Friday, November 13, 2009

Day 3, Part 2: Daggett - the Ascent

Well I felt bright and chipper the next morning! Apparently the “illness” wears off after a few hours of rest. Everyone is up before me- as usual. I hope the kids inherit the Thedell early bird gene (that is hypothetical, family – no promises!) because I don’t think it can be learned. I indulge in some camp coffee – mmmmmm! Breakfast is quick, Todd and Brinn are born ready with trekking sticks in hand.

Pack the packs, nuts and snacks, long underwear or just slacks? I go for the long undies, it was bloody cold last night!

No time to really think – I was busy sleeping while everyone else thought. We are off!

We get about a mile up the trail and the oxygen starts getting thin. We stop for a break and I strip off as many layers as I can without taking off my pants. Long underwear was NOT the right choice. We all drink water and trek on; it is truly gorgeous weaving through the frills and fauna above the lake. If the view didn’t take your breath away, the altitude surely did.

Another half a mile and Todd realizes that half of his fishing pole is missing. (You see we though there would be a lake involved…) We think for a bit, and I credit myself with pushing him to run back along the trail to find it. He does so – literally running, mind you – and finds it!!

It is important to mention at this point that these men had not planned on following a trail; we depend on walkie-talkies and making arrows out of sticks on the ground to meet up with Todd again. We decide to stay together and make a new route. Brinn has the coordinates of a geo-cache atop Daggett Peak which we can use to triangulate our path – so we say yes! Let the bush-whacking begin!

No one knew what we were getting into, not even a tiny bit.

We begin the hard-core hike through brambles and mosquitoes. We weave up through the trees, over fallen trees, around fat trees and use other trees as footholds when things get steep. There is much talk about the tree-line, which is a goal for us to reach. The tree-line is where the temperatures are generally too frigid for trees to grow – we are all strangely excited about this for some reason.

We do this for hours, moving at a nice pace straight up the incline. All of us are feeling very mountain-man, rough and rugged! It is a dance of layering, shedding, swatting, munching, and OFF-ing (which became a verb as we so frequently had to spray ourselves with trusty OFF, the mosquito poison of choice for all great bush-whackers).

We reach the tree-line by late-morning. It is a beautiful, open expanse of rocks that leaves room for spectacular views all around us. We get excited to climb higher and see even more. Daggett is so great!

It is about this time that Breanna notices a distant rise of rocks on the horizon… Brinn checks his GPS, the reality blows up on us as a thin, airless wind: We are not even close to Daggett peak. In fact, we have only traveled about ¾ of a mile closer in the past few hours. There is a fleeting, shared round of WTF expressions on everyone’s face.

Of course our doubts are quickly replaced by shrugged shoulders as we mock-stretch our legs to prepare for another round. The motto becomes “Well, we made it this far…” It doesn’t look so bad.

Several photo shoots in as we traverse the vastness of not-quite-yet Daggett Peak, we all enjoy the fact that we can see Wyoming. Wait, what’s that? Yes, all of the crazy wheelie propellers can be seen as well.

At some point we realize that we are not going to be home for a long time, and no one packed a lunch. Josh admits that Breanna definitely suggested that we pack lunches, and now we all wish we had listened. Peanuts anyone?

Our denial of Daggett’s monstrous proportions began to falter as we actually drew closer. Before we could think twice, we had arrived at the actual base of the peak. Brinn and Todd said that we were right on track, so we prepared ourselves for the crazy.

You don’t have to be a Lord of the Rings fan to understand that we were on the border of Mordor. This mountain looked like it ate the Matterhorn for breakfast. 5 hours in and we never imagined that we would be catching our breath at the foot of a beast. It was generally discussed that we should turn back – but none of us were chicken. No. We were going to do this. In fact, Brinn and Todd had already begun, cruising up the rocky cobbles as though we had just arrived at Chucky Cheese and this was some colorful pit of plastic balls to laughingly throw one-self into.

Danny and I looked at each other, shared some clever curse words, and started up. I heard Josh double check to make sure that someone had The Ring and we agreed that Breanna should hold on to it.

Breanna looked like she might kill someone, but she bit her lip and Josh joined her in the first steps.

Every step made it look like the mountain was getting bigger. We began to notice a general trend of increasing steepness. At first it was exciting and fun when the rocks got bigger, it was like a mild form of boulder-ing. We joked about being mountain-goats and I decided that I would not wear my tight jeans next time.

Soon I got the inklings of that pit-of-your-stomach fear, the idea came to me that we might be in a very dangerous situation. The rocks kept getting steeper and bigger, making it very difficult to see anything around you or to determine if the next rock would be stable. I was beginning to get dizzy from the height and the drop below. We started to stagger our climbing as much as possible to avoid knocking giant rocks on each other.

It became a very slow progression. The miraculous climbing skills of Todd and Brinn became very apparent as they raced ahead. Danny and I had to stop almost every five minutes to breathe as the altitude and the strenuous climb took a toll. I became very concerned about how we were going to get down. There was really no way to go back the same way we were climbing up, it would be far too dangerous. Todd had mentioned that they had talked to “some guy” who said there was a really quick way down on the lake side, only ½ a mile! I counted on this being true and pushed on. Thank goodness that Danny is so encouraging when we get into crazy situations, I probably would have panicked without him.

This was nothing less than a massive adventure – creeping up these boulders like so many small ants trying to reach the picnic. None of us could see the other groups, it was a blind, haul - straight up. We hadn’t heard any crashing or screaming, so we just…kept…going!

You can imagine our general surprise and frivolous revels when we found that the endless rock pile was not, in fact, endless. We REACHED THE TOP!!! It had been nearly an hour or more of rock-hopping, and it was GLORIOUS to be at the actual peak!

Brinn and Todd had already explored the entire peak, which was what a lunar-lander might see on its first trip to the moon. More rocks! Yay! We all trudged up to the middle and sat the heck down. For a good 30 minutes we sat, munched on dried fruits and nuts and stacked rocks on top of each other.

We found the famed geo-cache of Daggett! Turns out only five other people had been up here this year – we just doubled the population! We signed our names and buried it. We hung out really close to the edge of the cliff as mountain men do, to be cool and to see exactly how high we were.

It was seriously the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen of this sort, we had ascended over 2,000 feet throughout our journey and reached a final height of (I think I have this number right Brinn) 12, 075 ft! It was just phenomenal. I could fit the view of Spirit Lake under my thumb! We basked in our accomplishments, it was a HUGE rush!

Another huge rush of air from behind us brought a concerned look to Todd’s face. We all looked and realized that there were relatively massive storm clouds rolling towards the peak – and we all had fishing rods sticking up 3 feet above our heads.

We took a few more rounds on the peak and decided that it would be a good time to find a way down before we became human lightning rods.

A way down… does anyone know the way down?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day 3, Part 1: Daggett- the Beginning

Now we move ahead to the solid – meaty part of the journey. This is where boys become men. Girls become men. We are all very manly in the sense that NO one will give up OR ask for directions. And the lone voice who said “we should really pack a lunch” was quickly silenced, shrugged off, and replaced with trail mix and beef jerky.

Yes, this is the story of Daggett Peak. How we came, saw, and conquered the behemoth.

Part 1: The Beginning

Now, as I left you a day earlier, whacking balls and tossing back brews…

There was of course the breathtaking drive out of Utah, into a small sliver of Wyoming, and right back into Utah. We took note of the lovely amber fields of grain… or in this case, the dried up fields of those huge wind-propeller alternate energy-providing creepy-as-all-hell even in the daylight THINGS. They were impressive to say the least.

But who cares about the Empire State sized spinner wheelie things; it was a car drive, a means to an end.

As we rolled up the mountains and into the trees – the car spit up so much red dust we might as well have been driving to Mars. As all great camping destinations do, Spirit Lake revealed itself through the maelstrom – and it was nothing short of spectacular. The deep blues and silvers of the lake’s surface lazily reclined off to the right as we rolled along. It seemed as if the lake was very excited to see us, but was playing cool like mountain lakes do – not giving away too much of herself.

We made no game of showing our excitement – leaping out to choose the best tent-pitching areas. The crisp air was far colder than I remembered, which was perfectly wonderful. Danny and I are excellent campers – we had our new home set up within minutes and it was off to the lake for a fish!

Fishing Spirit Lake is like floating closer to heaven – albeit with troves more mosquitoes and frozen hands – but that is just the way the lake welcomes you. You have to love the fact that you can’t feel a mosquito biting you when you are numb from the cold. We bask in utter silence, hearing only the chirps of squirrels and the soft plops of bobbers dropping into the water. I admit that when Danny goes back with his first catch – I enjoy singing “Fishing with John” to myself, rocking to the lazy melody and hoping for my own fish.

We decide that once night falls and we have both lost feeling in our feet, that it is time to bid the lake “Good evening, oh flawless one!” and head back to de-frost around the fire.

The whole family has arrived now. The fire is booming, the food and beers are flowing! We see that Brinn has found a most perfect niche in between five trees for his tent and he has built a small paradise inside. Nice.

We unload our green and red fold-up chairs and sit down for a brew. Danny smokes his catch directly in the fire – a tiger trout! It is too delicious, and I tell the fish thank you for the great dinner.

I remember Todd saying something about being determined to hike the Peak tomorrow, and I say “I’m in!” as my head starts to swirl… I see a world of Bud Light, flames, and some freaky curtain that could only have been the inside of my eyelids… then the most horrible headache I could ever imagine sets in.

I flash back to a similar sensation I felt while laying in a pup tent at 12,000 ft in Yosemite last spring with Janine… she shoved a cliff bar down my throat and told me to sleep – altitude sickness! What a BUST! I knew it. I scarfed a cliff bar, downed a bottle of vitamin water, and excused myself to bed.

Danny helped me get to bed and I was SO cold and it HURT and AHHHH!! I finally fell into a crazy person’s sleep – trying to relax between the head-pounding pain, nausea, and the wild banana fairies. ICK! Somehow I made it through till morning.

Little did I know that this was only the beginning…

Friday, October 23, 2009

I pet a pig dog and got the swine blues...

... then he sprouted some wings and out the swine flew!

Here’s a new article with even more info for you. This one’s a little less conspiracy-theory and more straight facts. I LOVE the fact that this article has a smart-ass tone and a TON of legitimate references.

New article:

Last week’s article:

So where do we draw the line between holistic idealism and medical fact? I’d say somewhere in between. READ this article and keep the other one in mind as well. You owe it to yourself to look at both sides of the coin when it’s your body and of course, your family and friends. Feel free to send these articles to those people in your life who are swine flu extremists, you know the ones who say “you absolutely HAVE to get the Vaccine or you will die!” or “the vaccine is going to kill us all!” Seriously, let’s get some perspective here.

As far as my decision goes... I would usually say that holistic prevention is the very best way to go – but that failed me relatively recently. I ate up so much Zinc, Vitamin C, Echinacea, chicken soup, etc. I thought I would burst! I’m talking serious fresh squeezed organic oranges and organic everything and veggies and so much sleep… Yet I had to miss 3 days of work and lay in bed for two weekends to kick this THING whatever it was. Maybe it was the swine flu – who knows? Maybe a vaccine would have helped? Of course, if I hadn't downed the holistic treats, it could have lasted twice as long...

I can’t afford to not work, so this being sick thing is no good for me. I got my seasonal flu vaccine last week. I am totally fine. I have gotten the seasonal vaccine every year since I was 15 – I am always fine. If I got sick from it once - I would probably reconsider, but I haven't. Maybe your story is different.

Don't forget to consider all factors - don't blame the vaccine for getting you sick if your immune system was already lame from being lazy or eating unhealthy food. Like in my case, it is very likely that this THING got me because I was tired from surfing almost 9 hours during the two days before.

You see, no matter what you decide, there are more than two flus out there. Don’t think you are free to eat cheeseburgers and watch TV all night just because you’ve got the vaccine. Don’t think you are invincible because you down 10 servings of fruit and veggies each day with a medley of vitamins. Disease is relentless – you have to have your best guard up at all times. Be smart – use as much natural prevention as you can and remember that the vaccine is also a form of prevention.

And PLEASE avoid the conspiracy theories. No one is out to get you. If “they” wanted to get you, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be through a voluntary vaccine. It would be more logical to fear that your cat is a spy or your toothpaste is tainted. Any logical person with a PhD. will lose their mind if they fear something enough – don’t give in to the crazy.

Come to think of it, my cat probably is a spy... but I'm OK with that.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Ok ok OH Kay! So I am finding that writing my next installment of Spirit Lake is more intimidating than exciting. I am just not ready to sit at the computer for a full hour as I recall the events in detail and edit mercilessly.

Here's a random blog instead, which I feel the need to interject between epic biographical blogs:

Today, my butt is falling asleep to the the beautiful sounds of classical piano played by the expressive Tom Barabas. Thanks Tom, this is only the eleveth time I've heard Pachelbel's Canon today...

One of the club members just walked by and said "Hey Curly!" - which is apparently my new nickname. It is bad enough that my new haircut is still "shocking" people and leading them to make strange comments two weeks later - but now I have an itching urge to go "knuuuuck nuc nuc" and poke him in the nose...

This makes me think of how Danny is one of the strangest men on the planet to actually like my short hair (sometimes BETTER than the long hair). He picks out my shoes better than I can, he likes my cat, and he actually supports my short hair adventures. I think women must be lining up to knock me out so they can have a chance with him. I would understand. I would not be suprised if some random lady offered me money to have Danny pretend to be her boyfriend for a day. Too bad, he's not for sale - love you baby!

Hmm... I am hoping to finish spraying the house for bugs when I get home - I am the terminator. I have been forbidden to "bomb" the house again so I have settled for soaking the perimeter with home-pest poison. Bryan better watch where he pees - there may be a chemical reaction. But there will be no bugs... none... ever. AHAHHHHHHAAAAAAAh. Ha.

My mom wants me to write a book for spare cash... I was thinking like tutoring or mowing lawns or something - she realy has a lot of faith in me. Do you know how much work it takes to write a BOOK? She says 10 or 12 chapters should do it... Oh OK, well that makes it OK. Maybe I will.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day 2: The Saga continues...

Day 2: The Thedell Open 2009

We wake to a lovely breakfast of eggs and bacon. Pappy shows off his skills of frying the eggs in the bacon grease – the only way to cook eggs – apparently. I am not complaining.

And… we are OFF! To the golf course for a day of turf–chunking adventure! We somehow end up with a set of left handed rentals… ok? Breanna anxiously takes the driver’s seat and whisks away in her golf cart with Josh. Danny takes us down behind them as we weave around the clubhouse and down to tee off. We decide to play best ball – since none of us knows how to golf properly.

I begin to show off right away – smacking the ball WAY far down the fairway with my trusty 3-iron. This immediately becomes my favorite club which I decide I will use for nearly every swing. I basically kick everyone’s butt on the first drive. I am amazing.

Immediately my LPGA dreams are shattered as I realize that a 3–iron is not the very best for every shot... nor are my arms for that matter. Danny steals the show with his stunning, stylish fedora hat and Ray Bans – also his obvious knack for golfing comes to the surface – a late bloomer!!!

Breanna and I decide that golf is funny, and it will be even funnier if we make it onto the green.

Brinn and Uncle Todd are one hole behind us... now they are practically on top of us! We hurry along to the next hole and Brinn follows us, pats Danny on the back and says, “You guys need to play best ball so we can keep things moving, you know – you only use the best ball from each couple to play on.” We look at each other as he explains it and we all crack up because we HAVE been playing best ball!!!

We continue along – going as quickly as possible while still taking time to smell the roses. Might as well enjoy ourselves!

Several exciting events ensue:

- Todd is spotted climbing through the bushes high on the hill searching for a lost ball. We think he must have found at least 3 geo-caches by now!

- Danny and Josh both slice a ball into the same pond off the same tee, Breanna wins the hole!

- Breanna and Josh nearly knock me out of the cart when they decide it will be fun to play bumper carts. It probably would have been more fun if I hadn’t been joyriding with my legs hanging out the side…

- After a nice drive, Danny’s ball lands directly atop an existing ball hiding in the rough – and it bounces perfectly onto the fairway. Later a disgruntled golfer emerges from below and claims that Danny stole his ball.

- Breanna has some beautiful shots, a few are even accompanied by a bonus spray of dirt as a sizable chunk of turf attempts to join the ball in flight. I don’t think anyone could whack the turf as high as Bre can, she holds the honors.

- Danny decides that the back of the chipper makes a decent putter when I am too slow to bring him the putter from the cart.

- Josh blooms into a regular Tiger by the 9th hole, and the boys have completely taken over!

- Danny sets up an expert putt on the 18th hole as Josh and Breanna stage a full WWF brawl on the green – it is really and interesting mix of sports.

I think I’ve won – but who’s counting?

We park at the clubhouse and have ourselves a fine round of classy golfer’s brew: Bud Light for all!!! Beautiful.

Next on the list – Aunt Shara’s BBQ! Barry welcomes us with a “here – eat this” slice of smoked ham fresh off the spit – Oh yeah!!! More brews and delicious foods take us into a beautiful Roy sunset. We take in the lovely grassy field just beyond the fence… gazing out past the backyard to a golden horizon of grassy goodness and … HOOOOOOOOONNKK!!!! An Amtrak runs straight through the backyard!!!!!! This train is seriously 50 cars long and we get dizzy trying to count them – as they are less than 20 yards away. The kids love it and Shara says simply “I’ve never seen the Amtrak come through here…” as though the name on the train was the interesting part. Danny and I just pop a top and laugh, what a trip this is going to be!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Spirit Lake 2009 - The Saga Begins

Spirit Lake Adventures 2009

Day 1: The Road Trip

The alarm rings at 3am, Danny lets me sleep until 3:30am – he is a very nice boyfriend. The departure is fuzzy – I toss the Rock Star drinks in a cooler before embarking and then incessant neck discomfort takes over as I attempt to continue my slumber in the passenger seat. The sunrise is all so annoying – right in my window! I’m such a sleep monster – everything is horribly inconvenient when it gets in the way of napping. I roll around to the sounds of CCR and Modest Mouse, to find a glorious view of the Las Vegas strip. By now I am prepared to “wake up” as there are shiny objects outside the window even prettier than the sun – the golden windows of the Mirage and the great pyramid mock up that is the Luxor... I have a sudden urge to spend ridiculous amounts of cash and watch blue men beat on massive pipes in rhythm.

I drive at some point – hopped up on caffeine. Danny lets me drive through THE CANYONS which are absolutely spectacular. He chooses Phillip Glass’s Koyaanisqatsi for “canyon music” and let me tell you – it is absolutely perfect! What an experience, slowly following the downward spiral of the road to the cadence of deep native chanting and haunting organ melodies – awesome! Not to mention the fabulous back up vocals of Danny and I trying our hardest to impersonate an old Hopi medicine man…

The remainder of the drive was sweaty and sticky – we let the car cool by turning on the heater and leaving the windows open. Thank you so much to my lovely Danny for driving nearly the whole way and letting me half sleep, complain and generally chatter about nothing as we traversed the mostly flat California, Nevada, Wyoming, and finally Utah! Utah – the land of endless road construction, uncanny weather, and lots of God.

The most wonderful little house lies just beyond Main Street in Brigham City – Pappy’s house! Pappy Thedell and Marilyn greet us with a hearty hug and massive amounts of homemade spaghetti alongside the famous garden cucumbers and tomatoes that Pappy is known for around the globe! We... sleep like rocks.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Yumm yums

Hey there my people! This is a particular shout out to Breanna who is always curious and willing to listen to me blab about my funky food habits - thanks Bre!

So we all know that veggies are good and we need to eat more of them, blah blah, BLAH!

But really - we do. If you are like me and you don't like to eat veggies often (or maybe you just forget?) come along on my journey to be a more veggie-conscious and health-forward consumer.

My latest excursion is this:

After slowly ridding my kitchen of junk food (Thanks SO much to Danny and Suzy for going along with me on this!) and thus negating temptation, I have embarked on the "pepper phase".

As many of you know I have recently drawn a bit back from the spinach shot phase - and now I am working toward including bell peppers in my daily routine. Let me know if you're interested in details, I can always blog my full diet habits to satisfy popular demand - I just don't want to bore everyone unless they ask for it!

So the bell peppers... there are not many vegetables that I enjoy eating and even fewer that can translate into snack food that I can bring to work. It's hard to build a good habit if you can't bring it to work with you. Thus, I settle on the beautiful bell pepper - a perfect vegetable which is highly portable and thoroughly enjoyable!

So as I sit here and snack on the baggie of Julienne style (I sliced last night) oranges and yellows, I think about "how good are these for me really?" I curiously Google them, as I often do, and found that I have made a very wise choice!

Here's my favorite article so far - everything you ever wanted to know!

Basic highlights:

Bell peppers are super high in Vitamin C and Vitamin A. These are two of the top antioxidants to help reduce free-radicals in your body (which are responsible for all kind of nasties like cancer). Vitamin A is also a great protector against lung disease: the article mentions how those people who smoke until they are 90 and never get emphyzema can thank thier diet - because it's usually due to higher levels of Vitamin A.

Red bell peppers are the very best - they have lycopene (like tomatoes). Lycopene is a whole other fantastic thing called a carotenoid - and it goes after cancer too. So spend that extra $0.30 per pepper to get the red ones!!! Red is also VERY good for your eyes with lutein and beta-carotene nutrients. I say these taste the very best as well!

Generally all bell peppers are high in fiber and folic acid - the green ones have the most fiber. These nutrients provide a great protection against colon disease and cancer.

SO! Go ahead and get started. I mean - don't overdo it, but maybe try to start with baby steps by sneaking some bell peppers into your snack time. I hope I can stick with it!

Remeber - raw and organic is the very best way to get all of the nutrients without anything else added by people. Go to Henry's to get the organic peppers whole. Costco has a great variety pack right now of miniature sweet peppers (another name for bell pepers) and they are ready to eat! Always wash them off before you bite in, of course.

Enjoy, and read the whole article when you get a chance - it's awesome.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Get a clue!

So I’ve been hearing a lot about Obama this and Obama that and Sarah Palin is going to be the next president and pretty soon Glen Beck is going to put both feet in his mouth while shooting Al Gore in the foot and the economy is more important than the environment and everything is a LIE and where’s MY bailout?

And I say SO WHAT??? Have you ever been in middle management? Better yet, have you ever been a parent or a child and had a family at all? Don’t you know that you can’t make everyone happy all of the time?

So Obama is president – and you are ecstatic or you are pissed off. I didn’t go crying to mamma when Bush was in office for eight years so why do some people feel like it’s their right to huff and puff and blow their hot air all over the place now that Obama is here?

Sure, we have the freedom of speech to share our opinions and not be jailed but the last time I checked – the president (no matter who he/she is) actually upholds that right for us.

So honestly people, your conservative, khaki, Tommy Bahama britches are all in a twist because something is different now – DEAL with it!

I will be writing a lot more about this, but for now, HEAR THIS:

You who have “worked hard” for (or were privileged enough to have, I don’t care) your own money and assets - You who are old, and family oriented – You who likely love God – You who can’t handle it when the donut shop down the street discontinues your favorite cream-filled variety: Try to remember what it was like when you were young and poor and life was full of energy and change. Remember why you strove to live every day in the first place – the passion, the freedom, and the chance to find happiness around every corner. Remember what it felt like to rebel, and fight against The MAN!

You who are young (or young at heart) – You who think money grows on trees and credit cards and bailouts are good things – You who voted for Obama just BECAUSE he was different and paid no mind to actual policies – You who will eat any donut as long as it is free – You who wants to always learn and flow and grow to the music in your head: Remember that not all change is good. THINK that if you manage to survive all of your death defying stunts, you may someday want to cling to your money as closely as you cling to your I Phone today. Imagine, how crazy it would be to live your life like a live wire in the moment – for the rest of your life. Someday you may be just as boring as your parents – so consider how you’ll feel about these issues then.

It’s all about perspective people. I challenge YOU now. All of you need to break out of your comfort zone. Know thy enemy! Maybe you are not enemies after all... "Enemy" is a concept created by humans, and we have the power to change any concept that we create.

Fox news people (you know who you are!!!) you need to watch at least 3 other news stations to get the real picture – OK? Don't look at me like that - you can do it - really!

This goes for staunch NPR and Daily Show fans as well – go turn on Bill O’Reilly, Dr. Laura and tune in to Fox as well. Listen to them, the experience is worth the pain - Be strong!

Learn about a religion that is different from yours – particularly one you dislike. I’m not asking you to believe – just do a little research.

If you’ve always lived in the suburbs – come spend a day with me in the city to see some culture.

If you’ve only lived in the city – go visit my Mom and Dad and they’ll give you the Santee suburbia experience (one of a kind!!!!).

Try not to judge anything or anyone before you understand. I know it’s hard, but just trying will help you enormously.

Do it for me, do it for you, or in the immortal words of consumer driven Nike ads:


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

25 Things You Hate and Love About Lisa

By popular demand I have decided to post this list on my blog. I am very fond of it, and my Facebook crowd enjoyed it as well. Here it is for you, now, enjoy! :)

25 Things about me:

1) My happiness improves significantly in the presence of furry mammals, consequently my voice escalates in pitch and my vocabulary shrinks to jibberish at the same time.

2) I am a borderline hypochondriac, but kind of in a good way.

3) My favorite food at the moment is veggie nuggets with buffalo sauce - AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!

4) I want to be a writer, singer, pianist, guitarist and dancer extraordinaire - unfortunately I have the attention span of a flea and have great difficulty actually mastering these skills.

5) I LOVE the water and swimming. I just recently began to recover from a shoulder injury and I can now swim again in small doses - it makes me soooooo happy and I could swim for hours!

6) I guess this is where I talk about surfing: many call me a "surfer" but I call myself "one who surfs". I no longer have the beach bum lifestyle, but the addiction to the ocean and it's waves will always be a part of me. I don't ride the "big ones" anymore but I still LOVE to paddle out in normal conditions - it rocks my world!

7) I truly believe that the best remedy for the common cold (in the early stages) is a shot of tequila followed by a tequila-orange juice cocktail. Maybe two of those. The next day squeeze a whole lemon into a large glass of water and drink it. You will feel like 100 bucks!

8) I am a virtual beacon for fleas, they smell me from miles away and flock to the Lisa buffet. Once, I pet a stray cat and got bit approx~ 16 times as I walked away. RIDICULOUS!!! Ask Danny, I bombed the shit out of the house last summer with RAID so badly that we couldn't breathe inside for four days! The flea make me CRAZY!

9) I work my ass off. Literally, I sit in a chair about 10 hours a day (only four days a week thank goodness) and I fear that one day my poor ass will fall clean off and run away and be like "Fu%k you! I'm OUT!". I wouldn't recommend a desk job to anyone.

10) When I get married it will be in a purple dress. REALLY purple...yeah!

11) On that note, I do NOT like diamonds. Yeah I like them they are shiny and pretty and shit but EVERYONE has one and they are so ridiculously unoriginal. The whole De Beers tradition thing makes me sick, and don't get me started on the diamond industry... But I digress... if someone proposes to me with a diamond he will get rejected.

12) There is a very good chance I will have twins - since my mom is an identical twin.

13) I think the number 13 rocks! Thirteen is just as lucky if not more so than the other numbers!

14) I played basketball in high school and I sucked. I did get the award for "Best Defensive Player" because I really enjoyed knocking girls over and stealing the ball - not to mention that my box-out is nearly perfect! But everything else sucked...

15) My mom and I love to go lobster fishing! It is such a blast! The best part is when we actually catch lobsters! Usually we don't catch much but we have a bottle of Cazadores Reposado to fill in the slow times. We are pretty hard core hoop-net-pullin', tequila swiggin' fisher girls!

16) I am slightly addicted to sashimi, particularly salmon or yellowtail. I can't get enough, and it just makes you feel so healthy and refreshed!

17) I love to sit at home and watch movies with the loves of my life: Danny, Suzy, Brian, and Luke. (the last two are the dog and the cat)

18) Good wine is good, good vodka is better, an good tequila is just stellar!!!

19) I'll probably become a sun-drenched, skin-cancerous, loudmouthed alcoholic someday. I look forward to it!

20) I truly look forward to growing old with my beautiful man. Danny is always going to look like a movie star and think like the spawn of William Burroughs and a sixty-year-old blues musician ~ and I'm always going to remind him of that.

21) When I turn 85, I will celebrate by getting my most sought-after tattoo: A Tyrannosaurus eating a cave man on my right bicep! The grand kids will have to respect me. You know I'll do it too!

22) I really hate it when people say "don't fall asleep" when I yawn. You idiot! I'm just bored! YOU are boring and maybe YOU should go to sleep. Lay off people!

23) The Magic Bullet deserves a shout out - I love you Bullet! You make the world a better place!

24) My feet are crazy, I blame them for my emotional and mental instabilities. From now on, when someone calls me crazy I will show them my feet and say "C'mon, if you had feet like this you'd be crazy too!"

25) I am so freakin blessed it's digusting. I have my soulmate, my family's love, my Suzy, a beautiful spazy kitty, and all the veggie nuggets and Buffalo sauce a girl could dream of!

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Artist

* Inspired by Danny and Robert Browning *

The Artist

I walked alone this dreary day
And saw a man with azure eyes
I touched his face to kiss his lips
My love for him materialized

In that moment, all at once
I tasted where his heart is
I asked him if he knew my love
He nodded, "That's what art is."

-Lisa Gharib

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Blog that Makes Your Head Hurt - in a good way!

There is a great paradox in this world – namely the social catch 22 of “you are thinking of what I am thinking of you”.

We walk around wondering what everyone else thinks of us when, in fact, 90% of their thoughts are wondering the same thing. You’ve heard this before right? We say “que sera sera and “don’t worry about what other people think” – but we STILL DO! It plagues us to the point that it becomes unconscious and we don’t even realize we’re doing it. If you are one of the lucky ones who is supremely comfortable with yourself and you have already attained your own calmness of character – no need to read on – but if you are a worry-wart like me – this may be a helpful blog.

I personally have the problem of worrying about being courteous to others and my general character image:

- Is my music too loud coming from my car, maybe they don’t like country? So I turn down the tunes at an intersection.

- Would my conversation with Danny offend this person we are about to walk by? So I stop talking until we pass.

- How close can I stand to this person in the fast line at the grocery store before they think I am weird?

- Is my arm-fat sticking out of my sleeve too much?

- And most commonly: (when singing/performing publicly) People must think I’m terrible!

My singing teacher used to give me this advice (I’ve paraphrased) which I cling to immortally:

“YOU are a great singer! You must sing like a great singer and believe it because confidence takes care of the nerves. Everyone out there is so impressed that you are even up there on stage and when you do a good job it is an unexpected perk!”

You see when you are performing – you have to forget about yourself – become the song and present it to your audience: you are doing it for them! It is stupid and quite a waste of time to be selfishly worried about “your” performance when you should always remember that you are delivering a gift to the crowd!

Now when you think about it like this – you realize that thinking about yourself all the time is taking – when we should be giving just like a performer “gives” a performance.

One time – maybe today… try to think of what the other person wants you to think about them - and give them the satisfaction that you noticed their efforts. You will get a huge reaction and probably make an instant friend. I strive to do this as much as possible but it is not easy! I am a very self-focused person and I need a lot of acknowledgement, but I’m not alone. If I can do this, anyone can.

Here’s an example:

Boy says: “I really like your shoes.”

Girl says: “Thank you.”

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, here’s the thing: the boy doesn’t really care about her shoes – but he knows that she spends half of her income on fancy shoes to impress boys so he is taking notice of the shoes and complimenting her for that reason. He has stopped thinking about himself (and what she is thinking of him) for one second to give her the acknowledgment of choosing the right pair of shoes.

Of course she is ecstatic. She’ll play it off like she doesn’t care but she’s really blown away that he would even consider looking at her shoes – let alone forming an opinion about them.

Now this is a very obvious example, but you get the idea.

We all need to try this, when you get used to doing this you will feel so much better as a person (it’s that warm-fuzzy feeling you get from donating to a charity) and you’ll really bring down your stress levels. You’ll feel like you are important because you made someone’s day – and wait! Isn’t feeling important what you try to do every day by waiting for someone to notice you? The circle is complete.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Analysis of a Creeper

WHY do creepy old men come after attractive girls that happen to be standing alone at a given moment? Is it a game? Do they really think they have a chance? Honestly, am I patting myself on the back too much when I say “what makes you think you are worthy of talking to me?” Now I don’t say that, because I’m nice, courteous, and most of all curious about what this creepy man is going to say to me.

This happens to us ladies ALL of the time, Suzy and I have given these men (collectively) the name “Dwight” – because if your name is Dwight – you’re probably a creeper. Allow me to enlighten you with a recent incident of ridiculous proportions!

We are out at Danny’s opening for the showing of his piece (a painting – it’s not THAT kind of exhibition) in a juried exhibition at Planet Rooth Gallery on Ray street during the Ray at Night art walk. I had been by Danny’s side like a cleaning wrass on a swimming shark for over an hour when I decided to let him chat up some people without his female clinger.

I go to stand in front of his beautiful painting (which is pretty clearly from a photo of me) and IMMEDIATELY I am swooped upon! This wild frizz-haired Twisted Sister of an aging rocker suddenly touches my shoulder and asks about my phoenix tattoo. First of all – I REALLY f-ing hate it when people touch my tattoo because they think that somehow it is public property – that would be MY body – thanks! More on that later…

So I turn and say very nicely – “It is a phoenix, yes”. And he says “You know, the phoenix is a symbol of re-birth and rising from the ashes”. I really tried not to laugh directly in his face and say “OH! Wow, is that it? Thank you I definitely was not aware…” Given this guy was deserving of pity – his shirt looked like a Bon Jovi tee ripped off at the sleeves and spray-painted with silver tiger stripes! He must have been on some kind of drugs – like the really good kind ‘cause the wheels were spinning but the hamster was thinking he was a 20-year old Sean Penn.

Anyways, he proceeds to tell me he has three PhDs and that he is a literature professor. Of course I can pretty much keep up with all of his stories as I am well-versed in literature and poetry myself. He knew his stuff, but he didn’t seem to get that I wasn’t impressed – It was like this:

Dwight: “Did you know that the Doors named their band after a William Blake Poem? Do you know William Blake?”

Lisa: “Yes they got it from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell – which is actually an entire book...”

Then we moved on to Shakespeare:

Dwight: “Don’t you think Macbeth is very supernatural with the witches and the fates?”

Lisa: “Well the witches ARE the fates and it depends if you think religion should be considered supernatural.”

And so on – basically a lot of people try to impress me with their poetic knowledge but they really have no actual insight to share – they are just hitting on me. Given that this was a valiant effort, I was getting very bored and I remember thinking that he might just keel over at any point because he was really that old.

Anyways, I slipped in the boyfriend fact and found some kind of clever way to dash away without hurting his feelings and latched on to Danny more like a leech this time.

The Dwight had wasted nearly 20 minutes of his time trying to impress me, and he kept trying to find me again through the night despite the fact that I was clearly with my man – I had to wonder – why? I was very sassy in my Japanese corset with long jeans and high-heeled boots, and I just plain looked very nice that night – so why did he think that someone like me would be at such an event alone? It doesn’t make sense.

Does logic just completely evade the minds of these men whilst on the prowl? Was it the shrooms? Should I have said “Pardon me sir but it appears that you are trying to woo me via Shakespeare quotes, please allow me to explain: I assure you I am not interested in your motley appearance or your quotes of poems which I already know. If you think I am pretty you may be correct, but my boyfriend shares the same sentiments. This is his painting here which I am standing next to so I will draw the attention of art aficionados who may notice my resemblance to this lady on the wall. Now please excuse me but I am not up for grabs and I must be running along back to the love of my life whose fantastic painting skills have brought me here in the first place.”

“By the way Axl Rose called – he wants his blow-dryer back.”

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Don't get saucy with me, Bernaisse!

I hear the bunions are running... GO!

New band name: Choking on Tennessee or Shit off the Roof?

Why is it that we wear a PAIR of panties and a singular BRA? Isn't that like driving on a parkway and parking in a driveway?

I am a new-born (or is it born-again?) Trekkie! Can someone please get me an "I LOVE SPOCK" t-shirt???

Q: What is invisible and smells like carrots?
A: Rabbit fart!

I do not fear death, but rather death by insects... or worse - death by spoon!

Does Swiss ice-cream also have holes?

Buffalo sauce should be given some kind of award for it's sheer deliciousness.

My uncle used to put like forty socks on my bedroom ceiling fan and we'd hide under my laundry basket to watch in safety when he turned it on. They'd flip and fling like fish drowning in the air above my bed - splattering against the peachy wall-paint and bouncing off of our heads! What a spectacle, the nightly sock-launch!

Don't look at me like that - you're the one who read it!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A cuteness...

Luke the Puke

L Little soot-black menace in the night

U Undulating sideways across the senseless brown carpet

K Kitten eyes like a cartoon, bold orange and orbishly innocent

E Endlessly chirping, honking, squealing and squawking your feline songs

F Flirting with Danny, or Danny’s pants when he’s not home

L Lord of the Kitty Fortress, five stories high – fearsomely he leaps!!!

O Often the connoisseur of most plentiful American toilet water

W Warrior, the sole ambushing force against the ill-tempered Crayfly!

E Entirely afraid of Bryan the Dog, the epitome of a Scaredy-Cat

R Roly-poly, tuck-and-roll, WATCH OUT you’re going to roll off the bed again!

S Shoelaces beware!!!

Monday, May 4, 2009


HAH! Oh Kim honestly - I'm the dumbest! "baptize them in his name" -oy - ok so that's hilarious that I saw it as IN his name. No, so you baptize someone in the water and you say "in the name of Jesus I baptize this sinner...etc." WOW Ok somebody slap me with a wet waffle and call me Shakespeare!!!

I get it now.

Either way, interpretations can vary - even a very literate girl with an English minor can read something wackily.

ANYWAYS! I'm gonna lay off a bit. I got a little wild there and no one wants to read a blog about serious suff and flaming opinions all of the time do they?

Or OK, how about flaming opinions on more light-hearted stuff? Yeah. I'll go there next.

Sorry for being a crazy lady - it's my nature. I'll try harder not to be SO crazy and maybe we can all enjoy ourselves. Any ideas for a new topic? And DON'T say global warming!

Love yas!

Word of Mouth - Continued!

Since I've not yet figured out how to comment on my own blog, I will write a new blog to respond to some GREAT comments!


I am even more curious now! Jenna mentioned Matthew 28: 18-20. I want to know more about this - when Jesus says "baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you." he is clearly making a metaphor because you can't literally baptize someone (especially a whole "nation") with someone's name. Unless "name" is a symbol for water I'd say this is a metaphor meant to be an image conveying his message.

Now bearing this in mind - I'd like to suggest that Jesus is supporting my point here, as the "teaching" them to obey His laws that Jesus commands can also be seen as a metaphor. It does not necessarily mean teaching with pamphlets or word of mouth - I'm also guessing Jesus wasn't trying to tell us to go forth and implement curriculum in public schools that teach the Word of God either. Of course, I am no biblical scholar - but I feel that the presence of a metaphor in the very next verse allows us the freedom to infer that "teaching" may in fact be more...

Were people more inspired by Jesus's words or his actions? Would we believe in anyone who simply spoke to us that God was the Almighty and we should follow only Him? No, we wouldn't. Jesus was a truly good man from what I understand and he preformed a certain amount of miracles to gain our full attention and faith.

Now I feel that a modern miracle lies not within our words that we shout to the world - but in how real those words are in our lives and actions. Once again, "teaching" has many faces and the only way to truly learn is to see something happen and do it yourself - just as a father would teach his daughter by living his life well - not forcing beliefs - and loving his children no matter what.

NOW! I'm not sure who the other post was from (not Todd - that's rather self-explanatory!). Come forth mystery blogger!

Anyways, this comment got my wheels spinning! I am wondering now - what kind of God would allow his people to be believers and require these standards of their behavior and yet allow them the sole responsibility for their loved ones religious "education"? Doesn't this go against the teaching of Jesus to think that just because you haven't convinced your brother (for example) to give into the graces of the Lord that he will never be "saved"? Why did Jesus even bother to come down here and work so hard to show us true grace if we were to treat his example like it never happened? Why can't someone just be good on their own with or without the Church and still be seen highly in the eyes of God? Must every believer be baptized and follow all of the rules of the Book verbatim in order to see the pearly gates? OOH! I hope not. Sorry, that gets me fired up!

People created Churches with a lot of their own motivations (political, economical, etc.) in mind - most of the modern churches are either old Roman courthouses (in Europe) or they are modeled after the old roman courthouses. Most religious holidays are on days previously for Pagan celebrations - so why do these things equate to the symbols of a "good " Christian? Oh. the BOOK says so. And how many "good" Christians do you know who are not really so good, who are in fact bad people who feel entitled by all of this pomp and circumstance of religious symbolism around us - and they use their "Good Christian" church group membership as a tool to look down on others, to bully and judge. I understood that God was the only one who could judge - perhaps I was wrong.

Why do the book and the Church and the singing and the praying hold SO much importance when the real teachings are sitting there between the lines? We feel so obligated to share what we learned from the book that we forget that GOD is still God and if you really believe in Jesus then you should be comforted in his presence and know that living a whole, good life with his teaching to help you along will be MORE than enough to "save" your loved ones and even the world if enough people stop talking and start modeling their actions around the words and everything in-between that is unsaid.

Oy, I digress.

Rhode Island is neither a road or an island - discuss!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The BIG "R" - Word of mouth

Welcome to my first installment of The BIG "R"! That would be religion. I am about to dive in head first - care to join me? Do whatever holy motions you need to prepare yourself - and enjoy!

Word of Mouth

So I am curious about a religious something: I am wondering, "Why in God’s name do we spread His word?" My experience is mostly with modern Christians. I’ve encountered or been approached by Mormons and Evangelical Christians too, who have been even more pushy. For this reason I will use Christianity as my example, but keep in mind that any major religion can and will spread the word.

Now, I understand when you have a lot of pride in your faith and you want the whole world to share your feelings. It’s like eating the most fabulous cheesecake – you must tell all of your friends at once so they may enjoy the same pleasures! But when does it get to the point where you start preaching, pushing and forcefully encouraging people to join you. When does it get to the point that a normally shy person will approach a stranger with his own beliefs or enter a conversation to speak about his own beliefs? And I’d like to know when it gets to the point where a person becomes so ensconced in their Lord and their religion that he begins to feel God-like himself and takes on the task of judging others who do not believe.

So is there a referral system in heaven? It must be like girl-scout cookies, the more you sell the bigger the waiting prize becomes. For every 5 people you can convert, the size of your halo will increase accordingly!… Just as the Lord is great in every other aspect – so is He the master of a most elaborate pyramid scheme!

I am curious if the Bible specifies these terms, could someone who is better “versed” than I please clarify? What does He actually say about this subject?

Here’s the deal. Even if the Lord says directly (or rather, most indirectly via several translations from original texts) that we are to spread the Word – I would say that we have something to consider: Why would the Lord say this? Isn’t the Lord the Alpha and the Omega? He is the beginning and the end and everything in between! Any one of his creatures will know this!

If Christians are so confident in their Lord to run around spreading the Word like a whirlwind of rabbits in heat spreading their love – why don’t they have enough confidence in the Lord to reach all of those “lost” souls in his own way?

If God is truly great – why can’t He be trusted to work in those mysterious ways in his own manner? Instead we leave Him trying to clean up our mess when we gather in a huge mob of vehement “faith” and blindly use His name to massacre thousands of non-believers? This kind of entitlement can lead to major problems that actually work directly against the Bible and its teachings, if you don’t believe me – read a history book. The massacre thing is only a small example.

Really it comes down to this: everyone should be more like my father. Not my Father, I mean my dad Tom. Cowboy Tom, Tom the Boy Scout leader, Tom the man who laughs uncontrollably and sounds like Muttley!

My father has always been very Christian and conservative – and if you meet him you would never know it unless you asked him. He does not go to Church every Sunday. He does not sing songs about God to express his love for Him. He doesn’t tally his points toward heaven by counting prayers or good deeds. He is just GOOD, no need to check off the itemized rulebook of “how be a Christian”. He knows the book and he understands the ideas. He does not shove his thoughts on modern issues unless asked. He is at peace this way; he is a good man who shows his faith and strength of character in his actions. Isn’t that what everyone wants? To be at peace and know what they stand for, to make friends and not enemies. My father has perfected this. I look up to his calm confident tolerance more than he will ever know. We are on opposite sides of the same coin, but we both realize that it’s the same coin. We are happy in our own ways while living together harmoniously. (DAMN that was cliché!! Whatever…)

I suppose I am preaching now myself! Perhaps it is a human thing to preach – just like when I e-mailed all of the soy information out to you! Hah! But some of you didn’t like that did you? You were probably saying ‘why does Lisa send me this crap and try to sway me over to her healthful eating habits?’ That must be annoying and likely offensive at some point.

Just consider these things, it is all I ask. (said the person passing out Bibles door to door).

We cannot escape! More on this later…go live your life!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Your Future Investments

These times we live in, they are so wild with opportunity. The bright lines of separation from the rich, the poor, and the middle are becoming blurry with potential within such a “crisis”. Economic down-turn is certainly no reason to be blue; it is the natural way of humans to hurt ourselves like this so we may grow taller from the wreckage. You see, while we skillfully step over each other and reach for the American Dream, there is so much climbing going on that no one is holding the ladder when our shaky, skyscraping accomplishments begin to waver.

When the loving father bounces his daughter on his knee and tells her “you can be anything you want to be” there is something he forgets to see. We breed a generation of “me” and wonder why it fell to the ground so easily.

The opportunity is yours and mine; we can fight to the death or flow with the tide.

Let the money go. It wouldn’t miss you if you were gone, so shall you learn not to miss it when it is gone. Save your useless earnings yearnings and turn those sentiments where they truly belong: in your fellow men and women. Try holding the ladder for someone else – someone who will hold your ladder in return – someone who will remember you when you are gone.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Welcome to Jabberwocky

Hi. I am Lisa. Jabberwock is my new pet blog. Together we will bring you some highly interesting and entertaining stuff. Useful, fun, probably stupid sometimes, and generally straight from my daily thoughts.

Jabberwock will help me keep things poetic meaningful and, of course, ridiculous. If you don't know Jabberwock here he is in his most frivolous, timeless beauty:


Lewis Carroll

(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
  Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
  And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
  The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
  And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
  The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
  He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
  Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
  He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

Return to Glorious Nonsense