Tag Archives: you did what?!?

A Literary Limerick – Chamber of Secrets


Today’s Music: Iggy Pop – Lust For Life
Days til Spring: 70

I got nothing. Rather, I have all sorts of stuff, I just haven’t written any of it down.
Fortunately, JK Rowling was kind enough to string out a well known series into 7 books and 8 movies.
So while I try and write up Ernie’s visit, or learning to scuba dive, or how beer does not in fact go with everything (don’t pour it into your chicken soup. Trust me.), I can at least – with minimal effort (really, minimal) – continue with my limericky retelling of the Harry Potter saga.

You’re welcome.

Everyone said that it was a secret
But Harry’s interest was piqued
Guilderoy was no help –
At his own shadow he yelped.

But with a phoenix, the basilisk was beated.

If you’ve managed to read this far, feel free to gack in the comments. You’ve earned it!

An Adventure – The First Naked Bar Dance


Today’s Music: Violent Femmes – Blister in the Sun

*Disclaimer – The story below is as true as I remember it. But I was pretty drunk at the time.

It looks so innocent...


This story takes place probably during my third or fourth year of college. Definitely not my fifth.
So I’m in this bar (as I often was). On a Sunday afternoon (when I often was).
Me and the bartender (whose name I just realize I have completely forgotten) are hanging out. I’m drinking up the last of the money I had, but that’s ok. I spent a lot of time in this bar, and really never wanted for a drink. When I was ahead, I spent it all, when I was behind, they covered me.

So Bartender and I are just shooting the breeze. It’s a beautiful spring day, so no one is around.Just the two of us. There might have been some card playing, but I don’t recall…

In walk Jimmy and the boys, back from a day at the pitch and putt. They’re laughing and telling stories, ragging on each others golfing as they settle in at the bar.

Jimmy pulls out a small wad of cash. “Aright fellas, what are you having?” Everyone calls out their drink orders.
Jimmy turns to me.
“Sorry Jimmy, I’m tapped”
“That wasn’t the question, Guap. What’ll you have?”
See what I mean? It was that kind of bar. So I get another beer.
This goes on for several rounds. We’re telling stories, throwing darts, and I’m close to hammered by the middle of the afternoon.
So Jimmy calls out for another round. The Terror declines a beer, says “Give me a Jameson. I can drink that smoother than anything else.”
(There? Did you see that? That was my cue.)
“Hah”, I call out. “I can drink that smoother than you”
The Terror gives me the once over, sees that I’m drunk. We’d been hanging out a long time.
“If I drink this smoother than you” he says, “What do I win?”
At this point, I should have shut up. But I’m me. So I didn’t.
I stand next to him at the corner of the bar, thinking a moment.
“If you drink that smoother than me, I will dance naked…” – open my hand and slap the bar top…”On”…slap..”this”…slap…”BAR!!!”
SET ‘EM UP!

Bartender pulls another round, sets up a filled rocks glass of Jameson for The Terror, sets up a full rocks glass of Jameson for me.
(For the record, there was nothing smart about this. Having once sucked down half a fifth of Jack Daniels once, I never developed a like for Whiskey. More of a tequila man, me…)

Everyone watches as The Terror downs his shot. Smooth.
All eyes turn to me as I down my shot. Smooth.
“I don’t know, Guap”, chimes in one of the guys.”I think Terror was smoother”
“What?!?” I shoot back, surprised. Considering I was drunk enough where balance was now an issue, I thought I downed it pretty well. One quick shot, no spillage, no dribbling. (I don’t have to like a liquor to give it respect. I’m classy that way.)
Nods and murmurs of agreement form the guys. They thought John was smoother.
But I’m a man of my word.”CLEAR THE BAR!!!” I shout as my battle cry.
Everyones eyes fly all the way open in surprise as I start getting out of my shirt.
“Guap”, says The Terror, “You don’t have to do this.”
CLEAR THE BAR!!!” as I take off my boat shoes.
“Dude” says Jimmy, “you really don’t have to do this”.
“CLEAR. THE. BAR!!!”
“He’s doing it fellas. Move your drinks!”

I looked better than this...


The bar at this place was a long U – twenty feet along the length, two five foot sections at the ends. I was at the corner of the bottom (furthest from the door) of the bar.
They cleared the bar.
I hopped up in the altogether and started to dance my naked self down towards the front.
Now above the bar was a lowered section of roof. I’m about six feet tall, and I had about 4 feet of room, so I was hunched over. Remember that. It will be important in a minute.
So I’m dancing down the bar, hunched over, knees wide for balance and because there is really no way to keep them in.
The guys are laughing themselves silly, and I’m trying to see and not fall over.
I make it to the end of the bar, down the return and turn around.

So now you have a pretty good idea of the scene. Me, naked, dancing on top of the bar, knees wide for balance, turning back around.
What you don’t know, because I haven’t mentioned it yet, is the girl. Sitting in the corner of the bar. Right where I’m starting to turning around.
She is sitting there, head turned away, hand over her face.
She picks that moment to look up to see if it’s safe.
As I’m halfway through my turn.Knees spread. Right. In front. Of her.
Fortunately, I’m already bent over, so I don’t have to yell as i slur “I’m sorry, I lost a bet”.
She “Eeps” and hides her face again.

...but probably not as good as this.


I stumble back down the bar, and get off, to the cheers and applause of the guys. Who hid my clothes.
they left behind my boat shoes and belt. So I put those on, hung a couple of strategic napkins from the belt and ordered another beer.
Jimmy couldn’t stop laughing, but managed to sputter out that we all hadn’t eaten in a while, and we should all take a walk up to Dunkin Donuts to get some food.
I was halfway out the door before they pulled me back.

It was a good day. But not the last time I was naked in a bar…

Friday Foolishness – Travel Edition


Today’s Music: Tom Cochrane – Life is a Highway

So, as we head into the cold weather and look forward to a bad case of cabin fever, this weeks poll is about travel.
But before we get there,…

Last week’s poll, “The day after Thanksgiving, I’m going to…” gave us some interesting results.
the Other answers were
– Wondering why anyone goes anywhere close to a major shopping area.
– make sure to hold on to that recipe for Grilled Whole Turkey for next year!
– switch to rum

Excellent responses, all.

But the winner is
BRAAAIIINNNSSS!!!!

Congratulations to all you lucky(?) zombies out there…

And now the moment you’ve been waiting for…this weeks poll is


Voting closed Thursday, 8 December, 2359.

And here’s a travel themed snippet to keep you amused until the next round of results. the video quality is terrible, but the clip is funny.

An Adventure – Learning to Sail


Today’s Music: Jimmy Buffett

WHEEEEE!!!!!!

In a June, quite some time ago, Ms. Diamond needed to get certified as a Life Guard.
So, one day in the cafeteria, she dropped the brochure for the place she was going for the lifeguard course on the table.
Being a nosy S.O.B. (though it’s possible sh offered it to me – not sure – been a lot of drinking between then an now), I looked through it.
Sailing! Learn to sail on a lake in Pennsylvania! One person Sunfish! Oh.My. God.

At the time, I was listening to way too much Jimmy Buffett. Parrothead, (mostly) recovered, that’s me.
One of the things Jimmy sings an awful lot about (besides drinking, and women, and food and islands and…) is sailing.
And here was an opportunity to learn it on the cheap!

So I went. My sisters came along to learn to Scuba Dive (in the same lake), but I was there for the sailing.

The first day, it poured. So they brought the sailing group (there was sailing, lifeguarding, scuba, and a bunch of other classes being taught that week) into a cabin. The instructors told us about themselves, told us about the boats we’d be using, and asked us what we wanted to get out of the class, and to draw a picture of it.
I wrote Sail like Magellan. The picture I drew wasn’t quite as bad as this, but lord, it wasn’t good:

Not even Magellan could keep this afloat.

Fortunately, making us artists wasn’t the point of the course. Making us sailors was.
They taught us how to put together a sunfish and take it apart. How to step the mast (insert it in it’s slot so it wouldn’t leave the boat when the sail was filled with wind), how to run the lines (ropes on a boat are called lines), how to tell where the wind was coming from and how to trim the boat (adjust sails and heading (direction) for the wind).
They taught us about the hardware on the boat – the stays and guys, tiller and running rigging, and how all of them held the boat together and made it go.
They taught us witty sailor sayings – “red sky at night, sailors delight, red sky at dawn, storm coming on”, “tiller to boom to avoid doom”, “rain before wind, better stay in. Wind before rain, soon set sail again”.
All phrases that I’ve found useful even in my daily landlubber-ous existence.

And they taught us how to sail.
Picture 5 newbies, each in our own boat, trying to sail in formation. Okay, we managed to get more or less to the same part of the lake, more or less at the same time. But when they told us to sail in close formation, we all managed to get in exactly the same part of the lake at exactly the same time. And had a massive pile up.
I think that was the first time I fell out of my boat, avoiding the nose of another that parked itself on top of me.

But slowly we learned. We understood the points of sail, learned how to trim a sail to take the most advantage of the wind. How to get out of irons, or steer for a buoy.
And we learned to not crash into each other. Unless we really wanted to.

On the last day, we were allowed to sail around on our own. When time was up, I steered in, coming up to the dock neatly against the wind. I put my hands on the dock – to hoist myself out of the boat – my feet still in it.
And the boat, which wasn’t tied down, started to drift…away…from the dock…

Which was the last time I fell in.

I’m sorry I couldn’t find it, because i really wanted to scan and post my Upside Down Award, for falling creatively out of boats. I earned it, dangnabbit.

And before you leave the post chuckling at how i wasted a week, several years later I was invited to crew on the Around Long Island Regatta on a boat something like this:

Image from Charterworld.com

I got here from a Sunfish.

Friday Foolishness, and Check. Your. Calendar.


Today’s Music: GWAR
The video is slightly disturbing, the music isn’t bad. Think KISS on a really bad high. Their guitarist passed away last night, so they are Today’s Music as a tribute.

Next, to the old business –
The hands down category winner to last weeks Friday Foolishness poll is Other.
The Written In answers are as follows:

– Are you suggesting that only bloggers should be responding to this poll?
– I ain’t admitting to nuthun.

In reference to the first answer, you know, it didn’t even occur to me to add a non-blogger answer. How silly of me…

And now, on to the new silliness!!! (even though there is rarely anything but silliness around here…)

I was going to go with a rant today, since there was Christmas music playing when I bought my coffee this morning. When I paid, I asked the girl if it was a one-off, but no, apparently that’s all they are playing now. And for the next. 8. weeks.
But I think I’ll save that for a more detailed diatribe, maybe this weekend.

So, in keeping with the theme of Friday Foolishness, another question.
This was going to be part of another entry, but I would like your thoughts on the matter.

And non-bloggers should be able to get in on this one too!
(If you write in an answer, please include contact info if you like)

‘Cause folks, it don’t get no foolisher than that.
Have a good weekend!

Why Adventure?


There are things that are important to me. One of them is adventuring.
Why? is a question a lot of people ask me. It’s a question I ask myself as well.
Part of it is being part of a group that understands the thrill of doing these things, that have felt the same thrill.
I’ve jumped out of airplanes twice – the first time on a static line, the second time as a tandem.
Most people I’ve spoken to that have jumped all say the same thing – they don’t remember the first five seconds of their first jump.
I have the same gap. I think that happens because there is just no frame of reference for the brain to process what it’s just done.
Even after the brain catches up, it’s kind of hard to process. But it leaves a pretty damn big smile on your face, even after (if you’re like me) you blow the landing, smack your knee into a rock and limp for the next three weeks.
Battle scars are cool.

Part of what I love is the discovery of what this magnificent, complex, under-appreciated body is capable of.
I’ve gone climbing many times at the Shawangunks in New Paltz, NY.
Sure, there’s a safety line, but once it’s fixed and checked for security, it’s forgotten, only used as a last case if (when) you come off the wall.
I remember 2 climbs in particular: Slightly Roddy, and the second pitch of High Exposure.
Slightly Roddy is a short climb – about 25 feet vertical, with a 10 foot overhang ledge. To reach the end of the climb, you shimmy up a very accessible face, then climb out parallel to the ground along a crack that is navigated by jamming both fists and both feet into it.
It’s a short climb, and as a Top-Rope, it is well protected. But on my third try, I was laughing so hard at the absurdity of the position I was in, that it was guaranteed I was going to fall off. And, laughing to my partner who was belaying me, that’s exactly what I did.
I never finished it, but it is one of the stand out climbs of my trips there.
High Exposure is memorable for a different reason.
Finishing a 100′ climb to a ledge, the exit move is done from that ledge onto a point.
To make the move (just below the woman in the picture), the climber has to lean forward over a 100′ drop, reach over their heads to find a hold, then grab it, spin around and climb up into nothing. Nothing.
I couldn’t do it. I took that look down and seized up.
If the two climbers rappelling down hadn’t stopped, called out encouragement and yelled guidance on where to put my hands, I wouldn’t have been able to do it.
But they did. And with their words, they welcomed me into the club of “Because it’s There”.
That day, I learned, more clearly than from any other situation before or since, what my body and mind can do when they work together.
Same thing with hang gliding. The body and mind have to be focused and working together, or bad things can will happen.

Or scuba diving.
As an insulin-dependent diabetic, I’m not supposed to dive. But it was pretty high on my list of things to do, and on a resort vacation one year, I decided to take the whole Open Water Diver course.
Oh. My. Goodness.
Flying. I was flying. Moving in three dimensions with a wave of my arm or kick of my leg. Hovering. Rising. Falling. Flipping (a little weird doing somersaults in scuba gear, but still fun). And so, so relaxing. If you’ve done it, you know what I mean. And you can understand a conversation about the fun of being self-contained in an alien world.
If you haven’t, stop reading this, find a dive shop, and get your butt in the water.
You’ll thank me for pushing you into it later. Even you, Greg.

Or surfing. Which I suck at.
I don’t suck at all parts of it. there’s a move called “pearling”, which is flying off the front of the board. While it’s not the goal of surfing, I have managed to discover 117 different ways to do it. And mastered them all.
But I keep going out and I keep trying. Because it’s fun. And lets face it, driving through suburban NYC with a surfboard strapped to your roof is cool. Especially if you know how to use it! (Which I will one day. I hope).

It’s part of being in a group that knows what it takes to do these things, of the commitment and focus needed to ride on that edge between lots of fun, slightly insane, and totally unbelievably stupid.

In the end though, more than the community, more than the cool factor, even more than discovering my limits and how to get past them, it’s about discovering joys and perspectives that I just can’t find commuting to work, or just sitting at my desk, or doing any of the mundane daily tasks that are part of life.

If someone asks “Why adventure?”, my two answers are a quote from George Mallory, “because it’s there”, and the other, even truer for me, to answer every surprised gasp or aghast sneer of “why would you do that?”, I can only answer…

“Why would you not?