Monthly Archives: January 2012

Why you should always pursue adventure, even if it might kill you – Guest Post


Today’s Music: Van Halen – Jump
Days Til Spring: 50

A few weeks ago, Eric Murtaugh asked me to do a guest post on learning to scuba dive. It was my pleasure, and I had a good time writing it.
Today, Eric returns the favor with some thoughts on why adventure in the first place.
After you’ve read this, check out his site. Start with the way he proposed to his wife, then explore the rest. Seriously, he’s out of control.
In the best possible way.

Eric has phrased the why better than I ever could. Feel free to leave comments either here or on his site. And let us know what you’re planning. We may want to try it too…

Bet I can try this before Eric does!!!

Why you should always pursue adventure, even if it might kill you
Eric Murtaugh

Think back to the crazy things you’ve done in life; those exhilarating times when you woke up the next morning and thought, “damn, how exactly did I make it out alive?”

How did you feel afterwards? Slightly stupid? Or ready to get out there and do it again?

If you’re anything like me, I’m willing to bet you went with the latter.

And here’s why: each and every time you pull off another blood pumping, heart racing stunt, you feel more and more alive.

I can recall three events in my life where thrill seeking trumped intelligence:

1. Rafting the Gunnison River in a beat up inflatable kayak
2. Sailing a choppy, ice cold lake
3. Canoeing a flooded river, and the river won

In each example, I should’ve exercised patience.

I should’ve insisted we wait for the patch repairs to dry on my kayak. I should’ve known sailing in cold water without a wetsuit was an invitation to hypothermia. I should’ve known navigating a flooded river in a canoe would not end well (yep, my buddy and I almost died).

But you know what? I’ll never, ever forget those days. The details remain so vivid. This, coming from a guy who can’t remember where he placed his keys last night.

Look, I’m not suggesting you put your life on the line each and every time you head out for another round of adventure. That’s just silly.

The lesson here is you should take risks in life.

Sometimes those risks will backfire and you will find yourself in a tricky situation. If you survive, and let’s hope you always do, you will learn to value those moments, even if you feel like a total idiot for a few days.

Have you ever been in a situation where thrill seeking and adventure trumped intelligence?

An Adventure – CHEESESTEAKS!!!


Today’s Music: Fitz and the Tantrums – Don’t Gotta Work It Out
Days Til Spring: 55

*Discaimer – I was young and stupid(er) at the time. I don’t drive (often) like this anymore!

Conversation with co-workers went like this:
Guap: Want to have lunch tomorrow?
Brian: Sure
Sean: Yeah, why not.
Guap: Great. Meet me here tomorrow at 10.
Brian and Sean: What? Why?!?

Because we were in NYC. And for lunch, I thought a Philadelphia Cheesesteak would be nice. From Philadelphia.
Oh don’t look at me like that. You’ve thought it too.

Totally worth the trip.

So, the next day, at about 10, we piled into my car and headed for Philly.
This was in the days before mapquest or gps, so we just had the atlas I kept in the car.
Brian was the navigator. He sat in front with the map.
Sean was just along for the ride. He had two concerns: being fed, and meeting women.
I was the driver. I drove like a lunatic.

So we headed off. It’s about a three hour drive from where we were to where we were trying to get too. We did it in about two and a half. Should’ve been faster. Read on.

Conversation wandered over the normal range of topics among three guys that worked together in a kitchen: how much work sucked, which waitresses were cute, where we were going to work next when we moved on.
We hit Jersey and started kicking up dust, flying down the turnpike towards Philly at about 85 mph.
The road was wide open, and we flew.

As the driver, I had to let the Navigator know what our options were for exits and he had to figure out which one to take.
“Brian, we’re coming up on exit 8 in two miles” (at 85 mph, about 95 sec). “It says Philly. Is that where we want to go?”
“Hold on, let me find it”
“I mile, Brian”
“HOLD ON!”
“BRIAN, DO WE WANT THE EXIT?!?”
“YES!!! GET OFF!!!”
whoosh
“Too late. Never mind.”

At this point, Brian decided to read ahead on the atlas. He found the exit we wanted. A quarter of a mile before we wanted it. While we were in the left lane.
So we went from the left lane to the right lane to the exit ramp in one very smooth maneuver.
(Yes, I know you think that’s a terrible move, Kayjai. But it was a private car, not a taxi.)
Didn’t see any other cars to worry about.
Not even the cop.

Over his loudspeaker: “PAY THE TOLL AND PULLOVER.”
Great.
So we pay the toll (Me thinking, I have to pay the toll before they haul me in? That SUCKS!) and pull over.
Sean, taking off his headphones: “Why are we stopping?”
“We just got pulled over. Hang on, let’s not be any stupider than we have to be”

Cop gets out of his car. I have the window open, hands on the wheel in plain sight.
Cop: “Do you know how fast you were going?”
Guap – Laughing resignedly and shrugging: “70?”
Cop – Raising his eyebrow: 87 miles. per. hour.
Guapo – still laughing resignedly: “Yeah, I know…”
Cop: “Please step out of the car”
I get out.
Cop: “You want to tell me where you’re going?”
Guap – looking around and sighing: “Philadelphia, for cheesesteaks”
Cop, taking off his sunglasses: “What”
“Well you see, officer, we work together” (pointing at the car). “We had a day off, and thought it would be nice to go out for lunch. And we wanted cheesesteaks. So if you’re in the northeast and you want a cheesesteak” I continued, “you go to Philly”. I couldn’t stop from laughing again.
Cop looked at me for a minute. “Wait here.”
He walked over to the car and asked Brian to step out. He led him a few yards from the car and they spoke.
The cop walked back to the car, asked Sean to step out.
They walked a few yards from the car and Brian and spoke.
Cop looked at Sean, then Brian, then me and waved us all back to the car. We got in.
The cop took my license and registration and went back to his car to write up the ticket.

In the car, Brian Sean and I all talked about what just happened.
“He asked me where we were going” said Brian.
“Me too”, agreed Sean.
“What did you tell him?!?” I asked
Brian said “I was gonna lie, but I didn’t know what you said, so I told the truth.”
Sean nodded in agreement.
The trooper came back over holding paperwork.
“Okay”, he said. “This is a 55mph zone. For the speed you were doing, I could haul you in and impound your vehicle”. He pulled out the ticket. “I’ve written you up for doing 67. That’s the highest I can write without having you be arrested.” He handed me the ticket, and my license and reg. “Don’t drive like an idiot, enjoy your sandwiches”

He headed back to the car. I put my seat belt on and made sure the guys did too, not wanting to push my luck at all.
“Get his picture” came the voice from the back.
I turned to look at Sean. “Are you out. of. your. mind?”
“No, c’mon”, he insisted. “It’ll be cool” He pushed his camera at me.
I sighed. Looked at the camera. Got out of the car.
Walked over to the trooper, still parked at the toll plaza behind us.
He looked up. “Yes?”
“My friend would like a picture of you” I said, pointing at the car.
The cop looked at my car, then back at me. “Why?”
I looked at my car and then back at him. “I have absolutely no idea. But hey, doesn’t hurt to ask. The cop shook his head in a “wtf” kind of way and got out of his car. “Sure”.

Cheese (steak) it! The cops!!!

We made it to the Philadelphia exit with no further troubles. Now we just needed to find a cheesesteak.
(Oh, don’t look at me like that. Does it look so far like any of this trip was planned?)

Fortunately, there was one last toll before we left the highway, just before the harbor area. We asked the attendant.
“Oh, cheesesteaks?” he said. “You can get them anywhere.”
“Yeah”, I answered, but we want really good ones…”
He laughed, “Then you want Pats” he replied, and gave us directions (that we could follow!!!) right to Pat’s front door.

Pat, and his competitor Gino, are Philadelphia cheesesteak institutions. They both have ridiculously fanatical adherents,each side swearing that their guy makes a better sandwich.
Want to find out for yourself? Well, they’re on opposite corners from each other so you can do it in one trip.
Pats is a small stand, with no interior. Walk up to the window (through which you can see a massive flattop griddle) and place your order – anything from a traditional up to ones with all sorts of toppings.
While you wait, look at the exterior walls. They are covered with celebrities who have paid homage to Pat and his delicious cheesesteak.
When your food is ready, take a seat at one of the picnic tables around the stand, or go across the street to the bleachers at the baseball field.
Place your napkins where they can be reached.
Unwrap.
Inhale the aroma…
Eat…
And…
ahhhhh….

Pat. The man behind the magic. (with Sean and Brian)

The meat, sliced thinly, cooked to juicy perfection on the griddle. Onions, peppers, mushrooms, sauteed as weel as any five star restaurant would give you, soaked in the juices of the meat. Cheese (Velveeta, baby!!!) oozing over the whole thing.
When the juice runs down your arm, you’ll want to lick it off so as not to lose any of that delicious taste. And no, you’ll have no shame about doing it.
Between the 3 of us, we went through seven cheesesteaks, each one better than the last.
We picked up a couple for the guys back home and, after profuse thank yous, hopped back in the car for a much more sedate trip home.
I’d like to say everyone really appreciated and enjoyed the cheesesteaks we brought back, but I can’t.
We ate them on the way.

What? There was traffic.

Friday Foolishness – State Edition


Today’s Music: The Beautiful South – Rotterdam
Days Til Spring: 54

Well, it’s been a long week. No one got hurt. Nobody died.
Not much of anything happened, really. Mostly, I was just feeling out of sorts, and a bit discombobulated. Lets chalk it up to cabin fever.

There were some interesting things on some of the blogs I follow. Here’s a few:
Barking In The Dark put up yet another lovely ballad to the ladies… for the political season.
lizziecracked wrote an excellent eulogy to Joe Paterno
The Recovering Brit (I didn’t even know she was sick!) put up some spectacular pics of Yosemite
And whiteladyintehhood sent me to Australia!

Thank you, and thanks to everyone else out there. You made my week a little brighter, and a little more thoughtful.

In other business, last week’s poll asked what you would do if the Internet shut down.
Here are the other answers (italics are mine)
Re-enter the convent
(Sure, with no internet, they wouldn’t be able to see what you’d been doing before they let you back in!)
go back to making latchhook rug toilet seat covers – whatimeant2say
(dear god – please don’t let the internet go down!!!)
get less news about the GOP crazies … which is a damn good thing!
(Yes, because sometimes knowledge isn’t power. Sometimes it’s just sad.)
have even MORE time to drink!
(if you can’t find enough time (and incentive) to drink while surfing the web, you might be doing it wrong…)
Be forced to reveal my true identity and save the day by chaining myself naked t??? they will see the light and we will be back in no time! lizziecracked
(Not sure what you were going to chain yourself to, but definitely would have been something to see!)
Make my own version of it 🙂
(You’re going to need a lot of pictures of cats and bacon to match today’s standards…)
Have to start paying attention to the children again. GingerSnaap
(dear god – please don’t let the internet go down!!!)
Become the World Busiest Pen Pal – Linda Vernon
(Snail mail?!? the horror!!!)
Get back to working on my cookbook, Joy of Soylent Green – Linda Vernon
(Companion to To Serve Mankind)
return to in-person stalking which is more consuming but less rewarding.
(Getting back to your roots?)
get Sandylikeabeach’s phone number so I can hold on to the inspiration.
(Is this from the stalker above?)
have way more time for sex and drugs and rock and roll – YAY! sandylikeabeach
(Have you met the commenter above, Sandy?)

For those of you that agreed on something, the most common answer was
Read a book. Like, with pages. Paper pages…
I concur. Well chosen.

Before we start this weeks poll, I just wanted to ask you:
If a tree falls on a mime, does anybody care?

And with that, Guapola continues its tradition of topical polls with this week’s big event, The State Of The Union.
The poll will be open until thursday at midnight. If you leave your name next to your other answer, you could see it in linkback next week!


So until next time, I leave you with this.
Fredonia.

Be well and have fun. Hell, have some of mine. I ain’t using it…

Looking Sideways. And a Haiku!


Today’s Music: Iron Maiden – Run To The Hills
Days Til Spring: 57

From the inestimable Gary Larson. Please don't sue me.

Says it all... (From the inestimable Gary Larson. Please don't sue me.)

Wow. this is the 100th time I’m setting virtual pen to pixelated paper.
I don’t really have any ideas for this momentous occasion. Really, the only thing I have special for it is at the bottom, in the closing remark, and that isn’t even my idea. It came from the comments section of this post.

Mostly right now, I’m feeling more in tune with the post of another blogger, Sandylikeabeach in her post about prayer. (Though i imagine I could draw some excellent allegories from Hotspur too, but it would probably just go to his head.)
But that’s just because it was an exceptionally long day. This too shall pass I guess…

So, 100 down, god-knows-how-many to go. So far I’ve enjoyed myself. I’ve met some great bloggers, had some deeper conversations than I ever thought I would online, and mostly just amused the hell out of myself.
There have been limericks and polls (see the last two categories in the header), there’s been music every day (some of it good). There’s been some serious stuff, and a whole lot of silliness.
A nice blend, methinks. And if nothing else, a few days a week, I actually have to organize my thoughts. Doesn’t actually stay organized when it runs through my fingers, but still, it’s the thought that counts. (See what I did there?)

So stay tuned, keep the volume turned up, and put in as much or as little effort as you like as you browse.
Let me know what you’re listening to, or what concerts you’re going to see (I’ve updated the Concert Log page above), and what books you’re reading. I read all the comments (even the one that just said pornbeer.com and the other, posted by user1, I am the worlds best user!) and answer them too!
So, a bit of looking back. Some looking forwards. Mostly (and as always), just looking sideways…

And as promised, to commemorate the inanity of commemorating my 100th post, I give you
The Gopher Haiku
Did he ever get the girl?
The shorts look ridiculous
Welcome to Washington, Congressman.

PLUS!!! An older Dick Shawn and Bobby Short on the same cruise?!?

You’re welcome. Look on the bright side – the next 100 can’t get any worse!
(hehehe)

A bit of Silly for your Sunday…


Today’s Music: Animaniacs – Cheese Roll Call (Yes, it’s a song.)(That I first heard on a CD.)(That I bought.)(So there.)
Days Til Spring: 58

A bit of silliness for your Sunday…

Ladle Spoons and Jellybeans
Ladle spoons and jellybeans
I come before you
to stand behind you
to tell you something of which I know nothing about.

Since this Thursday is Good Friday,
there will be a mothers meeting for fathers only.
Admission is free,
pay at the door.
Take your seats and sit on the floor

Midnight shined over the ocean,
not a trolley car in sight.
Two men got off the subway, prepared for a fight.
Back to back they faced each other, drew their swords
And shot each other.

If you don;t believe my lies, even though they’re true,
You can ask the blind man.

He saw it too.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who has ever heard this. The internet was surprisingly unhelpful inn finding more about this…

Friday Foolishness – Post Apocalyptic Edition


Today’s Music: Jimmy Witherspoon – Good Rockin’ Tonight

Welcome back to the Friday Foolishness, after a tumultuous week.
I’m thinking about using this space at the top of the Friday Foolishness space to highlight some of the posts I’ve seen over the week.
Thoughts? (After all, you guys are going to have to read it…)

But for now, lets just jump in to last weeks results, shall we?
Many of you had excellent ideas for how to spend your Friday the 13th (as always, italics are mine):
Um.. I think it is the 12th..Are you SURE?? Cause I think it’s not. lizziec
(Great, now I’m confused too…)
Q-tip my ears: Barking In The Dark
(No no, we stopped singing the hokey pokey. I hope…)
Drink myself blind and quiet the voices
(Quiets all the voices for me. Except the ones that tell me to keep drinking…)
make sure not to sit in row 13 on flight 1356 from Denver (yikes!)
(I sincerely hope you made it back ok!)
Bag the blow-up doll idea and make my hair look like Sarah Palin’s
(Perhaps make the blow-up dolls hair look like Sarah Palins instead?)
Toss Mensa daughter’s bedroom for good drugs. Friday the 13th is a lucky day!
(I can’t condone that kind of behavior! If you found any, I insist you turn them over at once to me for proper…disposal. hehehe)
Get out my Anal Probe kit.
(I knew that was you!!!)
Write an angry letter to my congressman about how there keeps being Friday 13ths
(Good luck. But I’m not sure many in the current congress know how to read…)
…be closing on my house. Nope! The builder pushed it back 5 weeks. Grumble.
(That sucks. But it does leave you time to participate in a bunch more of these polls!)
Wait, it’s the 13th – of January? That was one hellava hangover. Sandylikeabeach
(I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. You,young lady, are an inspiration. And I’m pretty sure you just one this weeks poll for that!!!)

Well, Sandylikeabeach wins this week’s poll (It almost went to H.E. Ellisfor being the only one to pick BRRRRAAAIINNSSS!!!. But I’m not sure I should be encouraging that kind of thing…)
And for those who want to know, the most chosen answer this poll was
I don’t care what the date is – it’s FRIDAY!!!!! WOOHOO!!!

Which leaves us with this weeks poll.
The big event this week was the Anti SOPA/PIPA.
Which made me wonder… (polling closes next Thurs at Midnight)
(Leave your name if you enter an other for a linkback)(and so we know who said what!)

And to keep you amused until next week (or the internet does shut down)…
The Woody Allen Firetruck routine.
Enjoy, vote often, see you around the bend…

The Guap is Out There… No, Really.


Today’s Music: Orianthi featuring Steve Vai – Highly Strung
Days Til Spring: 62

My misadventures have spread even further out into the internet.

Eric Murtaugh – adventurer, iconclast, bon vivant – asked me to do a guest post.
So I did.
On scuba diving.
And yes, I come off looking goofy in this one too. Hey, blog imitating life…

After you’ve checked out my post, you should check out the rest of his site. Really, I’m not sure where he finds the time to blog, because he’s out in the world. Or just out there…
And he brings back pictures.

So check him out. I had a great time writing it, and am glad he thought it was good enough to post.

And come back Friday. Because the foolishness will be on baby.

Oh.
Yeah.