Posts Tagged ‘…lost’


Sometimes solitary confinement isn’t a bad thing. Photo: Christopher Dunlea

My cell phone has this handy compass app that always allows me to find north and ultimately the direction I am walking in.  Before that I made sure to have a regular compass with in use so I would always find my way.  A compass is with all best intentions a rather fool proof device.  Through the years I always felt that my internal compass seemed to work rather successfully as well.  At the moment when I look back over the course of the last ten years, even the last twenty maybe I was wrong.  I think I may have been walking around in circles for my entire life.

The more I meditate on this matter the more disturbing it all becomes.   Take this instance right now while I am sitting here writing these very words.  I am sitting in the same apartment  (relatively) I have lived in for the past 6 years or so.  I am in the same town, working the same job, patronizing the same watering whole, surfing the same breaks.  Despite all of this inherent familiarity I feel more lost, alienated and confused then ever before.  If my entire life had not been with in this theme such could have been quite the alarming realization.

If your wondering what gibberish I am getting at here I cant really say.  I am trying to convey a loose reason for why I have felt less then creative and thus been less then productive here at SurfingRuinedMyLife.net.  I sort of feel like the past 8 years of my life have went by as if part of a lucid dream of sorts.  When I look back on all of the stupidity, misadventures, the pain, the heart ache, it all just doesn’t see real.  Finally all of that has come to a head of sorts and left me  here in front of this computer screen typing this hardly coherent piece.


“A life with out purpose is a purposeless life”.  I read that somewhere once and it always kind of pissed me off.  What if you just don’t have a purpose.  Shit, can everyone really have a purpose?  I feel like then there would be way too many people out there for so many purposes.  What about those of us who just sort of want to float.  Is there anything wrong with that?  I don’t think there is.  I have spent the past three years or so trying to loosely fit into the society that I am “suppose to”.  It hasn’t worked and now I am over it.

The relentless circle I have been walking in for the past twenty years needs to come to an end.  I wish to begin walking forward again.  I don’t have answers yet and truth be told have barely even formulated a plan.  I can tell you this I have some bold thoughts and notions running around in my head at the moment.  In the mean time I am as usual going to “keep keeping on” cause that truly is the only way to survive in this life.

Please forgive me for the lack of words published this or last month.  I will try and make a greater effort to write something at least once a week for my own personal sanity.  Kooky has finally send in a correspondence for Africa which will be shared as a Kooky Korner .  I have only briefly perused it but from what I read I must say it is one of his better works. I have a new book club entry as well to publish.  Look for a blog on my most recent Big Sur adventure and of course other little tid bits from the Lisanti everyday as usual published daily in the surflog.  I promised as soon as I figure my shit out and what is next for Chris Lisanti you folks will be the first to know.


One thing we can always count on in life is that there will always be moments of beauty even in the most insipid of scenarios. Photo Christopher Dunlea


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The first Power of Ten of the quarter and the month of February goes to Kooky Kyle, whom also earned himself one bonus point for answering the question posed in the UCB winners blog.  The champ is already off to a strong start.  At this moment he is on a bus to LA to catch a plane bound for New Zealand and the next chapter of his adventures.  Don’t worry there will be plenty of Kooky’s Korner entries written by him about his escapades in the land of the sheep.  I for one am very proud of the kid.  He also carried himself quite well last night at the strip club.

Now they are not really my cup of tea, but the guy had never been to one at 23.  I am sorry but it is a straight man’s right of passage to go to the titty bar at 18 and get a lap dance.  I think he was a bit mortified by the whole thing.  I don’t blame him.  Strip clubs are some of the lowest forms of our civilization.  Nothing says I give up like that.  The strippers have given up their personal dignity and pride and so have the customers.  I would rather buy a pretty girl a nice meal for 100 bucks then have her dance on my lap naked.  Maybe that is me just romanticizing life again.  Anyway lets get back to the power of ten cause this can of worms is a whole different blog for another time.

1.  The Barf Barrel – This could be a blog in itself and it may have been written back in the early myspace days.  When I was a junior in high school  Mac Donalds had this promotion, twenty five cent cheese burger Tuesdays or something.  My boy Odie and I on the way to an after school surf decided to stop and pick up $10 bucks worth.  That is forty burgers!  We scarfed that shit down then went up to the beach.  Turns out it was firing.  Solid 6-8ft and barrels everywhere.  We ran out there and began tearing it up.  Well it did not take long for the indigestion to set in.  By my fourth wave I as not feeling so well.  I was sitting out there in agony when this perfect left bowl came right to me.  All the boys started hooting and hollering.  I was the deepest so I had to go.  I sucked it up and paddled into the wave.  Upon dropping in I was ensconced in the pit.  It was solid, so wide I could drive my Honda Civic through it.  Half way into the ride I felt my lunch coming up with a vengeance. Sure enough I spewed right into the face of the wave.   Then I proceeded to watch the vomit go up the face and around the tube.  I basically surfed through a barrel of my own throw up.  I barfed another two times on the paddle back out and then was fine for the rest of the afternoon.  Odie lost his lunch too.  It was a pretty great session.  My buddy Jason saw the whole thing from the side while he was paddling back out.  Said he almost blew chunks as a result too.

Barf Barrel

Just Imagine seeing a streak of vomit coming over me and that would have been what the Barf Barrel looked like.

2. Surf Lingo – On the whole I find surf lingo rather ridiculous and somewhat demeaning to surfers, especially when used by non surfers who have no idea what they are  talking about.  There are some instances where surf lingo or surf speak as I like to refer to it is necessary.  That is for certain feelings, emotions and circumstances that can only happen while surfing and be experienced by a surfer.  It is for those reasons certain surf speak was created.  There were no other words in the human language to describe such.  Barrel, tube, pit, larrel, lip, mush burger, green room, slotted, etc. are all terms to describe different parts of the wave/ride.  They have meaning in the English language but none of those definitions fit their meaning in surfing.  Kook, ripper, shredder, sweeper, sponger, wahine, loc, heavy, punk etc.  are all terms that describe different types of  surfers and abilities. What I am saying is I am fine with surf lingo when used among surfers, but outside of our sub culture I find it brass and idiotic.  When the non-surfing use it I just feel insulted and outraged.  If I have to explain it you won’t understand anyway.

3. Worst Surf Trip  – Santa Barbara is the worst surf trip that I have ever took cause I have been stuck on it for the last five years.  Just kidding.  Truthfully I really can’t think of a bad surf trip.  Even the ones where the waves were awful I still managed to surf my brains out and have a great time.  A few years back I probably would have had a whole list for you.  These days as I look back over all my travels I am grateful for every single one.  Traveling is one of the most amazing things a person can do.  It is an amazing world out there with endless possibilities.  If surfing is the outlet one must use to get out there and see what there is to see then good on ya.  I know if I was not a surfer I most likely would not have went to half the places I have been.  These days most of the trips I take are non surfing trips and so are many of the ones I hope to some day take on.  I really want to go to Italy for a few months, back to my native country and see all the sights, eat the food, maybe even cook the food.  I want to see Stonehenge.  Bottom line there is no such thing as a bad trip except for the ones not taken.

4.  Vagrancy – I guess at one time I was classified as a vagrant and have definitely put up my share of them here in Lisanti Land.  I believe everyone ought to have a period of his/her life spent as a vagabond living by the seat of their pants, traveling from place to place on a wing and prayer with no destination in mind.  I did it for years and it was amazing.  At some point life catches up to you and then you to make a decision.  Believe me I have plenty of friends who were all former vagrants now living very stable lives.  Heck I am one of them.  Shit I just put 2gs into my apartment.  If that is not stable I don’t know what is.  Career vagrants and I do not get along.  I hate bums.  Quite frankly there are way to many of them here in the city of Santa Barbara.  I have a good mind to go sit down with the mayor ask her to deputize me, give me a van, a clan of Pinkertons and let me clean up the town.  No questions asked.  That is a whole different blog entirely.

These guys need to go. I pay too much money to live in this town to put up with their shit.

5. Garbage Can Books – I find more great books in the garbage then I buy.  Its rather alarming to me as a writer myself.  Here I am working on a master piece of a novel that I know is most likely to be thrown in the trash.  Its probably a terrible work, but my delusional ass likes to think it is good.  The other day I picked The Portrait of Dorian Grey, The Canterbury Tales, Tess of the d’urbervilles among other great titles from a trash pail.  It was shocking.   Books are all we have as a civilization.  You know what made us “civilized” and I use that term lightly considering my thoughts and beliefs on the human race, reading and writing.  If you finished a book and do not want it any more pass it along to someone else.  That is the best way to share a piece of yourself with others.  I always give my extended guests a book upon their entrance to the Lisanti Palace.  I try to tailor the selection to a work I feel will fit their character and current situation in life.  Sometimes I will use a work to teach a lesson of sorts.  For example when I was pretty sure my ex-girlfriend was cheating on me I gave her a copy of Gustav Flaubert’s Madam Bovary read.  If you do not understand why, read the book cause it is a beautiful tragic love story.

6. Alfie and the Dish Cloth – I am a bit of push over with my pets.  I hate being a disciplinarian especially with my pets.  Neither was my ex-wife.  As a result Alfie grew up with not the best manners.  More times then not during dinner hour he would have to be thrown off the table repeatedly.  Then when my drug addict roommate Nick was passing out all over the apartment (who by the way I am happy to say is in England going through rehab and hopefully cleaning up his life.  Nick I am proud of you man.  Stay on the course.  Your too good for that shit.) Alfie had free reign over all the food that was constantly getting left out or spilled.  Now before we go any further let me say I am not a fan of animal abuse and that I love my cat.  Please do not go calling the ASPCA on me.  One day after feeling a bit sad and then angry over the Adrienne situation I was eating dinner ALONE!  Alfie jumped up on the table and tried to grab my food.  I lost it snagged the dish cloth and rat tailed him.  I got him pretty good too.  So every time Alfie gets out of line all I have to do is pick up the dish cloth and begin to roll it and he bolts.  My dinner parties all run a ton smoother now.

7. Girls Destroying Clothing – I have had a startling amount of clothing ruined by women.  I cannot even tell you the number of button down shirts that I had all or most of the buttons ripped off in the heat of passion.  One in particular wrecked five of my best shirts.  I have had pants ruined because the zipper got torn off.  Fuck I know if tore off an expensive designer dress on some chick she would be pissed as hell about it.   I remove clothing in a sexy yet respectable manner.  I am not even going to get into the number of outfits I had ruined on me as a result of vomiting.  Ladies c’mon.  I know I am irresistible, but does my wardrobe have to suffer for it?

8. Best …Lost Moment – The company …lost has for the greater span of their life as a surf brand been known as anti surfers surf company.  In other words they full on touted the party hard, surf less, miss contests, cause trouble, derelict surf life style rather then the clean cut, mellow, guitar playing, life loving drug/alcohol free positive surfer portrayed by the majority of the industry.  As a result they built up a team of quite the group of characters and a following even worse.  Then they put out these series of films in the early 2000’s documenting and glorifying said lifestyle.  It was very entertaining and there were plenty of out of control moments.  Girls falling down flights of stairs, drunken stair surfing, Randal who was this bum they found living under the pier in Oceanside and paid in booze to allow the team to abuse.  He got his hair lit on fire on many occasion.  There were drunken fights, under age riders chugging pitchers of beers for $20, going over the falls at huge shore break Mexico in an inner tube, having a surfing dog burn some of the best pros at Lowers.  It was insane.  The best moment and I think the entire surf world is with me on is this one is this clip when pro surfer Strider pulled the g-string of some 15 year old girl on the beach in Mexico, called her a slut then jumped back in his jeep and drove away from “Whats really goin wrong”.

I could not find the clip, but this trailer gives a decent idea of what …lost was all about.  The side of surfing everyone knows exists, but don’t want to talk about.

9.  Covering Your Tracks –  This can go for anything in life, but in surfing it is about hiding either where your surfing or surfed to keep the crowds down.  For example in Cape Hatteras, NC the sand bars are constantly shifting.  A good bar can be around for a day or a week or so.  When such occurs initially it is uncrowded.  Then some one goes and tells his friend, who tells his friend, who tells his friend and so on and so forth.  Next thing you know the place is mobbed the next day.  To keep this from happening many of us like to park not right on the spot, drive cars that are not obvious surf cars, I have seen people go as far as hiding their cars behind dunes and then literally covering up the tire tracks.  I once told a buddy of mine I was surfing shitty blown out Ventura, all the while looking at perfect Loons with no one out.  I knew that guy had a big mouth and I was not about to tell him where I was so he could show up with ten bros.

1o. Animal Print – I am a sucker for animal print.  It drives me wild.  When I see a chick wearing any kind of animal print outfit I am immediately turned on.  It brings out our most primal of instincts.  For that reason my bedding has always contained some form of animal print.  Currently I am running with zebra print satin sheets.  Ohhhhh yeahhh, high class.  As I am writing this I have a leopard comforter around me from a former bed set.  Maybe that is why I have all my cloths torn off by women?

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Looks like a good one eh? Nope, its a left close-out at Hammonds, a right hand reef break. I could have taken the right but decided otherwise and broke my board.

This is the last UCB of the Spring Quarter.  I know it has been a bit of bullshit quarter, but what the fuck do you want from me.  It’s been the worst few months of my entire life.  Sorry if I missed a few weeks.  At this point 2011 may go down as the shittiest year in the history of Lisanti Land.  God I hate fucking Lisanti Land.  Why can’t I get a vacation from it?

Everyone else gets to visit and leave.  What sucks about being Chris Lisanti is that it’s always Lisanti Land 24/7.  I can’t leave. It’s like being on the fucking Truman Show.  All things considered I guess I should not complain.  I am still alive after all, have my physical health (my mental health went out the window a few weeks ago), there is a roof over my head and I get enough to eat.  Things could be worse I suppose.  They say no one dies from a broken heart, although I would beg to differ.

John Mauriello wins this UCB with the topic PGCB.  I know more then a few readers when they saw his request were thinking “What the fuck does that mean”.  Well PGCB is a term that Scotty B and I coined back in the first round blow out days of our almost “pro” carreers.  The whole movement started courtesy of Ventura Professional Surfer Sean Hayes and his segment in “The Decline of Surfing Civilization: Lost Across America II”.

If you have not seen any of the early 2000 …Lost surf films you are missing out and I highly recommend watching them.    They are some of the gnarliest surf films out there both in surfing and lifestyle.  …Lost single handedly defined the punk rock, “I don’t give a fuck” surfing movement of the mid 2000’s with the production of these films.  I know I personally thrived on them.

There is a segment mid way through the film just about completely filmed in both Ventura and Santa Barbara.  The bulk of it is at some pretty flawless yet excruciatingly crowded Rincon.   Towards the end the segment shows a brief clip of Hayes surfing triple overhead maxed out Ventura Beach break.  He is just pulling into these massive closeout tubes and getting destroyed.

Finally the segment ends with him pulling into a bomb, saluting the beach before getting completely owned.  Watching that as a kid I just thought what a crazy motherfucker, now that I have surfed that spot in the film I have a new respect for his feat.  That place packs a punch when it’s four feet let alone fifteen!  As he is walking back up the beach to the parking lot he says “I don’t know why none one else is out here; there is nothing but Perfectly Good Closed-out Barrels”.  Thus the term PGCB was born, which if you are dense and have not figured it out yet stands for Perfectly Good Closed-out Barrels.

Then I realized that the majority of my favorite surf spots and conditions were nothing more then gnarly, heavy closed-out beach break.  In NJ that was very understandable because that was the case with the bulk of our swells.  Since then I have moved to the land of the right point breaks, Santa Barbara California. Even in such an environment I still have some of my most fun in perfectly good closed out barrels.

I guess there is a certain kind of rush one gets out of pulling into a stupid barrel he knows he is not going to even come close to coming out of.  I know I do.  Plus close outs just have so much more power then regular waves.  All those huge airs and crazy flips you see being done are pulled mostly on heaving closeouts.  That is just the way it is.  I suppose the surfer in me loves point breaks more then any other type of wave in the world, but my heart will always be for the heaviest, most angry, gnarly, back washy stupid close out there is.  Long live the PGCB!

My favorite part about closeouts, airs!

This is the infamous spot where the term and life long search for the PGCB began,on another day that was nothing more then Perfectly Good Closed Out Barrles 🙂

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