Archive for the ‘Kooky’s Korner’ Category

Its been quite some time since we have heard from our friend on the dark continent.  Truth be told I had thought he died from Ebola.  Holding true to his ridiculous ability to survive insane situations the kid is hanging in there and at this point I would say safe money is that he will come out of this whole Tanzania folly unscathed and better enriched from the experience.  He finally decided to share with us a little tale of a small adventure that was bestowed upon him during some of his down time.  Enjoy.  Oh and since we have no pictures to go along with the blog I thought I would throw in the occasional cat photo instead.  As per usual anything in the color red are my own personal dick head sarcastic comments…Lisanti

Kooky Kyle writes:

You never know when that sage bit of wisdom you have been given will pay off, or when your ignoring of that advice will bite you in the ass. This is a story of the later. Growing up as groms under the tutelage of Lisanti, we were privy to plenty of advice.  Some of it was questionable, but some pieces (still questionable) have stood the test of time. One of those is “always carry $40.00 in cash and a condom”.  After I blew my knee out I had this bullshit job managing this bullshit hole in the wall surf shop.  Kooky, Mauriello, Nick the Kook and a host f other kids would come in and just hang out all fucking day.  One time I was late to open the shop cause I drank to much the night before and I got a phone call from one of them wondering where I was.  If they were going to hang out all day then I was going to subject them to all of my words of wisdom, psychotics and delusions.  In a lot of ways one could say it may have been the live version of SurfingRuinedMyLife.net. 


Kooky got that piece of advice wrong. You should always carry at least two condoms…

A few weeks back I went into town to run my usual errands for the morning. When I got to my mini bus (Kooky has had lots of practice riding the short bus) to return to my village it was packed. As it turned out the all girls boarding school 7 km up the road from me was resuming session and all the students were returning. By the time I was on the bus there were 40 people on it. It only has seats for 26.  The bus was so packed that the driver had hired two taxi’s to take some of the girls and their luggage. After we got moving and were about a mile past the police check point I realized why they had hired the taxis. The cabs got the luggage and excess passengers past the police check point to avoid paying a hefty “fine”.

By this point I had girls sitting on my shoulders and was squeezed so tight I could barely breath. I had enough and asked the driver if I could ride on top. “Sorry no roof rack today” was his reply.  Over it I told him I would come back tomorrow. He said that was fine and even got me on his friends bus going back to town for free.

Once in town I checked into my usual hotel and went off to the internet cafe to take care of more paper work ( and caught up on pornography). When I returned to the hotel, I sat down with a nice elderly lady and had a wonderful conversation with her in Swahili as she ate her dinner. She like many Africans are amazed that I live by myself and can cook. As she finished her meal I excused myself and went to the bar to order a beer. When I came back there was a group of white people sitting down with the local Lutheran Bishop. Figuring they were missionaries and that they could be of use to me in my current line of work, I greeted the bishop in the tribal language and had a conversation with him entirely in Swahili. This greatly impressed the missionaries and they insisted on making my introduction. After a few pleasantries I pardoned myself and went back to the lounge. There I began talking with a new group of Africans.
ProperCatOne was quite pretty and she began heavily flirting with me. This isn’t unusual. I’m exotic here, (Fuck, Kooky is exotic everywhere. when we used to chill at the Wild Cat he would attract chicks to him just by making crazy faces at them) also white people have this rumor about us that we are all rich and smart. She was trying to use her feminine wiles to get her green card.  That bitch was deluded, the HIV rate in my region is about 25% for women in the age group of 18-30. I played along though, it would at least be entertaining.  Shit it’s not like he was going to get HIV from her sucking his dick a little. 

That is when she walked in. Out of all the nice but affordable hotels in this country, she walked into mine. She was checking in with her friend and I could see them from where I was sitting. Like a mirage she vanished. I knew I could bide my time and they would come to me I mean where else were they going to go?  When you are this far off the beaten track, the only thing impressive to other white people is nonchalance.   I kicked it while listening to this African man telling me his tales of being in the merchant marine and sailing to Asia and Europe.

finally the girls reappeared. She was a lithe, blonde.  Her English accent stuck out strongly against the voices of the American missionaries she was conversing with in the dinning room. This lit a fire under the African lady whom was by now sitting on the arm of my chair playing with my hair. She knew she couldn’t deal with the competition, thus made sure I had her 3 phone numbers, Skype and email. Soon the British girls came into the lounge. The friend was a gregarious homely girl. Both had clearly been on the road for days and my conversation with them soon confirmed this.
My food came out shortly after their arrival the departure of the Africans. I ordered grilled cheese. I know, I hate Americans who go abroad and eat something they could get back home. I live in a small local village and have been eating local food almost exclusively, so the rare treat of something from back home is a thing I relish (check out my Kooky’s Korner entry “Grubbing Down in Tanzania” to understand what the local cuisine here is all about) . The girls were captivated.   “What is that? We should have checked the menu before ordering”.  Their plates of chicken and rice came out and we talked over dinner.

The friend, Elise,had backpacked through Africa last year and this year she was returning to visit the friends she had made here. On this trip her friend, Hannah (the hot one) decided to join her. As soon as their plates were cleared the homely friend pardoned herself saying she was exhausted and needed to retire for the evening. Hannah on the other hand was still full of energy, one of the perks of being able to fall asleep on African buses.

Hannah and I chilled and we clicked. Both of us are young and adventurous, neither of us were materialistic, anit-pop culture and not to mention we are both beautiful examples of the human body (sounds like a fucking match made in heaven, and then she died of an extreme case of instant EBOLA!). Everything was in my favor, a empty hotel room yards away, no friend cock blocking, a young beautiful lady  who was as interested in me as I was her. One thing led to another, and to make a long story short, always carry a condom. So kids the moral of the story is when travelling, cash, passport, condom because  blue balls suck.  Shit Kooky she was white and probably didn’t have AIDS .  Next time be a man, suck it up and raw dog her.  Oh wait, maybe that is more of questionable advice from the wrong side of the tracks courtesy of Chris Lisanti!


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*For those of you who don’t know of Kooky’s latest adventure in Tanzania check out “He’s alive” and “Good Bye Kooky“.  They should bring you up to speed.*

How is the food in Tanzania? It is dumbfounding to me that it hasn’t conquered the world like italian or chinese food. One word comes to mind, amazing.   The best part about Tanzanian cuisine is you can loose weight if you stick to the diet, even if you eat all you can. I have lost between five and ten pounds. Please note that this only applies to men and all the weight lost will be muscle, not fat.

The base of the food is ugali which is boiled corn flour. It has the consistency of play dough and tastes like what you would imagine. It is served for most meals aside from breakfast. To eat ugali you break a ball off with your RIGHT HAND.  This is very important cause your left is the hand you wipe your butt with, also they don’t use toilet paper and normally no soap… You then take this ball of vaguely corn flavored dough and  try to pick up beans and greens that have been cooked until they loose their ability to be solid. You might get lucky and have some additional protein for dinner which could be one of a few things:

I did a google image search for Ugali and every picture pretty much looked like this.  Looks like a giant ball of masa.  YUM!

I did a google image search for Ugali and every picture pretty much looked like this. Looks like a giant ball of masa. YUM!

First we have daga which are little dried fish that are salted. They are about the length of your pinky.  If you walk within 40 ft of a pile of daga at the market you will know recognize it quite steadily. Daga, as I have seen it are usually served in a tomato based sauce.  You could have fried fish. These aren’t battered and fried pieces of cod or other nice white fish, it is river fish that have been fried whole until the  thing is crispy, even the meat. Tanzanians eat the whole thing, scales, bones, fins, guts and all.

A pile of Daga at a Tanzania market.

A pile of Daga at a Tanzania market.

In the world of poultry we have the ever present chicken. It is as fresh as you can get it right out of the back yard. these are gnarly chickens they are not the fat happy ones you might see over the fence of your neighborhood hipster. These chickens are fighting each while sifting through cow shit in search of worms or running like hell to not get raped by a rooster. They are also fried until thoroughly crisped. The head and liver are usually reserved for guest.

Next we have red meat. I have had beef for the first time in my life over here and those of you who say I don’t know what I am missing, now I know, and I don’t regret not eating it for 25 years. Goat is delicious. Half the joy I get out of watching baby goats romp and play is knowing they are going to be dinner one day and it will be amazing. The cuts of meat Tanzanians like are the gristly ones. The other day I got the sirloin of a cow and the butcher looked at me like I was crazy. Ribs, joints, and gristle are the prime cuts over here. Karibu is choice meat. Goat and beef are usually stewed in a garlic and tomato broth and it is quite tasty, if not reminiscent of chewing on a tire with bits of bone it.

Breakfast usually is either vitambu which is rice cooked down until a paste and then fried. The other option is mandazi, which are like over cooked triangular doughnuts.   These are not really drained out of the fat very well and are very greasy. They are typically served with delicious piping hot tea that has enough sugar in it to make a donkey walk out of it’s hooves.



They also love soda. America might be the second fattest nation, (thanks mexico for taking that torch) but Tanzanians diets are about on par with an American fast food diet nutritionally speaking.

If you wish to try a delicacy from the Tanga region where I was living, I am giving you the recipe for tambi, their version of pasta.

you will need:
1 package spaghetti
1/2 cup sunflower oil
1/2 cup sugar.

boil the pasta until it is just past al dente.
then add the oil and sugar.

bon appetite



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The last time we checked in with our friend Kooky Kyle it was nearly two months ago and he was about to embark on a most excellent journey for the noblest of causes (check out “Good Bye Kooky” if your lost).  He was headed to Tanzania for two years in the service of the peace corps.  Be assured that he is still alive, probably well, and from the sound of things most likely was not raped.   Seems like a win/win all around.  Limited transmissions have passed between us here at SurfingRuinedMylife.net and Kooky.  Mauriello got a FaceBook.com message from him when Kooky first got out there reading “Africa is gnar bar”.

Then it was a month of silence until this week when our hero decided to grace Mauriello with following brief and vague words:

“Tanzania is okay. I am in the southern highlands outside of njombe. I have seen elephants and monkeys and shit. I am not happy with my site, but I am going there for the first time today. so I will know for sure if I am going to ask to get transferred. I am at like 6000ft elevation. So even with spf 30 I sun burn in 30 minutes”…Kooky Kyle

Fucking A’ Kooky, I guess you should have brought the SPF 50!  Seriously, two months in Africa and that is all we fucking get.  I have described shits that I have taken with more detail then that.  In light of the weak ass passage Kooky was generous enough to share with us I have decided to take matters into my own hands and imagination and give a photographic account of what Kooky Kyle may have likely been up the past few months.

He grew a pair of breast and has been nice enough to help nurse the children

He decided the whole peace, loving helping thing was over rated and signed on with a militant group of African nationals.

I don’t even know whats going on here, but its something fucked up.  Somebody tackle this guy, Kooky has run wild in Africa.

He decided the best way to handle the hunger problem was to load up a beater car with bananas and hand them out to those in need.
Once again we find our Kooky in among another wild mob scene.  One thing is certain the kid has certainly been busy. Or at least that is in the warped imagination of my mind.
KookyAfrica4Yes I am terrible at photo-shopping, a terrible person and have a terrible sense of humor.  In all seriousness I do hope everything is going well for Kooky.  I hold the guy up to the highest of admiration for having to courage to strike off on his own to one of the heaviest places on Earth and try and do a bit of good to boot.  While most people (myself included) just sit around and bitch about how fucked up the world is there are a select few who have the balls to put their money where their mouth is.  Kooky Kyle is one of these people and I am more then proud to call him my friend. I can’t wait to share a drink with him at the Wild Cat and a session with him at Rincon upon is return.

***Disclaimer: This blog was written in all good fun and humor.  I am not condoning any of the activities in any of these photos.  Its just a good laugh for myself and some of Kooky’s other close friends who know if he could read this post he would get a laugh out of it and appreciate the stupidity.******

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Its been quite sometime since we have heard from our corespondent from the outer reaches of Lisanti Land, Kooky Kyle.  Those of you who have been long term readers might remember some of his earlier blogs in his segment Kooky’s Korner know this man needs no introduction.  I asked him to give us all an update on whats been going on in his life as he is about to embark on an unparalleled adventure with the Peace Corps in Tanzania. Enough of my words and onto his:

So you may be wondering,“What the hell happened to Kooky? It has been a long time since we heard from him” Rest assured I didn’t kill myself and am doing fine. Right after you last heard from me, I ran relief supplies from NC up to NJ post Sandy. Following that I quit my restaurant job and went to set up shop for my boss in NJ. They saw how many people I knew and the income level of the area and thought it would be a great place to sell solar generators. Long story short, I surfed a shit ton while my boss and his business partner dragged their feet on getting me what I needed to launch the branch in NJ. By the time I was set up to get the company running their window of opportunity passed and it was not a success as they had hoped.

This left me in a predicament before summer started. With nearly no cash and no work up in NJ, the solar guys had me move back to NC to work for them. Since they couldn’t give me full time work they also set me up with a gig driving for a friend of theirs’ limo company. Unfortunately for me the solar company had a bunch of legal and logistical issues and basically shut down for a month. The limo company didn’t tell me that I would have to get an NC license and then wait another 8+ weeks for my limo license to clear. Throw in two months rent and a speeding ticket, what money I did earn down there disappeared completely.

I can’t complain I had some fun in Wilmington and NJ was flat as a pancake so I only missed one swell. Before I left I connected the solar company with West (If you don’t remember him then you must read “The Christmas Dread” Saga” Parts I,  Part II and Part III). The company had a solar top that fits on golf carts. West loves golf, and the company was looking to get a west coast sales presence so I figured it would be a good fit. Last I heard West was doing pretty well with getting the word out and interest generated. I really believe of anyone I know he can make those sales and be a success.

With my bank account empty my friend Dave called me up and said if I wanted he could get me a job doing construction with him. Business was booming in NJ and he could pay $150 a day.  How could I go wrong? With in a day had I packed up all my shit in North Carolina and drove back to NJ.  Ah, it was great to finally be making money again. If you have never been essentially unemployed for a long period of time you don’t realize what a relief it finally is to be putting money IN the bank rather than taking it OUT!

Honestly my boss, Bob, was easy enough to work for and the pay was kick ass. The only thing that sucked is that the work dried up.  After having talked to other people who have been working construction, everyone is in the same limbo in the area. Those who had money to repair from Sandy have done so and are waiting to get reimbursed by insurance. Those who didn’t are all fighting with the insurance companies to get the money to get their homes repaired. Insurance companies take your money in case something happens and then you have to fight them to get the money back when you need it.

To keep us busy Bob had us help him move out of his house in Vermont and down to his house in Charleston. After that he found work redoing a basement down in Charleston so I spent about a month down there over the course of the Fall. Right now, I shall codify Kooks first law of surf: If you absolutely will not be able to surf, there will be swell. Every time we went down south, there would be the only swell for weeks in NJ; whenever we got back it would be flat.


Back in October, after the Federal shut down ended, I got a long awaited email. It was from the Peace Corps. I was accepted and offered a position in Tanzania as an environmental/agricultural volunteer. For those of you who don’t know what the Peace Corps is, it is a program of the Federal government whose goal is to alleviate the sources of poverty around the world and promote a cultural exchange that encourages peace and understanding between the host country and the U.S. As an environmental/agricultural volunteer, I will likely be living without running water or power, which will be an interesting experience. Usually a volunteer gets a minimum of four months notice but thanks to those assholes on Capital Hill who would rather play games than create laws that help American people, I got bit less notification and had to rush to get all my stuff done before the deadlines.

I am very excited about this trip. I don’t have the funds I wanted before leaving due to work slowing down, and I didn’t get to visit my friends in California before I left, but that is okay. This winter has been excellent in New Jersey wave wise. There have not been many really big heavy days but there has consistently been hollow head-high days. I am doing my best surfing I have ever done which is reassuring considering I had about a 6 month spell of almost never surfing. The first few sessions were rough but I am back to progressing. Tanzania has a coast, though it is heavily swell shadowed from the predominant swell generator for the Indian Ocean by northern Mozambique and Madagascar. If there are surf spots there I will find them. Fingers crossed I can swing a trip over to Madagascar and explore some of the amazing set ups they have over there.

Thanks for reading. I would also like the give a special thanks to Chris again for helping me in my year long surf adventure that helped me get my Peace Corps position and all that he taught me. I am sure I will have plenty of tales from my African Adventure and I will hopefully check in every once in a while with the Surfing Ruined My Life readers.

So there you have it.  If Kooky doesn’t die of the plague, get kidnapped and sold into slavery, Kidnapped and killed, killed in some type of mass genocide or find death in one of the many other gnarly ways for one’s life to end in a country as remote and uncivilized as Tanzania you can be sure I will publish any writings of his adventures he wishes to send me to share with you all.  Stay tuned and wish Kooky luck!!!

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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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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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While its been business as usual here in Lisanti Land since our good friend Kooky left the couch and set out on his own personal solo adventure.  I thought since it had been some time since we heard from our good friend it be pertinent to bring him back for another edition of Kooky’s Korner.  Kooky recently was on an El Salvadorian adventure with another suringruinedmylife.net all star John Mauriello.  Yours truly almost pulled the trigger and jumped on this bandwagon as well, but unfortunately had previously committed to a Lisanti Adventure Tour that fell in the same time frame.  Here is an account of a surf adventure from two of my better friends, brothers even and “I mean that way black people say it cause I find it is way more meaningful that way”.  (Where is that from and who said it for an extra UCB point)….Chris Lisanti

Luckily, Maryland and New Jersey were hot and sticky as a crotch before I got on my plane to El Salvador; I can’t imagine the temperature shock John must have had coming from San Francisco. Everyone I know warned me about going there. “Dude it is super dangerous.” “Highest murder rate in Central America”. “60 guys out at every point” . “Locals won’t give you a wave and they will burn you every time.” “Man, I am El Salvadorian and the last time I was there I almost got stabbed for my wallet, I will never go back again!” Then again everyone warned me about living with Lisanti and I survived

After going smoothly through customs and finding my shuttle to the hotel I arrived to find John and his friend Jason napping in our room. They had already gotten a surf in and I was anxious to get wet so we headed out to the end of the street we were on and surfed this fun river mouth La Bocana. It is a very high performance rivermouth that is usually a rippable left and has the occasional punchy right. It felt good to get in and wash off the airport ride.

The following morning we checked El Sunzal, which looked mushy as hell but like it might get better on the lower tide. We had our morning session at La Bocana again.  It was pretty crowded with the locals really holding the peak and forcing us to take scraps. John stuck to the inside and got a ton of waves, I tried snagging wide ones like I did everywhere else I surfed this year and got nothing all that great.  Jason elected to sleep in. After Breakfast we took a little rest and then surfed Sunzal. It is a lot like C-street and according to John it is very much like Maria’s in Puerto Rico. I found my punchiest waves on the left. Regardless, it was a decent session and my best at the spot.

After the session John and I were on a quest to find something that was a little more high performance. Punta Roca was nearby and we were told that the bus was easy but the language barrier and John’s aversion to risky situations precluded us from going. Luckily some helpful locals told us it was super easy, just get the bus to La Libertad that runs about every 10 minutes and get off at the point. Sure enough it was that easy.

The bus dropped us up the street from the promenade that goes along the point and we started seeing small glassy lines peeling down it. We got to the top of the point and there was a pack of locals sitting up the top of the point and perfect barrels rifling down the line.  A few would be cut in half by some of the gnarly barnacle encrusted boulders but most would drain out for a long perfect little round barrel. Once past the boulders at the top it looked like the Cove at Rincon. This was the session of the trip. I spent a ton of time in the barrel (Jason saw a few of them) and did some of my best turns of the trip.

That wave is as good as anything in the States. Mid afternoon weekday crowd was totally manageable we shared it with a few locals and a knee boarder who absolutely killed it. One of the locals was the little Occy like goofy foot. The kid, Charlie, couldn’t have been much more than 14 but threw more water than most grown men, full on Occy hacks. Right before we got out Jason nearly ran a local over and got yelled at. Luckily I was already out. The boys cut up their feet pretty good getting in and out. John had a particularly gnarly gash on his foot that I had to clean out for him. If you want a visual picture the scene in Forty Year Old Virgin when Steve Carell gets his chest waxed.

After Monday we were pretty surfed out and luckily the swell was down for the next few days. We rested and recuperated. Unfortunately I made the mistake of eating some bad street food and started to pee out of my butt, so did Jason. Though it could very well be the photos I saw of myself surfing that made me sick. Jason changed none of his eating habits and just dealt with it. I decided to fast and flush it all out. It worked, but it eventually returned with an evil vengeance. On one of these lay days we met this Floridian Rory while at breakfast. The guy spoke the best Spanish of any American I have ever heard. “Hola, yo queero un Sandwhich cone eggs e….bacon e cheese, poor favor”.

Make sure you read that and pronounce it as if it were written in English. Anyways he sold us on the idea of K-59. He said it was a really fun wave and had no problems with a crowd there. On one of these lay days Jason and I ventured to the bar next door which advertised a wide beer selection and extensive liquor list. If you know me, you know I love good beer. We figured it would be all shitty Central American and Mexican beers. Were we wrong, 40 rums, and 30ish beers. And while they did have the smattering of tropical pils, which the Belgian bar owner said sound like tropical piss, they did have a good selection of European brews. It turns out they were opening the first craft brewery in El Salvador and were going to have the beers ready before we left. We tried those as they were ready and they were good. If/when I go back I am staying there.  It was awesome.  I am sure if I smuggle them some hops they will hook me up.

On Friday we decided that with Punta Roca being such an easy adventure we would try our luck using the bus to get to K-59. It was as easy as getting to Punta Roca it just required a longer ride and a longer wait for the bus. Rounding the last bend, we could see K-59 and it’s sister point K-61 through the forest. Upon disembarking from the bus we wandered through the maze of dirt roads down to the point.

The place definitely has potential but we didn’t score it. In the morning there was some morning sickness from the previous nights thunderstorms. The point is tiny maybe 75 yards long and the wave hugs it. There were a few but I was slow as usual and feeling a little weak from the whole not eating for two days thing. We got out and a local cooked us up lunch, which was awesome. While we ate john let him borrow his board and go for a surf. During lunch it was the best we saw the spot the bobbles were out of the wave, and the afternoon chop hadn’t destroyed it. When we got out after eating the place quickly stopped working. It was frustrating to say the least.

The weekend came with the swell and crowds. The biggest act of angry localism came Saturday morning when this kook dropped in on a local at La Bocana the resulting was a lot of screaming in Spanish and “todos cebollos” had to leave. Later the offending kook burned me at Sunzal. But the world is an odd place. Later that day I went to pull money out of the ATM after he had just done so. He left his card, giving me the perfect opportunity to inform him of his complete and utter obliviousness both in and out of the water. Sunzal was crowded as hell too. There were some angry longboarders who would yell at the people they dropped in on. One particularly surly one even shoved Jason. The best though was one dropped in on John. Over the course of the ride he tried to box John out of the wave, but John was having none of it. He just kept doing his turns and crossing the guy’s wake. Eventually they collided much to the delight of the local guide at our hotel and down the douche went. I am sorry but if you are on a longboard and shortboards are taking off outside of you, there is a problem. Apparently the assholes are weekend warriors from San Salvador who don’t respect anyone.


Sunday the swell really filled in with the afternoon being DOH at Sunzal. We headed to Punta Roca. A fairly empty line up and a few 10ft sets. Guess who was sitting in the parking lot. The guy who Jason nearly ran over. Like a pussy Jason looked at the ground and walked past. I made respectful eye contact and for that I took the lashing for his infraction and orders that we better be respectful or else. After informing him of the local’s instructions, Jason then paddled out straight to the front of the pack. If he got in any more trouble I would have thrown his ass under the bus and let him take the wrath that was due. It was a fun session until I met the rocks getting some nice cuts on my hands, arms and legs. Some locals got some footage and it was pretty frustrating watching myself surf.


Monday was another fun ass day at Punta Roca. It was head to head and a half with friendly happy locals; it wasn’t as hollow as the previous week but certainly fun as hell and rippable. Tuesday we went back to Punta Roca for another helping of racy rights. Light crowd and our new neighbors at the hotel were there too, complete kooks. One of them burned a local at Punta Roca and sadly did not have his face torn off.
The night before, these guys had gotten a hooker and ran the train on her. I guess that is what happens when you get old. You get married, have kids and then cheat on your wife with third world hookers while on vacation trying to escape your miserable life. It was funny talking to them telling us about their kids in a vain attempt  to be buddies with us.  Then one of them would come down shirtless and slap his buddy on the shoulder and say, “You’re up!” And the fat fuck would go off to get his turn with the worn out third world cooter.
Wednesday John finally came down with the shits. Jason and I left him miserable in bed and went and surfed the last of the swell at Punta Roca. It was fun, it was like the first Monday but not glassy. We had the place to ourselves with Ricky and Proctor of Proctor surfboards. They were very friendly and we all had a good session. Overall it was a pretty marginal session and when we got out it was terrible.
We finished our last morning with a quick surf at la Bocana and at 11 I got in the shuttle to the airport and went home. Flights are always a crapshoot. Half the time you wind up getting crammed between two pigs like you are headed off to the slaughter house or someone who wants to tell you their whole life story when you just want to sleep. Sometimes though you get lucky. The flight back was great; I sat next to the Guatemalan Ambassador to the US with a whole extra seat in our row. Then once in the US, I got to hang out with the former US Ambassador to El Salvador while we waited for our bags. Nice guy, turns out he was originally from NJ too. When he was in his youth he surfed back in the 50’s on old redwood boards and he used to surf with some of the classic surf characters of the era. All in all the entire trip was worthwhile, even as my bowels are slowly recovering from the traumatic experience. But now the question arises, where will I go to next? I am thinking somewhere with cold water…

Punta Roca, one of the Jewels of Central America

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Well folks there are two types of people out there in this world:  Those who go out and live life to its fullest potential despite their own personal fears, discretion, insecurities and the abrogating of popular beliefs.  Then there are the drones who sit in their happy little safety blanket they have created around themselves living half asleep and vicariously through the first group.  For the longest time I believed Kooky Kyle was a member of the drones and then he broke out of his shell and was awakened in his recent traveling adventures.  First in Lisanti Land and then New Zealand.  

His adventures abroad have finally come to an end.  I think the kid came a long way in the last six months and hopefully will take his experiences, life lessons and other things from this past tenure and use it to enhance his regular life.  Knowledge plus experience equals wisdom.  Here is kooky’s take on his last days in New Zealand.  Enjoy…Lisanti

I am for the first time in 6 months sitting in my parents Maryland house. The contrast in swell between my first few weeks and my last few couldn’t be greater. Last you heard from me I was just out of Piha and unsure of where I was going to go. I met up with a friend of a friend in Auckland for a beer and with any luck a place to stay for the night.  “Sorry mate, I asked my girl if you could stay and she was not having it. Sorry” I sat there confounded.  It wasn’t too bad, the swell was going to be too big up there anyway.

What was I to do?  The sun had set, and there was no way I was finding the way back out to Piha and the Backpackers out there in the dark.  Staying around was going to be a exercise in surfing closed out beachies. The East coast, out of the question for a storm was lashing it like Kunta Kinte. Taranaki was too far.  The swell was actually looking really good for Raglan.

I called Sarah up and got myself a spot back at Solscape despite the busy Easter weekend. I raced down to rags that night on a mission. Thursday the swell was still down so I got back into the swing of things at Solscape. Friday morning the swell had just started showing and that evening I surfed some fun Indies. Saturday morning the tide was a bit full so Sarah and I surfed Manu.  It was good but inconsistent and overly crowded with Easter. I got my share thanks to my time in California. We got out as it was really getting swamped with heads and the tide.

The afternoon session I paddled out to a light crowd with some devil winds back at Manu. I was sitting in the line up and before I realized it I had drifted on to the Ledge (the Ledge is this heavy30 to 50 yard section at the very top of Manu that is most times unmakeable except on the best of days.  It is also really shallow and when you fuck up you get tossed into the rocks and then left in shallow water with no channel.  If you make one through it is pretty sick.  I broke a board there in an attempt to make one.  So did Scotty B and my boy Pete.) .

I realized this when a wave swung towards me. Dropping in I pulled into the barrel before a bit of the devil wind chop bucked me.  When I came up this grom paddled toward me and said “There are some fucking sick ones out here! I reckon we can make some of them!”.  FUCK YEA! He got me fired up and it was on. With a dearth of competition out there he and I threw ourselves into anything that looked remotely make-able. I got rolled on the rocks on a few, and I didn’t make it out of many, but I got some great views. As the tide dropped the wind turned and the ledge got too gnarly for me. I shifted down and surfed the rest of the point. It was definitely my best Manu session of the trip.

Sunday morning was head high and a half, picture perfect Indies.  The boys at outsides threw me a wave and Phil, the owner of Solscape even complimented one of my waves I got. That evening the winds turned side then onshore yet I still got some good waves and was pretty stoked on the session. Monday dawned and while there was still some size it was breaking into the point and the whole ride I was basically avoiding hitting the rocks.  It was clear the swell was done. The forecast wasn’t showing anything for Tuesday and I had a ride to Auckland so I concluded my stay in raglan and shoved off.

There was part of the trip where I was definitely skunked and had regretted coming, but since the swell before I left for Taranaki things turned on (aside from a day or two) definitely leaving me stoked I took the trip. The final run of swell was great.  Phil and the locals had even commented that it was a very good swell as they usually don’t get that many days in a row of waves with good winds. I am definitely going back and will not make the same mistakes I made this time, namely coming with enough money to buy a car and not be tied into a location like I was.  All in all I met some great people, surfed some great waves and learned a lot.

So what is next for Dear Old Kooky? Well right now I am sitting at my parent’s Maryland place and am taking care of business this weekend. Then I am looking for a job to last me until lifeguarding starts. I am planning on visiting some friends who are graduating this May. There is sure to be some partying and there may even be a surf trip to be had before I start my final summer of lifeguarding.  After that the real world awaits, or at least my deranged version of  Dexheimerdom.

Indicators on a really good day.

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Mt. Taranaki

When we last heard from our surf adventuring friend Kooky Kyle he was getting ready to cruise out of Raglan in search of greener pastures and new emprise in Taranaki (read about his last entry “A Change of Venue“) .   Taranaki for me was a very magical place.  It is basically one  big semi circle type peninsula that was formed by the volcano Mt Egmont or Taranaki as it is more popularly known.  As a result the entire coast line is made up of volcanic rock reef breaks with a few point and beach breaks thrown in.  The beauty of Taranaki is that the coast runs 180 degrees in direction allowing for different wind and swell directions to work with different spots leaving lots of options.  

As far as surf spots go there are upward of I would say at least 1000.  Access to some is quite easy where others involve long hikes through cow pastures, over electric fences and ample beach and rock hikes to get to.  Its usually the ones off the beaten path that allow for some of the best experiences.  I know when I was there, I went for two weeks on one occasion and then three on the other.  I surfed in total close to 50 different waves.  I mean there are lefts, rights, barrels, mellow waves, slabs, monsters,  you name it Naki has it.  The only downside is all the driving that one has to do to explore the place properly.  Gas was not cheap when I was there seven years ago.  I can only imagine what it cost a liter now.

It really reminded me of a rocky version of the Outer Banks, North Carolina as far as different coastal facings, open space and crowds.  The beautiful imagery of the place is amazing.  Before I let Kooky run away with this thing let me paint a mental picture for you while you read about his endeavors.  Imagine waking up, whipping the dew off your window and looking out over green grass and hedges.  You clean off your wind shield and head to whatever spot the current conditions seem best for.  Its all a crap shoot any where there since the weather is so erratic and changes hourly at times.   To your east is Mt Taranaki in all its ominous splendor.  

As you drive you think about how it is still an active volcano and for all you know could erupt and level the place at a moments notice.  There is snow at the top of it.  Winter is on its way easily discernible by the cold dewy  mornings.  Soon the entire mountain will be covered with snow.  You turn west at a giant boulder with the words Stent Road painted on it.  At the end of the that road is a rather fun right point break, a handful of A-frame reef breaks and a few left reef breaks as well, although Stent is the gem.  Driving the 2km it takes to get there you pass nothing but cow and sheep pastures with to odd modest little farm house.  

Nearing the end of the road you see the azure blue of the ocean, the color amplified by the black rock beach and bottom.  In the grass parking lot there are a handful of cars.  The waves are chest to head and glassy. You made a good choice.  Once in the water there are wispy clouds in constant motion overhead to remind you just how small you are out in the middle of the ocean.  Behind you is the giant volcano in hibernation and in front of you is a perfect right hand peeler about to dredge and barrel.  Things could not be better. ..Chris

Taranaki is basically a big wheel with tons of little tiny fingers of boulder reef jutting out into the ocean. No wind protection, only a change in the orientation of the coastline. Man, there are a ton of spots there not in the surf guide.  The Thursday after my last post I hopped in a rental car and booked it down there. A guy I met at solscape had a house in Opunake and said I was welcome to crash at his place if I was in the area and felt so inclined.

I took him up on the offer. The only problem was he didn’t have a cell phone and only left me his email address. It was cool though, I had met a French Opair who said I would be welcome to stay with her in New Plymouth. The plan was to stay with her and when I got in touch with the other guy to go to his place. As it turns out she was busy and couldn’t get me a place to stay.  She insisted before I left that we must meet up for tea or beers (We met up for tea). Here is the million dollar question, leave your opinion in the comments. Do you think Kooky banged her out? 5 to 1 odds that he did not.  I spent the night at a local back packers, woke up and went straight to Stent Rd.

It was super fun, a little overhead, slight offshores and never more than 7 guys in the water my whole session. Half way through, who paddles out but the guy from Raglan. He told me how to get to his place and to pick up any groceries I needed in New Plymouth. When I showed up at his place it turned out he had no kitchen,no electricity, and no hot water. It was basically camping in a makeshift back building of the house he owned and rented out.  Not quite the Lisanti Palace. It was all good, a free place to stay makes those dollars go a lot farther.

Down in the southern portion of Taranaki I had a hate session at Sky Williams. Sky Williams is a left hand reef point that looks sick from the parking lot but is one of the most frustrating waves to ride I have ever come across.  It is like Lead Better but a left.   I scored a  fun time at Arawhata (Arawhata is a right reef pass with some other scattered reef passes up and down the beach.  Its very consistent and playful although never epic), got yelled at for walking down the trail after my session at Mughume (Mughume is a right reef on the other side of Sky Williams that throws pretty hard although is very shifty) and surfed a few secret spots. The first secret spot was only a little outside of Opunake and was a lined up right reef that had a solid wall and the odd barrel. I left with a wind storm looming on the horizon.

 On my way down into Taranaki I saw a sign for a wood turning studio, needing a wedding present for my cousin I  followed the signs and went in. It turned out that the guy was coming home from work, but his wife invited me in for a ginger cordial while I waited. They were very friendly and he offered to make me a piece by tuesday and told me if I need a place to stay I was more than welcome to stay with him and his wife. After the swell faded out of Opunake I cruised on up the coast and took him up on the offer.

I killed the day by surfing and exploring the coast up in Urenui just north of New Plymouth. It was small, but this wave would hit the seacliffs at the end off the beach and bounce back out to sea. As it did, it would feel the bottom of the beach and wrap back in and break like a little right point. If another wave was coming in at the same time, it would wedge and pitch out in the form of a super square stomach to chest high barrel. It was really cool. After my surf I took a wander up the coast and found three spots that with another meter or two of swell have incredible potential, none of these are in the surf guide. Ask me in person and I will draw you the treasure map.

That night I had dinner with the wood worker and his wife.  We talked about  where I was going in life and how he had done his travels on the backpackers trail through South East Asia. We talked about his time in the military and how he would always figure out the best way out of work. He was also a coxswain when he was younger(the person who steers a crew boat and yells at everyone). As it turns out he was one of the craftsmen for the Last Samurai that was filmed in Taranaki and he even got to be in the film for a few seconds. He is pretty sure it is because he is short and wouldn’t make Tom look his real size.

After a lovely dinner and great conversation I spent the night in their guest house.  In the morning I drove all the way up to Piha, a surf spot on the West coast just outside of Auckland. A tropical system was lashing the east coast with 30 kt on shore winds and those were offshore in Piha, which was throwing out some solid left barrels.  Piha is a good wave.  It sort of breaks in the middle of this semi protected cove thing with a huge rock in the middle of the beach. It is usually rather crowded due to its proximity to the city. I managed to not kook it on two but most either went fat or I got swallowed up when I pulled in. Anyways I only have a few days left and I will update everyone on what happens when I get back to the states in a week…Kooky Kyle

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Last we checked in with Kooky Kyle he was in Raglan working and being encompassed in a flat spell.  Here is an update from the man himself.

 Hey everyone, I am not dead. Today is my final full day in Raglan, I am hiring a car tomorrow and cruising to Taranaki. The forecast is looking good so I should be getting some fun waves. Last you heard from me I was at Solscape Wwofing and sitting in a flat spell. I made myself surf the beach break pretty much every day until the flatness ended. I can tell you from personal experience the beachie he is talking about is a pretty terrible wave. 

What ended the flat spell? A head a half+ west swell lighting up all three points. The first day was wild and wooly, I surfed and Manu and spent more time paddling than I should have. I surfed a day like what he is describing out there.  It was easily double overhead and stormy as all hell.  I actually got some real bombs that day and got respect for the rest of my time there from all the locals because of it.  The second day saw the swell hit in force with big disorganized surf pouring into all three points. I surfed Whale Bay in the morning because I wasn’t up for spending my whole session paddling through the washing machine that was Indicators.

I surfed Manu Bay in the afternoon and got some workings on the Ledge.   The ledge is the heavy ass section at the top of Manu that is only really make-able when it is huge and even then it is a crap shoot.  I don’t know how Chris deals with surfing over boils on his back hand I just got my ass kicked. Mitch Coleborn was out and that guy along with some other Raglan pros were tearing the place a new asshole. Getting out I heard one of the Raglan guys say “It isn’t the best Manu, but it is the best we have had in a month.” The swell finally cleaned up on the third day and I mistakenly grabed my 5’10” thinking that the swell had dropped enough.

WRONG. Indies was still head and a half plus, offshore and crowded. I had no problem catching waves on the 5’10” but getting them off of the crowd and the drops was another story, and the short of it is I got three waves and got my ass worked for two and a half hours. By the afternoon the swell had actually dropped and I got some great waves and surfed really well considering my kooky ass. My ride had ditched me and taken my clothes back to Solscape with him, leaving me walking barefoot on some unkind twisting turning roads. It is all good though he had work to get to and the surf was worth it. This morning the swell had nearly dried up but i surfed indies again and had another great session trading off on waves with this older kiwi.

With the topic of waves out of the way, I really enjoyed my time here. Once it was discovered that I was more useful doing gardening/landscape/outdoor work, I have to say I didn’t mind working here at all and it stirred memories on working in my garden at my parent’s Maryland house. If you ever come to NZ and want to visit Raglan definitely check out Solscape. They treated Chris right and they have treated me well too. One black mark has happened here, last night there was a rash of small thefts, a wallet, Sarah’s cellphone, a set of iPod speakers were all stolen, we are all pretty sure who did it but there isn’t anyway to prove it. In a place where all the people are friendly and know each other this kind of stuff doesn’t happen but when a thief gets in, it is a field day.

Anyways, I will keep you posted when I can I am not sure what the situation will be like over the next weeks but I will try and keep in touch.—–Kooky Kyle

Manu Bay, Raglan New Zealand, firing.

Taranaki secret spot, Kooky's next destination...

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