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Rincon51117

The sands of time continue to pass through the hour glass unrelenting.  As that time passes we grow older and subsequently our lives change.  More for some then others.  Myself I always seem to travel in some kind of cyclic motion never finding a means to an end. Maybe that is just the existence I have been so accustomed that it is the only reality I know.  Many of you might have thought I gave up on SurfingRuinedMyLife.net.

The thought did cross my mind for a host of epithelial reasons. First off there is a personal cost to blogging that in some ways changes the writer’s life.  Sometimes in the past I found myself wondering if my life was leading the blog or it was the blog that began to structure the outcome of my life.  This idea finally became so ingrained I needed a break to sort it out.

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As long as my life goes in this direction maybe I don’t really care what’s leading it.  Photo: A Lua

What I found was that after taking nearly a year off from writing, besides the surflog, was that my life still went on in the same status quo it has.  I have been publicly writing about myself on the internet since 2005.  That is over a decade.  I sort of forgot what life was like before documentation.  At this point SurfingRuinedMyLife.net has become a part of me making the thought of letting it go seems impossible,

On the topic of costs, there is and has been an emotional cost to blogging.  Mainly it is more or less pertaining to the emotions of the important people in the main subject’s life.  It is impossible to write a life style blog based on oneself with out including the important people in that life.  They are the supporting characters in my life that alter its course and adventures as much as myself.  In most cases there has been minimal backlash, yet in few cases, as my long term readers know, there have been some retractions.  Truth be told I have lost friends, family, girl friends, connections, jobs, and more likely then not other cool things I will never know about due to my writings.  Our actions have consequences and such I too am not impervious of.

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Here I am about to learn the consequences of high performance surfing. Photo: A Lua

You know what “FUCK ‘EM”.  I didn’t start this blog to make friends (though the unexpected awesome people I have met and befriended because of SurfingRuinedMyLife.net have been amazing, you know who you are) and I never have lived my life in fear of my actions. To be honest I am really tired of making excuses for myself and the path I have chosen to take.  Despite the care free fun life that I portray it hasn’t come with out the omittance of other life experiences.   In the pursuance of surfing, doing and saying what ever I want it has left me in a sort of box that now as bit more of an adult I have found the world has sort of left me behind.  Or let me rephrase that, I have let it leave me behind. The ability and drive to catch up has almost completely alluded me.  Thus I am at the moment stuck in this proverbial box.

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Life moves fast like the cascading lip.  If we don’t keep up then we get left behind.  On another note I don’t mind being stuck in this box. Photo: A Lua

I hope this has shed a little bit of light on some of the reservations I have had about moving forward with SurfingRuinedMyLife.net.  This is also a declaration of my intent to write again and restore my inner voice. From this point on I am back to writing whatever it is I feel like cause this blog is not sponsored, supported or endorsed by anyone but myself.  Therefore I am going to be true to myself, my thoughts and beliefs  Take all your death threats, hate mail, bad comments, spitting at me in various surf locales I frequent and shove it up your ass.  Last I checked we lived in a country that values free speech.  In a world of easily accessible surf cams, information and social media my blog is a minor cog in the machine that is crowding and clogging our line ups.

That being said I do want to take a new direction on this blog because as life changes we change and some topics that I may have thought poignant to go on about in verbatim seem futile now.  There are some new thoughts and ideas I have that a few years ago were not even a twinkle in my eye.  I just wanted to announce my return to blogging and I once again would like to thank you for reading and supporting me.  My greatest hope is that I can write an even better, more entertaining and informative surf blog then I had in the past.  If you folks are down to go on this journey with me then please let me know in the comments.  I can use all the motivation I can get.  Welcome back everyone!!! I am glad to give this another stab.

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Here we go again! Photo: A Lua

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Its moments like these that really count. Photo: Christopher Dunlea

It’s still a mystery to me how this life works or even why.  I know the religious cats out there like to leave it up to their god or gods.  The fatalists believe our lives are already predestined according to the rules of fate.  The transcendentalists like to watch how life unfolds in front of them.  As for me I spent most of my time confused and boggled by both my everyday life and the greater scheme there of.  In addition I find myself in a constant state of awe and utter amazement of the world around me.  Most of the time I just plain spend too damn much time attempting to figure out just what is going on instead of just going with the flow, a motto I have very much been carefully learning to adopt.

Maybe If I had been able to “go with the flow” so to speak things would not have gotten as out of hand as they did.  For there has always been a fine line between going with the flow and standing up for what you believe in.  Whats right is right after all.  A friend of mine took note the other day that my blogging seems to revolve around my former relationships to define epochs in my life.  This thought began to marinate in my mind a bit and I thought that maybe my friend was right. My life for at least the last ten years or so has been defined by one woman or another and each one subsequently led to my personal demises.

Once again this little blog saga that I have been dragging out is nothing more then a pathetic epilogue , a sad testament even,  on some level to another failed romance.  If I have learned anything from all of what you have already read and are still to read it’s that women in general are fucking nuts.  Believe me I know crazy.  I’m completely bat shit, certifiably insane. I crossed over that line and never looked back around ten years ago.  Ultimately my thoughts are that I will never understand the female psyche and I suppose I don’t really care to anymore.  I am just going to do my thing and let them do theirs.

Anyhow so last I left off I had been jilted by yet another she devil. I know now she was just a rebound, but at the time it killed me.  I think the hardest thing that anyone has to do is get over a relationship and many of us can’t help but jump right into another one to if even for a brief moment be able to relive the same feeling of love we had with our exes.  This momentary memory becomes pure bliss and we forget our troubles.  What usually happens at least for me and others I have talked to is that I end up putting way too much emphasis and pressure on this new budding relationship causing it to falter before it even got off the ground.  This was exactly the case this time around, though it didn’t help that she had one of the least agreeable dispositions I have ever come across in a relationship.

After the break up that was the pretty much the premise of the “When it rains it” blog I went into my usual downward spiral of drinking, drug abuse and incessant partying.  At the same time I was also losing interest at my job.  I was promised all these so called changes that were going to take place to make my life easier.  Instead they just made my job harder and way more annoying.  Over it and feeling very aggravated with my life in general I began to act out against the management a bit.  I even began to stir up a bit of mutiny among my fellow employees.

The fact that it was an El Nino winter and the WNW swells kept pouring in didn’t help either. In fact I began using my sick and vacation time in pursuit of catching good days out at Naples, El Capitan and other of my favorite waves.  At that point I was over missing decent waves for a job that was going absolutely no where and for a management system that completely didn’t care.  When I think of all the great days of surfing I have missed for that stupid job it makes me sick, including the once in a life time Hurricane Marie swell.  You can click this link for that skinny on that one.

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Saying the winter was solid is almost an understatement.  Photo: Christopher Dunlea

I guess it was late January when everything went down.  The hard part about work place politics and one I have never been all that good about is knowing who’s ass to kiss and who to side with.  My problem always is that I don’t kiss anyone’s ass and just about all the time say exactly what is on my mind good or bad.  I finally had enough of all the new changes going on with out any consultation of my own.  I steadily began making complaints and inquiries into everything that was taking place.  I suppose my bosses and a few other employees who were looking to climb the ladder a bit at my own demise got into cohorts against me and began compiling incriminating evidence, most of which was absolute bull shit, against me.  I was the only one with the integrity and gall to challenge what I felt was unfair policy and as a result like any great martyr I took the fall for it.

Ultimately it all led to my termination for a charge of which I was guilty of just that it had been known that I was an offender of such since I initially began working there six years ago, and was never warned or questioned about.  As a matter of fact my own bosses used to joke with me about it.  I am not going to get into here cause it is a tad embarrassing and could hurt my professional reputation.  The evidence against me was severely lacking and mostly hearsay.  I actually consulted a few lawyers about the possibility of a wrongful termination suit and was advised against it, being told although I had a decent case it was not worth the time, money and effort.  In the end I took what little severance I was offered and moved on with my life.
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By February and my birthday I found myself totally and completely at a loss.  I had no job, very little money, no prospects and no girl friend.  Some would say my situation seemed rather bleak and if I was a normal person I would have felt the same.  As I dug deep into my inner self and came to grasp with my situation I actually realized that my current state of things though sounding a bit desperate was the best possible scenario one could ask for and one I have found myself in before.  Life had basically in one fell swoop handed me a do-over.

Basically I was involuntarily handed a clean slate to draw up whatever plans or lack thereof I saw fit.  Slowly I began to climb back up to my former self. As of press time after a tough spell I feel greater then ever.  The world is my oyster and I’m hunting for pearls.  The winter was amazing.  I got to do and experience lots of wonderful things that my career had taken from me the past six years.  I finally remembered what it was like to live.  In the end as angry as I was at Sodexo and everyone involved in my unemployment I feel the need to express a great sense of gratitude for setting me free.  I don’t know what’s next for me at the moment, but I am exploring some different avenues all a bit outside of the box. Time will tell my friends, it always does.

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Hoping for a grand future.  Photo: Christopher Dunlea

 

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SandSpit

Epic Sand Spit circa ’09. Pretty sure I was in the pit for the first half of this wave, then hit this section and pulled back into it. Photo: David Molleck

 

I found myself sitting on the break wall  at Sand Spit tonight watching one intrepid soul doing his best to make to the most of the meager wind swell on offer.  Though it was small it also looked a bit on the fun side.  Did I turn around and run back to my apartment to get my board for a paddle?  Not even.  I had a mediocre surf a Emma Wood in the morning that more then filled my surf quota for the day (Check out the April Surflog for more on that surf).  Then I remembered back eight years ago when I first came out here and didn’t even have a car.

I surfed some of the most deplorable Sand Spit one can imagine.  I would have been super stoked on a session that I was at the moment bearing witness to.  Eight years is a long time.  Throw in another three years or so of constant travel to some of the world’s best waves prior and one’s perspectives can really change.  Up until the past two years ago or so I never would have believed that I could even be considered a jaded southern Californian surfer.  I thought my east coast surf ethic would stay strong.  In a way it has still.  I with out a doubt paddle in far more conditions then my born and bread Californian friends.

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Near Epic Rincon Photo: Chris Lisanti

At the same time I have in the last eight years surfed nearly every single wave in the Ventura/Santa Barbara area epic at least once.  Spots like Rincon I have had so many days that would make any normal surfer grin from ear to ear and experience the wave of his life on that I have lost count.  These days such has almost worked to my own personal detriment.  It’s hard for me to get into average Rincon, or small Sand Spit, sub par El Capitan.  I have seen these waves at their best.  I have caught some of the best waves of my life courtesy of them.

There was a time when I first arrived here in Santa Barbara that I was constantly finding the “wave of my life”.  Today my causal expression when asked to describe the conditions is most likely “Best of the worst” or “better then not surfing I suppose”.  I still have plenty of stoke and love surfing more then anything else in life.  At the moment I am having a real difficulty finding that fire in my eyes that I used to have.  I want to recapture that.  I want to go out there and be stoked on two foot Sand Spit and an eight turn ride at Rincon.

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Hollywood By the Sea absolutely going ballistic. Photo: Christopher Dunlea

What do we do when the magic appears to be running out?  I have been surfing 24 years, been a professional, challenged and pushed my limits.  Where do I go from here?  One thing that is for sure surfing is still the love of my life.  Every facet in my day to day is catered around finding the best surf I possibly can.  If I miss a day I still feel as bad about it as I did when I was eleven.  I guess I just need to reconnect with that inner grom that at the moment is ashamed of who he grew up to be.

I remember when I was fourteen I rode my bike 3 miles in February to the beach.  The air was maybe 2oF and the water I was furiously peddling to get to a balmy 38F.  I would get to the beach already frozen, pull on usually wet and cold 5/4/3 and paddle sometimes windblown knee to thigh high closed out dribble and it meant everything to me.  Lately I have felt lost and I think the main reason is because I lost my stoke, my soul.  I guess the new plan is to rediscover this, find my stoke, my soul and let my inner grom out and forget about this being an adult stuff.  I think I have let the real world cloud my priorities for way too long.

I am going to  get back on my bicycle, ride down to the beach and surf and forget about everything else cause in the end all that bullshit society has made me believe was important to me and suppose to make me happy hasn’t.  When I was sleeping on the couch at my current apparent back in 2007 with nothing but four surf boards and a back pack full of clothes just shredding anything and everything I could were some of my happiest times here.  These days I have nice things.  Friends are envious when they walk into my apartment.  All the while I am miserable.  Get ready, for a change is soon to take place.

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The dream is still very real. It’s out there for the taking…Photo: Chris Lisanti

 

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Hollywood21115

How is it that the month of March has already thus come upon us?  It seems to me like I was just getting finished with Bizarro’s and my birthday weekend, which happened the first week of February and now I turn around and it’s March.  Where did the time go? What happened?  Hmmmmm…..My friends and I used to always joke about how days would get away from us.  Now I guess I have moved on to entire months, maybe even years.

The Chris’ Birthday Bash

ChrisBday4It was suppose to be a one night drinkers take all kind of party of Feb 6th.  Instead it rolled into two solid nights of Wild Cat mayhem.  This was an important year for the two of us.  Bizarro was turning the big 30 and I had planned to announce my semi-retirement from the Santa Barbara party scene.  It has been a great run, but I am pretty sure there is more to life then partying, casual sex and getting completely obliterated and I feel it is time to find out just what that is.  I have had a long and fruitful run starting from when I was 13 years old back in Manasquan, New Jersey being held upside down for a keg stand by a dude twice my age to prove I could hang with the big boys.  Since then I have been mixing it up with both friends and randoms all over the world.

There have been fun times, sad times, pathetic times and then the times I just can’t remember, mostly the latter.  At 34 I am starting to feel my age and I think my body is telling me to seriously give it a rest.  I always said that once my drinking began to affect my health and subsequently my surfing I would slow it down.  Plus I sort of liked some of the positive effects in my day to day not being drunk, sick and hungover had to offer.  Finally since Heather and I are giving things yet another go and a major part of our problems was my excessive social agenda stepping away made sense.  Of course Lisanti can’t live with all work and no play.  That being said I have limited my party appearances to just a handful of times a month and stay on the more sober side when I do.  So far so good.  Better to go out on top then found a bloated dead body lying face down on the sidewalk somewhere in a puddle of your own piss and vomit.

Surfing

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Photo: Christopher Dunlea

I don’t really know whats to be said here that hasn’t already been done in detail in the surflog. El Nino started out strong bringing heaps of perfect angled WNW swell that basically lit up everything in this area.  I even got a session at Sand Spit.  Unfortunately I was stuck working most of the time and was only able to half utilize the swell on offer.  Then it pretty much went flat for the back half of the month.  For a very thorough look at the month of February in my surfing life click here.

Some early month point action.  Photo: Christopher Dunlea

Some early month point action. Photo: Christopher Dunlea

Work
I have come to the realization that I hate the act of working in general.  Sure, I especially hate my job, but I don’t believe that matters as much as the fact that I hate that I have a job.  More then anything I find it quite absurd that I have to strictly adhere to a schedule that has been forcefully imposed upon me against my will.  I don’t really feel like I need to be at work from 12-8:30 pm five days a week.  Honestly I could get the job done in like five hours.  Why can’t I come in at 1 some days or if the surf is going to be better mid day come in at like 10 am, prep out all my shit, leave and come back at like 3?  Its just asinine in my opinion.   Yes I understand that one has to have order and conformity in the work place.  Unfortunately my surfing schedule and my working schedule so rarely coincide with one another.  Fuck work!!!

Maybe I would be more jazzed if I actually made some real money and got to live the “good life” so to speak.  I don’t make shit.  I have way too many responsibilities for my pay grade and most days of the week am directly in charge of anywhere from 10-30 employees.  On the weekends I am the infallible boss.  I do all this for less money then my superior pays to get his car detailed each week.   I should just go get a second job so I can be less poor and then I wont have to worry about fitting in surfing cause there just won’t be anytime for it at all.  Then again the second job would put me in a higher tax bracket and in the end I would probably have less take home.

There was a time in this country about 50 years ago where almost everyone made a real living wage instead of just 25% of the population like it is now.  I swear one of these days I am either going to cash out and disappear to someplace with good waves, cheap living and no crowds or go postal and start taking heads.  Blaaaaaaah!!!!!  Fuck it, I will just commit kitchen seppuku with my 7″ boning knife.
SeppukuBesides that I don’t really know if there is anything more to really say about the month of February except that its fucking over.  Looks like El Nino has decided to quite on us along with the entire North Pacific.  With some luck there might just be a few fun wind swell days here and there.  For the most part I am looking at six months of shitty south swells, long gas and money burning drives to either Malibu or Jalama and of course absolutely terrible Emma Wood.  The only upside is with te coming of May and the end of the semester approaching I have only two more months till being laid off for the summer.  The downside to that: absolutely no money.  I may have to suck dick for crack and then sell that crack…happy March everybody!!!!

Whoot, Whoot,  small, shitty windblown Emma Wood for the next six months!!!!!  Photo: H.Rayburn

Whoot, Whoot, small, shitty windblown Emma Wood for the next six months!!!!! Photo: H.Rayburn

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Where have I been?

Why have I not written?

Whats going on?

Whats going wrong?

Hmmmm…Its been a while my friends since I took the time to sit down and write an actual blog piece.  As always I have tried to continuously on a daily basis update the surflog, which at this point has mostly become my day to day journal.  There is always some type of worthwhile reading there if your bored, be it stoke, refreshing, ignominious or out right appalling.  As I have said since I started this thing back in 2006 I am who I am. I have not ever made excuses for myself or on my behavior and I am not about to start now.  If you don’t like it you don’t have to read it.  Besides I believe the true judge of a person’s character is not on one action to the next but the overall purpose and intention of that individual.

We all make mistakes it is what makes us human and so endearing.  Its how we decide to rectify and learn from those mistakes that is important.  Being able to admit one’s own accountability is the key to living free.  I come across so many people in my day to day who love to point the finger, pass the buck and play the blame game.  It was “his or her fault”, “this happened because of that”and my personal favorite “I don’t know?”.  It took me nearly 32 years to figure out my biggest problems in life stemmed from the fact that I was constantly caught up on who to blame for my impediments instead of how to fix them.

I have been spending an assemblage of time thinking about the above and many more aspects of my life the past few months.  The month of February really threw me for a loop in many ways both positive and negative.  I was left ultimately at a good deal of times completely at awe of what was going on around me or dumbfounded or both.   I found myself swept away on a whirlwind of a ride physically, mentally, emotionally and financially.   Up until this moment I was at a loss of the proper words to express myself here and too mind boggled to write the usual drivel I put out.  So sorry if I left everyone in the dark.  I will try to write a little bit more going forward.  For now here are some of the highlights I failed to convey in the 28 days that passed.

The Chris & Chris Birthday Extravaganza, Feb 2nd-3rd
Chris & Chris
It all started back in the fall when I constantly kept bumping into this dude either on the walk to, at or coming home from the club.  Turned out he enjoyed the party as much as I did, could keep up with me and most nights completely out drink me.  His name is Chris also, lives across the street from me in the identical building as me, in the exact same apartment as me but backwards and it also is apartment A.  He is born on February 5th, Im born on the 4th and we are both from New York originally.  As a result of this strange coincidence he became known as Bizarro Chris.

It did not take long for us to pair up and thanks to that partnership quickly climbed the ranks of the social echelon of the Wild Cat.   It only made sense then that we should throw a macker of a birth bash.  We invited many, some came.  The party started at 9pm at my house, moved on to the Wild Cat round 11ish where we did double bottle service and had two booths reserved.  We did a bottle of Bacardi for my table and a bottle of Jack for his.  All I can say is the night at the club was top shelf and everyone in attendance had a hell of a good time.  Then it was back to my house where the party ran till 5:30am Sunday.

Yes I did manage to make it to work by 12:30pm only a half hour late and we went out that night as well.  My 32nd birth day was one for the books for sure.  If you missed it then you blew it cause if you were someone I knew then you were invited.  There is always next year.

Show Me the Money (or lack there of)

This past month also reminded me just how much I hate the institution of money and the extent of which it can drive a person crazy.  There was a time many years ago when I was preoccupied with the idea of amassing great wealth.  Owning big houses and driving nice cars.  Then I realized that in order to do that you have to be a deceitful,  corrupted, perverse and completely selfish individual stepping on as many people and ruining as many lives as necessary.  Hey it’s cool, why share the wealth when one person can have enough money to make thousands live comfortably.

As for myself I have learned to live and thrive in a rather low maintenance, low budget, high out put existence.   I am referring to my new ability and appreciation for living with in one’s own means.  Years ago I lived beyond my means and it ran me to ruin.  I could not handle the stress or the run around.  I also could not justify spending all my time working when there was a wonderful world out there to enjoy and explore.  Yeah I don’t want what most would call nice things.

Instead I have useful things.  I have a reliable car that gets me to where I have to go.  I live in a very adequate apartment that to me is a paradise.  We know it here at SurfingRuinedMyLife.net as The Lisanti Palace.  It may not be a palace in any form or tense of the word, but just ask anyone who has spent anytime here they will tell you it felt more like home then the Taj Mahal.  For me true wealth is found in a fun surf session, a walk on the beach at sunset, my weekly dinner parties where I find myself nearly brought to tears as I am surrounded by such a wonderful collection of people all who have learned to embrace a splendid evening of good old fashioned human interaction.

The finer things in life I like to call it.  You can’t put a price on that. It seems certain rich people have decided to put a price on my life.  It all started in January and has steadily exacerbated since.  Its funny how people who already have so much have no problem taking more from those who have so little.  Maybe it was because I was happy and content with the little I had?  All I can say is they can take everything material away from me and it is not going to change who I am and it is certainly not going to change how I live.  CHRIS LISANTI IS NOT FOR SALE.  That is all I am at liberty to say on this matter.  Just know at the moment there are a number of greedy people looking to cut up my assets like a key lime pie.

The 401K Debacle

I don’t even know where to begin on this one.  Lets go back almost 4 years ago when I first started working for Sodexo over at the Westmont College Kitchen.  I was bright eyed and bushy tailed, thinking this was the start of a new and prosperous future.  Turns out the whole thing was a crock of shit.  I just fell into a dead end job where my efforts go unappreciated, my vigor misunderstood and my good natured feedback ignored.  I guess for the first time in my life I finally found out what it means to be just another cog in the corporate machine.

Although not super stoked I was alright with it.  The job paid my bills, allowed me to have some fun with cooking and gave me plenty of free time to enjoy life in a rather stress free environment.  On February 14th that was all about to change because this particular day was a Thursday.  Thursdays are paydays at my work.  I actually forgot to grab my pay check not getting it till the following Monday since I don’t cash that shit till Tuesday anyway. Its self preservation. If I go out to the club with a full bank account on Friday come Monday I wont have a full bank account.

Upon taking my check to the bank I noticed it was for half the amount it should have been.  I frantically studied the pay stub for answers.  There it was right in the little box reserved for my 401k deduction.  Normally that deduction is 3% and since the fund will match that at the end of the year its like free money making my participation in the program a no brainer even if the odds of me living to age 59.5 are slim.  After that three percent there was a new deduction called “401k supp” and that took more then half my pay check.

I went to see my boss about it and he stared at me blankly and replied “well that could be problem”.  First I called ADP the company responsible for our payroll. Two Indian call centers later and one American operator I finally got to speak to someone in charge, or so they would have me believe.  I was told it was an error impart to the 401k trust, which is handled by the investment firm INT.  I called these guys up and a twenty minute death hold and two supervisors later that all they took was 3% and it must be a payroll error within Sodexo.

I then called the Sodexo payroll department and they blamed INT who then blamed Sodexo and so on and so forth.  This went on for a matter of three weeks, meanwhile every week half my paycheck was mysteriously vanishing into thin air.  As of press time I am owed $866.22.  I barely made rent, can’t pay any of my bills, don’t have enough to even buy food. I guess the joke is one me.  I was told last Wednesday the matter was being handled and “someone would contact me”.  Well no one  contacted me, the money was not refunded and I am almost certain come Thursday I will be out another 25o bucks making my total loss over $1000.

Yeah I am a little stressed, but mostly saddened by the whole ordeal.  Now I am trying to find a labor lawyer who would be willing to work probono so I can sue.  I hate litigation and the painstaking process involved.  All the while my bills are still going unpaid.  At the moment my back is up against the wall.  If anyone out there has the power to help me fight this thing please hit me up cause right now I am David trying to fight Goliath but I don’t even have a sling shot.

Some Positive Stuff

Surfing

February decided to bring on a few decent days of surfing.  It also saw a revitalized Chris Lisanti and I managed to put in some real water time again.  You can read the February 2013 page of the Surflog for more on that and look for a surfing recap blog soon.

No matter what life throws at me there will always be surfing.

No matter what life throws at me there will always be surfing.

I Met a Girl

Ok, you got me I meet lots of girls, but its rare I meet one that is actually worthy of my esteem enough to call her a woman.  Its even more rare when I feel so inclined as to want to call her my own.  Ironically this happened on the 15th right after the whole 401k anal raping started.  I was out at the Wild Cat in my black on black pinstripe suite, black tie, red shirt for the Wild Cat’s annual Red and Black party.  I am not going to lie I looked pretty fucking killer.

As I walked into the club I was caught by a flash from my past.  At the bar there was this really beautiful also very well dressed chick I recognized well.  It had been nearly two years since we had out little fling together, which due to a lack of propriety on my part (big surprise there) ended a bit ugly.  It had been almost a year since I had seen her and I didn’t even think she lived in Santa Barbara anymore.

Shit she was in my club (if I was on foursquare I would def be the mayor there) the least I could do was cordially greet her.  We exchanged the usual niceties such a meeting requires in proper society and went our own way.  For me at the Cat on a Friday night I have a lot of rounds to make and drink for that matter.  Seeing her had me lost in the rapture of “what if “.  I don’t dwell on such form of thinking that often, but to be honest our falling out was one of those moments that from time to time I did meditate on.

I always say you miss 100% of the pitches you don’t swing at and never give up.  I took a page out of my own book walked up to her and asked if I could call her sometime.  She complied.  Since then I must say things between us have been going rather well.  That is all I am going to say about it here cause I don’t want to jinx it.

There you have it 2,000, words on why there were no blogs in February.  Unless your special it should now be obvious that I had a rather full plate this past month.  Cut me some slack with all the “Where have all the blogs gone crap”.  I do hope to get more writings up here in March.  Don’t lose the faith cause I sure haven’t.  Thanks as always for reading.  It warms my heart to know all of you are out there.

 

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Silver Strand

I awoke to the blaring ring of my cell phone.  It was pouring raining outside and cold as all fuck, add a hangover from the night before’s festivities and I was in no rush to get out of bed.  I looked at my clock and it was noon.  Man did I have a headache.  I picked up the phone and it was my boy and new surfing buddy Trevor.  “I definitely want to surf today” he said.  Yesterday we were suppose to surf but he bailed because he was too hung over and may actually have been slipped a ruffie.   Ah yes the things a  woman will do to a man.

Turns out this chick he was seeing broke it off with him Friday so he went out on a bender.  Had I not been so hammered myself Friday engrossed in my own party I most likely would have ran into him on the scene.  “Its pretty small I think, but I am down to grovel.  Give me a few hours and we will role.” I replied. I got on my computer to see what was in store for us.  All models and cams pointed to complete flatness.  I thought about running north and risking becoming dinner at Surf Beach or Guadeloupe then reconsidered.  That last shark attack up there was just a little to close to home for me.

My life is finally picking up for me, the last thing I want to do is go out by a shark.   Also I really want to make it to the 21st.  I mean if the world is going to end I really want to be there for it.  I hope its not lame.  I don’t care how it goes down as long as it is really cool.  Maybe no zombies.  I don’t want to have to deal with that mess.  Truthfully I am kind of hoping for a biblical judgement day apocolysp like in “Little Nicky”.   I don’t think Ozzie will be able to  save us this time though.

I figured we could just cruise to Ventura Harbor.  In the winter there is always something to surf there.  I got out of bed all dizzy and dehydrated.  Went in my bathroom and was greeted with the remnants of coke all over the counter top.  Last night at my after party some black chick locked herself in the bathroom and proceeded to blow like a gram in there. It took us a half hour to get her out.  Other then that I would say the party was pretty decent.  Everyone brought booze, Griff and Bizarro brought a Pizza. It was a good time.  Upon leaving at the end of the night this dude who had come with some other guests shook my hand and said “I really want to thank you for having us over we had really fun time”.  I though how nice and well mannered.

In all the years and all the parties I have thrown I don’t think anyone said thank you upon leaving.  Its good to know there are still some decent people out there.  I mean sure that guy is probably a serial killer or pedophile rapist, but hey at least he is well mannered.  “Please sir forgive me, I must kill you now, sorry”.  Everyone even pitched in gathering all the glasses and trash so that when I woke up my apartment looked pretty good.

I downed my usual 9000 milligrams of ibuprofen for the headache, ate a meager breakfast, did my regular internet routine of surfline, facebook, surfingruinedmylife (yes I am that vain, like you other wordpress bloggers don’t check your blog every time you log onto the net) and my email.  I looked at the cam for C Street one more time and it looked pathetic.  Over it I decided to curl up on the couch with Alfie and a good book. Then I got a text from Trevor that he wanted to hit it.  I had nothing better to do and he really wanted to surf.  I am not one to rob someone of a therapeutic surf session.

We cruised down south toward Ventura and it was literally flat every where on the way down.  Even all the indicator spots that allow one to make an inference on what the surf will be like were completely flat.  Most times when I see that I just turn around to save the gas.  We were on a mission, a retard mission to surf knee high junk in the cold and rain (ok, by Jersey standards it was not that cold at all considering the air was still in the mid fifties and the water in the high fifties, but at this point I am a spoiled Californian.).  Even C Street was flat and there is a ride-able wave there nearly 365 days a year. It maybe a bad wave but surf-able.

Trevor kept saying he needed to surf so on we went.  At the harbor the wind was at least straight offshore.  It may be small but at least it would be clean.  Upon checking it there were about a dozen other intrepid souls out there and the surf  was solid chest to head high with clean peaky little tubes every where.  It was another New Jetty miracle.  Astounded, we were on it and out there like a bat out of hell.  From there it was barrel after barrel.  The crowd was mellow and most were sitting on the middle peak leaving the jetty peak for us.

I was on too.  Stuck a huge clean full rotation back side air reverse, a full rotation frontside ally-oop and the barrels, fuck, the barrels.  Trevor actually opened up with the first tube of the session then we were just trading pits.  I even managed a double barrel on one.  Everyone out was hooting.  I had one left where I was standing there in the pit looking out watching this guy on the same wave about 100 yards from me going right standing in the tube.  We looked at each other and started hooting.  He pulled out and I boosted the end section.  On the way back out we slapped each other five.  There was so much stoke out there.

The clouds and lighting as the sun was going down was amazing.  The mountains were all green with an eerie front light from the setting sun refracting off the grey clouds and some had there tops hugged by these strange wispy clouds.  It looked like something out of a fantasy movie.  If it was not for the town of Ventura in the foreground I would have thought I was back in New Zealand.  Then the moon popped out of the clouds and was just this perfect little sliver sliver of light.

I looked at Trevor who was on his way back out from a sick little right hand tube and said “We certainly could have a worse lot in life”.  He looked a me and smiled then told me about how in church this morning Al Merrick’s son Britt Merrick announced that his 9 year old daughter was dying with very little time left from cancer.  He said the whole church was just crying.  Its a real shame.  I too had recently gotten similar news about someone close to me in my own life.  Then I thought of all those poor people in Connecticut both those killed in the shootings and their surviving families.

Life is so short and precious.  Here we were two young healthy men drinking ourselves to death for no good reason.  For that moment in the ocean surrounded by all the beauty and power of the world around us we could not ask for anything more.  “Everyone dies. Not everyone truly lives”.  All we can ask of ourselves is to use the time we are given here on Earth in the best manner possible.   I know for me personally I have made many changes to my life over the past few years to do just that.  I still have a long way to go.  Rome was not built in a day after all.

I don’t the answers to life’s big questions. All I know is that we must live and for me life has always been surfing.  As of late that is where I have been focusing my time and energy.  I have also been focusing more on my music again cause that has been a source for me for as long as I can remember as well.  My number could be up at any moment and all I know is that I want to have as many moments like the one I had this evening as I possibly can.

Frame grab from some really terrible Silver Strand this past Tuesday.  Read more in the Surflog.

Frame grab from some really terrible Silver Strand this past Tuesday. Read more in the Surflog.

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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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