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Posts Tagged ‘Wild Cat’

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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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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.
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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.
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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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I am rather behind on my monthly surf reviews and with the end of the year coming I need to get them finished so I can compile my yearly stats. Wait, come to think of it I never actually compiled stats from Last year.  Maybe I will get around to it in 2013.  October held true to our current “Fall of My Malcontent” theme.  The waves for the most part were rather lack luster as was my motivation to surf it.  Couple that with a trip back to New Jersey where it was flat as usual, my Wild Cat party program, work, laziness, a small cash flow problem and an injury at the end of the month marked another all time low in my surfing participation.   I think in the stats I am going to factor in the number of nights I wasted at the Wild Cat as well. As usual here are the numbers.  And did I mention some jack ass threw BBQ sauce all over my car at Silver strand?  Go to love localism.

Number of Surf Sessions: 18
Actual Days Surfed: 16

Total Time Spent in the Water: 27 hours
Number of Waves Surfed: 454
Average Waves Caught Per Hour: 17

Spots Surfed:
Emma Wood: 9
New Jetty: 3
Santa Clara River Mouth:2
Rincon: 1
Silver Strand: 1
C Street: 1
Oxnard Shores: 1

Top 3 Surf Sessions (as per the Surflog)

3)10/12/12 AM Session: 2-3ft, Emma Wood
Time in Water: 1.5 hrs
Waves surfed: 33
I had a later then usual start this morning after a fun night of mild party at the Wild Cat with my boy Tim.  I heard the harbor was crowded and a bit walled plus there were two contests at C-street.  A stand up paddle contest and a kayak event!   Are you serious how absurd is that?  I cruised sea cliffs and ended up at Emma Wood.  At first it looked kind of meager, but it was not like I had any other option.  Turns out there were some really fun albeit inconsistent sets.  The conditions were perfect.  It was a splendid sunny day with visibility as far as the eyes could see.  I could see the islands with crystal clear opaqueness.  The water was Caribbean blue and it was so glassy that not a drop of water was out of place.  I ended up with a few tiny shacks, stuck a really nice ally-oop and was just surfing pretty decent over all.  What fun morning to make up for the terrible session I had yesterday courtesy of the crowd.

2)10/17/12 AM Session: 2-4ft, Emma Wood
Time in Water: 2hrs
Waves Surfed: 37
What started out as an average over crowded high tide session at Emma turned into a full on froth fest for me.  My boy Pat met me up in order to buy my 5’11 Simon off me.   Its a great board and did me well.  It was my second most profitable board in contest winnings I ever owned.  Now its time with me has past and I could keep it around for nostalgia but I needed money so bye bye.  Of course I forgot the board at home showing up at Emma all empty handed.  To make up for my absentmindedness I decided to throw in one of my 4/3′s to sweeten the deal.  Plus the poor guy is wearing Swiss cheese at the moment and the suit was just collecting dust in my closet anyhow.  We paddled and it was glassy, fun and the crowd died off after the first hour.  Then I kept getting these sick little tubes and stuck a really gnarly backside air all tweaked.  There must have been a total of 9 cameras on the beach through out the entire session. Ridiculous, but I guess if a pro catches a wave and it was not on film it must not have happened.  Good times either way.

3)10/16/12 PM Session: 2-4+ft, Rincon
Time in Water: 2hrs 15mins
Waves surfed: 17
Its officially point break season and that means its all about quality, not quantity.  Besides I may have only caught 17 waves but I probably did about 50 turns.  This was opening day for me although not for Rincon.  It was pretty flawless with a light crowd of just around 100.  Amazing session.  Read “Thank you Rincon” blog for more on the sess.

The face says it all about my feelings toward surfing in October

The face says it all about my feelings toward surfing in October

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I got overzealous on the size of the Turkey I was going to cook and it just barely fit in my oven. Some how I managed to get yams and the stuffing in there. To make the Pumpkin pies I had to drive them to my boy Tim’s house to cook them there. I had already filled the pies when I realized they would not fit in the oven and had to drive to his house both up and down steep hills. I ended up driving while holding two pies on what ever angle was opposite the slop. I somehow managed to spill very little.

“A trip here (Lisanti Land) really is an escape from reality, and I love how time or even loose conception of such doesn’t even exist.  Things just happen between day and night and it all sorts itself out in the morning”.  These were the words of my friend West, a relatively new member to the court at the Palace.  I was very surprised when I got a call from him back in September asking if he was welcome to come stay with me for Thanksgiving.  The first time I met West was when he innocently accepted an invitation from Kooky Kyle to come up here from San Diego and spend Christmas with him here in Santa Barbara.

I was suppose to go back to New Jersey to see my folks for the holiday and being that the two Jersey kids, West and Kooky were spending their first Christmas away from home I was glad they would find a comfort in one another.  By early December I had decided that I was just not in the right frame of mind to go home and deal with all the family stuff.  2011 was a really tough year for me and at the time I was not ready to answer all the redundant questions that follow.  “What happened?” “How did you blow it this tme?” “Whats your plan now?” And my favorite “You should have never let Sindia go”.

I was not nearly in the mind set for any of that.  I changed my plans, cashed in my ticket and hunkered down for a Holiday in the Barb.   What should have been a fun week vacation for West with an old friend turned into an experience of gnarl he would never forget that involved binge drinking, amazing waves, epic Rincon, good food, a healthy black out, a stabbing and an arrest.  Business as usual in Lisanti Land.  For the scoop on what happened read blogs: Christmas Dread Part I, Part II and Part III.  Most of my regular readers deemed it the most epic saga ever written here.

After all of that ridiculousness the idea that West would even entertain a trip back to the scene of the crime sounded preposterous to me.  When he actually booked his train ticket and was set to come I was flabbergasted.  It seemed round two was inevitable.  Then I was woken up a week before Thanksgiving very hungover, maybe even still drunk a little by a phone call from my friend Dave from Florida, another guy who spent about a month sleeping on my couch last season.  Turns out he just got into town a day or so before.  The stage was being set and the plot thickening for yet another adventure.

The usual turkey day plan for me the past four years was to go over my boy Ryan’s house and enjoy dinner with his lovely family and friends.  This year however his wife went back to work and was not feeling a big event.  Last year Ryan invited Dave, myself and Kooky Kyle and I do believe we all got a bit too inebriated at the table for his quaint mid-western wife.  With no place to go I needed to think fast.

It hit me like a ton of bricks.  I am a chef, why not cook a feast for my usual Wednesday night dinner crew and all of our closest friends.  As I was mulling this idea over in my head I had a conversation with my new roommate JP and as it turns out being from Belgium he had never experienced a true American Thanksgiving.  That was all the motivation I needed.  I ordered a 22 lb turkey from one of our distributors at work and began promoting.

Rather then compete with the dinners of others I decided to do mine on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, which was more appropriate since my dinners are always on Wednesdays anyhow.  I added my boy Pat another recent NJ transplant to the group rounding it out to a basically entire east coast crew considering my usual Californian invites all stood me up.  Two days out I began getting the menu together.

I decided to brine the turkey for twenty four hours to allow it to be both moist and flavorful. Learn how to do this yourself here.  I made two pumpkin pies from an actual pumpkin another recipe I have featured here on this site click here for that one. Then I did a meat lasagna because I am Italian and in my family there has never been an occasion where there was not some type of substantial pasta dish.  On Thanksgiving someone always made at least one lasagna when I was growing up.  I just had to keep with tradition, not to mention I make a dank ass lasagna, sorry no recipe for this one yet.  I am still at ends with whether or not to post my family’s Italian recipes that have been passed down orally for over a 100 years.  I will tell you what if you want to come visit me here at the Lisanti Palace with the sole purpose of learning I will teach it to you hands on just as it was taught to me by my grandmother, mother and so on and so forth. Of course after such you will have to come get shitty with me at the Wild Cat.

My co-worker Chantelle made a zucchini  potato casserole, cranberry chutney, and a pear upside down cake.  I also did my families Italian bread stuffing, a basic garden salad and roasted yams.  Of course there was plenty of good wine on hand as always.  Like I said it was a veritable feast.  I had expected 11 people, ended up with only nine.  They were nine of my closest friends and in my book if you are a close friend you are family.  Everyone pretty much gorged themselves with food and all were pleased.  As far as I was concerned the dinner was a success.

Even Alfie chowed down on some Turkey. What part of the turkey could that be??? Hmmm I wonder…..

After eating Mark, West, Pat, Dave and I rolled to the Wild Cat, but when we got there we found ourselves way too full to even try and consume anymore alcohol.   Minus watching Pat strike out with two decent looking chicks in town for the night and witnessing some poor schmuck get arrested for blowing coke in the bathroom, it was a pretty uneventful night at the club.

As per every Thanksgiving since I have lived out in Santa Barbara there were waves.  The boys and I woke up and cruised down to Rincon.  The crowd was its usual holiday circus.  I was in decent spirits and did not want a session there to ruin that for me.  Dave and Pat went for it while West and I cruised to Pitas and although not as good had almost 75% less crowd.  You can read the surf log for the details on my Thanksgiving weekend surfs.   I must say it was not the best I have ever seen it for the duration but it was fun.  West and I scored a bonus glassy Jalama session on Saturday the 24th that was about as good a surfing experience one could get after which we went for a fun romp through the valley that West considered a perfect end to a perfect trip.

Overall I found it to be a better then usual Thanksgiving holiday.  I had five solid days off from work.  The company of some really good friends.  I cooked and hosted my first ever Thanksgiving dinner that went down with out a hitch.  We all scored some good waves.  Despite a solid amount of drinking and partying no one got sick, blacked out, got injured, died, had regrettable sex with a mutant (thank you West) and West did not get arrested.  Thanksgiving 2012 may just have to go down as the best ever!  All that in the midst of the “Fall of My Malcontent”.

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I know its been a while my friends.  I must confess I have been really busy doing absolutely nothing.  Sometimes that is what bogs me down the most.  My mind and emotions have sort of been rather scattered the last few weeks.  Between the destruction back home courtesy of Sandy (see “Speechless“), some interesting developments at work, my new plan to race the Iditarod, the worst fall season of surf after coming off the worst summer of surf we have seen here in the 805 in years and the usual bull shit I just have not been able to sit down and compose a formulated thought.

Believe me I have a bunch of half started blogs just waiting for me to sit down and finish them with the right frame of mind.  Kooky Kyle posted a great Power of Ten list that totally inspired me.  He gets the first 2 points of the Fall UCB quarter.

1)OTBOTB stands for “off track betting” and it is the lowest of the low of legal gambling.  Basically they are at their best little clubs where people can bet on any type of racing going on that day including dog races in some venues.  At their worst they are little holes in the wall with a bullet proof glass counter for taking bets.  The clientele of an OTB are basically a collection of really sorry folk who have a serious gambling problem.  That being said some of the best Seinfeld episodes had scenes at the OTB and there is a great Richard Dreyfus movie called “Let it Ride” based on the horse race gambler’s life style.

2)A Free Case of Wine Every WeekI fucking wish.  Right now I spend way, way, way too much money on wine, being that I drink about a case a week.  I am talking a California case of six, not a dozen and always have help.  It would have to be good wine too.  I would really be pissed off if I was delivered a case of Charles Swab, Rex Goliath, Yellow Tail or Bare foot every week.  Yeah I am a pretentious prick although I prefer wine snob.

Just an average week here in Lisanti Land.

3)What if Prince Showed up at My Door as a Jehovah’s Witness?:  For starters I love when Jehovah witnesses show up at my house.  They are always good for at least an hour’s worth of entertainment.  Usually my course of action is to get them so fed up with what a piece of human trash I am that it is pointless to help me find salvation.  Last time one of those poor bastards spent nearly two hours with me and I think he was ready to cry by the time he walked out the door. If Prince showed up I would just make him sing “Wanna Be Your Lover” after which I would sign up and join in on the quest of the Jehovah witnesses.  Cause if its good enough for Prince then its good enough for me.

4)Why are the sous chefs the ones on top of everything and the chefs are usually fuck ups?: The goal of an aspiring chef whether in culinary school or starting at the bottom as a prep cook or garde manager is to one day become an executive chef at which point one can relinquish the bulk of the responsibility of running the actual kitchen to some other poor sap looking to move up in the world.  This slave to the kitchen is better known as the sous chef.  He is there  in order for the executive chef to have the freedom to better harness his creativity over the actual menu and organization of the kitchen.  If I were to ever open up my restaurant after I got things up and running I would look to train a very competent sous chef willing to kill himself so I would not have to.  Instead I could focus more on the actual product coming out of my kitchen, how customers view the place and that sort of thing.  I think mainly Exec chefs just get lazy when there is a very competent sous in the kitchen.  In respect to the sous he would rather not have the exec chef breathing down his neck all night either.  Its a give and take.  Fact of the matter is in most cases those “incompetent” chefs as you like to call them have paid their dues and are just reaping the benefits of such.   A good manager is smart enough to hire people  he knows can do the job to his standards with out constant supervision.  If I have to keep my eye on the sous all night then what was the point of having him?

5)What Country Parties the Hardest?I don’t really know if I can be an authority on this although I have traveled extensively in my day.  I know every country I have been to I have partied pretty hard.   Then again I always seem to find a party in even the most unlikely of places.  Overall though I think the Aussies go pretty nuts.  Any time I am partying and someone is going absolutely bat shit crazy it’s usually is an Aussie.  Everyone has their moments though I am sure.  If Lisanti Land ever gets recognized by the the United Nations then I guess I would have to say it would be in contention.

6)Best Toast I Have Ever HeardIts rare I hear any toasts that are not the same tired bull shit that is expected to be said.  Here at the Lisanti Palace I give a toast at just about every meal that is shared  between myself and anyone who is bold enough to join me.  Theses toasts can go anywhere from heart warming, to a brutal stroke to my narcissism, to nothing more then the usual gibberish that comes out of my mouth.  Two weeks ago my buddy Tim’s girl friend brought these two annoying hipster fucks to one of my Wednesday dinner parties.  This is fine cause I always enjoy new people at these shindigs.  Something about the two of them just rubbed me the wrong way from the get go.  Some body joked about who should say grace.  Being the arrogant, obnoxious prick that I am I stood up and said “we don’t say graced in my house cause I take no direct affiliation to any god and if we are going to say grace maybe it should be said to me since I maybe a type of god”.  Then I raised my glass.  My normal guest laughed at my insanity as always, the new comers stared at me appalled and my French-Belgium roommate had a look of fear in his eyes that could only be “how did I end up here?”.  Talk about creating an awkward situation.   Lucky in my house there is always plenty of alcohol to brighten up any uncomfortable scenario.

7)Favorite Thanksgiving Food: Considering Thanksgiving just passed and now that I don’t spend it with my paternal family it has really come into its own for me as a holiday.  For me it would have to be lasagna, yeah that’s right lasagna.  In an Italian family it doesn’t matter what the occasion there has to always be some type of pasta course. On Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember there was always lasagna.  To this day I uphold this family tradition.

8) Favorite SRML AvatarWell I have to be honest my regular readers with the exception of Kiefer and myself it seems most of you just use the little monsters Word Press assigns to you.  I have to say Kiefer’s is pretty awesome.  Mine, well shit that a picture of Alfie all jacked up on an over dose of flea medication, pre-heroin days is classic

9) Is Parko Going to Win at PipeI don’t really know what to expect.  The ASP WCT has basically become as valid as professional wrestling where judging is concerned.  Historically we have seen Parko blow the title race more times then once at Pipe Line  then again he does surf the place rather well and has a pretty good track record for getting into the final rounds.  At this point the only guy who can stop him is Slater and I believe in order for that to happen Parko would need to go down before the quarters and Slater win the entire event.  Slater winning at Pipe is not out of the question. He seems more motivated this year in Hawaii then we have seen in a long time.   The reason why Parko is your current ratings leader is because he has been Mr. Consistent all season.  At this point my prediction is Slater will take Pipe but Parko will win the world title.  Like I said I have little faith in the ASP judges so your guess is as good as mine. Never discount the Champ, he comes out of a tube at around 1:34 in the video below that is absurd…

10) The Evolution of the Wild CatMy tenure at the Wild Cat started in March 2008.  Back then it was pretty much a full on gay bar on some nights or a gnarly Mexican gang hang out on others.  Consequently being a homophobic New Jersey guy I stayed away.  My friend Julie brought my boy Brennan and I in there for a crazy night of partying.  It was then that we realized the potential of the place for partying and picking up chicks alike.  By mid 2009 I was going there pretty exclusively with the occasional stop at Sharkeez, Sand Bar, James Joyce and O’Malley’s because Corey was in love with the bar tender there.  I met Adrienne there in the summer of 2009 and ironically as a result of her my time at the Kitty was decreased to one night a week about twice a month.  By 2011 when we broke up and I returned to the Cat I was nearly forgotten by most of the regulars and staff.  Sara still tended bar there and remembered all the money Corey and I used to blow.  Amber was still working as a waitress, the entire security staff was basically the same and Sharon a bar tender I greased up a ton back in the day had just began working there again.  The place had become my comfort zone and I pretty much found myself there most nights of the week.  These days I am very well taken care of and one can find me at the Wild Cat any time I step out downtown which is always Friday through Sunday with occasional odd days mixed in for good measure.  It’s my Cheers, just bit more gnarly.  At the moment I have some really tight friends I roll with who have become my own little rat pack so to speak.  In the end I would really like to see my relationship with the Wild Cat dissolve into almost never.  For now it fills a certain void in my life and I will leave it at that.

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For some reason I feel a bit gypped being it is 2012.  Were we not suppose to have flying cars by now, wearing futuristic clothing  with strange rings round different parts of the outfit and I’m pretty sure we should have had robots doing all our work for us?  So much for that shit.  If the world does not end in December I am going to royally be let down this year.

I have not written too much as of late.  My excuse this time around is that I just feel sort of bored with my life.  Trying this normal “real life” thing and doing what I’m “suppose to do” really leaves a lack time for adventuring and a paling few opportunities for spontaneity, two aspects of my life that I have constantly thrived on, well since birth actually. Don’t get me wrong I am digging this “settling down becoming a useful member of society” idea.

I guess its fun to have to go to work five days out of the week.  Who really liked all that free time anyway?  NOT ME…NO! I love to sweat it out for eight hours a day in a hot kitchen serving some other guys dreams while burning my hands and arms.  All so I can be told I forgot the sauce, or the cheese or this side, or “this steak is not well done enough”.  Bitch if I cooked it any longer it would have been a piece of mother fucking charcoal!

Now that I got that off my chest this new mundane life of surfing the same shitty breaks, in the same shitty town, in the same shitty state, in the same shitty country has caused a sort of mental paralysis.  I literally have had blog writers block if such a thing is possible.  Then I gave my life a bit more consideration and realized that even though I am living like everyone else my life still manages to be crazy and intense.  Just going to the bank and grocery store at times produce ridiculous stories.

Rather then just write the surflog and the occasional UCB (which by the way has been rather sterile as of late, get those power of ten lists in for July) I have decided I am going to write about the adventures I have in my vain attempt at social normality.  Its usually a collection of great moments of failure.  The first subject I would like to write on is dating in today’s I’m too busy, high paced, smart phone society.  As most of you know I have been single now for just about a year and unfortunately have had to partake in the world of adult dating.

Meeting Members of the Opposite Sex

I use the term adult dating to describe dating after college years.  Once you get out of school meeting people becomes quite the challenge, at least for me anyway.  When your young there are plenty of social circles one exists in where there are plenty of opportunities to meet new and different people.  Those people introduce you to others and so on and so forth.  By pure probability of the social circle system there is a decent chance of meeting a member of the opposite sex who you may click with.

As an adult those circles get smaller and tighter.  While new ones become nearly impossible to penetrate.  If you have a group of friends you have been hanging out with for twenty years and you bring in a new person that poor schmuck has a lot of catching up to do.  Its hard trust me.  There is only so long you can pretend to find inside jokes that you are on the outside of funny before you get fed up and go your own way.  It sucks when your that guy people have to constantly be explaining what is going on and who is who to.

The Bar

Then there is the bar/club.  This is my natural scene to meet people.  Why do you go out to such places?  To meet new people.  Face the facts why go out and spend the price of an entire bottle or six pack  for one drink if you just wanted to hang out with your friends and not meet anyone new?  You could stay home with all your friends and drink for a quarter of the price.   On paper this looks like the perfect scene for singles to go out and mingle.

Maybe at one time it was.  These days its a mess out there.  Your average person might go out a few times a month at best more times then not opting to stay home and sit around on the couch.  I love the rules of probability so I go out a few nights a week.  My attitude being nothing is sure as hell going to happen on my couch besides Alfie clawing the shit out of my legs.  Of course when you go out a bunch there is another probability statistic that holds true: becoming an alcoholic.    Its very easy my friends.  One drink turns into five, then shots next thing you know your being woken up at 4am by the cops cause you passed out against a gas pump.

The quality of people you meet here are for the most part less then stellar as well.  Drunks love drunks after all.  My buddy and I have this running rule now: No Regulars.  For me this is sort of an oxymoron cause we are regulars.  The idea being if a woman is out as much as we are then she most likely has bigger problems then us.  Basically we hang around looking for the women who have come out for some special occasion such as a holiday, birthday, wedding party, etc.  These girls are most likely decent people looking to have a good time and worth meeting and they don’t know that we are there all the time.

“Do you come here often” she asks.  “Never, this is only my third time at the Wild Cat” I reply as the bar tender hands me another rum and coke with out me having ordered it.  It just so happens everyone I know is at that bar by coincidence that night.  The other problem with the bar is the fact that when chicks go out they either put on their battle armor ready to fend off any suitor in their sights thanks in part to all the tools and douche bags out there who have ruined it for guys like myself.  Getting past this armor is a hard one.  If they don’t have their armor on then they have come out to get laid meaning come morning I am most likely never to see her again.

Yeah, the club does have some fringe benefits 😉

The Grocery Store

This is a place I have just recently come to embrace for meeting women at.  For starters there are tons of women at the super market.  I am personally a terrible opener.  I never  know what to say and most times when I do try I feel like I am just being bothersome, get flushed and quickly walk away as fast as I approached.  At the grocery store I am the man.

I’m a  chef. I know food and wine.  No matter what section of the store I’m in if I see a woman looking at a certain item and she seems a bit confused I add my two cents.  More times then not it leads into a conversation.  Then I always blow it by not getting any digits.  I like to leave things up to fate that way.  I think if I see her again it was meant to be and I will ask for her number at that time.  This system is double flawed.  My short term memory and face recognition is spotty at best and odds of running into her again slim.  Its a lose lose for me.

The Beach

There was a time when I was a professional surfer and I killed it on the beach.  All I had to do was get out of the water and chicks would flock to me.  These days I don’t have stickers on my board any more and therefore when I get out am just another average schmo.   Yeah I still rip, but most women have no idea what good surfing is.  Its been my understanding that in general they think who ever rode the wave the longest got the best ride even if that meant riding the white water all the way to the beach.  Whenever I take a chick who knows little about surfing down to the beach with me all she says is “why did you keep falling” or “your rides were so short”.  “Look at that guy he has been riding his waves all the way in” as she points to some kook on a soft top flailing his way in on the soap…FML.

Besides surfing I have no beach game what so ever.  I think this is mainly because I am not a bro.  Also I have chicken legs thus shorts are not flattering to me.  One looks like an idiot on the beach in a pair of jeans.  Here in Santa Barbara there are no surf able waves on our beaches most of the time and zero in the summer when chicks actually go to the beach.  The surfing approach just does not work.

Maybe if I looked as sexy as this guy my beach game would be better. Hold on a second isn’t that the dude my ex girlfriend left me for? hmmmmm

The Coffee Shop

My buddy Mark thoroughly believes in this approach.  Its true there are tons of woman at coffee shops just hanging out.  Next to the bar I would have to think they are the second best casual social meccas.  I have a problem.  I don’t drink coffee. The caffeine makes me crazy.  I am a naturally hyper person to begin with.  Throw in the caffeine and I get neurotic and even at times am prone to have anxiety attacks.  Between the two It makes me rather unattractive.  Me on coffee:

Library, Gym, rec-center, church, parks

Although I love books and reading I do not like the library.  Taking out books is such a hassle.  Then I always forget to return them, lose or damage the material thus that “free” book became more then it would have cost to buy it.  Here in Santa Barbara the library has become the headquarters for the homeless.  I think we all know how I feel about bummery.  Yes bummery is not a word.  You can quote me on that: Bummery – the act of vagrancy.  Honestly I rarely see good looking chicks in the library and they come there to read not be bothered by dudes looking to get in their pants.

I don’t work out and even if I do don’t develop muscle tone.  I would rather just go surfing, skating or on a hike for my exercise.  I do like cute girls in spandex though.  Believe it or not I actually tried the gym briefly last summer on a one month free trial membership I got from Spectrum when I worked with FRS.  I did not meet any one and mostly got yelled at for misusing the equipment.  Eventually I got tired of the ridiculous amount of old men walking around the locker room butt naked with their shriveled up figs dangling about.

The reason I gave up on the gym…

What the fuck is a rec-center.  Do they even exists anymore, seriously.  If they do and they are filled with eligible hot single women please my readers enlighten me.  I will reward you by building a statue of your likeness out of a block of Wisconsin cheddar cheese.  They are more likely just to be filled with more naked old men walking around with their shriveled up figs.

I tried the church thing.  For the most part churches are full of beautiful good hearted single women.  The draw back is most of these women want to get married.  I don’t really have a problem with that per say, second times a charm right.  I do have a problem with the fact that the majority of these girls wont have sex with me until that marriage takes place and then some don’t believe in contraception.  Although I would like to have children some day I would like it to be planned and limited.  Oh and for whatever reason they are against drinking, partying and just about everything else that is fun. One thing that is for certain about churches is the likely hood of running into naked old men is rare if any.

Parks are cool.  I love a nice park.  There is nothing like a good stroll through a nice park on a gorgeous summer day.  If I had a dog I would be golden.  Chicks love dogs.  Then again I don’t really want to walk around picking up dog shit in a little baggie and then having to carry that around till I find a trash receptacle.  As much as chicks dig a guy with a dog I do not believe they fancy a guy who picks up shit and then carries it around  with him in a little baggie.  My dog would probably be gnarly and eat some little kid on the play ground.  Then authorities would shot him on sight and then me cause I wouldn’t let them take me alive.    Maybe its best if I just stayed at home with Alf.  Plus I once saw an old homeless guy drop his pants and take a shit against a tree in a park once.  That breaches both my homeless and old man fig problem.

The Internet

I don’t do the online thing.  A bunch of people have recommended some great sites for me to try.  I have heard countless success stories.  On the other hand I have heard countless horror stories as well.  What if I just end up having some weirdo old man send me a picture of his figs? I know it is the “way of the future” for people to meet.  It seems really unnatural and forced to me, borderline desperate?  I know I am old fashioned but what happened to meeting someone awesome in your day to day and having dinner?  That is actually going to be our next segment in this new series.

I have messed around with the Craigslist personals.  That shit is fucking gnarly.  You want adventure start answering some of those adds.  Unlike match.com and those other accepted, safe dating sites craigslist is dangerous and you never know who or what you are going to meet.  Anyone who is willing to put themselves on that forum is got guts and worthy of my time.  Believe me I have been on some interesting craigslist dates to say the least.  Needless to say I am still single.

Singles Mixers

Yep I have tried some of these too.  If you think internet dating is bad this is far worse.  On the whole it is a collection of busted ass people thrown together in a somewhat hostile setting.  Its almost like going to a stud farm.  There is always more dudes then chicks there.  Then we are all thrown into the coral together with alcohol.  It is sort of like the bar but with bright lighting.  I did two of such events saw just about the same people at both, drank my two complementary drinks and went to the Wild Cat.  Mostly if was old men walking around with their figs safely concealed in their trousers.

I hope you found some humor in this.  If you are single then you see that you are not alone my friends.  Even a person as wonderfully man pretty as myself  cant nab a girl friend to save his life.  For whatever reason I don’t think this blog helps my case.  Oh well if they can’t accept me for who I am then I don’t want any.  Look for more dating fun in another segment soon.

With a face like this I am always in constant wonderment why the ladies stay away. I know what it is: My good looks and charm are too intimidating for them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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