looked right at me and I though he was going to give me shit for taking that wave off Slater.  Instead he yells “Crazy backside attack, so nuts”.  I was stoked to be acknowledged by a dude who films surfing all day long and someone of Kelly’s esteem.

Female pro Sally Fitzgibbons was out absolutely destroying it.  JD actually had a great session for a change.  It was a solid day of surfing.  The only thing that could have made it better would have been if there was less wind and chop, but then the crowd would have been triple.   I ended up surfing almost four hours and could barely walk when I got out of the water.  What a day.

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By now you have most likely noticed that the number of blogs I have written per week has steadily dropped.  For that I am sorry.  Let me assure it is not because I have lost interest.  On the contrary.  The fact is my life is very busy right now, leaving me very little time to do much of anything.  Between work, school, helping out at J7 and surfing I have a full plate on my hands.  I cant remember the last time in my life I was this bogged down with shit.

It has gotten so bad I only can fit in around 8-10 hours of surf time a week.  Check the surf log in you dont believe me.  I work five days a week eight hours a day and then have school and J7 duties on my two not really days off.  Throw in homework and at the end of the day I am fucking exhausted.  My brain is just over loaded.  I cant even collect my thoughts most of the time let alone sit down and write something worth reading (not that most of what I put down here is).

Im doing the best I can for now.  I hope you all will bear with me if I miss the occasional Recipe D’Jour blog or a UCB gets written on Saturday instead of Thursday. Or the fact that Groovin’ High has not had a new up day in so long I cant remember the last entry, not that anyone bothers to check out that one anyway.  Everyone can forget about the coffee table for at least the next three months.  All I have to say about that is the table is an eyesore and a half, has been spilled on the bare wood some many times I lost count and in all honesty is too big for my living room anyway.  Still I hope to one day finish it or smash it in a fit of frustrated rage.  Which ever the case Im sure it will make an entertaining blog.

Dont despair, The Surf Log will be updated nearly everyday, if not everyday.  I think there has only been about two days that I did not get a chance to log in a session.  As I have always said the surf log is like a miniature blog within the blog that chronicles a diary like account of my daily surf escapades however insignificant.  If you are really in Lisanti Land withdrawal I hope the surf log will help you through it.  The one thing I can promise is that the UCB will still happen weekly as long as new topics and interest flows in.

I just thought I would let everyone know what was going on with me these days and to reassure everyone (all three of you) that I have not abandoned SurfingRuinedMyLife.net.  All this aside I will do my best to write as much as is possible considering my new assiduous schedule.   Bare with me and we will let the internet good times roll.

Here is a picture of a good old fashion cock fight. I hope it will hold you over till the next blog.

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