30 January 2008

Easily Distracted

I used to sport a T-Shirt that said "Easily Amused."
And that's true: I am very easily amused.

Today I need a shirt that says Easily Distracted.

Why?

Because there's a dead rabbit in the backyard.

Why?

My dog, Nico, loves to kill rabbits.

Does this look like the face of a rabbit killer?

Nico July-05

No?

Look into her beady little eyes.

Nico waiting for dinner

She looks - and is - as sweet as can be. But stick a furry bunny in front of her and she turns into a crazed rabbit killer.

At least she didn't bring this one into the kitchen like last time.

Ewwww.

Nico certainly is proud of herself and she's going to be excited to show James her kill. Luckily for me, he's on his way home to dispose of it.

Of course, he ends our phone conversation with, "No problem, see you in a few minutes! I can't wait to mess with it with Nico."

Ewwww.

-----------------
Listening to: White Rabbits - Tourist Trap
-----------------

29 January 2008

Searchers Anonymous

I have to tell ya, I love my Stat Counter.

It has awakened me to a wide variety of information about my readers that a few months ago I was totally unaware of: browser and system stats, country/state/city/ISP details, visitor paths and more. When someone searches and lands on my page, I know what search engine they were using and what exactly they were trying to find.

Dorky? Yes.

Cool? Totally.

According to my stats, about 15% of my blog visitors arrive here because they’re looking for something. Machine-Gun-Leg Chic: The Movie is a popular post. People landing on that page are definitely searching for Planet Terror. I think I’ve seen it four times now and I still can’t figure out how Cherry Darling fires her gun? (Thanks guys for not commenting on that post, thereby totally ignoring my question.)

Year of the Mouse and Kayak Na Pali / Na Pali Kayak were popular for a week or two, but they were quickly overshadowed by other search terms.

What are people looking for?

- Fart on command
I haven’t quite mastered the art of farting on command.

- White cabbage fart
I’m not sure how to distinguish between a standard cabbage fart and white cabbage fart.

- Is spaghetti made out of something gross
Spaghetti is made out of all things yummy.

- Porn writing samples
I’m fresh out of porn writing samples.

- Where to buy gama hydroxybutyric acid
I do not know where to buy GHB. Try Wal-Mart. I hear they sell everything.

But those searches are truly unique.

I have, however, noticed a variety of words and phrases that occur rather frequently, outshining all other terms:

- Totally naked ladies
- Naked older ladies
- Naked middle aged ladies
- Naked neighbor ladies
- My neighbor is naked

As a result of these Google searches, by far, my most popular post is Bare Naked Ladies (and Gentlemen). And I’m assuming since no one has ever bothered to comment on that particular blog, it turned out to be a disappointment. Maybe I should’ve actually posted pictures of totally naked middle aged neighbor ladies.

Sorry for the oversight.

In lieu of posting pictures of totally naked middle aged neighbor ladies, I can offer my most popular photo: Jeannette Eats Spaghetti in a bikini top at Makena Beach on Maui.

------------------
Listening to: Primus – Greet the Sacred Cow
------------------

26 January 2008

Jackson Hole

I posted a few more photos from our trip to Jackson, Wyoming.

They coincide with the Snowmobiling Yellowstone story I posted two days ago.

Ski Fence

-----------------
Listening to: Primus - Jerry was a Race Car Driver
-----------------

25 January 2008

Thai-Poes

I’ve said this before, but I must say it again, I heart thai-poes.
…with a passion.

You see, it all started back when I was conceived…

...it’s an inherited trait, from my mom. That’s right; I’m genetically inclined to find typos. She does it, too.

Conversely, my dad and brother are the exact opposites. They’re the most misspelling-est people I’ve ever encountered. My dad buys letus and lite blubs at the grocery store.

Of course, they’re both mechanically gifted on a level I can’t even begin to comprehend.

You win some, you lose some.

Anyway, I’m writing about typos because a certain Yahoo News headline caught my eye:

Judith Regan lawsuit settled is settled.


Dude, I love this stuff!

I have no idea why, but finding other’s typos brings me happiness and joy. When people find mine, it brings me misery and sorrow.

What’d I say a few sentences ago?
---You win some, you lose some.

-------------------
Listening to: Modest Mouse – Dramamine
-------------------

24 January 2008

Snowmobiling Yellowstone

The weather in St. Louis can currently be described as freezing!

I don’t mind braving cold weather as long as I’m going to be rewarded for it. Sometimes that reward is in the form of beer, other times it’s snowmobiling Yellowstone National Park.

Over his shoulder

Two years ago James and I took our first vacation together, an impromptu flight to Jackson, WY (yeah – last minute travel deals!). For the first two days it snowed like cats and dogs, giving us close to three feet of fresh powder – great for snowboarding, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.

While Jackson Hole is fantastic, snowmobiling Yellowstone was the highlight of our adventure.

And before you ask, we skipped Old Faithful and opted to visit the Grand Canyon instead. Even though the park is practically deserted during the winter, we imagined that we’d run into more people by going to Old Faithful - after all, it’s the main attraction. We made a wise choice and only encountered two other snowmobiling groups – in passing.

Total number of humans encountered: less than 25.

Bison: kind of like cows

Our day began sometime before sunrise, when we were picked up by a van and taken to a discreet location where we were outfitted with our insulated gear.

Eventually, we loaded into a van for a 90 minute ride to Flagg Ranch. It was at this location where I met a Park Ranger who advised me to “Bundle up! It’s 5!” …as in five degrees.
Our first stop, Lewis Falls, was along the road about halfway between the Southern park entrance and Grant Village. Shortly after this picture was taken, I lost feeling in my hands, feet and face, so temperature became a non-issue.

Lewis Falls

Though we passed through several herd of Bison and saw a variety of other animals from afar, most of our day was spent riding in solitude, gazing off into the snowy distance.

Isolation

Eventually we arrived at our destination: the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Through the blanket of snow, I could still make out the vibrant colors of the canyon walls.

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

The Grand Canyon was carved by the Lower Falls, seen in the distance.

Lower Yellowstone Falls

As impressive as the Canyon was, walking a catwalk toward boiling mud was even more spectacular. Sadly, what I could not get a picture of was me busting my ass just after I snapped this photo.

The path

And check out the amazing view on our journey out of the park!

Towering trees

I can't wait to go back. I'd love to experience Yellowstone during the summer, when it's a totally different place!

---------------------
Listening to: White Rabbits – I used to complain now I don’t
---------------------

23 January 2008

More than just beer

I've had my beer goggles on lately because when it comes to blogging and taking photos, they seem to be quite beer focused.

I don’t want you to get the wrong impression, because there’s more to Jeannette E. Spaghetti than just beer.


For one, I like margaritas.

Margarita


Oh wait, I was looking for non-alcohol-related examples.

I enjoy homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs.

Spaghetti


Actually, I enjoy Spaghetti and Meatballs best if they are covered in parmesan cheese.

The Real Spaghetti


I make the sauce with fresh veggies.

Sauce - in the raw


Here’s a homemade sausage and mushroom pizza.

Pizza


And here’s Irish Dumplings.

Irish Dumpling


But enough about food.

I also take pictures of eyeballs…

Eye See You


…and bowls…

Full


…and random things I see…

Unknown Cactus


…whether I see me…

CarRide


…or something gross….

Dead Beaver


Not everything in life fits perfectly into a squared circle.

--------------------
Listening to: White Rabbits – Kid on my Shoulders
--------------------

22 January 2008

Long time, no blog

Yeah, yeah, yeah – I’ve neglected to blog over the last few days. Sorry peeps, I had to unplug from Jeannette 2.0 and fill my time with running errands, doing household chores, working, and folding origami. Boooring, I know.

It all began one week ago...

…Insert Flashback Music here. If you don’t have your own Flashback Music handy, may I suggest Man Man - Spider Cider:



You might as well press play, it's a 3-minute song.

If this music totally irritates you, you’re
A - tired
B - totally not cool
C - an old fart


Anyway, what the hell was I saying?

Oh yeah, it began one week ago today when I decided that I really needed to fold some origami. I made a couple of things for Susan and then for myself, I also made this origami structure that involves 30 pieces of paper, a pain in the ass, several tries, and no less than 267 cuss words to assemble that bad dude.

Luckily, to break up the monotony of folding paper, we had some fun stuff planned over the weekend. We had a great time on Friday night with Susan celebrating her birthday at the Jive and Wail.

I’m happy to report that Tanqueray is yum-my.

Tanqueray

Cabin Fever was Saturday.
To sum up the day, it was FREEZING!

I drank plenty of fantastic beer – mostly Imperial Stout – which, at a whopping 10.2% alcohol content, helped me lose one of my brand new gloves within hours of its purchase (at least I managed to hang on to the lefty).

Cabin Fever

---------------------
Listening to: Man Man - Spider Cider (duh)
---------------------

17 January 2008

Pass the Pot

..Neti Pot, that is.

I’ve had a sinus headache for two days and it's pushed me within an inch of trying the J-Neti-Pot. Though I still haven’t purchased one, I’m a little less afraid to try it because of some great advice from my readers:

Take it easy on the salt, use the right temperature of water, expect to choke a little bit and most importantly, do this naked in the tub (it’s messy).

Now, I just have to buy one.

---------------
Listening to: Modest Mouse - Tiny Cities Made of Ashes
---------------

This video is well worth the watch.

Dabacaz, kudos to you!!!

16 January 2008

Everybody’s a Weirdo

For a long time I’ve said, “Everybody’s a weirdo.” And it’s true. Every person in the world has habits that other people think are weird. That’s just how it goes.

I was tagged again, this time to write Seven Weird Facts About Me. It’s against my religion to tag others, but if you’re reading my blog – I’d love to know some weird facts about you!

Let the weirdness begin:

1. I love milk. But I can only drink 2% milk – with ice – and it MUST be in a glass-glass (as opposed to a plastic cup). If it sits for too long and I can see the ice melting, I won’t drink it. If I want to dunk, say an Oreo cookie, I require two separate glasses of milk – one with ice and the other without.

2. I love fart and poop jokes. If you know me and you were surprised by that statement, then you don’t really know me.

3. Fart facts are pretty interesting, too.

4. Worms freak me out. Snakes, lizards, frogs – they’re cool – but if you want to see me run away as fast as I can, whip out a worm and I’m gone.

5. Clowns on stilts with chainsaws also freak me out. I broke my own land-speed record when those guys showed up at the haunted house. My friends were only able to find me by following the drippy trail of diarrhea. (See, I told you I like poop jokes.)

6. I’m right-handed, but I use a left-handed mouse.

7. I have not puked since I was 8 years old.

----------------
Listening to: Modest Mouse - Dramamine
----------------

15 January 2008

the Early Bird brews the coffee

I’ve realized that my husband let’s me sleep late each morning because otherwise he has to deal with morning-Jeannette.
And unless she climbs out of bed on her own accord, she’s a crabby beast.

I am so not a morning person.

While making coffee today, I was thinking about how I should learn to use the cappuccino/espresso section of my new, gigantic coffee pot. After reading through the directions, I realized the chances of me figuring it out on my own are slim. There are a few too many steps that include something about cranking the handle a certain way or the coffee grinds will go everywhere, make a mess and ruin the cappuccino or espresso.

Yeah right.

When faced with a situation where I must do something one particular way or all hell breaks loose, inadvertently, I will break hell loose.

New plan: forget about making cappuccino or espresso. I’ll just beer bong my coffee for the ultimate caffeine rush.


Cup O Joe

By the time I finished dreaming this scenario, ten minutes or so had passed. I started to pour my first cup and notice eight cups of coffee in the pot.

What the hell?

I only brewed five.

That means three of those cups were leftover from Sunday.

Ewwwww.

Had I been paying attention to what I was doing, as opposed to standing there half asleep, dreaming of coffee-bonging half a pot of coffee in the shower (for easy clean-up), I might have noticed the two-day-old coffee already in the pot.

Update: When I told James I did this, he asked, "How did it taste?"

As if I'd drink it.

As if.

---------------
Listening to: Modest Mouse - Exit Does Not Exist
---------------

14 January 2008

A little help FOR my friends

I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll have to say it again: blogging is a great vehicle that has enabled me to meet interesting people from around the world. There’s one person in particular that I discovered several months ago and have been keeping up with, and in touch with, ever since.

Himalman’s profile description explains, “Mountaineering is my hobby and profession of walking, hiking, trekking and climbing up mountains. It is also sometimes known as alpinism, particularly in Europe.”

Sure, I’ve conquered the Everest of Kayaking, but he’s conquered the Everest.

Wow!

So, how can I turn down an opportunity to help Himalman spread the word about a charity that’s very important to him? I can’t!

The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity (GOCC) is the biggest and most prosperous charity organization in Poland, raising money to help public hospitals buy state-of-the-art medical equipment, as well as supporting a variety of medical and educational programs throughout the country. Since its inception in 1993, the GOCC has helped fund pediatric divisions of oncology, cardio-surgery, neonatology and more! As a result of their strong objective to educate everyone on safety and health practices, in 2006 the GOCC successfully implemented CPR and first aid classes to elementary schools in Poland.

--------------------
Listening to: Modest Mouse - Bury Me With It
--------------------

========================
Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy (The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity) is the biggest and most prosperous charity organization in Poland. Its objectives, included in the status document, are saving children’s lives, health promotion and education in the field of preventive treatment. Between 1993 and 2006 The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity has collected and spent over $65 mln for saving lives. Besides humanitarian work, the Foundation is also a powerful medium spreading the ideology of kindness, friendship, tolerance, and openness.

In 1992, Jurek Owsiak, a well-established performer and the author of an avant-garde TV and radio shows, used his pop-culture status to help under-financed Pediatric Cardio Surgery Division in The Children Memorial Health Institute in Warsaw.

In his TV show, targeting very young and considered rebellious audiences, he said that cardio surgeons from The Children Memorial Health Institute can not perform surgeries on babies with inborn hearts defects due to the lack of funds for the medical equipment and they count on the financial support. Owsiak encouraged his audiences to join the forces and help. His idea was to combine rock’n'roll, fun, and charity. He believed in the great potential of the people getting together regardless of weather they have much or little money.

In March of 1992, Jerzy registered the Foundation The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity. Jerzy Owsiak, Lidia Niedzwiedzka-Owsiak, Bohdan Maruszewski, and Piotr Burczyński have become the members.

On the first Sunday of 1993 he organized a nation-wide action. He invited Poles all around the country to set up concerts, creative happenings, and parties during which they could collect change that would be later on put on The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity account. It was The Great Finale. Thousands of people participated in the action. The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity collected over 1,5 mln of USD! The sum was spent for the highly modern and professional equipment for 10 Pediatric Cardio Surgery Divisions in Poland.

Even though, The Great Final Day was supposed to be a one-time event it turned to be such a smashing success that Jurek Owsiak and the doctors from Children Memorial Health Institute repeated the whole thing next year, and then year after that. Eventually, The Great Final Day became a tradition. The sum of collected money increases every year.

In ten years, the Foundation has completed 8 gigantic projects. It has bought the medical equipment needed on the numerous pediatric divisions specializing in: cardio-surgery, neonatal medicine, oncology, post-traumatic surgery, pediatric nephrology, diagnostics, newborns’ surgery, and newborns & children under 5 years old divisions.

All together, over 10 thousands Pieces of the Most Modern Medical Equipment for Polish Public Hospitals was bought and distributed in public hospitals all around Poland. Among others, Foundation has bought: ambulances, incubators, physiologic monitors, oxygen blenders, infusion and drainage pumps, pulse oximeters, infant ventilators, new beds, anti-bed-sore mattresses, and many more.

Our Address:
Warsaw
Niedzwiedzia str. 2a
Tel: +48 22 852 32 14, +48 22 852 32 15
Fax: +48 22 852 07 52

Open hours: 8:15 - 16:15 (Monday - Friday)

SWIFT KOD : PKO PPLPW
IBAN : PL. 90 1240 1112 1111 0010 1539 5651
http://www.en.wosp.org.pl/

11 January 2008

Will Twitter for Beer

At the last blogger gathering I was strong-armed by Kurt Greenbaum into twittering-for-40.

As luck would have it, closing I-40 has proved to be uneventful.

While this was an awesome turn of events, I unfortunately have nothing worthwhile to write for the twitter-40 group.

Oh well, Kurt's going to buy me a beer anyway.

-----------------
Listening to: Modest Mouse - Fly Trapped in a Jar
-----------------

10 January 2008

Hip to be Square-d Circle

So a beer coozie, button in my neighbor's truck, bowl of sugar packets, and a cactus walk into a bar...

...Woopsie Daisie, I'm getting my stories confused.

What do the above-mentioned items all have in common?

Answer: They're round.

Huh?

As if I weren't weird enough already, I've developed an obsession with circles.

Tomato Bisque

Thank you, flickr.

-----------------
Listening to: The White Stripes - Effect and Cause
-----------------

08 January 2008

Cabin Fever

Who loves Schlafly?

I do! I do!

Schlafly Coaster

How does this sound:
----Kind of like “Shhlaaa flee.”

Dude, you cut me off! I was asking, how does THIS sound:

Schlafly Winter Beer Festival
Saturday, January 19th


Need I say more?

Not really, but I’m not ready to shush it just yet.

James and I went to last year’s Winter Beer Festival and it was a huge turning point in my life. It is the exact moment I switched from non-beer-drinker to beer-drinker. Packaging all beer into one category, gross, caused me to miss out on a lot of beer-drinking time in my life.

In my defense, I didn’t know any better. No one had ever asked me to try anything beyond Busch or Bud Light (yuck or yuck light). Um, also, the answer is yes, I needed someone to ask me to drink; I operate off peer-pressure.

…moving on…

Truth be damned, I'm a beer snob.

I love dark beer. Schlafly is my favorite.

~~~~~~~~
Dear Brickskeller,

With “Over 1,000 Beers in a bottle,”
I want to know -

Where’s Schlafly!?!?!?

Love,
Jnet
~~~~~~~~


I digress. As usual.

Belgian Tripel

I will soon have in my hand, one commemorative tasting glass filled to the brim (two ounces, whatever! My commemorative glass cup runneth over!) with any sample I choose.

After I finish my first taste, I will enjoy up to 17 refills of fine brews such as Irish Extra Stout, Imperial Stout, Oatmeal Stout, Barleywine, Belgian Tripel, Smoked Porter and more!

Hurry!!

Only 11 shopping days and 400 388 tickets remain!

----------------
Listening to: Erin Smith – For Pete’s Sake
----------------

Follow the above link.

Too bad I didn't find performance footage of her on youtube; Erin is a bad ass performer. And when I say bad ass, I mean she is most impressive. James and I saw her while in Paia, Maui, HI.

To self: Hmmm, future blog?

Riddle Me This

If you've used a neti pot, please let me know about your experience.

I regularly have sinus headaches and my mother-in-law has recommended (more than once) that I try it. Since "Jeannette E." and "neti" rhyme, I originally thought she had a new nickname in the works.

Turns out, she actually wants me to douche out my nose with this thing, but I've been too chicken.

I imagine it will feel like diving off a 20 foot cliff, into salt water, feet first, without pinching my nostrils closed.

No.

Thanks.

----------------
Listening to: Erin Smith - The Mayor and the Bowling Alley
----------------

07 January 2008

At the Gas Station

I was lucky enough to snap this photo at a local gas station.

At the Gas Station

For those of you who can’t see the photo, the sign reads:

========================
Due to The Leak (new rule)
/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\
If it’s yellow,
let it mellow. (within reason)

If it’s brown,
flush it down.

Thanks,
The Management
========================

Oh wait, that sign is in our bathroom.

No worries, folks.

I’ve called a guy I know to examine the situation. We’ll see if things are better or worse than what I’m imagining. It could happen.

This leak is directly below the only toilet in our house.

It is also directly above the only kitchen sink.

Which, if you’re trying to look on the bright side (I’m really, really trying to look on the bright side), is kind of cool because we don’t need a special leak bucket since the water drips into the sink.

----------------
Listening to: Mike Jones – Back Then
----------------

06 January 2008

Jeannette 2.0

My family didn't have cable when my brother and I were growing up. My parents still don't have cable or satellite.

They watch free TV.

At the ripe old age of 23ish, I became the proud sponsor of basic cable. Man, I was hooked. I was blown away by stupid shows, some of which I still love today *cough* MXC *cough*.

My cable infatuation faded once repeat season came around.

Repeats are boring.

I lost interest.

Eventually I ended up not owning a TV for more than a year. I never missed it because I didn’t need it. I prefer music to television. And the Internet was my TV.

Yoo Hoo…

Aren’t you supposed to be writing about Jeannette 2.0?

Focus, woman.

The original point of my blog…

2.0 – that’s the new me.

It started with regular eMail, instant messaging and of course, I created a MySpace profile. And for several years, I didn’t do much else.

Next thing you know, I’m blogging, twitter-ing, flickr-ing, ifreelance-ing, del.icio.us-ing, blogcatalog-ing… and amazingly, there’s more! And once you start, you have to maintain, constantly improve and add content to those different ‘places’.

Less than two years ago, I didn’t even own a TV and barely used my computer for anything outside of school or work purposes and now I’ve bulked up my technology muscles to become a savvier version of my former self.

-----------------
Listening to: Amy Winehouse – Me & Mr. Jones (Fuckery)
-----------------

04 January 2008

Let's get ready to ramble

The other day, Tojosan left a comment that began, “Fun little ramble.” To which I replied, “Dude, some people are born to rumble; I was born to ramble.”

That statement is so true.

I’m a rambler.

I was thinking about this brief conversation earlier today as I poured coffee all over the counter. And this next part will sound weird since I am 29 (and a half), but for reasons I can’t explain, I’m the worst pourer ever.

“Worst Pourer Ever” isn’t exactly proper English, so let me clarify.

Every freaking time I attempt to pour a liquid from one container into another, I make a mess. Water, tea, coffee, wine, margaritas, Jager-shots, they all give me trouble when I pour them. Sure, most of it lands in the glass or shot glass, but a sizable amount also runs down the side of the pitcher/wine or liquor bottle and onto the table, counter or floor, whichever happens to be in the line of gravity.

The other day I complained about my pouring problem and James revealed the source, “You don’t have enough pouring experience.”

What!?

Dude!?

I’m almost 30.
At this point, I’ve been pouring things for most of my life. We might be able to rule out “lack of experience” as the culprit.

I’m just an eeediot.

Whatever my problem is, it’s probably caused by the same thing that makes it virtually impossible for me to measure volume from one shape to another.

I’ll explain this one, too.

Let’s say I’m about to put some leftover meatballs into a Tupperware container. For some reason, I always pick a container that’s about twice the size of what I actually need. This one really isn’t a big deal, but after years and years of this, I’ve realized that I’m not getting any better at grasping the concept of volume.

I’m also really bad at hammering nails.

I don’t usually smash my fingers. Instead, I bend nails and knock holes in the walls. It’s a very ineffective hammering technique, I know.

When I moved out of my apartment and in with James, I thought for sure my landlord was going to at least ask me why there were multiple, large holes all over my walls (formerly hidden behind pictures). It looked like I went crazy one night and attacked my walls with a hammer. Of course, that didn’t happen.

Then again, if I went crazy, I probably blacked out afterward.

----------------
Listening to: Modest Mouse - Tundra/Desert
----------------

03 January 2008

Kayak Na Pali: Part II: Re-do (A-gain)

After my mom called me a Cop-Out for writing such a lame second half to the better-written first half of my Kayak Na Pali story, I figured I could try and write something, anything to stop the heckling. (I never realized my mom was such a heckler.)



I think we paddled more than eight miles when we arrived at the open ceiling cave. It was an awesome sight to behold. The concept was simple enough; the roof collapsed into a pile of rubble leaving a giant skylight in the top of the cave. But this place was amazing.

I vividly remember seeing it the day before when we toured Kauai by helicopter. The giant blue donut at the edge of Na Pali was unmistakable in the rugged landscape. From the air, the cave looked enormous. I could see a couple boats inside and it looked like the perfect place to take a swim. I imagined myself climbing on the pile of rocks, stepping on a sea urchin (ouch!), shouting the f-word, listening for the echo, and then diving into the water.

In reality, by the time we arrived at the open top cave I didn’t have the energy to care.

In fact, I didn’t give a flying fuck about the stupid cave. I just wanted to get to our lunch spot and take a fucking break. I couldn’t stop thinking about how tired my body was.

The muscles in my shoulders and arms were burning.

I kept shaking.

My hands were fluctuating between numb and tingly.

I felt dehydrated. And I was starving.

If I climbed out of the kayak at that moment, without beach access that would allow me to step right back in, I’d have to ask one of the dudes to pull my ass into the kayak. How embarrassing!? No thanks.

I didn’t even get my camera out to take a picture. Instead, I leaned back in my kayak and propped up my feet. I enviously watched a few people jumping in, but I just wanted to rest.




To understand how I could feel so tired, you must know that in the five days prior to this my schedule was filled with everything but sleep. When we landed on Kauai I had slept less than three hours in the prior 72. A day and a half later, with barely ten additional hours of sleep, I was paddling my ass off along Na Pali.

What was I thinking?

At one point in the morning, our guides asked how we were. They seemed surprised to hear me say, “My hands are numb,” and James mumbled something like, “I want to puke.”

Them: Really? You guys look great! And you’re totally keeping up with the group.

Me: Ha ha… fooled you!!!

We played musical-kayaks and I ended up with some stranger on the back of mine. As it turned out, he had more than 25 years of kayaking experience. Not only had he kayaked all over the world, he had been a guide for many years. That dude changed the course of the day. He was a life-saver.

And yeah, I’m a total dick because I can’t remember his name; however, I do know that it’s not to be confused with Bill or Jack or Pete or Dennis.

In the two miles we spent together I learned quite a bit; mostly, I learned that my paddling technique was wrong in every possible way. He showed me a few things not to do and shouted out friendly reminders like, “Dooon’t foooorget to loooook at the sceeeeenerrryyyyy!”

And he was right.

I hadn’t been looking at the scenery.

I was paddling and mumbling to myself, “I’m never going to make it. Please God, summon a shark to my kayak and let him bite off just one of my arms. Preferably my left one, God, please.”

I had to change my mindset, refocus.

My inner thoughts went something like this:

Snap out of it, you big baby! Here I am, rocking like a hurricane (again), exploring an amazing place where very few people have gone and will ever go, a place where only the physically fit and brave can survive, and you’re praying for a shark attack!? That’s your answer to ‘the easy way out?’ …Unless you’re willing to have an emergency boat radioed in to your aid while the rest of the group has to sit and wait on your ass to be rescued, because you’re a big baby, not hurt - and I’ll bet that’s expensive – it appears that the reality of the situation is you MUST paddle until you reach Polihale beach. Like mom always said, Kwit-yer-bitchin!

Whoa, I just verbally kicked my own ass. You go, self!

I had spent far too much time focusing on the negatives and wishing my time away.

Kayaking Na Pali is one of the most incredible and beautiful adventures I’ve experienced. It was enlightening, overwhelming, exhilarating, breathtaking, astonishing, extraordinary, stunning and picturesque. Words and pictures can never capture the essence of Na Pali. It is captivating, romantic, dangerous and challenging.

I can’t wait to go back.

02 January 2008

Wine me, Dine me, 69th Post Me

This is my 69th post! I wish I had some profound words to mark this momentous occasion; alas, I am fresh out of deep thoughts. My plan is to start discussing Star Wars and see where my mind takes me.

Over the last few days James and I have spent a lot of time getting me up-to-speed on Star Wars. We’re watching the movies in story order (as opposed to their order of release). Last night we finished Episode II, started and finished Clone Wars, and now we’re in the middle of Episode III.

The movies are fantastic, but it’s undeniable that my self-diagnosed ADD takes over every time I watch a movie.

During Clone Wars (the cartoon) I realized that I had absolutely no recollection of Chancellor Palpatine, who’s either one of the main characters or he might be considered more of a supporting character. Somehow I managed to block out his existence. Or maybe I blocked out his presence? Who knows?

What was I talking about?

Other than movie watching, we haven’t done too much since Christmas. It’s awesomely relaxing, yet a little boring. We’d love to get out of St. Louis and go on a new adventure, but it just doesn’t seem possible RIGHT NOW!

I guess I’ll have to settle for reliving my experiences while I upload photos from explorations past. Which reminds me – I found that other picture I took on our lunch break while kayaking Na Pali.



This is the tree our group napped below.

It was mostly bliss, lying under a shade tree in the soft and warm sand, precisely where ocean and mountains meet - hearing only the sounds of waves crashing against the beach. And with only a handful of people around, the location was serene and peaceful.

Everywhere, that is, except below the damn shade tree. It felt as if I were lying on a bed of sewing needles, each one poking through my towel into the side of my body.

I’ve been in many a wooded area, emerging with Science-only-knows-what attached to my clothes, but those things were like nothing I’ve seen before. I’m sure the beach towels we used still have a few needles clinging to them.

---------------
Listening to: Nirvana - Lounge Act
---------------

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails