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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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Photo: Christopher Dunlea

When it rains it pours, shit runs down hill and all that jazz.  The last time I wrote something here I was rather optimistic about life and the world; my life specifically.  OPTIMISM!!! What word, what a dangerous mother fucking word.  It implies that with good thoughts, feelings and hopes good things will be brought about.  Maybe this works for some people. No one I know in particular, but some delusional idiot out there lives by this crap.

Even a pessimistic realist like myself falls into these optimistic ideals on occasion.  It always happens to me when my life starts actually turning around.  Then again had life really turned around for me or was I just starting to believe the lies in order to come to grips with the settlement my life had become?  There were the lies I told myself and the ones that the machine of conformity claimed would bring me happiness.  I am one for total honesty when it comes to oneself, but then again there are times when one needs to believe his own lies in order to accomplish certain goals and ultimately in this mess of an oxymoron a new truth may be achieved.

While I am at it let’s briefly touch on how I feel about the idea of happiness.  I have always subscribed to the thoughts of Aldous Huxley “Happiness is never grand…Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the over-compensations for misery. And of course, stability isn’t nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt…Happiness is never grand.”  This quotation is basically how my life has played out since birth.  If you have been reading here a while then you know.  If not, feel free to indulge yourself for I am not going to bore myself or my loyal readers with my own redundancy (that’s a fucking joke).  Shit I have not written anything for months so I suppose I need to make it count.

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Ah the sweetness of adversity Photo: Christopher Dunlea

Now that we got all that philosophical crap out of the way lets get into exactly what has happened in my life over the past four months.  Believe me a lot must have been going on if I was left nearly speechless by it all.  Some one who existed briefly, yet had a major impact on my life recently said that she found it rather odd that I only share the good side of things on my social media.  Clearly she never read this blog for I am the anti-hero of my own story, a modern Sydney Carton waiting to give his life for his beloved Lucie Manette.  Fuck how often am I positive about myself here? To be honest the pain, misery and suffering I had been going through had me so mentally crippled I was for once in my life at a loss of words or at the very least decent words to delineate my situation.  I also have to blame El Nino as well cause if you frequently read the surflog or just surf in California you know how good it has been here in the 805.

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Oh it’s been fun! Photo Christoper Dunlea

I guess the best place to begin my tale is in the middle of October.  At this point of my life everything was looking splendid and grand.  Things at work were going well.  I had recently got a solid raise.  My bosses were pumped on me.  I had the respect and esteem of all of my employees.  The food we were producing was in my opinion the best we ever had done in my six year tenure at the college.  I was working with my best friend Bizarro and watching him develop as a cook, which gave me a real sense of kin.  Life was good.

Yet there was something missing I just couldn’t put my finger on. Although production was at an all time high, quality good and waste low I still knew we could do better.  I live by the code of the samurai striving for complete perfection and mastery of whatever I wish to consummate.  “So many aspire to greatness yet so few succeed.”  Maybe I got too full of myself.  My ego can be a bit ridiculous at times.  I might have pushed the kitchen and management too hard.  I don’t really know how it all fell apart, though looking back now I have an idea.  We are not there yet and I don’t want to get ahead of myself.  I may not have wrote for a bit, but I think upon the conclusion of this piece you be happy I waited.

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I will stand by my food with my life.

“Hindsight is 20/20” and in life I have always had eagle eyes.  Like I said work was good.  Life was good.  I was surfing a bunch and well. Biz and I were shooting tons of photos.  On the party scene I finally climbed to the top of my circle.  It certainly helped having a bit of disposable income around.  In my personal life I wised up to a certain entity that had been bringing me down for years.  It wasn’t her fault or mine we just kept ignoring the writing on the wall and our own good sense.  Certain instances took place that I am not going to mention, but opened my eyes and saw that as a couple we were never going to go anywhere and although we had found a livable groove that could have went on for another five years, I needed more.
party1I’m a romantic, a Shakespearean, an avid reader of Jane Austin.  For these reasons alone I could no longer exist in a relationship of convenience.   Finally after spending the bulk of September agonizing over what to do I took a deep breath and cut the cord.  I emotionally freed myself from the cage I put myself in two and a half years ago.  Man, it was scary.  As most of you know I am not a person who does well alone.  One thing I have always held true to is that I would much rather be alone for the right reasons then with some one for the wrong reasons.  Loneliness, vulnerability and depravity by themselves are not good enough reasons to pursue a life with another if there is no magic.  Thus I walked away standing tall and proud of the decision I made.

Once again I found myself single.  The dating world had changed quite a bit from when I was in the game.  It is very possible that I had changed a bit too, now in my mid thirties and having very different needs and wants then I ever had before.  For the first time in my life the thought a family crossed my mind when meeting a woman.  I wanted someone I didn’t have to save or constantly help get out of trouble.  I didn’t want to regularly have to turn negative vibes into positive ones.  I really wanted to learn from my past.  Luckily I analyze the shit out of my life and especially my romantic escapades.

I wasn’t perfect either.  In the past I had ruined more then one possible great relationship by being a total ass, selfish, immature or all three.  My temper has always been a problem.  I am Italian after all and we are very passionate people in all aspects of our life.  Temper is definitely a flaw  I am most guilty of.  Over the years I have made great efforts to control such.  There is still a long way to go. We are all works in progress till death comes knocking at that door, probably sooner then later for me.

Ultimately I wanted a relationship with more substance, a person with more substance.  I wanted someone in the industry.  People in my field constantly work crazy hours, nights, weekends, holidays.  This makes having a relationship with someone in the 9-5 world nearly impossible.  When you are off they are working.  When they are off you are working.  When you get off at 10 pm you want to drink a glass of wine, maybe go out, eat a meal. The 9-5’er is already in bed.  On the weekends when they want to rage most likely a member of the hospitality industry isn’t getting off till midnight. It becomes a real strain on both parties.

I thought about other cooks or chefs, but we all have egos and mine is heavier then most.  I knew unless I found the most passive chef  we would kill each other.  I put my sights on the front of the house, waitresses, hostesses, bartenders, managers, etc.  Also let it be said I wanted at least six months to pass before I met anyone else.  Even though my former relationship had been technically dead when we broke off our engagement nearly a year prior we still stayed together for another year of emotional dolor.  By all psychological accounts I needed time to heal.

Day in and day out I went upon my everyday.  As much as I hated the world of internet dating I got back on that horse again to no more avail then I had the first go around.  The difference was I had grown a thicker skin and didn’t really take anything too seriously.  If I met someone cool, awesome and if not at least I got out of the house and made a new possible connection.  One should try to make at least six contacts a day according to many very successful people at life in general.  I had a bit of fun with it all this time around.  Why not have fun? We only get one go around.

My life was good.  That almost brings us up to the fated  blog of optimism I published on November 17th 2015: “A Fresh Start“. Not quite entirely, not even a little bit.  During the aforementioned foray with dating through a digital medium I managed to meet someone whom I began to feel rather smitten for.  I believe she did as well.  The chemistry between us was about the best I have ever felt between a member of the opposite sex and myself.  We had enough in common to be compatible, though not so much as for it to get boring.   There were complimentary strengths and weaknesses existing among us as to be advantageous to both.  The two of us looked good together as a couple both having impeccable fashion sense and good taste (yeah mostly her, my tastes are still very much on the Guido side of things.  You know the saying: “take the kid out of Jersey, but never take the Jersey out of the kid”).

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Like I said “Guido”

We genuinely got along.  With all of these aspects of a budding romance in play I decided to legitimately pursue the relationship breaking my six month rule I had set earlier.  There will always exist a spoiler to such rules in this life.  For that spoiler always has been if I think I met someone who could actually be “the one”.  Cupid doesn’t time when he shoots his arrows and I have let plenty of opportunities for love pass me by cause I  ignored his call in order to sort out a different directive.  The impetuous modern day version of Romeo I can be at times threw all caution to the wind and went for it.  By the time I posted “A Fresh Start” I was very much in love and in the midst of a torrid romance.

For weeks I was in a blissful rouse of jovial spirit.  As a matter of fact I couldn’t remember a time when I was more happy.  Its funny how amazing life is when you feel everything is going your way.  I didn’t have a care in the world.   Nothing lasts forever and as fast as love had come to me that was as fast the pitiful wrath of its ending also abounded.  How it all came crashing down at such a hastened pace was beyond me and the downward spiral it would cause was soon to be realized…

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Photo: Christopher Dunlea

Stay tuned for more of this most recent saga of my life soon….

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When faced with adversity all we can do is keep on keepin on.

When faced with adversity all we can do is keep on keepin on. photo: Christopher Dunlea

Before we go ahead and blame all of the above institutions our story first starts all the way back to Westmont.  Ultimately this is a tale of the American economy, financial system and the sad state it is in.  It’s summertime and as usual my work load at the college reduces quite a bit.  After five years this is a situation I have learned to deal with.  Last year I still averaged around 30 hours a week and my rent was significantly lower allowing me plenty of breathing room.  I assumed I would get the same amount of work load this summer and rightly accounted for such.  One does know how the assumption theorem goes…

I don’t know if someone at the office of Campus and event services dropped the ball or what, but we were at a ten year low for summer events and work was looking grim.  I was only picking up around twenty hours a week and at that point unemployment was worth more money than that.  A few interesting opportunities presented themselves for the summer for both travel and bettering my abilities as a chef. If I left there would be extra hours to go around for my other employees under me. The option to take unemployment seemed the most agreeable choice for everyone.

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Summertime is all about cutting loose and having a good time.  Photo: Christopher dunlea

Stoked, I took my leave the first week of June and things were good.  Bizarro and I went down to San Diego for a little jaunt (read about that in the “You cant relieve the past” blog).  I shot lots of photos and scored fun waves surfing.  Cooking wise I got to work a variety of events with a variety of chefs picking up all sorts of technique along the way.  I even tried some new things in my own kitchen and improved my fresh pasta game. Things were looking up.

And Fun I had...

And Fun I had…

In the midst of what was seemingly turning into a summer of epic proportions I was highly disturbed by a letter from the Unemployment office that my case was under review and all funds were to be withheld pending further investigation.  It was alright I wasn’t worried this sort of thing has happened before.  It was not my first rodeo with the Unemployment office. I am a seasoned veteran in the system working seasonal jobs for most of my life.  I had a little paper put away thus I wasn’t all that worried.

As it turned out the discrepancy was whether or not I worked for Westmont or Sodexo.  Of course with the amazingly fast (note my sarcasm) response time of a government agency this was not squared away till some time in early July.  Like I said I was doing alright and as long as the state began to pay out I would be fine.  Sure enough payments began finding their way into my EDD account.

In California you are not sent a check or given the option of direct deposit.  Instead they set you up with some type of prepaid debit card system with Bank of America.  The method is sort of convenient and sort of not, but its better then not getting any money at all.  I grabbed my card since I have had the same one since I began working for Westmont five years ago.  I went down to the atm pumped to grab some money and when I put the card in the machine said it was expired.  Sure enough the card had expired in January and EDD or Bank of America or both failed to send me a new one.

No worries I figured I would just call the bank and they would have me sorted out with a new card in a few days.  I have been a Union bank member for years and every time I needed a replacement card I always got one in about 3 business days.  Apparently things do not quite work that way at Bank of America, on the contrary actually.  Apparently if  wanted to get my card in three business days it would cost me an “expedited fee” of $10.  This may seem like a nominal fee, but for a person on a very fixed income, which unemployment is ten bucks is like two meals.  I was not about to fork across to meals to these crooks, especially when it was their fault for never sending me a replacement card.   Also  I am pretty sure one could ship something as small as a credit card for a lot less then ten dollars.

I fought with various representatives and a few supervisors all who did everything in their power to turn the tables on me and allow me to believe it was my fault for letting the card expire in the first place.  Of course it has been my experience that whenever a card of mine has a expired a new one was sent out to me in the mail before such date was reached.  One surely rep tried to tell me that I might have thrown it in the garbage by accident.  The nerve of them.  I know I am an “unemployed low life” taking advantage of the system and all but I still deserve the respect any other Bank of America client is entitled to.  After a two day battle I gave up and told them to just send the card regular mail (8-12 business days) cause it takes that long to ship a credit card?

Whatever, over it I cruised home to New Jersey to see my folks for a brief visit with the hope that when I got back my card would be waiting for me.  14 days later I still had not received my card.  Now it had been over two months since I had any income whatsoever and at that point I was completely broke.  Not knowing where to turn I went to our downtown branch of Bank of America here in Santa Barbara with the hope of getting some money.  Keep in mind that by this point I had around twelve hundred dollars in there.  The Bank could not do anything for me cause as it turns out although technically it was a Bank of America account being the fact that it was an EDD account gave me no bank privileges.

Besides myself I found my way into the office of the branch manager who was nice enough to call the situation in for me.  Guess what; the mother fuckers at Bank of America never took my request to have the card shipped out.  Finally I lost the battle and had to pay $15 to get MY MONEY sent to me via Western Union.  On top of that I had them finally ship my card standard mail.  Instead of being out two meals I was out three.  My rent was due and my hands tied.  Another case of where the rich get richer and the poor stay poor.  Welcome to America folks where that poem on the Statue of Liberty doesn’t mean shit.  That being the case I guess the Bank of America holds true to the nation it supposedly represents, rich first and poor last.

Over it and tired of fighting the good fight though I knew I was not alone in my plight I left the bank with a feeling of relief that I would soon have my money,  and be able to pay my rent and get a good meal in me.  The next morning I went down to Western Union only to find out that all of their Santa Barbara terminals were down and would not be up for 24 hours.  I thought Western Union’s motto was all about getting your money fast and easy especially when one is in a jam.  Let’s face it more times then not if you are getting money sent via Western Union it means you are in a jam.  Fucked I was forced to go into hustle mode where I managed to cover my rent and then some.  A day later Western Union was back up and running, I got my money and was back in the black.  No thanks to any of the aforementioned financial institutions.

For me this was another situation where I managed to fall into shit and came out smelling like roses.  If you read here regularly for me such is a common situation.  I can only imagine how fucked someone with out half the luck I have would have been.  If I were you I would boycott Bank of America and Western Union cause both to me are inferior services whom do not deserve your patronage.

So what did I do in the end? I bought a new bad ass suit of course. After all no matter what situation life brings you isn't it best to do it well dressed?

So what did I do in the end? I bought a new bad ass suit of course. After all no matter what situation life brings you isn’t it best to do it well dressed?

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I know its been awhile and as far as content goes this blog has been a desolate waste land over the past few months.  What can I say for myself except for that fact that I have been rather busy these days.  Apparently trying to make my way in the real world has been a bit harder then I had initially thought.  Anyhow I thought I would take a minute to bring everyone up to speed and reaffirm that this blog is not dead.

As usual I have been rather busy doing nothing of an importance or significance besides keeping my head above water.  I suppose sometimes that is all one must strive for.  At the same time there are a few things in the works at the moment and if anyone or a number of them come to fruition I could be styling on a whole new level.  Since all of this is at the grass roots level there is not much more elaboration I am at liberty to offer up at this time.

Besides that I had a few personal issues go down in my life as a direct result of some of my past writings on here.   I held out and stuck to my originally convictions though ultimately the entire ordeal ended in censorship of my own personal words and even the temporary if not permanent removal of a few of my better posts.  This came as quite a blow to my emotions, artistic integrity and pissed me off creatively forcing a short hiatus from writing anything but the surflog, which regrettably has also been altered to my utter dismay.  Despite all of this bullshit I have managed to keep the regular diligent record of my daily surf sessions.

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This is exactly what censorship boils down to in my opinion…

This was not the first instance where I have had to go back and make some changes due to something I have written that hurt someone I cared about in my life.  All I do is honestly speak my mind about the everyday things that happen in my life.  Of course, since it is my life all of the people in it on occasion find there way into my writing and this would not be a problem other then the fact that what I scribe is available to be read by anyone with an internet connection.  As a blogger for many years being in the eye of the public has been a fact that I was more then willing to except and still am.

At the same time I also have to respect the feelings of those other people in my life and understand their reasons for not wanting to be a part of SurfingRuinedMyLife.net.  Maybe I have finally grown enough as a person over the past few years to finally respect that.  Whether I have made the right decision or not is still to be determined.  What I can say is that it was the right decision for me.  This has always been a surf blog anyhow and I think moving forward I will spend more time writing about surfing instead of just bitching about the melodrama of my some what semi-charmed life I in southern California.

Lets get back to the roots of this blog...Surfing

Lets get back to the roots of this blog…Surfing

I think less crying and more surfing will suit all of us just fine.  I will of course do a bit of complaining as usual, but we can all agree it is my useless rants that help add a bit of comedy from an other wise boring work.  Expect some new recipes for I am at times cooking again for fun.  As usual there will be new books cause a writer who doesn’t read is like a fish that doesn’t swim.  Hopefully I will have a few other cool things up my sleeve as I search for new inspiration.  I just don’t mean in writing but maybe in life as well.  We all know things here in Santa Barbara have gotten a bit stagnant for me and I feel its time I picked things up.
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I have finally managed to surpass my incessant partying with time in the water.  After nearly five years of self destructive party and ten years of self destructive surfing I believe I  have began to find a balance.  I can attribute a lot of this to the many people who have remained constant in my life and even those who exist in it no longer.  Bizarro has helped me find a new vigor for both my cooking and surfing through his new found interest in both. On the Surfing front we have been shooting up a storm.
11333499_1675042429395234_720614452_nI don’t really know what the future holds and wouldn’t want to know anyway or it would not interesting.  I have bit more free time for the next two months and I am hoping to add more content and have a few adventures along the way.  Finally I thank all of you for reading and sharing my life with me at SurfingRuinedMyLife.net.  Here is looking forward to a fun summer.

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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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No blogs, just surf

No blogs, just surf

June came and went with not a piece of writing here on SurfingRuinedMyLife.net.  For that I must say I am sorry.  I thought I would take a moment to explain myself a little bit.  First off things have been a bit on the crazy side.  Alright, when isn’t my life on the crazy or hectic side?  Normally by July I have hit my stride of chilling on Uncle Sam’s nickel.  That was exactly where I saw myself by now.  Unfortunately my superiors at Westmont had other plans for my summer.  While I would usually find myself living on the dole of unemployment with a little hustle and flow on the side I found myself stuck in the kitchen four days a week.

The Westmont Grind

Back in April I had been asked if I wanted to work May term hours.  May term is a one month micro semester Westmont runs for it’s students.  Like any institution of higher learning this means they compress classes into a short time period but still charge students the same amount of money per credit for the normal semester.  The motherfucking business of education.  “Hey come spend all your money and go into debt, then graduate with a useless degree and have to go work for minimum wage for some idiot like me”.  The only difference is I too am a well educated idiot working way outside of my degree or education for way less money then I should.  I think I just summed up every American from 22-35 at the moment.  Ain’t this country grand.  America land of the free only if your rich while the rest of us have become the in debt slave laborer. Sorry for the rant but it has been a while.

I did the math and realized if I worked all of May and saved the bulk of that money I could kick it on unemployment for the remainder of the summer and still have my “extravagant” or lack there of life style with out any change, unlike my usual summers where by August I am eating out of the trash and basically sucking dick for crack.  Well maybe not that last part, but you get what I am saying.   The fuckers stuck me on the morning shift meaning I had to get up at pretty much 5:30 every morning and leaving me forced to surf windy blown out shit in the afternoons.  It was only temporary…or at least that is what I thought.

May term came and went and I began getting even more hours as an influx of camp and convention groups came in.  Apparently Westmont whores out its campus to anyone willing to pay for it all summer long.  This sort of makes me a prostitute for the institute I suppose.  Whatever, dollar bills!   I have been working about 25-40 hours a week, work depending since May.   My schedule changes week to week which is certainly a pain in the ass.  I still manage a surf everyday and am stacking some mean paper while flipping burgers.

Reaping the fruits of my labor.  Your looking at a bacon double cheese burger for yours truly.  You think I would feed the customer this well, as if.  Yes that is a plastic plate on top a 350 degree F flat top grill.  Safety as always is my number one concern.

Reaping the fruits of my labor. Your looking at a bacon double cheese burger for yours truly. You think I would feed the customer this well, as if. Yes that is a plastic plate on top of a 350 degree F flat top grill. Safety as always is my number one concern.

Also it looks like I may actually become the full blown sous chef this fall considering that our old sous chef and my fellow friend in suffering Geoffrey is taking off a few months for hand surgery due to old age.  The guy is like 62 and been a war horse in the kitchen for over 40 years.  I am bummed to see him go as I have been able to learn so much from him and he over the past  six months has become sort of a mentor to me not to mention a great friend.  Honestly I don’t really want his job.  If I get impressed into it I am looking at twice the head ache, three times the responsibility, 100% more bull shit for if I am lucky $2 more an hour.  Whooooooooooooooot!!!!!!!!!  I am actually going to have a sit down with my general manager this week to see what is going on with the fall semester.

Catering

This was close to 150 salads for a wedding at some Hollywood directors 30 million dollar estate in Montecito.

This was close to 150 salads for a wedding at some Hollywood directors 30 million dollar estate in Montecito.

Those of you who frequently read the surflog know all about most of everything I have written and will write in this blog.  Basically I may not write blogs everyday or even monthly these days, but I do however write in my surflog, my online journal, daily.  So if you have not discovered it yet give it a peruse every now and again.  My boy Trevor recently became Executive Chef for a local catering company here in Santa Barbara.   I will not disclose the company so as to not cause any problems that this blog so often does in my life when I name, names.

He asked me if I would help a brother out for a bit while he got on his feet there.  At the moment I am currently his sous chef.  I am a double sous.  Always a fucking a bridesmaid and never a bride!  On my days off I am stuck either at an event busting my ass or in his kitchen prepping for an event.  Its a good learning experience and even more paper to stack.  At this point I am doing the best I have monetarily in about eight years or so.  Last night I took Heather out to dinner, where I proceeded to get sloshed and told her “MONEY IS NO OBJECT”.  And you know what?  It wasn’t…

Here we are at the Palace toasting to Trevor's new found success

Here we are at the Palace toasting to Trevor’s new found success

And we cooked up a surf and turf feast for the occasion.  That is grilled tri tip, Grilled fresh local prawns, orzo and roasted vegetables, and goat cheese horse radish bruschetta

And we cooked up a surf and turf feast for the occasion. That is grilled tri tip, Grilled fresh local prawns, orzo and roasted vegetables, and goat cheese horse radish bruschetta

DING REPAIR

Look at the ghetto set up I have going here.  My board is propped up by a cooler in the ally way on the side of my building.  I like to call what I do no guerrilla surf board repair.

Look at the ghetto set up I have going here. My board is propped up by a cooler in the ally on the side of my building. I like to call what I do now guerrilla surf board repair.

It never fucking ends. Just when I think I am out I am always sucked back in.  I don’t even have a space to repair boards.  I literally glass boards in my bathroom and then sand them in the ally next to my building.  Its a fucking pain in the ass and I hate it.  Yet for some reason surf boards keep showing up at my house to be repaired.  It’s true that  I am always breaking my own boards and needing to fix those.  I have four spares meaning I only really need to fix boards a few times a year when I have destroyed all four.  Usually in that time period I end up getting a new one anyhow.  My quiver is in reality a bunch of destroyed boards with one or two good ones.

People still show up at my house with dings.  They hit me up on Facebook.  “Hey so my boy said you fix dings…ummm can you help me out bro?”  My own friends are constantly hitting me up to repair their boards.  “Please Chris, don’t make me go to a surf shop, your the man”.  I am the man who hates fixing surf boards.  I even get phone calls on occasion from people in New Jersey who need a board fixed.  WTF.  It will never end will it?

Just in case you thought I was exaggerating.  That is a surfboard about to be glassed IN MY MOTHER FUCKING BATHROOM!!!!!!

Just in case you thought I was exaggerating. That is a surfboard about to be glassed IN MY MOTHER FUCKING BATHROOM!!!!!!

Surfing

I have actually been surfing up a storm.  Jalama has been the best it has been in ten years.  The kelp is good, the sand is decent and there have been waves thus I have been staying wet.  A normal day for me goes like this.  I wake up a 5:30am, go to work and make food for about eight hours.  Then I get off at around 3 pm, meet whomever hit me up first at my apartment to go up north with me.  I only take one person and its first come first serve, no nepotism.  Read The Rule of Two blog for more on my philosophy on that.
Jalama7314-173

I change out of my work clothes, load up the car and shove off on the hour or so drive to Jalama.  When we get there its not over, oh no.  There is about another 25 minutes of walking on the beach to get to the spot, maybe further, swell and crowd depending.  Then we surf for two hours, make the walk back, followed by the drive.  If I am with Trevor we always stop at Denny’s in Goleta for a post surf dinner.  If it is a party night then my day is not over.  I come home, take shower, suit up and cruise to the Wild Cat.  As you can see by this account of my day to day there is not very much time for blogging.
SpringSurf14-524I managed a perfect month back in May surfing every single day of the month 31 sessions in 31 days and a few doubles as well.  I don’t think I have accomplished such a feat since I lived in New Zealand.  It was fucking exhausting and I surfed all sorts of garbage in all sorts of dumb crowds.  You can read the May surflog to find out all about that one.  Basically I have found a renewed love for surfing and my performance is off the charts. I may be surfing better right now then I have ever surfed in my life.  Maybe I will write something about the perfect month here if I ever find some time.
Jalama61214
I guess that pretty much should bring everyone up to speed on what has been happening in Lisanti Land.  Heather and I are still together.  Even I don’t understand how or why that is.  At the moment it is actually going along at steady calm.  Whether or not I am doing the right thing for me or her is yet to be seen.  Just as I felt at the beginning I still feel now completely uncertain and confused.  Then again who really gives a fuck anyway cause at least I am surfing every day.

My cooking partner in crime Calvin finally moved back out to Santa Barbara and is currently living on the couch here at the Palace.  Where would I be with out a guy on the couch?  Him and I are in the process of the early stages of planning that Italian restaurant I always talk about opening.  He moved here with the intention of getting this place off the ground with me.   With any luck our goal is the try and open it by July of next year.  Lets keep our fingers crossed.  Expect to hear more on this from time to time as it begins to consume my life.

Here is some homemade potato gnocchi in a meat sauce to get your mouth watering.  This is just a taste of what I will be serving up at my restaurant.

Here is some homemade potato gnocchi in a meat sauce to get your mouth watering. This is just a taste of what I will be serving up at my restaurant.

What can you look forward to here on SurfingRuinedMyLife.net?  Kooky actually wrote a Kooky’s Korner for me to publish.  Of course this happened about a month ago or so, but my lazy ass never got around to publish it.  Since I have not heard from him since he may be dead in Tanzania right now, though he will live on here on the blog.  Nick the Kook was nice enough to write some of his recent adventures in Chile.  He wrote these like two months ago and I never posted it.  I am sure at some point I will rant about some bull shit like how I got a pimple on my right ass cheek and now it hurts every time I sit down to take a shit (that has not happened).  There you have it,  the last 45 days or so in my life.  Glad you still decide to read the trash I put out here.  Bye bye for now…

Calvin, Mark and I doing some R & D for the restaurant at the Wild Cat.

Calvin, Mark and I doing some R & D for the restaurant at the Wild Cat.

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BatteredFingerSmI woke up this morning with a penis on my finger and a throbbing sensation.  No my finger was not getting a hard on.  In fact it was just all swollen and pissed off after the trauma it had been through in the course of the last twenty four hours.  If you read the Surflog then you know I was off the past week for spring break and that up until today I was on a pretty decent surf streak this month.  I guess that streak has come to an annoying halt.

Friday (3-14) was my first day back at work in about a week.  In theory it should have been an “easy money” day as we like to call them at the kitchen.  My projected number of diners was around 50 to 100 at best and I had another cook at my disposal for the shift.  Like I said “easy money”.  The menu was decent enough, white vegetable lasagna, BBQ chicken, turkey pot pie along with the usual sides.  I took the slower day as an excuse to make the best damn lasagnas I possibly could. I love the less intense days so I can go that extra mile, which can be near to impossible on the days when your feeding 1,200, keeping tabs on six stations and eight cooks. None the less I always try to obtain the highest level quality possible.

By 3:30 we were pretty much solid on all the preparations and had nothing really to accomplish till four.  I noticed the dishwasher had failed to put away a number of pots, pans, cutting boards and other kitchen related items. Being the nice helpful guy I am I decided to go into the dish pit and finish the job thus avoiding aggravation to my night dish washers who always have shit dumped on them.  As I was stacking a group of 10 gallon pots above my head (a weight of over 30 lbs) I some how managed to get my finger caught between the bottom pot an the other three.  A finger guillotine was instantly created and carried out.
Finger guillotineYou know when you know you just do something really fucked up to yourself, but at that moment while in denial you look at it and think “fuck, that ain’t so bad”.  While intently looking at my finger, or what bludgeoned mess now resembled it I though maybe I could put it back together with a little crazy glue and a band aid.  As I watched the tip of my finger flap in and out of position and saw that the nail was cut clean through I came to the realization that professional medical care was in need.  Fuck it, it happened on the job thus I didn’t have to pay for it anyway.

I walked up to my boss, let him behold the bloody mess that was a finger and nonchalantly stated “I think I need to fill out an incident report”.  He got rather pale in the face, handed me a towel and took me to the local urgent care.  My own personal assessment of the injury and previous dealings with such had me almost certain the ER was not a necessity.  Yes I do tend to find myself in these situations quite regularly.  Its always amusing to me when I walk into a waiting room with a bloody towel wrapped around me and the horrified looks on all the other patients.  All of a sudden their minor complaints of back pain and a sore throat seem rather minuscule as they think “shit, at least I’m not that guy”.  Its ok cause I am always that guy.

Whenever I approach the check in counter the nurses are always thinking “Fuck, I don’t want to deal with this shit, especially at 4:30 on a Friday”.  Meanwhile I always just try and laugh it off as I do with most problems that are thrown at me.  Situations always are more fun when everyone is laughing even in an emergency.  Not wanting to deal with my mess I was sent across town to an occupational health center set up by the town to deal with worker compensation related issues.  Fucked up hand withstanding I was handed a clip board full of questions to answer.

The first few were apropos medical questions.  When I got to the third page, yes THE THIRD MOTHER FUCKING PAGE!!! Mind you I am bleeding all over the place, the form, the chair, my clothes.  I started reading questions like “What hobbies do you enjoy”, “what sports do you participate in”, “what music do you like”.  I said to the nurse behind the desk “what are you writing a book? or am I filling out a dating profile?,  or maybe your looking to sell my information to a mass marketing company, I don’t care which but I AM FUCKING BLEEDING ALL OVER MYSELF HERE!!!!!”  Another funny thing about when you are bleeding all over the waiting room is how all the other patients immediately get up and move to as far away to the other side  of the room as they can.  As if the aids I am not carrying is going to jump into them.

I finally get in to see the doctor, who also consequently wants to go home cause its now 4:50pm on a Friday and his office closes at 5pm.  All his nurses went home already leaving me with him, the x-ray technician and one of the receptionists, none of whom had ever assisted in such a procedure.  Everyone was rather eager to learn and I figured what the hell, why not be a guinea pig.  The operation got under way and I am not going to lie it was a pretty messy ass wound, all jagged and on a weird ass angle.  The doctor decided to go right through the nail with the stitches, a technique I had never really seen used before.  When he was all done he called the entire office in to see his handy work.  I don’t know if he was really proud of the job or he just wanted to show  how fucked up it was.  Either way it was most amusing.  When all was said and done I was left with a penis finger.
Four fingers and a Penis, lucky me. I guess it is better then the four fingers and bloody vagina I had prior to this photo.

Four fingers and a Penis, lucky me. I guess it is better then the four fingers and bloody vagina I had prior to this photo.

That leaves us at this present moment as I finish painstakingly typing this blog for your enjoyment with a hand and a half.  Looks like I am going to be side lined for a few days, maybe a week.  I am not really looking to get in the water until the stitches come out next Tuesday 3/25.  I asked the doc when he thought I could surf again and he said a few days if I duct tape it and keep it dry.  With a solid looking WNW coming in for early this week I may have to take such drastic matters.  Then again is it worth risking an infection and the possibility of losing the finger altogether?  Time will tell my friends.

Flawless Rincon Cove, enough to make the reward out weigh the risk?

Flawless Rincon Cove, enough to make the reward out weigh the risk?

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