Archive for October, 2012

This was a giant wave pre-storm surge in Cape May, NJ at a spot called Poverty’s which can be a really fun shore break barrel on a strong Nor’Easter. Looks like it bit off a more then it chew here.

I woke up this morning, my little toe was three shades of purple and looking rather infected.  Surfing was out for me, probably for a few days, yet this was the least of my concerns.  All that was on my mind for the last two days has been the absolute destruction and devastation to my home town of Manasquan, New Jersey courtesy of Hurricane Sandy.  As much as I hate New Jersey and it’s seemingly reciprocal feelings towards me to see what has become of it has been rather heart breaking.

Then I consider all of my friends and family back there and what they must be going through actually having to live in what has seemingly become a third world country. I was on the phone with my sister last night who evacuated to Pennsylvania with her husband.  They went back up to Manasquan and basically found out that more then four feet of water had filled the first floor of one of our family homes.  The cats although a bit freaked out were safe.  Most of the furniture was destroyed, the wood floors, the carpets, the appliances, three cars all ruined.  At this point power is estimated to be out anywhere from 8-10 days and there is the possibility that the drinking water is no good.

I fielded a call from Kooky Kyle later in the evening who is scalping generators, batteries and other survival apparel, currently making a small fortune.  He is doing a good deed as well even if it comes at a cost premium to those in need. Supply and demand is the American way after all.  In his defense he called me to see if my family needed anything from him.  My parents are currently in Florida.  At the moment they are planning on staying at their home there till things get a little more stable in New Jersey.

This was once a street in the beach area of Manasquan…

At the moment it looks like Bosnia over there minus the civil unrest, although I have heard rampant looting has broken out at the shore causing residents to have to show proof of residence to even get to their own homes now.  My parent’s beach house in Manasquan as of right now we have not a clue.  From the few pictures and the little bit I have heard things are pretty bad up there with most parts of the island buried in anywhere from 8-20 feet of sand.  Their house sits on the narrowest part of the island and on an estuary that floods around the house on a regular full moon storm high tide.

The house with the brick steps that are all torn up used to be rented by a friend of mine when I was 16. I used to store a board and wettie over there so that whenever my mom would punish me and not let me surf I would tell her I had to stay after school for something, ride my bike to his house and go surf.

One can only assume the house took it on the chin pretty bad. It was built on a floating foundation to begin with.   At the moment access to the island is very limited and from what I hear just about not drive-able with out heavy equipment.  Some of the bridges are completely blocked by boats and debris.  I had a quiver of surfboards in the crawl space of that house.  Let me stress the word “had”.  My entire family is safe and from what I know all of my close friends as well and in the end that is all that matters anyway.

This is the Brielle Road draw bridge looking rather inaccessible.

Things are heavy over there to say the least.  It was not only my town that took things tough.  From video it looks like Long Beach Island was ravished, parts of it still under water.  Casino Pier in Seaside Heights has been just about entirely washed away.  What was once a venue of rides and amusements, not to mention one of the top surf spots in NJ has been reduced to a pile of sticks and rebar.  The Ocean Grove pier another surf spot I frequented is gone as well.  I sit here writing this at a loss.  Part of me wishes I was home attempting some help to those in need.  Then again I don’t live there anymore.

The remnants of the once grand Casino Pier, Seaside Heights, New Jersey. Yes that is a roller coaster in the ocean.

I suppose my heart will always be in New Jersey no matter how much I try to deny it and be Californian.  Its Halloween here today and everyone is getting hammered in costume yet again for about the eighth straight night in a row. With the exception of my few friends here from New Jersey not a single person even mentioned if things were all good back home to me.  Its 3000 miles away on a completely different coast so who cares right?  Well whenever there is a fire or earthquake here I get calls from most of my loved ones back in NJ to see if all is ok here.  Hey to each their own.  As for me at the moment I don’t feel very much like partying.

I wish all my friends and readers in New Jersey the best of luck.  Hang in there guys one thing about Jersey people we don’t take shit from anyone or anything.  I know you guys will rebuild bigger, better and stronger then ever.  To my surfing friends out there; We may have lost a few spots but I bet when things clear we most likely gained a few as well. The red cross has set up a relief effort fund for the havoc that has been unleashed on the Jersey shore.  If you feel so inclined every bit helps https://www.redcross.org/donate/index.jsp?donateStep=2&itemId=prod10002.

The closest house with the first floor buried in sand was the residence of my boy Cory and his girl Tagan. Hey guys if you need a break from all the bull you are always welcome here at the Lisanti Palace. Heck the Palace would not be in my possession if it was not for Cory.

*all photos borrowed from various internet sources.  For more pictures of the damage to Manasquan use this link: http://photos.nj.com/star-ledger/2012/10/devastation_along_manasquan_be_24.html

For pictures of the damage done to Point Pleasant, NJ use this link: http://nickjonesphoto.com/sandy.html

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Besides contracting tape worms and bumming around on a beach in New Jersey pretending to have a job as a life guard Kooky Kyle decided to pack it in and move south.  As much as we would have loved to have him back out here in the Barb a man must do what a man must do.  But don’t take my word for it take his as he learns that even the bets plans in life don’t always work out…


As I sat  in my bedroom, in the wee hours of the morning on my birthday, the 16th of October I will proceeded to wake up, go run a crew practice, go for a surf, go to work and come home to repeat it all again the next day. In other places and other lives I have led, this would have satiated me. Here, back in Wilmington, I am not satiated. Surfing is something that isn’t happening often enough to make me happy. Crew is the main reason I came back to Wilmington

The crew team gave me a lot as a student; a body of friends, a physical outlet to keep me active, and an identity. I wanted to give back and help the team. Now that I have returned as an Alumni to coach it is not the same. I would have killed to have a coach when I was on the team and it feels as though I am not wanted and more of an annoyance than the boon I could be for the team.

There are several reasons for this. First, even though I made it clear to the Alumni (most of whom remembered) instead of coming back as the sole coach of the team, there is another coach. “I hadn’t heard from you” Everyone else did and no one told me you were in charge of this, last I heard it was the person I have been in touch with. The other coach rowed for a year and a half, has no prior coaching experience and last rowed in 2001. I on the other hand, rowed four years, have studied coaching under an Olympic level coach and have experience dealing with the school and the team and last rowed in June 2011.

Take your pick. I don’t want to correct him in front of the rowers but he is giving them some shitty advice that I know I am going to have to correct on the water. Additionally, I want to provide the team an outline of what they need to do to win. I know I wasn’t always in a focused boat that had the drive to win. When I was it was awesome. When I wasn’t, it sucked. The varsity seems to have no desire to do what they need to do to match their competitors. If this is because they think they know better, they are wrong. I was in the only boat to medal in the past decade, in vastly inferior equipment and at immense disadvantages.  I need to sit down with the board and talk about this, but right now it is bothering me.


Next we come to the topic of work. I was kind of told I had a job waiting for me in Wilmington when I came back. My friend backpedaled pretty quickly from “Yea, I definitely want to hire you” to “I am not sure I have a position for you.” I understand not giving me a job if you do not have the business for it, but do not tell me I have a job waiting for me and then take it away. Do not feel awkward about it, business is business.

I applied to be on a burn crew but missed the cut off date by 6 hours. I will still do burns to build my resume but I won’t be getting paid. I also have a resume in for the Peace Corps. In the interim to pay bills I have taken a restaurant job. I am working at a restaurant called Siena, an Italian Trattoria, whose cuisine I am pretty familiar with having lived with Chris. I was given the job within three hours of dropping off my resume. Boy did I walk into a shit storm.

It was an existing restaurant that had just hired a new chef and was starting their new menu that week. Apparently the chef was a dick and they had fired a bunch of people and others quit because of him. As a result they had the dishwasher making pizzas and she is still constantly fucking up. They were going from Italian comfort food standards to a slightly more upscale menu. It was pretty cool, they brought me in as a pizza cook and to work sauté.

Two days later the chef checked himself into rehab and I became the third most experienced cook in the kitchen. That has changed as they rehired the old Sous chef and an additional line cook. I am now working all the prep, which is the level I am most comfortable at. I start at noon and am out by 7:30. I am a little pissed about the pay, which should be higher. After the Chef and Sous I have the fastest knife skills in the place and can pretty much cover every position in the kitchen, whether pizzas, salads or sauté. They said at the end of 30 days we could sit down and negotiate a higher wage.

The Trailer Park

I am currently living with my roommate from my junior year, Jimmy. Jimmy is 50. We met when he decided that after having cancer he was done being a carpenter in southern California opting to become a marine Biologist instead, thus he enrolled in college. Back in my college days I moved into an on campus apartment with my friends and we had a random roommate. That roommate was Jimmy.

In many ways we are both grouchy old men. He constantly bitches about how lazy and stupid most kids are, how we have been babied our whole lives, have no sense of style, make shit music, have this attitude of entitlement and are basically emasculated. Some of that is true. I thought I would move back in with him since he was older and had his shit together, and didn’t seem like a slob. I was mistaken. He has all his shit piled in the living room. It has been two months, and he is constantly promising to do something about it. Any attempt I make at getting the piles of beer cans out is constantly thwarted. I thought the apartment was a mess because of our other roommates when we lived on campus turns out he didn’t help the matter.

I left finding a place up to him this past summer since I was not around. He is solely responsible for my degradation down to trailer trash. “Hey man it isn’t really a trailer park, there aren’t meth heads running around and cars on blocks, the grass is mowed” It is a bunch of mobile homes, ie, its a trailer park. The woman next door has her daughter, grand daughter, daughter’s boyfriend (who is not the father of her grand daughter) and her boyfriend all living in the same house. She mows lawns in the trailer park to make money, but hey at least “the lawns are mowed”.

Our landlords are completely racist, the other day they told Jimmy that “We have a timeshare down in St. Thomas, but there isn’t much to do there and there are too many n*****s. They are getting pretty pushy too.” They also feed all the stray cats in the neighborhood so it is somewhat like the Dumpster Cats of Westmont except there is no compact button to crush them all with. On top of that rent isn’t substantially cheaper than elsewhere in Wilmington and it is far as fuck from any sort of social life I could have here. It is so far from all the bars and where everyone else lives I can’t get a cab.  I have to crash at a friend’s house. Social life, bye bye.

Getting My Freak On or Lack There of…
Speaking of social life, wow, I forgot all my friends have pretty much moved on.  I have two female friends who are here but busy working as waitresses, so they are not any fun these days. My buddy Kacey is off becoming a pilot.  My friend Nick is still around but he doesn’t really go out and I hate his girl friend. My friend Jacque is going through a bad break up and is a shut in these days. There are a few kids still on the team that I am friends with from when I was on the team, but since I am a coach there is a limit on the social interaction I will allow myself to have with team members.  While I would make exceptions for them, I am keeping myself out of team parties until the season is over.

Things did not go as I had planned here. I am currently weighing my options. I really want to bail to Morocco for the winter but that is financially out of the question, unless I get some things turned around.  I need to get the fuck out of Wilmington, though I am not in the biggest of hurries. I can always return to California. I am very interested in checking out San Fran. I know I always have a place at the Lisanti Palace in Court, as well as some other connections I made traveling . I wouldn’t mind getting the work Visa and doing a year in New Zealand.

I also want to see how the Peace Corps pans out. I would be super stoked to get that but it is quite competitive and frankly I coasted through college, not doing all I could to set my self up with a strong resume. Part of me wants to return to the primal side of things. Something I have ignored and barely fostered for a few years now. I want to nurture that part of my soul as that has always made me the happiest I have been outside of when I am surfing.  I just don’t know how that can pan out with relation to my future. Happy Twenty Fourth Birthday.



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I thought I might write something worthwhile tonight then I opened a nice bottle of Chianti and half a bottle later don’t feel like it.  Instead here is how the Summer Quarter of the UCB contest went down.  First off there was plenty of laziness on my part some laziness on your part, but hook or by crook some writing was done.  As I said in an earlier blog, there may have been less material but I for one thought what got written was of some better quality.  Here are your UCB Winners.

1st: John Mauriello – 3 points
2nd: Kooky Kyle – 2.5 points
3rd: Kiefer – 2 points

Now going into the winter quarter we have two wins for Kooky and one win for John.  Lets see where things end up this time.  Will Kooky be champion for his third straight year in a row or will John be able to unseat the champ????  You cant win if you don’t play.  Of course no one can win unless I get off my lazy ass and write.   If your completely lost I believe there is a little tab at the header of this page that says “UCB”. If you click on said tab it will fill you in on the stupidity that this is all about.

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And then just like that it happened.  I must admit I have been feeling a bit of a failure at life lately as was evident in the Summer of Alf recap blog.  Do you know I was seriously considering leaving Santa Barbara to move into my parents Florida house so that I could live rent free and save some money to make a fresh go of things.  It was a really long summer this year and I think I put a few too many over ambitious expectations on myself.  I also think that society and its pressures for how a person of my age is suppose to live/act had a bit do with things as well.

End result I found myself freaking out that I was not where I was suppose to be.  Who knows more about where one is suppose to be besides himself?  I read a very interesting quote the other day something that up until lately I have always lived by: “The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves.  And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work don’t buy into it”.   As of late I had been buying into it.

I began to climb into this terrible relapse of self pity I seem to revel in with the utmost countenance.  Another thing I recently picked up from my current book Tuesdays with Morrie is trying to only allow myself ten minutes of self pity either at the end or beginning of my day and then its on with the rest of my day, night, week, month, year and eventually life.  Its very easy for me to get lost on the path of life.  I am distracted very easily be it negative or positive stimulation or the two together.

Then a day like today comes along and I am reminded once again that all the bullshit that frustrates the hell out of me day in and day out does not mean a damn thing.   When I dropped into the first wave for me of the season today at Rincon, set my rail, pulled that first twenty yard bottom turn back up towards the cascading lip, punching through it with the nose of my board, feeling my tail come free on the re-entry and hearing the crash of the spray falling all around, then repeating this on that same wave about eight more times before finishing up with a three foot gap air all my problems and despair were gone.  Eradicated from my mind in a matter of seconds.

I can’t remember the last time I smiled so big for so long.  Everyone around me was stoked too adding to the surreal feeling of the moment.  The other day I surfed small Emma Wood with this body boarder and he was amping on the meager offerings that I was basically giving a forced paddle cause I drove.  Turned out to be a pretty fun little session, you can read the surf log for more on that.  Afterward we were both changing at our respective vehicles, him putting on his shirt and tie and me my chef pants and coat.  Before driving away he looked at me and said “And now back to reality”.

What is reality anyway?  I used to believe it was living within the parameters set by our current society.  That just about never made me happy thus Lisanti Land became my warped sense of reality and I found life to be for the most part happier.  Maybe for me reality is working and struggling for that occasion surf session where everything falls into place like today and things make sense.

Yeah on paper I may come off as a bum.  I am 31 years old and barely make enough to cover my expenses, have to live with a roommate, stuck in a dead end job.  I don’t have a family of my own and may never get that opportunity.  I can’t keep a woman or at the moment even get one to entertain the idea of being with me.  But, I can go out and catch a hand full of amazing waves at Rincon or most other surf spots for that matter and turn that moving bump of water into my own personal canvas where I paint my soul for sometimes no longer then a fraction of a second and then its gone forever.  In my head that memory, that feeling shall never fade.

Please keep that big house on the hill, that nice car, the picture perfect girl and subsequent family. Take your fancy high paying job you sold your soul for and stuff it.   At the end of the day I am the one in the barrel and that is what my life has been about for as long as I can remember.  That piece of foam and fiberglass under my feet cruising down a glassy line with out a drop of water out of place, that is where my soul is, that is my salvation…

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July 2012 Surf Session in Review

I am currently super behind on my monthly surf reviews.  I guess there really is not shock there.  I decided the other night to run the numbers from July considering how dismal a summer it was up here in the 805.  Now I know this is not really the place to be in the summertime, but still in past years there were at least a few unreal days.  July was mostly about suffering. I had not the money or time to travel south to better wave locals and it was windy most of the time up north, nor did I have a wettie warm enough.  Besides two tropical cyclone swells there was little if anything to get excited about.  Here is how it all shaped out according to the numbers.  I will say one thing I was rather frothy for whatever was on offer.

Number of Surf Sessions: 21
Days Surfed: 20
Total time Spend in the Water:  35hrs
Number of Waves Surfed: 644
Average Waves Caught Per Hour: 19

Spots surfed:
Santa Clara River Mouth: 15
Mesa Lane: 3
Gold Coast: 2
C Street: 1

Top 3 Surf Sessions (taken unedited from the Surflog):

3) 7/13/12 AM Session: 2-4+ft, Santa Clara River Mouth
Time in Water: 2hr 15mins
Waves Surfed: 43
My roommate and I cruised downtown last night for some pool and other shenanigans. I found a box of books on the walk home.  Surprisingly I woke up rather well rested and ready to surf. I got to River Mouth and the wind was already on it, had been all morning.  My boy Ryan was out so I just suited up ran down.  Turns out although a bit on chunky side there were plenty of really fun lefts.  I ended up frothing the shit out of the session catching anything and everything that came my way.  I stuck a few nice ally-oops, went for a shrink wrap that I almost pulled coming unstuck on the switch stance landing.  It was a sick sess to say the least.

2) 7/30/12 AM Session: 2-4+ft, Santa Clara River Mouth
Time in Water: 1hr
Waves Surfed: 21
I got a late start this morning.  I was not really expecting much to be happening out there.  Buoys had dropped from the previous day and the tide was a bit fat.  Stephanie was suppose to surf with me, but missed me by about ten minutes.  Chris Lisanti does not wait for anyone in the morning.  Surf always comes first, always.  I got down to River Mouth and it was clean with some small but fun looking peaky bowls.  There were a few  guys scattered along the different banks.  Turns out when I got down to beach level it was more like chest to head and solid with double up barrels.  It became an instant froth fest for me.  I had a deep ass FS tube that I have no idea how I made it out of.  Stuck a bunch of critical reos and some decent airs.  Then as I was paddling back out after landing a sizable fs air reverse I saw this right sucking up off a rip on the sand bar.  I stroked into and air dropped into the pit.  I felt my board crease, even heard the pop when I hit.  I grabbed the rail to stabilize the board, but the pressure was just too much and as I was about to come out my board snapped right in the middle under my feet.  Just like that the session was over.  The board itself was kind of at the end of its life.  It sucked that I had to have my session cut short.  I guess I am going to have to always start bringing a spare again.  Great session while it lasted.

1)7/17/12 AM Session: 3-5ft, Gold Coast
Time in Water: 1hr 15mins

Waves Surfed: 22
I only surf the Gold Coast when the surf is either just right so the place fires (its one of the few spots that can handle south wind) or if I am with a novice and looking to beat the crowd.  Today both entities held true.  I have been trying to make time with this chick I met through Lindsay a few weeks prior.  At first the attraction was purely physical but as of late I am really starting to enjoy her company.  I know this puts me in a dangerous predicament emotionally, but maybe its time for me to try again?  Whats that fall off the horse saying about anyway?  Our schedules really contradict thus making finding time together difficult.   Last night she hit me up wondering if she could come surf with me in the morning.   She has some skills but they are rudimentary at best meaning a surf with her has to be a compromise between waves the both of us can ride and a place where I will not be disgraced by other surfers for bringing her there.  I know I hate it when guys bring girls who cant surf out at Emma Wood.  Last night I thought nothing of it.  The reports all showed average south swell from Fabio leading me to believe the morning was to be average at best and thus ok to give up.  We checked Kooks Peak and there were a few fun looking bowls out there, fun for both of us.  I just wanted to have a look at the Gold Coast since the wind was right. Sure enough it was firing.   I mean I started to froth.  I must have tore my wettie on so fast it was not even funny, although The kook beat me, but I am a slow changer as anyone who surfs with me knows.  I was going to help her along, but it was just too good out there and I just ended up frothing.  Literally it was as good as New Port is on a good south swell.  I got one tube that had to be like 75 yards long.  I had some sick airs, almost brought down a huge bs full rotation air but came unglued in the landing. So far I would say it was the session of the summer!

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I got home from surfing today and decided to check mail for a change.   I check the mail once a week at best and that is only so I can get my copy of New York Magazine.  Its kind of a real uppity magazine, but I like to read it and imagine what it would be like to have a bunch of money in NYC.  My Dad reads it and sent me a gift subscription, which I think was done with parsimonious intentions to make me miss home.  I must admit it brings a lot of nostalgia to me.

The box was bulging, which meant I most likely have not checked the mail since before I left for New Jersey.  The mail lady always gets pissed whenever this happens.  In response to my utter laziness she takes all my mail wraps it in a rubber band and angrily tosses it on my front door.   I opened the box and was showered with an explosion of mail.

Upon picking all of the mail up off the floor I  noticed a small package in my box addressed to me.  I didn’t order anything on my bread and water budget and was not expecting anything.  There was no return address on the thing.  My first thought was someone sent me a mail bomb, although it looked a bit small and felt too light to contain an explosive device.  My next thought was anthrax, someone sent me anthrax.  Then I thought a little harder about the whole thing and figured who am I that anyone would even care about killing me, let alone going through all the effort to do it via the United States Postal Service.  Unless the mail lady really was completely fed up with my shit.

I went inside and sorted through this mess of circulars, envelopes and Magazines.  While I am at it I think my dyke mail lady is stealing my Play Boy.  The nudity is trash.  I can watch way dirtier shit then that on the internet, but the articles are rather clever and entertaining.  I had trail subscriptions to five different magazines and the only one I found worth my time to read was my Play Boy.  I tossed the usual notices from creditors.  “Hey guys I miss the early morning wake up calls”.  Threw away all the circulars cause they were way out dated.

Then there was the package.  It did not look crazy or anything thus I decided to open it.  Inside was a book.  I am always delighted by a book, at least until I read it.  It so happens that I finished reading The Picture of Dorian Gray last night.  There was no letter with the book or any identification of any kind.  The title: Tuesdays with Morrie.  I opened it and noticed some of the pages were folded.  Inside the cover it was inscribed “Yes, the folded pages are important”, signed A Friend.  I must say I am very excited to sink my teeth into it.  To my mystery benefactor let me thank you in advance for the gift.  Depending on the content my opinion may change.

That brings me to the reason I am writing in the first place.  I have been reading like crazy as of late and not been updating the book club at all.  Shame on me.  So here are the past three books I have recently read and our latest book.

Book XV: 1984, George Orwell, 1949, 297 pages

“War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength”.  This was a re-read for me.  I came across this copy a few months in a box of books I found while stumbling home from the Wild Cat one night.  I remember first reading it back in 8th grade and taking very little from it besides the “Big Brother” reference although not really understanding the meaning behind it.  I needed additional reading material for my trip to Portland at the end of this past August and decided I ought to re-read it.  The problem with reading some of these novels at a young age is one is not at the level of maturity or understanding to fully appreciate the meaning of the book.  Schools pick books for their curriculum based on vocabulary and readability.  I know in 8th grade I missed all of the themes behind 1984.  Also depending on what is happening in one’s life a novel may at times take on a completely different meaning and emotional response.  Here Orwell portrays a futuristic Utopian society based on strong class division, war, fear and power.  Not to mention an interesting and very disturbing profile of human behavior.  I will do a “Chris’ Notes” on this one at some point.  I definitely suggest giving 1984 a read.

Book XVIWays of Seeing, John Berger, 1972, 155 pages
This book was actually handed to me by my co-worker Meat Cat.  She is an artist and devote to art for the love of art.  Art does not pay the bills for most thus forcing her to work at Westmont.  She had been telling me about the text for some time and how most of the ideas proposed for viewing art can also be applied to life in general.  As an observer of life  and a lover of art, I felt compelled to give it a read.  English art critic and author John Berger certainly makes many interesting points about art and how it is looked upon in modern times.  His take on nudes and oil paintings is certainly enough to make the book worth a look, but then he makes some very good points on art and advertising as well.  It is a very dense read and I actually read a few of the chapters twice to get a better grasp on their message.

Book XVII: The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde, 1891, 349 pages

“The common hill-flowers wither, but they blossom again.  The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now.  In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis and year after year the green night of its leaves will hold it’s purple stars.  But we never get back our youth.” This was another re-read for me and actually is a novel I read often.  I believe this was about the fourth time I have picked it up.  The story of a young man who mistakenly makes a deal with the devil to stay young forever.  In this tale Wilde comments on the dangers of vanity, cynicism, arrogance, selfishness and conscience.  Sometimes when we get the thing we wished for most in life we find it to be more of a curse then a blessing.  I always pick this book up and read it when I feel I need to check myself and be brought back down to earth.  I must admit it had not helped with my current depressed state.

There you have it folks some new suggested reading for you all.  I am tearing through shit at the moment so expect new entries fairly regularly.  I guess Book XVIII is going to be  Tuesdays with Murray, by  Mitch Albom.  After all if someone decided to go to that much trouble to give me a book they think is a value for me to read then it must be put to the top of the list.  Happy reading.

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I woke this morning on my little love seat still in my suit from last night’s Gay Prom at the Wild Cat covered in crumpled up nachos and a head ache that felt like someone shoved an ice pick through my ear.  Does this sound familiar?  That is pretty much what went down every night since Thursday.  I sometimes wonder what my shitty new roommate thinks of the pathetic mess I must look like when she is leaving for work at 8 am.  Then again she is a selfish bitch who just screwed me out a good deal of money leaving me literally broke so who fucking cares anyhow.  She is lucky I don’t hit her in the head with a mallet then piss in the hole I just smashed in her skull.  In all seriousness  I think I had $35.83 in my checking account last time I checked.

At 31 years old I expected so much more out of my life by now.  Well, maybe I hoped for more.  As we all know I am a bit of a pessimist and a cynic.  This being the case things probably have worked out exactly as I expected.   I’m divorced, penniless, juvenile, absolutely alone, stuck in a dead end job and a total and utter drunk.   I feel depressed, dejected, frustrated, confused and alienated.  At least I have my health and my beauty, yet one cannot beat father time.  They say the first step is to identify the problem.

Am I depressing you?  I’m sorry, here is a picture of a cat in a top hat to bring back up your spirits.  While we are at it lets go off on a momentary tangent on why top hats became unfashionable.  I mean they are dank as hell.  Look how dapper Mr. Peanut looks in his.  That’s it I am bringing it back.  I declare that this New Years Eve I am going to wear a top hat out and from there on in 2013.  The top hat revolution has begun.

And now back to the misery that is my life…

The Summer of Alf ended some time ago now.  It was a wonderfully splendid spring day back in May when I came up with this great list of positive changes I was going to make and things I was going to pursue in the blog “Of Things to Come“, which will be referenced here and then was later defined in “The Summer of Alf” blog.  If your a steady reader then you know I make these futile proclamation blogs every so often when I feel rather ambitious.  Always forgetting how it was ambition that brought MacBeth to ruin: ” I have no spur, To prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself, And falls on th’other “.  Of course in the end I find myself more of a whiny bitch like Hamlet.

About a week ago I posted a poll on the most recent Power of Ten blog to see how  you folks thought the Summer of Alf worked out.  12.5% called it a flop, 25% a success and a whopping 62.5% claimed they had no idea why they wasted their time reading anything written on SurfingRuinedMyLife.net.  Let me tell you why you read: for self affirmation.  When you have a bad day or feel like a failure all you have to do is open a web browser, type http://www.surfingruinedmylife.net into it and you are guaranteed to feel better.  Its like “man I know I am messing up, but I wonder how bad Chris is blowing it right now”.  At the very worst you can see that you are not alone in your suffering.  We can cry together thanks to the world wide web and way too much time on our hands. Just because I don’t blog every day doesn’t mean I have not written some ridiculous thing in the Surf Log.

Lets see how I did on that list:

Proclamation 1: Get Back into Music

You ever notice how many pictures I have of me wearing this t-shirt. I have owned it for almost 7 years now. Fuck it has guns all over it making it pure awesomeness! I am going to be really sad when it goes thread bare and I end up using it as a rag to clean my toilet with.

Ok this one is sort of a push.  I actually spent a good deal of time woodshedding and getting my fingers back into shape.  I started ripping on some licks that had me very stoked.  These days I have been favoring my alto and soprano more then my tenor.  On the flip side of things I did not make any real attempt to play out at all and even turned down on more then one occasion a chance to perform.  My friend Meat Cat says it’s because I am a male diva.  No points…

Learn to Speak Italian
This was a fail.  But then again who the fuck was I kidding.  I barely speak English all that well and if not for spell check would be a complete illiterate.  What made me ever think I could brush up on my Italian?  I did pick up a bit more Spanish though.  -1 point

Go Surfing as Much as Possible
I am going to have to call this one a half success.  I did manage to make the most out of the meager conditions on offer and lack of swell.  I surfed mostly local, broke two boards and had some really good barrels. When it was flat I took to skim boarding for some exercise. On the down side I still missed a few too many days as a result of too much drinking and party. One thing is for sure when I did get in the water I had a hell of a good time.  Half point.

Read More books
I  somehow found the time to read three books in the duration of the Summer of Alf and acquired some new cook books that I cooked up some fun recipes from.  Thanks to strange late night drunken finds, thrift stores and the Ventura swap in all its jankyness my collection has grown immensely.  Win +1

Write More
Well I am going to have go with a push here.  I may not have wrote a ton, but I felt the quality of the text was much better then it ever has been.  I came across some blog randomly today and the guy was using cell phone short hand.  I was blown away.  One should never use “u” in place of “you” or “r” in place of “are” anywhere but on a cell phone text.  No wonder the world is falling apart.  No Points

Explore the Greater Santa Barbara Area
This one not so much.  I sort of had a routine and stuck to it all summer.  There was not much of the explorer in me.  -1 point.

Finish the Coffee Table
Nope, unless one is to include spilling a host of liquids and alcoholic beverages on it an improvement.  I guess I am slowly staining the top of the table with red wine and rum and cokes.  -1 point

Drink and Party Less

Big Pimpin’ at the Wild Cat

If you read the surf log then the answer to this one is apparent and no.  One thing I must say is that I partied really fucking hard.  As a matter of fact I think the night after I wrote this list I went out and got black out drunk.   The Summer of Alf brought about the largest number of black outs I have ever had in a four month period and maybe even my entire life.  I woke up in pink seat pants  not knowing where I was, woke up all over my apartment, got locked in my own bathroom.  Did countless activities I could have more or less lived with out.  I hit it hard on solstice, carried it through to fiesta.  There were some drunken Tuesdays in the mix and plenty of sloppy family dinner Wednesdays.  Lets just say I did the opposite here and went hard. -1-hey at least I did not get injured seriously or end up in jail.  Did I mention I also got fired from the produce market as a direct result of my drinking.  That is a first for me.

Other notables
I spent some time in San Francisco at the very start of the Summer of Alf.  You can read about those adventures in “Taking the Bay Area by Storm“.  I got fired from two jobs subsequently causing me to go on unemployment twice.   Alfie still has fleas.  I got passed up for Sous Chef at work for a less capable person who has barely been there three months let alone my three years.  I managed to do absolutely nothing of any substance or value and if anything went into a retrograde.  

My final take on the Summer of Alf was that it was a total and utter failure as per usual.  So be it.  If I succeeded in life then I most likely would not be the fun character I am to read about.  Who wants to read about happy things.  No one! Cause when things were going well for me I had the lowest readership ever.  I’m done trying for the fall.   Fall 2012 is going to be deemed “The Fall of My Malcontent”.

I am not making any proclamations, declarations or aspirations.  I am just going to live and see where that takes me.   My entire life I have always had a zest for living and an agitation for planing.  At the moment maybe that is what has brought me to this dismal point, too much planing.  For the next three months I am going to live by the seat of my pants, throw my chips into the air and see where they lye.

I am going to wake up everyday, take a deep breath and live.  No regrets, no cares, no worries cause what ever happens is going to happen and in the end it will sort itself out regardless.  For the record “I was perceptive,  I always know when someone is uncomfortable at a party”.

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Well it certainly has been sometime since we have heard from our good friend Kooky Kyle and his adventures surviving life as a maladjusted overachiever.   Seriously the kid survived the longest amount of time in the Lisanti Palace out of anyone since Ade’s.  Kooky hit me up the other day claiming he had a good blog to post.  Being that I am lazy at the moment and still a bit peeved over the retraction and edit that went down earlier in the week I decided what better time then now to post a new edition to Kooky’s Korner.  – Chris

 Who knows how long Jeremiah had been with me. We went together everywhere.  He was with me no matter what, through thick and thin.  Wherever I went he was there.  Hopefully by the time you read this  he will be gone. Who is Jeremiah? Jeremiah was my tapeworm, my inner pet.  How did this guy and I link up? Your guess is as good as mine. It could have been surfing in California or off of a piece of sushi.  I could have picked it up paddling around in the cow shit laden runoff in Taranaki, NZ (My NZ adventures read this).  Maybe it was that revolting brown water stream in the line up at La Bocana, El Salvador (For more on that click this).  Maybe I picked him up in Belize two and a half years ago. Who really knows?

The funny thing about this situation is that Chris and I have both joked for years about having tapeworms and that is why we are both so thin. Turns out I did have a tapeworm. Chris could have one too but since he has not been to a doctor in almost three years its up in the air.  Got to love not having affordable public health care.  Fucking Jeremiah. I fed him, gave him a home and what does he do to me? Make my butt hole itch, probably had some of his freeloading kids take up residence in my internal organs and muscle tissues, and as his last act gaves me the scariest shit of my life. If a woman ever tells me that I have no idea what it is like to be pregnant, I know all about it except in the end I had an abortion and was super stoked on it. If I get fat I am going to be pissed.

How did I come to find out Jeremiah was my tapeworm? Well I was taking a poop,  looked down and there was this thing hanging out of my b-hole. I thought it was mucus, which is disgusting in it’s own right.  When I went to wipe, I realized it was not mucus it was something much more heinous. Ever pull a booger out of your nose, like a really long one that is way back up into your sinuses? Yea that is what pulling Jeremiah out felt like, except out of my butt. It was gross. The thing looked like a big triple wide piece of linguine and like 6 inches of it.

Shocked and terrified I googled what the hell just happened to me and came to the quick conclusion I had a tapeworm. I made an appointment at the doctor and got it checked out. Sure as shit, I was right. I took some anti-worm pill and every last motherfucker is getting evicted as I type.  Honestly this makes the past summer make a lot of sense. I was continually losing weight despite eating like a champ. I was having an upset stomach about once a week, and even went to the hospital due to bad stomach pains in early August. Good riddance buddy.

This all said it makes me really feel like I belong in the trailer park I am currently living  in. (More on that and the rest of my life later) Thankfully my sister is fat so I would never get an urge to bang her, because otherwise I would truly belong here. I wonder if meth kills worms? One thing we learned from Alfie is that heroin doesn’t kill cats.  It just makes them all gnarly looking and bat shit crazy.

Here is a picture of Kooky’s new trailer trash meth head girl friend, Bet any tape worm in her died off a terrible vile death years ago.

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“The moral life of man forms part of the subject matter of the artist, but the morality of art consists in the perfect use of an imperfect medium.”

“No artist has ethical sympathies.  An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style.”

“Vice and Virtue are to the artist materials for an art.”

“All art is at once surface and symbol.  Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.  Those who read the symbol do so at their peril.  It is the spectator, and not life that art really mirrors.  Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex and vital.  When critics disagree the artist is in accord with himself.”

“We can forgive a man for making a useful thing.  The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely.”

-Oscar Wilde, 1891-

It is not easy to be different.  Some choose to be, others had no choice, it was made for them at their inception into this universe.  The moment one realizes he is different a certain division becomes made between him and his fellow man.  A certain alienation is almost guaranteed. These differences shape one’s life.  At the beginning when everyone knows no prejudice against the abnormal and there is no problem.  As the years pass and eyes are opened the exceptional find themselves at times complete outcasts among their peers.

When I reached this climax I did not know any other way to react then to out lash with fits of uncontrollable anger.  I was consumed for over twenty six years of my life with the terrible emotion.  Then I began to slowly reel things in and get a grip of my own emotion.  Finally I created my own fantasy world, Lisanti Land.  That was when I knew I had finally gone off the deep end.  It was in this pseudo world I designed for myself to live in peace that I finally discovered how wonderful the world around me actual is.

It was as if I awoke from a comma and everyday I have found myself in constant amazement of the world around me.  I thought of this as I watched the sun slowly set over the ocean tonight to the peaceful sounds of waves breaking in front of me and water trickling down the cliffs behind me.  It is for moments like that I truly live. Not for all the other bullshit, money, clothes, nice apartment, car etc.  Life is about the beauty of the world around us.  Life is bigger then human society.

For me living has become a fine art.  My canvas the physical and metaphysical world.  My medium time.  For me time does not exist.  I feel it passing, but have no care for its concept.  I don’t care how long something is suppose to take according to requisite.  I care how long it will take me to do it right and get the most I can out of it.  Being skilled in the art of living I have tailored my own life, every detail of it important.  For me these days detail means everything.  Forget the big picture its all about the finite cause that is the only place where beauty and perfection can be found.

Unfortunately every now and again I have to get my passport stamped and leave Lisanti Land for the real world.  When that happens more times then not it is a catastrophe.   A few weeks ago I went up to Portland Oregon to attend my cousin’s wedding.  I was very excited for the whole thing to be honest.  I had not seen my cousin in nearly five years, maybe more to tell you the truth.  I thought man it will be fun to chill with my boy and his girl.  Get to know both of them.  Upon arriving that was not the case at all.

I always over romanticize what the real world is all about ultimately letting myself down.  As a result I believe I attended the wedding with a bad taste in my mouth.  Instead of doing the classy thing and letting it all end there in the pacific northwest I instead decided to write a somewhat nasty blog on the whole ordeal.  Thinking like Chaucer I would “immortalize the scoundrels for all of eternity in literature”.  This I did in the third part of my Portland series.

I would later find out by doing this I caused a riff in my own family and worse then that almost ruined the wedding of my dear beloved sister.  Apparently because my words were so hurtful an entire side of the family decided they were going to make my sister, who has never had a sinister thought about anyone in her entire life, pay for my mouth, my cynicism. Instead of going to the source, me, they felt it was better to hurt the closest people to me.  Payback is a bitch I guess.

So to my cousin Rich I do full heartily apologize if I was the cause of an emotional distress for both my actions at your wedding and my review there after.  It was done foolishly and hastily, but mostly classless, which I am the most ashamed of.  I made some jests on style preferences.   Who am I to comment on style?  I am not an expert in fashion, although rather fashionable myself.  I am not a designer.  Only an expert in the field should be aloud to comment on such.  I was no more then a mere naivete observer.

I made a comment on beauty, which once again is in the eye of the beholder and was with out a doubt a cheap shot of my own for gain of nothing.  What a psycho I must be.  Where I will not make any excuse for though is in the cuisine.  This just happens to be a topic I am an expert in and a professional thus giving me the right to comment on my own fellow colleges.  This does not and should not effect the host for you sir did not prepare the food and unless a background in culinary was possessed would go unnoticed to only the most stout.

All I can say is that you were insulted by the guy who got hammered and made a complete ass of himself at the night in question.  While you sit there with your new bride in all of your happiness I sit here alone with my bottle and angry cat in front of my computer.  If anything call it a jealous attack cause not everyone can be as lucky as some.  I really do wish you two the best.  I am sorry if I caused you any pain.  Let me carry all the pain for the three of us.  It suites me best I think.

Urban Adventuring Around Portland: Portland Part III has been rewritten.  I believe this is only the second retraction I have ever printed here on SurfingRuinedMyLife.net, my blog.  I rarely make apologies for my actions.  It is against everything I stand for.  One thing I must thank everyone for is that I now have no need to ever come back to New Jersey again until my sister and her husband have a baby.  I am personally excommunicating myself from any family functions from here on in order to make sure no more embarrassments of this kind shall ever take place again.

Sorry for being me…

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