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My motivation has been deplorable at the moment.  As a result the writing here has suffered a bit.  Truthfully I am at the right now somewhat  lost in the rapture inside myself.  I have lot on my mind and at the moment no reconciliation on any of  it.  If there is nothing up here for a few days new I apologize in advance.  If you are in Lisanti withdrawal read the surflog which I update almost everyday and is the true life journal of my daily exploits anyway.  In the meantime I think this video says it all.

That was heavy and what is crying with out some laughter.  This one of the directions I am pondering to take in my life here:

Good times folks, good times…

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Well on day one Lisanti went into the Wild.  On day 3 Chris Lisanti got fucking wild at the Wild Cat.  Its only fitting that I started Day there at the Kitty.  Last night, gay night was especially gay.  I am pretty sure with the exception of my friends Mark, Adrienne (not my ex-Adrienne) and maybe a handful of other people everyone was playing for the other team.   At first I was taking things in strides. I was a little bummed about how the weekend played out getting blown off by that chick I mentioned in both the surflog and yesterday’s blog “Busy Bee, Spring Break Day 2“.

I was determined not to let the instance turn me to depression drinking.  Then boredom kicked in and around 1am with no real prospects cruising around the club Wild Cat Adrienne said “Get a shot with me”.  I am on spring break after all and have not really gotten hammered in a long time.  I’m lying I got hammered on Friday night with this UCSB graduate school chick I met.  I thought I might be able to pull her, but then she was kidnapped by her friends in the last minutes of last call and taken home to Goleta.  Goleta chicks are near impossible to bring home and visa versa.

Its a solid $30-50 cab ride, pain in the ass bus ride or long, long walk (trust me I walked it once) home for both parties.  Rule of thumb downtown: if she wants me to come home with her and it is back to Goleta I pass and when I try to bring them home to the Mesa it is usually the same effect.  Its just too far, thus the best one can hope for is digits and shoot for a follow up date.  I got her number, now I just have to decide if she was worth giving a call.

Man that got off track.  Anyway, Adrienne and I got a round of Fire Ball Shots (whiskey).  Now I don’t drink whiskey because for whatever reason whenever I do it brings out the worst drunk I can possibly be.  I get angry, emotional,  and crazy in a scary way.  Everyone who parties knows there is no such thing as doing one round of shots no matter how drunk you are.  They are addictive.  There is something about the bartender pouring your choice of poison into those little glasses and the looks on your face and those around you.  Everyone knows that you are on a one way ticket to being out of your mind.

Yeah, one round led to three, the last one taken at last call.  That my friends is the last thing I remember.  What happened after that is beyond my reasoning.  I went to black out town, population me.   This time there was no Kooky to help me put the pieces together.  Somehow I managed to get my jacket from coat check and sign out my tab.  I also managed to walk home, but barely I think.

Fast forward to 9:30am.  I woke up on the floor of my apartment directly adjacent to my front door to a text from Lindsay about if I wanted to surf or not.  I was fully dressed, jacket, shoes and all.  My pants were torn at the knee and the hip and I had a few bruises on my body.  I assume I must have fell down a few times on the walk home, but that is speculation, anything could have happened for that matter.  I checked my outbox/inbox of my phone to see if I sent or was received anything.  Apparently I sent Wild Cat Adrienne a very incoherent angry message, which I apologized for and she was cool with.  That was the only lead I had and she had no recollection of anything after that last shot either.

Whatever, I am still alive.  Since I was up I got changed and decided to go for a surf and it was a good thing I did cause Rincon was breaking.  It was tiny, waist with the occasion chest high set through the Cove, but it was flawless.  I mean oil glass and running down the Cove perfectly.  Some how despite being a bit messed up still I surfed exceptional.  I am talking a top notch backside performance anyone would be proud of.  The crowd was myself and about ten other people.  I was super stoked for the session.

From there I had just enough time to scarf down another bowl of cereal and run to class or nap time as I like to call it.  Unfortunately we had to do group activities in class cutting into my sleepy time.  It was fun and I found out about this cool jazz show that went down tonight of which I have just got back from.  On another note before I get into the show I think this will be the last semester I am going to spend in the Culinary program at Santa Barbara City College.  The program is very unimpressive to me and I just feel that I am wasting my time.

Instead if you remember back to a few blogs ago I mentioned something about how I really wanted to go cook in Italy.  That is exactly what I am going to do.   There are a few different culinary schools out there that offer intensive three month programs where I can earn a master chef certificate in Italian and European Cuisine, a stage 2 sommelier certification and a pastry and baking certificate.  Basically I will do in three months what will take me at my current rate years if ever at City College.  The last five weeks of the program I am required to cook in different restaurants all over Italy.

Who knows maybe I will even meet a nice Italian girl and bring her back with me to America.  There will be more on this in blogs to come as I figure the whole thing out.  It is about time I do something positive for me for a change.  I think a break from both the Wild Cat and Santa Barbara may be good for my health.

Back to the jazz show.  This girl in my group mentioned she was going to a jazz show at Soho, my all time favorite venue to listen to live entertainment at in Santa Barbara.  I took the stage there once myself and all I can say is that it was one of the best sound stages I have ever performed on (check out the blog “About Last Night” for more on that performance).  I asked her about the event and it turns out it was at 7:30 that evening.

I cruised and my buddy was working the door so I got in for free.  Turns out all the cats were local and they burned.   The majority of the cats on stage were so hot they had me hooting and hollering the entire time.   As it turns out they do these “Jazz Jams” as they call them every few weeks at Soho and anyone is invited to play.  The next one is April 2nd and I will guarantee that they will be joined by jazz saxophonist, Chris Lisanti.  I can’t wait to get up and blow with those guys.

I am even more stoked that it is a fairly regular thing.  Hopefully they like my stuff and invite me back to play on other occasions.  I guess I am going to have to do some heavy woodshedding over the next two weeks.  They had another saxophonist with them and he was exceptional, but in a completely different style then I play.  the group was ironically very “West Coast Cool”, where as I am definitely “Harlem Eclectic”.  West Coast Cool is a style of jazz that is more lay back and relaxed such as Wes Mongomery or Bill Evans.  Harlem Eclectic is more in your face hyper active like Sonny Rollins or John Coltrane.

That brings me to right now sitting here on my couch under my leopard blanket putting the finishing touches on this piece while Alfie lounges in felicity on my lap.  Goodnight everyone and stay tuned tomorrow for more Spring Break action.

I am sure I can find a bar just as gnarly as the Shitty Kitty in Italia.

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I think this was an obvious choice for a Groovin’ High entry.   First off if you live under a bigger rock then I do let me inform you that Whitney Houston died at age 48 this past weekend as a result of drug and alcohol abuse.  I must say I was rather saddened by the news.  It is a real tragedy to lose someone with so much talent.  Some asshole tried to tell me that Whitney was never all that good.  The woman had a four octave range and could belt it out with the best of them.  She was a pure Diva.

If you cannot appreciate her ability as a singer then you must be deaf.  As far as her untimely death goes it is a real shame.  I hate to see good people succumb to their problems and then use substance as their escape.  I guess at the moment I am not doing all that much better with such, but I hope to one day be free of the nightmare I live.

When I was studying at Berklee I played a recital with this ensemble put together by a very talented female vocalist.  She was a Whitney fanatic and I believe she did three Whitney songs at the gig.  “Saving All My Love For You” was one of them and it has always been my favorite of her tunes.  It is a terrible song about cheating, but the emotion she sings it with really makes you feel the  true meaning of the song.  I think most of us have been in a position where we were feeling pretty bad cause we loved some one who was not worth it and just taking advantage.  Love is blind after all.  Yet seeing is believing.

We put on a pretty decent rendition of the tune.  I had a cool little intro to it on my sax and a solo mid song.  I later performed an arrangement of the tune on my alto sax while doing some solo work.  Whitney was an amazing vocalist, actress and person who unfortunately decided to take the easy way out instead of dealing with her problems.  She will be missed by all.  I wish her family and friends left behind the biggest of sympathy.  Listen to this live rendition of Whitney Houston performing “Saving All My Love For You” at the 1986 Grammy awards.  Enjoy and remember what she was and not how she left us.

Ah Whitney you will be missed.

I threw this one in just for fun.  They played it at the club Saturday night and everyone just got down in her memory.

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This weeks first UCB makes a winner of Mauriello.  Wow first he snags yesterday’s extra point and now the UCB, not to mention the whopper of a power of ten he put up.  Ladies and gentlemen watch out this guy wants the win for the year.  Mauriello picked a topic very close to my heart and that is “what is the soundtrack of your life”.  This is a topic which has certainly been in my head for as long as I can remember.

First off I have very deep roots in music being a prodigy on the saxophone as an adolescent, studying jazz performance in college and ultimately working in the business on and off for the last fifteen years.  The Groovin’ High section is a perfect example of my love for music.  I mean look how much random bull shit I write about just one song.  It always amazes me when I meet someone who has no real interest in music or what they listen to.  It blows my mind.  In Lisanti Land I have music going nearly all the time.  From the moment I wake up till I go to sleep I have some form of tuneage playing be it on my ipod or radio.

I used never turn my stereo off when I lived in Boston.  Back then I had a five disc changer and just had it on constant repeat all day whether I was home or not.  This way when I got home there was music on.  I even went to sleep with music on.  There is something about having grooves all around me all the time that just seems right.  As a matter of fact the only time I don’t want music is when I surf.  That is my spiritual time, please pardon the cliche.  In the water I am completely at peace or at least focused beyond the need for any distraction.

Why do I always have music playing you ask.  Mainly it is that I need something to allow my brain to slow down and focus on just one task.  If I do not have music playing my mind wonders all over the place with tons of different thoughts.  If there are tunes on then that captures half my mind leaving the other to stay on task.  It does not matter what type of music although I do prefer jazz, hip/hop, r&b and soul.  I will take any style of music over none at all.

The soundtrack of my life.  Well that is a tough one.  When I am just chilling at  the end of the night some Bill Evans or mellow Miles always relaxes me.  These days I have found quite the solace in sad love songs.  Corinne Bailey Rae, Nora Jones, Ashanti, Diana Krall, Billy Holiday all have a few tunes that have gotten me through the sad times these days. Now I finally have an appreciation of such.  Up until my own heart break I never really understood their meaning cause I do not believe I ever really had a heart.

Mostly my ipod is the sound track of my life.  I have nearly 4,000 songs on there and each one has its own special meaning to me.  Since it is always on shuffle it has become my life sound track.  I have it going right now as I write these lines, Dave Brubeck “So What’s New”.  What will come next I do not know,but one thing is for sure there will always be music.

 

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This song found its way onto my ipod shuffle after I got out of the grocery store on my way home for work this evening.  What did I buy you ask?  A shopping card full of booze.  That’s right, I looked like Nicholas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas.  Ok maybe not quite that bad.  On line everyone else had actual food meanwhile I had six bottles of wine and a handle of Bacardi Select.  I know its a step up for me.  Truth of the matter is they were out of Bacardi Gold and Select was the same price.  As long as there is a handle of some type of Bacardi in the freezer here at the Palace Lisanti Land will run smoothly.

Enough about my drinking problem and back to this week’s Groovin’ High entry (this weeks, ha what a fucking joke, its more like this months.  Its been so long since we had a Groovin’ High entry I cant even remember.  Or maybe that is a result of all the brain cells killed by the alcohol. You can be the judge.  All I will say in my defense is that some of the greatest men were drunks.)  Uptown Groovin’ by Soundscape UK from their album Uptown Groove.   I first was turned on to this band back in high school when their single Brand New Day was on the radio.  I think I was a sophomore meaning we are talking back in 1996.  A few years later they dropped this album.  It was never promoted on the radio. I actually found out about it from the internet and purchased the album on the blind faith that it would be as good as the last one I got from them Surreal Thing.

This was the first song on the CD and it captivated me.  Funny story I got the CD in the mail two days after this big blizzard we got hit with in NJ back in ’03, I think.  I was up on the roof of my house shoveling snow off the flat roof of the solarium. We received about  four feet of snow and the weight of the melt could have caved in the roof.   I was sent up to take care of the situation.  The whole time the thinking the weight of the melting snow and my own might just send me through the roof with it.

I had just got the CD that morning and decided to throw it in my boom box (that’s right back then they were still called Boom Boxes, heck I currently play my ipod through a circa 1980’s clock radio.  The shit sounds better then any speakers I have owned.) and play it from the window while I shoveled.  Uptown Groovin‘ was the first song on the album.  It’s a great tune and ever since that first listen I have been captivated by it every time I hear it.

Fast forward to March of that same year, 2003.  Sindia and I decided to go on a tour of California with our friend Alex who claimed he knew all the good surf spots.  As it turned out he was a kook and did not know the first thing about anything.  Living in California I know exactly the type of “surfer” category he fits into.  Back then I just figured anyone from California who surfed must be the shit.  The only good thing (or bad depending on the day, my mood and out look) that came of the whole fiasco, where by the way Continental bumped my boards to a later flight delaying me in San Francisco Air Port.  The Port Authority almost arrested me for taking out my frustration on a baggage carousel, but that is a blog for another day.   Let me just say this there was a time when I was not as mellow as I am now.

The only good thing that came out of the trip was that I was introduced to Santa Barbara, Jason Feist of J7 Surfboards and began my infatuation and subsequent love affair with Rincon.  Now almost ten years later I live here almost directly as a result of that trip.  We drove into Santa Barbara from Monterey.  I was sleeping in the back of this beat up van Alex’s friend Brian owned when this song came onto my ipod.  We ended up checking what I believe was Naples although my knowledge of the area at the time was less then novice.  Long story short we ended up surfing twelve foot Devereux with Jesse Merle Jones and to this day is still the biggest Devereux I have ever surfed.  Then again I also never surf there.

Face it these days I only really surf Rincon.  Sorry I am a snob like that.  Whenever I hear this song I am always brought back to both those moments.  The song still amps me up.  I guess that is what makes a great song.  That is the amazing thing about music in general.  It can stir up some of the most amazing emotions in the human soul.  Below is the tune you have spent all this time reading about.  I hope you enjoy it.

Me circa winter '03, look at that baby face. Oh wait I forgot I have not really aged all that much in the last 8 years.

 

That Faithful Day at Devereux

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I think it is classic Lisanti Land time scheme that I am posting October’s Power of Ten list on the first of November.  My excuse: too much party and real lack of motivation in life. Wait is that an excuse or my modus operandi?  Whatever the case its my blog and I do what I want.  I mean c’mon the last blog I wrote was about having assholes for fingers.  Enough said.  Anyway October’s power ten garnishes two UCB points upon my current housemate and Wild Cat partner in crime Kooky Kyle.

1. Bosses – Bosses fucking suck no matter how you try to disguise it.  Fact of the matter is if someone has the power to tell you what to do and your living relays on that it sucks.  Unfortunately that is how the real world works.  I have been a boss and I am sure my employees hated me too.  As far as the slang term “Boss” goes I cant stand it and when I am called such it usually sends me up into a fit of rage.

2. Job Hunting – Pounding the pavement is tough especially in today’s weak ass economy.  Luckily I have a job and whenever I am in need thanks to some of the insanity on craigslist I always seem to find work.  Hey if the job hunt wears you down you can always join the rest of the unemployed losers down on Wall St.

3.  John at New Jetty – New Jetty is this piece of shit wave I frequent in Ventura.  Most times it is no more then a boostable close out.  The place reminds me of New Jersey and usually if I’m not at Rincon then New Jetty is where I can be found.  Every time I surf there with Mauriello he ends up getting all the best waves of the day while I grovel on garbage all session.  It got to the point where I just started burning him on the good ones cause I am an asshole.

4. Gas Prices – Gas prices are a mystery to me.  When I was in High school I used be able to buy gas for .85 cents a gallon.  Now its nearly four bucks a gallon.  I know oil is a limited resource and all, but I do not believe it is that limited.  Also did we not go conquer like half the Middle East after 9/11?  I think gas should be a hell of a lot cheaper.

5.  The Plumbing in Lisanti Land – My apartment has by far the most ass backward plumbing known to man.  Its all old metal piping from the fifties and every time I need any kind of plumbing service I end up with a giant whole in the wall and a bill for over a few hundred dollars and before that happens I always find myself swimming in a giant pool of sewerage.  I am on the first floor and my plumbing is the end of the main line for the entire building.  When there is a clog you do the math on how much waste backs up on my floor.   Hey at least I have an ocean view.

6. Fleas – Fleas suck. I brought home a baby possum two years ago I found in the middle of the street.  Since then I have been plagued with fleas and so has poor Alfie.  They suck and are impossible to get rid of.  Last time I set off eight bombs in my small apartment and nearly killed myself, yet the little fuckers still prevailed.

7. A Love Supreme – In 1965 Coltrane released A Love Supreme.  It was the first time he took a step away from his hard bob roots and began the free jazz career that changed the face of jazz forever.  It is a pretty bad ass album.

8.  West Swells – Ahh west swells, they are the best out here and also elusive as hell.  When its on it makes for the best surfing here in Santa Barbara then anyplace else on the California coast.  Too bad we only see like three a year.

9.  Funny Things Homeless People Say – The homeless are like children.  They say the darnedest things.   The difference is you never know when a bum might shank you.  I guess one must feel the same about children these days as well.

10. “What is the Worst that can Happen” – This is pretty much my official catch phrase that I use to push myself and others over the edge on a questionable decision or situation.  I sort of feel like everyone should subscribe to this mantra.  I think it would make everyone’s lives more interesting.  I mean seriously what is the worst that could happen?

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I don’t know why I keep coming back to Ashanti.  Maybe that is my plight in life.  I cant move on?  I don’t really know. Its fucking 3:o7am. I have had a bit too much to drink yet not enough as always.  That is what alcoholism is all about after all.  I’m fresh off a good night at the Wild Cat.  These days I find myself taking a spot on the wall with all the other barnacles.  I guess I am just a next generation?  So be it.

Not much was popping off and I was about to leave when I heard a good song and decided to hit the dance floor and bust a move.  I was enjoying myself till my old fifi showed up with some other dude.  This guy was not even close to me.  I was looking like class and he was looking like trash.  I just do not get it?   Maybe I am not suppose to.  I mean she made a fool of me the last few times we got together.  Yet there she was looking fabulous as always and I just thought man why aren’t we together right now?  But alas it was not in the cards for us.  I cordially said hi, gave her a hug, met the guy she was with, then went about my business.   What more could I do? Nothing.  That is how life shapes up.  I would like to think she had some remorse even if it momentarily.

I know she felt nothing of the sort cause she never felt anything for me ever.  In my odd misfortune or good fortune I have no recourse on how I should feel or what I should think.  So I tell myself I wont think about it yet I still do.  Constantly plagued by my own insanity.  I am proud of myself for standing my ground and not giving her the satisfaction to how pained I was to see her with some other idiot. Fuck it, whatever.

Now about this song.  I want to dedicate it to all the happy couples that are out there.  I watch my couch mate Ryan and his girl friend Addy every day and see how happy and satisfied they are with their love for each other.  Sometimes it sickens me and causes me to drink a little more then I already do.  Then I reevaluate the situation and am very happy for their happiness together.  I had that kind of merriment once, well twice actually.  I mainly blame myself for both failing, but then again it takes two to tango.  How could I have expected to have anything worthwhile when I am broken?

This song is for all the lovers out there who have that rare connection that only two people can share between one another.  Love is not easy and most times it doesn’t make sense.  I have never understood it.  I am always pained by it, but constantly baffled by it.  Maybe I had my shot and I am now destined to be perpetually alone.  If that is my lot in life, so be it.  I fucked over two decent human beings because of who I am and perchance that is my fate then.  That was my chance.  Fine I will face my sad lot in life to wander the earth alone for eternity with my head up then.

For those of you who have love.  All I can say is cherish it cause there are a great number of us who go with out.  I will root for you.   Sure it wont be all sunshine and roses, but if it was then would it be worth it?  Nothing worth doing in this life is.  I think that is how it should be.  It was not easy for Romeo and Juliet or Rick in Casablanca or Elizabeth and Darcy in Pride and Prejudice.  That is what true love is all about, struggle.  Whenever I hear this song it brings a smile to my face even in my darkest hour.  So here I am sharing it with all of you.  Plus Ashanti is the shit.  Enjoy, sorry for rambling about bullshit.

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