Posts Tagged ‘Surfing Sucks Don’t Try It’

Where have I been?

Why have I not written?

Whats going on?

Whats going wrong?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Show Me the Money (or lack there of)

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

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

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

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

The 401K Debacle

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some Positive Stuff


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

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

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

I Met a Girl

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

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

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

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

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


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Loaded up and ready to go on a miraculous journey to find two foot slop.

Loaded up and ready to go on a miraculous journey to find two foot slop.

Do you want to know how long I surfed for today?  If you check the surflog it says one hour and a half.   In reality I surfed for almost five hours today.  The bulk of my session was not spent in the water, but in my car burning gas, adding to the size of my already huge carbon foot print.  What am I talking about?  Car surfing the most annoying repulsive ugly side of surfing there is.

In a perfect world the waves would be all time down the street from your house where with in a mile stretch you would some how have a right and left point, a slab reef, and a sick ass beachie.  I have yet to find such a place and if it does exist you can bet your ass no one is talking about it and are definitely not drawing you and I a map to it.  Instead of this fantastical situation surfers are stuck having to make do with what their backyard has to offer.

If you pulled up to this wave there would be no need to car surf any farther.

If you pulled up to this wave there would be no need to car surf any farther.

How do we define the word backyard?  In the the very beginning in ancient Hawaiian times I assume it would have been the break directly in front of your village.   Considering how primitive surfboards were back then I am sure just about any easy riding wave would suffice.  Then again they say the Polynesians traveled great lengths over many years in their out riggers.  Could it be they were just cruising around the south pacific trying to find a wave that was not closed out or too windy, small etc.?

When I was under the age of sixteen my backyard was the few miles I could access on my bike.  Back then after riding three miles to get to the beach in the dead of winter I was pretty much going to just jump in at first spot that was ride-able.  Then I got a car and everything changed.  Now my backyard was only limited to the amount of time available to me, the distance I was willing to drive and the amount of money in my pocket.  It was at that moment I became a car surfer.

Car surfing for those of you who are of the non-surfing variety or novice level is the act of a surfer driving around looking for waves to surf.   This can happen in a span of distance of ten miles or 150 miles or more depending.  Take where I live here in Santa Barbara for example.  Everyone here is a car surfer.  Our coastline is very dynamic and very spread out.  Add in the fact that we have a very small and selective swell window for most if not all of our spots and you will find that the amount of time and distance you will travel in your car to be astounding.  I can’t even imagine my numbers here.  Take this into account.  I bought my car in March of 2011 and it only had around 12,000 miles on it.  Since then the odometer reads 52,000 miles.  That is 40,00 miles in just under two years.  All put on with the sole purpose of scoring waves.

My asphalt surf board of choice.  At 38 miles per gallon and the rising price for gas you better believe I love this car.

My asphalt surf board of choice. At 38 miles per gallon and the rising price for gas you better believe I love this car.

I think I can safely say I fall into the category of hardcore car surfer.  Most times when I car surf, eight out of ten times to be precise,  I still paddle out and surf.  Just because you car surf does not guarantee you are going to find good surf conditions.  On the contrary most times the reason you are driving around in the first place is because the waves absolutely suck and you are trying to find the best bad waves on offer that day.  Lets face it when the surf is good at the first spot you check how likely are you to move on to another, very rarely.  When I pull up to Rincon and its on I am out there, no questions asked.

Since the waves suck and that is the reason you are car surfing to begin with there is always the chance of spending all that time and not actually surfing at all.  When that becomes a habit you are a car surfing champion.  I have sadly known plenty of surfers in my life who spend all day driving around everyday and never actually surfing.  Its terrible I know.  It is for that reason I created the rule “If I drive then I surf”.  What happens is your motivation is low to begin with because of the sub par conditions and every stop you make with more sub par surf wears you down till finally you just paddle out at some random terrible spot just to get a wave, or drive back to the first place you checked (usually the case in my experience) or not surf at all.

Isn’t surfing an amazing sport.  This is why I write these little insider blogs.  Some one has to tell it like it is.  The surfing world is not all sunny beaches,  girls in bikinis and perfect crystal clear water barrels.  Ninety percent of the time it is nothing but frustration, heart ache and let down.  Can’t wait for my next car surf session tomorrow.  With bad winds and small conditions predicted it should be an epic drive!

When you find those terrible waves the least you can do is make the most of them.

When you find those terrible waves the least you can do is make the most of them.

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I’m an addict and I’m strung out.  Its been one bad fix after another for me and at this point I am at my wits end.  I have paid dearly for this bad habit for the better share of my life. The worst part is 90% of the time all my efforts go to scoring deplorable dope a best. There was a time when I thought I had a chance at beating this illicit action and even had it well at bey and under my control.  Now I realize I am beyond hope and will suffer at my own lack of self control for the entirety of my existence.

I have known others through out my life with the same affliction and watched such destroy them as it has been slowly destroying me.  I have seen others successfully enhance their problem so that they could make the most of their self indulgence.  What am I talking about my friends? Is it my alcohol problem, I really wish that was the case.  That is something I have always been able to control.  I am talking about my surfing problem.

I get plenty of emails and messages asking why surfing ruined my life.  The answer I always give is that surfing ruins your life when it becomes your life, your main purpose for waking up in the morning.  When you get to this point your life as a citizen of our current social structure ends and your life as a surfer begins.  Tons of people claim they surf and that they are a surfer, but until you have blown off some of life’s most important happenings to ride 2ft wind blown close outs or cashed out on your entire known existence to move half way across the world in pursuit of a wave that has a name you can’t even pronounce your just a dabbler.

Is it worth giving up everything you know for this everyday?

I surf close to 7 days a week and have put myself in a situation where I can surf every day if I really want to.  Those few days a month when I don’t surf I hate myself all day for it.  Don’t believe me peruse the surflog section of this site.  Most surf addicts are in the same boat as myself.  I will even give an honorable mention to guys who although may not get to surf everyday have put themselves into a position that they can and won’t ever miss a fun day.  It is very understandable if you have a wife, kids, house and full time job necessary to support the latter that it is not practical to blow off responsibility for 2ft blown out crap.  Those guys have a schedule to keep and for the most part have done a stellar job to make surfing a part of that schedule.

A few days I posted a surfing blog and a positive one at that, “Better then Sex“.  This blog epitomized the true essence of what surfing is all about.  Its propaganda like this that has the masses stoked on getting into flopping around on a piece of foam.  It fuels, magazines, websites (this is loosely one of them), movies, television,  surf camps, surf schools, surfing resorts and as a direct result surfing is more popular and profitable then it ever has been even in a current period of fiscal recession.  Out of this giant “surfing” population it is only maybe 10%  who are truly addicted, 5% who have given up having a “regular” life for it and 1% who have given up everything in pursuit of the perfect wave everyday for the rest of their lives.

I fall into the 5%.  I need to surf everyday and have like I said structured my life through many series of pain, heart ache and tireless frustration in order to accomplish this.  I have also caused similar to plenty of loved ones and great friends on my journey.  In all truth I really don’t have any friends.  One cannot count on a person who’s entire life is based and planned around a 5 day forecast.  Sure there are as far out as 14-day forecasts but those who are really serious know only the five day can be trusted.  For the last 12 years my life has revolved around the 5-day surf forecast.  At first friends, family, women I have cared about find this intriguing, attractive, even entertaining, but when reality sets in and they realize its not a sport, instead a way of life, a tragic one at that.  Those same allies sooner or later give up.  Just like you would on a hard drug user who won’t quit.

I have begged, burrowed, hustled, stole, lied and cheated in order to keep getting my fix.  When things are good and the surf is pumping us addicts are stoked and awesome people to be around.  When it begins to falter and conditions meager our attitudes change very fast.  Instead of that happy go lucky perpetually stoked individual all the propaganda portrays you have a cranky, frustrated, irritable, aggressive, and ultimately depressed entity  that is a far cry from the advertisements that got one to buy a surf board and wet suit in the first place.

As stoked as I was on Saturday with near epic River Mouth is as let down I have been since.  Following that session of amazing proportions I have surfed nothing even remotely worth the price of admission.  There have been bad winds, even worse tides, terrible swell angles and poor periods.  To make matters worse add in the regular problems and stress of the everyday grind and things become unsettling really fast.  I lost my job, my roommate, can’t keep a girl, summer traffic has been worse then ever thanks to a new highway expansion project that is going to make my life miserable until 2015. By the time that date comes the population will have doubled and the traffic as well thus making the road work to be completely obsolete.  There is nothing worse then sitting in traffic for 2 hours to get to a surf spot that should have taken 20 minutes only for it to be over crowded and 2ft and windy.

Throw in a host of new surfers, both beginners and intermediate.  Its those average “I surf a few times a month or when surfline.com tells me to” that really cause all the trouble.  We can thank every surf camp, surf instructor and the creator of the fish and fun shape for this.  Believe me I helped, which makes it all the more ironic.  Now when its small and terrible, a time when I usually had most breaks to myself or shared with a few other die hards it is packed with groms who think they could be the next Dane Reynolds, kooks who just graduated from their soft tops, soccer moms on their stand up paddle boards and valley boy Joe who just pulled up in his mustang convertible.

It is these days when I hate surfing the most.  I have given up everything to go ride those terrible waves that were once uncrowded.  My stoke meter was already at a 3 and I was forcing myself to paddle.  When you add the crowd that level decreases to .01.  That was me this morning in the dirt lot above Emma Wood, where I sat for a good hour deciding if I should surf, go home, or throw myself off the cliff in front of a passing train.  The train option being my best bet especially since I failed at successfully constructing that guillotine out of the trunk of my car.

After waiting till the wind got harder and the crowd tripled I suited up and headed out.  There were about four peaks working with a few sneakers thrown in.  On the beach there were three telephotos and a video?  I looked around.  There was no one in the lineup worthy of such an entourage and the surf was barely chest high, windy and inconsistent at best.  Then I saw Dane suiting up bringing things into perspective.  Has the surf been that bad this season that photographers have gotten so desperate they need to try and sell pictures of Dane groveling?  I guess so.  He did his usual half hour of Emma.

I jumped in and the water was freezing. If it was 58 I would say it was warm.  I had a 4/3 and booties on and was cold the entire time making the drive home one of me blasting the heat to get the blood flowing again.  I felt like I was in the movie “Top Gun” when all the fighter jets were swarming around Maverick and Goose.  There were groms paddling every which way, kooks in front of me, body surfers and even some idiot on an ocean kayak.  Apparently some people got lost on their way to Mondos.  I got a few forgettable ones that I had to fight tooth and nail for.  Then a set wave slipped past the pack and swung wide right to me. I dropped in, it sucked up and I had a solid stand up tube, came out clean.

My initial instinct was to claim it so that if one of the photogs managed to shot it the sequence would end well.  Then I realized that they were all focused on Dane and these two groms who were ripping. As I was paddling back out this random dude threw a shaka at me and I was glad to share that little bit of stoke on an otherwise uninspiring day with him.  After that it was more terrible ones and more paddle battles, near collisions and tons of frustration.  Finally I got my 20 wave quota and was just looking for that one more.

Of course if you surf this almost always means the ocean is going to go flat and that the good wave wont come.  You have to end on a good on otherwise your  whole day is going to be shit. That was exactly what happen.  I got dropped in on twice.  Blew three late take offs.  Then finally a good left came my way.  I was about to drop into when this little grom maybe 12 paddled me and closed out the section on me.  Normally I let these instances go, but everyone hits their breaking point and this was mine.

I paddled up to the poor unsuspecting grom and looked him right in the eye “Did you think I was not going to catch it?”.  He responded “No”.  “Then why the fuck did you paddle me then?” I replied and I splashed water in his face, the most degrading thing one surfer can do to another in a lineup confrontation and usually when a fight breaks out.  “You know me, I surf with you all the time and you know I don’t miss the waves I paddle for.  Don’t paddle me! I don’t paddle you!” He had a stunned look on his face.  So did I.

I caught the very next wave and went in disgusted with myself for such behavior.  The kid made a common mistake and he was after all a kid, but I was over it. Then again when I was a kid I would not have even thought about paddling a guy who had been surfing longer then I was alive.  The pecking order in today’s lineups has really fallen apart, but that is a blog for another day.  Mostly I was angry at myself cause I ruined this little kid’s stoke for the day and probably put some fear into him about lineup etiquette making him over cautious for a while.

Five days ago I was out having a ball with my fellow surfers, hooting and hollering.  Everyone was stoked and life was great.  Today I wished I had a water proof uzi so I could have mowed down 3/4’s of the lineup.  When you want to know why surfing ruined my life just mull that over for a while. Surfing sucks don’t try it.

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