Posts Tagged ‘The summer of Alf’

July 2012 Surf Session in Review

I am currently super behind on my monthly surf reviews.  I guess there really is not shock there.  I decided the other night to run the numbers from July considering how dismal a summer it was up here in the 805.  Now I know this is not really the place to be in the summertime, but still in past years there were at least a few unreal days.  July was mostly about suffering. I had not the money or time to travel south to better wave locals and it was windy most of the time up north, nor did I have a wettie warm enough.  Besides two tropical cyclone swells there was little if anything to get excited about.  Here is how it all shaped out according to the numbers.  I will say one thing I was rather frothy for whatever was on offer.

Number of Surf Sessions: 21
Days Surfed: 20
Total time Spend in the Water:  35hrs
Number of Waves Surfed: 644
Average Waves Caught Per Hour: 19

Spots surfed:
Santa Clara River Mouth: 15
Mesa Lane: 3
Gold Coast: 2
C Street: 1

Top 3 Surf Sessions (taken unedited from the Surflog):

3) 7/13/12 AM Session: 2-4+ft, Santa Clara River Mouth
Time in Water: 2hr 15mins
Waves Surfed: 43
My roommate and I cruised downtown last night for some pool and other shenanigans. I found a box of books on the walk home.  Surprisingly I woke up rather well rested and ready to surf. I got to River Mouth and the wind was already on it, had been all morning.  My boy Ryan was out so I just suited up ran down.  Turns out although a bit on chunky side there were plenty of really fun lefts.  I ended up frothing the shit out of the session catching anything and everything that came my way.  I stuck a few nice ally-oops, went for a shrink wrap that I almost pulled coming unstuck on the switch stance landing.  It was a sick sess to say the least.

2) 7/30/12 AM Session: 2-4+ft, Santa Clara River Mouth
Time in Water: 1hr
Waves Surfed: 21
I got a late start this morning.  I was not really expecting much to be happening out there.  Buoys had dropped from the previous day and the tide was a bit fat.  Stephanie was suppose to surf with me, but missed me by about ten minutes.  Chris Lisanti does not wait for anyone in the morning.  Surf always comes first, always.  I got down to River Mouth and it was clean with some small but fun looking peaky bowls.  There were a few  guys scattered along the different banks.  Turns out when I got down to beach level it was more like chest to head and solid with double up barrels.  It became an instant froth fest for me.  I had a deep ass FS tube that I have no idea how I made it out of.  Stuck a bunch of critical reos and some decent airs.  Then as I was paddling back out after landing a sizable fs air reverse I saw this right sucking up off a rip on the sand bar.  I stroked into and air dropped into the pit.  I felt my board crease, even heard the pop when I hit.  I grabbed the rail to stabilize the board, but the pressure was just too much and as I was about to come out my board snapped right in the middle under my feet.  Just like that the session was over.  The board itself was kind of at the end of its life.  It sucked that I had to have my session cut short.  I guess I am going to have to always start bringing a spare again.  Great session while it lasted.

1)7/17/12 AM Session: 3-5ft, Gold Coast
Time in Water: 1hr 15mins

Waves Surfed: 22
I only surf the Gold Coast when the surf is either just right so the place fires (its one of the few spots that can handle south wind) or if I am with a novice and looking to beat the crowd.  Today both entities held true.  I have been trying to make time with this chick I met through Lindsay a few weeks prior.  At first the attraction was purely physical but as of late I am really starting to enjoy her company.  I know this puts me in a dangerous predicament emotionally, but maybe its time for me to try again?  Whats that fall off the horse saying about anyway?  Our schedules really contradict thus making finding time together difficult.   Last night she hit me up wondering if she could come surf with me in the morning.   She has some skills but they are rudimentary at best meaning a surf with her has to be a compromise between waves the both of us can ride and a place where I will not be disgraced by other surfers for bringing her there.  I know I hate it when guys bring girls who cant surf out at Emma Wood.  Last night I thought nothing of it.  The reports all showed average south swell from Fabio leading me to believe the morning was to be average at best and thus ok to give up.  We checked Kooks Peak and there were a few fun looking bowls out there, fun for both of us.  I just wanted to have a look at the Gold Coast since the wind was right. Sure enough it was firing.   I mean I started to froth.  I must have tore my wettie on so fast it was not even funny, although The kook beat me, but I am a slow changer as anyone who surfs with me knows.  I was going to help her along, but it was just too good out there and I just ended up frothing.  Literally it was as good as New Port is on a good south swell.  I got one tube that had to be like 75 yards long.  I had some sick airs, almost brought down a huge bs full rotation air but came unglued in the landing. So far I would say it was the session of the summer!

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I woke this morning on my little love seat still in my suit from last night’s Gay Prom at the Wild Cat covered in crumpled up nachos and a head ache that felt like someone shoved an ice pick through my ear.  Does this sound familiar?  That is pretty much what went down every night since Thursday.  I sometimes wonder what my shitty new roommate thinks of the pathetic mess I must look like when she is leaving for work at 8 am.  Then again she is a selfish bitch who just screwed me out a good deal of money leaving me literally broke so who fucking cares anyhow.  She is lucky I don’t hit her in the head with a mallet then piss in the hole I just smashed in her skull.  In all seriousness  I think I had $35.83 in my checking account last time I checked.

At 31 years old I expected so much more out of my life by now.  Well, maybe I hoped for more.  As we all know I am a bit of a pessimist and a cynic.  This being the case things probably have worked out exactly as I expected.   I’m divorced, penniless, juvenile, absolutely alone, stuck in a dead end job and a total and utter drunk.   I feel depressed, dejected, frustrated, confused and alienated.  At least I have my health and my beauty, yet one cannot beat father time.  They say the first step is to identify the problem.

Am I depressing you?  I’m sorry, here is a picture of a cat in a top hat to bring back up your spirits.  While we are at it lets go off on a momentary tangent on why top hats became unfashionable.  I mean they are dank as hell.  Look how dapper Mr. Peanut looks in his.  That’s it I am bringing it back.  I declare that this New Years Eve I am going to wear a top hat out and from there on in 2013.  The top hat revolution has begun.

And now back to the misery that is my life…

The Summer of Alf ended some time ago now.  It was a wonderfully splendid spring day back in May when I came up with this great list of positive changes I was going to make and things I was going to pursue in the blog “Of Things to Come“, which will be referenced here and then was later defined in “The Summer of Alf” blog.  If your a steady reader then you know I make these futile proclamation blogs every so often when I feel rather ambitious.  Always forgetting how it was ambition that brought MacBeth to ruin: ” I have no spur, To prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself, And falls on th’other “.  Of course in the end I find myself more of a whiny bitch like Hamlet.

About a week ago I posted a poll on the most recent Power of Ten blog to see how  you folks thought the Summer of Alf worked out.  12.5% called it a flop, 25% a success and a whopping 62.5% claimed they had no idea why they wasted their time reading anything written on SurfingRuinedMyLife.net.  Let me tell you why you read: for self affirmation.  When you have a bad day or feel like a failure all you have to do is open a web browser, type http://www.surfingruinedmylife.net into it and you are guaranteed to feel better.  Its like “man I know I am messing up, but I wonder how bad Chris is blowing it right now”.  At the very worst you can see that you are not alone in your suffering.  We can cry together thanks to the world wide web and way too much time on our hands. Just because I don’t blog every day doesn’t mean I have not written some ridiculous thing in the Surf Log.

Lets see how I did on that list:

Proclamation 1: Get Back into Music

You ever notice how many pictures I have of me wearing this t-shirt. I have owned it for almost 7 years now. Fuck it has guns all over it making it pure awesomeness! I am going to be really sad when it goes thread bare and I end up using it as a rag to clean my toilet with.

Ok this one is sort of a push.  I actually spent a good deal of time woodshedding and getting my fingers back into shape.  I started ripping on some licks that had me very stoked.  These days I have been favoring my alto and soprano more then my tenor.  On the flip side of things I did not make any real attempt to play out at all and even turned down on more then one occasion a chance to perform.  My friend Meat Cat says it’s because I am a male diva.  No points…

Learn to Speak Italian
This was a fail.  But then again who the fuck was I kidding.  I barely speak English all that well and if not for spell check would be a complete illiterate.  What made me ever think I could brush up on my Italian?  I did pick up a bit more Spanish though.  -1 point

Go Surfing as Much as Possible
I am going to have to call this one a half success.  I did manage to make the most out of the meager conditions on offer and lack of swell.  I surfed mostly local, broke two boards and had some really good barrels. When it was flat I took to skim boarding for some exercise. On the down side I still missed a few too many days as a result of too much drinking and party. One thing is for sure when I did get in the water I had a hell of a good time.  Half point.

Read More books
I  somehow found the time to read three books in the duration of the Summer of Alf and acquired some new cook books that I cooked up some fun recipes from.  Thanks to strange late night drunken finds, thrift stores and the Ventura swap in all its jankyness my collection has grown immensely.  Win +1

Write More
Well I am going to have go with a push here.  I may not have wrote a ton, but I felt the quality of the text was much better then it ever has been.  I came across some blog randomly today and the guy was using cell phone short hand.  I was blown away.  One should never use “u” in place of “you” or “r” in place of “are” anywhere but on a cell phone text.  No wonder the world is falling apart.  No Points

Explore the Greater Santa Barbara Area
This one not so much.  I sort of had a routine and stuck to it all summer.  There was not much of the explorer in me.  -1 point.

Finish the Coffee Table
Nope, unless one is to include spilling a host of liquids and alcoholic beverages on it an improvement.  I guess I am slowly staining the top of the table with red wine and rum and cokes.  -1 point

Drink and Party Less

Big Pimpin’ at the Wild Cat

If you read the surf log then the answer to this one is apparent and no.  One thing I must say is that I partied really fucking hard.  As a matter of fact I think the night after I wrote this list I went out and got black out drunk.   The Summer of Alf brought about the largest number of black outs I have ever had in a four month period and maybe even my entire life.  I woke up in pink seat pants  not knowing where I was, woke up all over my apartment, got locked in my own bathroom.  Did countless activities I could have more or less lived with out.  I hit it hard on solstice, carried it through to fiesta.  There were some drunken Tuesdays in the mix and plenty of sloppy family dinner Wednesdays.  Lets just say I did the opposite here and went hard. -1-hey at least I did not get injured seriously or end up in jail.  Did I mention I also got fired from the produce market as a direct result of my drinking.  That is a first for me.

Other notables
I spent some time in San Francisco at the very start of the Summer of Alf.  You can read about those adventures in “Taking the Bay Area by Storm“.  I got fired from two jobs subsequently causing me to go on unemployment twice.   Alfie still has fleas.  I got passed up for Sous Chef at work for a less capable person who has barely been there three months let alone my three years.  I managed to do absolutely nothing of any substance or value and if anything went into a retrograde.  

My final take on the Summer of Alf was that it was a total and utter failure as per usual.  So be it.  If I succeeded in life then I most likely would not be the fun character I am to read about.  Who wants to read about happy things.  No one! Cause when things were going well for me I had the lowest readership ever.  I’m done trying for the fall.   Fall 2012 is going to be deemed “The Fall of My Malcontent”.

I am not making any proclamations, declarations or aspirations.  I am just going to live and see where that takes me.   My entire life I have always had a zest for living and an agitation for planing.  At the moment maybe that is what has brought me to this dismal point, too much planing.  For the next three months I am going to live by the seat of my pants, throw my chips into the air and see where they lye.

I am going to wake up everyday, take a deep breath and live.  No regrets, no cares, no worries cause what ever happens is going to happen and in the end it will sort itself out regardless.  For the record “I was perceptive,  I always know when someone is uncomfortable at a party”.

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I declare this THE SUMMER OF ALF! MEOW

It was a marvelous day in late Spring on the hit television series Seinfeld, Season 8, Episode 22 (I know Im obsessed), when George Costanza (Micheal Alexander) finds out that the Yankees are going to pay him three months severance.  Upon receiving these wonderful tidings he stands up rants about how he will use his time and then “declares it to be the summer of George”.  Everyone has been patiently waiting on the definition of THE SUMMER OF ALF and what it is all about.  Well its time folks, its time!

Before I do I find it most pertinent to set the scene with a little back story.  I am as wordy as Faulkner or Hawthorne.  Too bad I am not nearly as profound and I don’t get paid by the word or at all for that matter.  As most of you know I work as a chef over at Westmont College.  One of the many perks of working for an educational institution is that you get the same breaks as the students.  What does that mean for me; summers off!!! Unfortunately I am not paid for this time.  Luckily my Uncle Sam steps in every year and invests in my vacation.  I’m talking about unemployment people.  Its not my fault there is no work for me.

Every year I am off from the first week in May until the last week or so in August.  This allows for plenty of time for activities.  Last summer I blew it.  I squandered those months moping around Santa Barbara in the hopes that my life would be taken untimely in a horribly painful occurrence.  It didn’t happen.  Why you ask?  Cause I could not get over the loss of my ex-girlfriend.  I really hope unless your new here you did not need that question to be answered.

Fast forward nine months give or take.  My roommate Dan and I were sitting in the living room and I was being all introspective about how I wanted to start living again and making the most out of my life.  No more self pity, loathing, anger, tears, bullshit.  Later that night I wrote “Of Things to Come” which was a comical yet very serious look at the things in my life I wanted to improve on over the coming months.  Upon reading it Dan declared that the summer of 2012 was going to be none other then the Summer of Alf.

I know what your thinking, why is not called The Summer of Chris?  Alfie had just as hard of a time adjusting to our new life as I did.  He had to deal with all the gnarl of me, heroin addict roommates, becoming a heroin addict himself, fleas and overall feline aggravation.  Now a year later his coat is shinny and full again, he is content in his new home and has a minimal amount of fleas.   I say why not call it The summer of Alf! Is that not what we ask in Lisanti Land when someone asks the question “why”?

WHY NOT! That is what The Summer of Alf is all about.  Its about taking the bull by the horns and seizing every minute of every day.  I am not going to squander a moment.  Its all going to be done in a positive, classy manner.  I am not going to rehash “Of Things to Come” you can go back and read it for yourselves.  I am going to have fun, get things done, be the remarkable, strong honorable, trust worthy person I had set out to be at the very start.  People are going to look up to me cause I am a solid human being and not some circus sideshow act.

My mother wrote me a letter when I first moved out here to California.  In the letter she discusses how she believed in me and how I was capable of doing anything I wanted as long as I put my mind to it.  That she was always hard on me cause she expected nothing but the best I could do.   I found that letter while cleaning out my junk draws a month before any of this Summer of Alf business even started and hung it up on my wall.

Its been a long time since I have done the absolute best I could possibly do.  Its about time I started doing it again.  The Summer of Alf has no limitations, no preconceived notions, no bull shit.  The Summer of Alf is the beginning of the rest of my life.  Big things are coming and expect to read and be entertained by all of it.  In the first week I threw an eight guest four course dinner party and just got back from a ridiculous jaunt up in San Fransisco, which you are soon to read about!


The Summer of Alf is all about Puffins doing lude activities on cereal boxes? So much for trying to be classy.

In all seriousness what it all comes down to is the taking things in strides. Me already making the most out of the Summer of Alf. Look at the size of that cup!

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It was last Wednesday evening that things began making sense to me again.  One year ago my life was in absolute shambles. I had plans, the means to execute those plans and high expectations.  I had this mental imagine, a dream have you of the way the rest of my life was going to pan out.  If I learned anything from Steinbeck its that “the best plans of mice and men may go astray”.  Shakespeare has always warned me to “beware of the ides of March”.

At that time in my life I did not head either great writer’s advice.  When things went awry I had no where to turn in my mind but the bottle.  Anyone who reads regularly can attest to the less then stellar results that have come out of such.  If your new here just peruse some blogs exactly a year ago and maybe a few from the summer and fall.  They will fill in all the blanks immensely.

I was lucky in that I had a strong support system of friends who were not about to sit around and watch me destroy myself.  You know what I am still here and sure I still drink a bit too much, but “kill all  my demons and my angels may die too”.  In all seriousness I have been working on reducing my alcoholism back down to a safer level.   I must say it has been a crazy, scary yet invigorating ride to arrive at the point I am at now.

There I sat out in the middle of a very disorganized lineup at New Jetty with two other guys out making the most of the crossed up lefts that were coming in.  It was more then just a surf.  The sun was going down, the lighting perfect to allow the mountains to reflect all the colors of the sunset.   I looked up the coast line, one where the mountains literally meet the ocean, then back out to the horizon at the channel islands ominously floating in perpetual solidarity.   The world around me is so breathtaking.  That is why I live my life.  That is why I always have.

I let myself get so dragged down into the mud that I forgot what being alive was all about.  I still have no idea what is going to happen, but then again it really is not my place to know.  If one knew his own fate would his life still be worth living?  I know I have been lost for a while now, maybe the last four years of my life even.  I had put all of my cards into surfing and as that ticket slowly ran out I was unsure of where to turn.  I think that was where Adrienne came into the picture.

She kind of gave me a new reason to live.  I was wrong to put all my eggs in someone else’s basket and ultimately I don’t really know how happy I was with our arrangement anyway.  I spent so much time trying to glorify it and living in a constant state of veneration of what we were that I clouded what our reality was.  The truth is Ade’s and I lived very separate lives for a couple and both of us let a lot slide with the other cause it was not worth arguing about.  When I look back on things now I realized that we almost never fought and I know on my side of things and I believe on hers too it was because neither of us cared enough about any topic to make it worth our while.  All the big issues we never resolved just pushed under the rug.

I was never good at compromising and I am pretty sure it is a skill she lacks as well.  I know right now your reading this thinking why is he rehashing all this?  The answer my friends is that sometimes I need to put things into writing when my thought process on them has finally reached a conclusion.  Call this my final closure on the Adrienne issue.  I have been stewing on these thoughts for a year.

So basically the reason we did not work was because neither of us found it worth while to put the necessary effort in that two people in relationship have to in order to keep it moving into a forward direction.  Ultimately we hit an impasse and by the time I realized it things had already spiraled out of control.  Looking back objectively now things sort of went down hill steadily after we moved in together.  Much of that is due to many factors that we never bothered to address.  Its like a car, over time there are certain maintenance issues that need to be regularly handled for the vehicle to remain functional.  If you miss oil changes and regular service eventually that car will break down no matter how strong it was initially.

In our a case neither of us really gave a shit about making things work.  Now that I see that clearly it is no wonder what happened happened.  I mean could the situation had been dealt with better sure, but I guess what went down was in true Lisanti Land fashion. In my world there are only extremes and nothing in between.  I must say I would not have it any other way.  Insanity or as Micheala put it Lisanity becomes me.   I think the moment I went wrong was when I tried to compromise what I am about.

Where does that leave me?  My new roommate Dan put things in perspective perfectly a few weeks ago after spending just a short time in Lisanti Land.  This guy lives in the palace full time and those of you who have spent time here know exactly the level of ridiculousness that goes down on a normal week.  To my readers if you think you get the full story here you don’t know the half of it.  There are plenty of instances that go down that are either too embarrassing, incriminating , just plain wrong to put on any kind of public record or go lost in the mix of all the other craziness.  Those are the stories you  have to come to the palace to hear from my lips to your ears.   Then live your own adventures with us.

Dan being a complete outsider to my world.  I mean I could not have found a roommate who comes from such a different walk of life then myself.  The guy is on the total opposite of the spectrum.  I think for me he has been and may be the necessary evil and contrast I need in my life.  An outsider looking in can often better observe what is going on then those directly involved.  About two weeks ago he said to me that I am an artist at life.

That is what really got me to understand myself and my entire reason for being.  On greater thought he is one hundred percent correct.  I am an artist at living and the entire world has been my canvas.  Since as long as I can remember I have custom tailored ever facet of my existence to suit me perfectly.  Every detail down to the color socks I wear, the type of bed I sleep in,  the club I frequent, the drinks I consume, etc has been thought about with meticulous detail.

My life has been always about not compromising and you know what I am proud of that.  When given the option of doing something I did not really want to do and be with friends or being alone I have always chose the latter.  Does that make me selfish or narcissistic, I don’t really know.  I know for the most part I get the most out of every minute of my day I can and always have.  If I seem angry, sad or frustrated at times it is because things did not work the way I saw in my head.  In other words I could not paint the picture I wanted.

The reason I have calmed down a bit in recent years is that I have learned that sometimes I have to learn to paint with in the parameters of the rest of civilization, but still manage to make the statement I intend.  I hope some of this makes sense to you.  It is a bit confusing even to me, but I finally do understand more about myself then I ever have.  Forget living out of spite cause the only person I was spiting was me.

Over the next few weeks I have some new long term possibilities (I’m not going to call them goals or plans anymore cause that seems so final and definite) I want to explore here.  And yeah I don’t know whats next.  I can promise that I am going to continue my art, that is the art of living and living well.  I always said one of my best characteristics was that no matter what I always knew how to appreciate the finer things in life.  As summer is upon us I would like to declare the summer of 2012 “The Summer of Alf”.  There will be more explanation of what that means soon.

A surprise barrel on an other wise less then optimal surf day is definitely one of those finer things in life.

Ready or not "The Summer of Alf" is upon us.......

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