Wednesday, December 22, 2004

SNOWING!! SNOWING trah la la la la la la la!!!!!

Remember when you were little and any day that it snowed was exciting and for our moms and dads it was a hassle? The days where we thought of it as a kink in our daily plans has arrived for me. John and I woke up on time for him to begin his day (you married/engaged couples know what I'm talking about I'm sure) and looked outside to see a white drift-covered world. At first John thought that it meant that he might be able to take the car and drive out. Then he stepped in it. It was about 12" as opposed to te 5-8 inches that he thought it had been. That meant pulling out the old steel-toed army boots (that he had from when he was in high school) that were aged emmensely. These boots were from he pre-vegan days so I don't think he's worn them at all since I've known him and when I took a closer look I could see why. Not only were they leather, they were also a burnt ochre and moldy green colored from the corrosion. After that it was time to trek out to our snow covered toy truck to scrape the snow that the lower layer of ice of the truck so that John would be able to go in. I didn't check to se how long it tok him, but I'm pretty sure he's just going to stay at work until he needs to come home to pick me up to take me to my job. Normally I drive myself but as I'm a new driver, I've never had to drive in this sort of weather so John is going to be in the passenger seat while I drive to work and then John would pick me up. I figured that it was the best way to get there as I don't feel comfortable driving in this sort of weather.

In other news, The Phantom of the Opera opened in theaters today and from what I've heard from both Phans and non-Phans thus far has not been encouraging. I probably won't be able to see it for a while as it doesn't open in a Wide release until January 12th. I know I want to see it before then so we may have to head up to St. Louis one weekend to watch it. I'm mainly wanting to go to see how the movie's Christine matches up to Sarah Brightman, one of Andrew Lloyd Webber's ex-wives and the original Christine. The role was originally written specially for her. I saw her perform when she was in St. Louis with her "Harem" tour. John was lucky enough to get seats right next to the stage, wow! I hope that is something that John remembers for a long time as I know that I will.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Shoot I lost my post!

Anyway I'll give you guys the rundown. Had a job, then got a new one. I start at The Hobby Lobby today in about two hours and I can't wait!

Late last month I went on a big caving trip into the largest cave in the state. Needless to say I wasn't able to go through the whole cave, but I certainly saw the most beautiful part of it (according to others that have been through all of the cave. I will try and get my best pictures onto this site on a future date.

So here I am sitting at an internet cafe and listening to the final for a dance appreciation class and trying to decide what to eat. The main reason I'm here and not at home is that our internet is out because the main computer that the internet is hooked up to is having problems so it's either here or the college campus and this is slightly more interesting to me. Remind me to write more about this place on a future date.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Urban/Suburban Sprawl and Me
Finally someone somewhat influential understands why I hate walking along roads without sidewalks! Howard Frumkin of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health states what I have noticed for the last year or two. The modern city is not built for the individual pedestrain/bicycler. This started with the advent of the modern international highway system. Unfortunately this meant that the time of the pedestrian and bicyclist were nearing an end (with the exception of the bike/pedestrian trails of modern fame). I remember the many times I walked I hated walking along roads that had virtually no sidewalk to speak of and even more cars. There were times that I was extremely worried that I would get run over and had a few near misses. Now that I'm a driver, I hate driving because of this. I have other reason for despising driving as well.

When they began making housing further and further away from the essentials for city development (schools, employment, daily essentials) people would walk less and less. Those very people probably almost never walk except occasionally if they are in a mall or a fair.

I want to hear from my other friends who didn't drive for at least a year after high school. What do you think?

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Halloween site

I really don't have much to post in this this year so here is a little something for the Halloween season. I earlier read about the history of the Disney park Haunted Mansion. It seemed kind of interesting. I wonder what would have happened if they had made it really scary instead of just kooky. I remember going through the Haunted Mansion in the Disney World theme park with dad. I thoroughly enjoyed it but thought it was kind of lacking.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Float Trip Re-cap

Friday John and I went on an overnight camp outing followed by a float trip with my caving grotto. Let's just say that it was an extremely wet night. It took us about two hours to get up there. We got our tent set up and sat around the fire chatting until around 1:30 am when we felt the first droplets. Unfortunately the rain started coming down in sheets, making it a cold and wet evening for us. We only had one sleeping bag between us because I had forgotten the other one back at home, so we tried to curl up with it. The rain got so bad that it began dripping through the top of our tent! John ended up going to the car and sleeping there for the rest of the night. That was not a fun evening.

The next day we went over to Meramec State Park where our group had a reservation for four canoes. When we got to the point where we would get into the boat, John and I had a little problem. You see, John's about 2 1/2 times my size and weight making our balance very precarious . First John tipped the boat when he got in and then the second time I tipped it after I got in with him in it. At least we got our feet wet early on.

As we continued on we lagged way behind everyone else (I suspect because we were sitting so low in the water and I had to get out and pull us a little). Finally we stopped at our first cave. I would have thrown on my coveralls, unfortunately they were soaked from our little dip into the river. Green Cave is a really nice cave and right off the Meramec River. If you want to get a group together to go see it, I suggest you do (however be respectful, leave only footprints and take only photographs). I went as far back as we could go but John stopped when he had to start crawling. After I got back for the low section I thought that we was wussing out on me...until he showed me where the rock had cut his hand, through his gloves! I didn't blame him after that.

After we got out of the cave....lunchtime! Unfortunately John and my lunch consisted of energy bars and soda as my sandwich and John's Fritos had gotten soaked when we tipped the canoe earlier. The second part of the float consisted of John and I trying to keep up and (once) accidentally turning the canoe around and floating a few feet backwards! We finally got straightened out and luckily it wasn't too long before we were at the end of the float.

After we got out of the canoe, we threw out all of out soaked food, took a water break and headed over to the Visitor's Center to check in before we headed over to Mushroom Cave. It was about a 1/3 mile walk and then we found the slit in the ground. The group started through the cave but as we started through John had to turn back. It was a very small cave. I was one of the group rolling and crawling sideways through that cave. This one was definitely not one to go through if you are afraid of tight spaces.

John and I then headed home, enjoyed a nice long shower. I decided to dress up nice and then headed over to Saffrons for a nice dinner.

Overall I enjoyed the trip despite the wet Friday night and the quick soaking that John and I experienced at the beginning of the float trip.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

This was tried over at Moueska and T's blogs so here it goes...

Page 23, sentence 5 meme
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

"So what kind of underwear are you going to wear under your drysuit?" Noel objected, unconcerned that he was derailing Ian's effort to focus Bill. -Beyond the Deep:The Deadly Descent into the Word's Most Treacherous Cave

If you didn't know what the book was about what do you think it would have been about?

I've held off from doing this for a few days as the only book I had even remotely within handsgrasp for the past four days was my college algebra book as I have a test later today in that class.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Grottos and Show Caves

Everyone has their favorite memories from when they were little. They always stick in your mind as fresh as the day after regardless of how long it has been. Sometimes the details might be a little fuzzy but the crux of the memory is still the same. Some of my favorite memories of "my youth" (I'm not really old enough to use this term, but I don't know what else to call it it was well over 10 years ago that these memories were made) were in regards to the local caves. Whenever we would stay at my grandma and grandpa's summer cabin for the week, one of the trips that we would do would typically be the Meramec Caverns. Located along the Old Route 66, it opened in 1935. It's alleged claim to fame was that it was the hideout of Jesse James and his gang. It has certainly grown and gotten more touristy over the years. The last time I visited there was one of the sluices for "panning for gems" basically buying a bag filled with sand and a few gems and sifting it through the mesh to find the gems. In any case, there we were sort of shivering (not extremely cold but we had forgotten to bring our jackets and as the cave is a nice 55 degrees it was kind of cool. I always got a kick out of it but always thought that the tours were a little contrived. I'd always look over the edge of the concreted walkways and see a path that I would want to crawl through and explore (of coursethey wouldn't have let me do that). It was the same was at Marvel Cave (within Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri).

Fast forward to 2000.....

I was at my first semester of college and I found out that my Resident Admin (or something like that) was the president of the Southeast Grotto on campus. I had never really thought about it until I was given the opportunity. I couldn't pass it up. I have to say that I am glad I didn't. We only went on two trips that year, but they were both fun and a good learning experience for myself in many ways. It was the start of when I was awoken to my strong interest in Geoscience. As I had been a volunteer in the Ecology and Environment Gallery and my favorite exhibit was the stream table I had an inkling but not as strong as after my move back to Saint Louis after the failure of my second semester (due to extenuating circumstances that really had nothing to do with partying-which I did none of). Ironically when I came back to Saint Louis and continued my volunteering at the Science Center, the Omnimax there was getting ready to show "Journey Into Amazing Caves." I was ecstatic! By the time it left the Science Center the following year, I had seen it four times (it was a good thing I volunteered and later worked there or I wouldn't have afforded it) and had decided that the DVD of it was definitely what I wanted for the following Christmas.

Since that first time caving, I doubt I've been the same. When I started working at the Science Center, I had seriously considered joining a local grotto. However, I didn't drive and I knew I really didn't have the money to do so (not to mention the weekends) so my interest in spelunking went on the back burner.

Now that I have moved back to Cape Girardeau where I had first joined a grotto, I was actively in search of the club. I knew that my second semester there it had started to fade out. I was hoping that if there wasn't a club still around that I could actively pursue beginning one anew. Luckily I didn't have to worry about that. After a little search and asking the rec club sponser if he knew and a little calling around there it was!

Just yesterday I went on my first trip of the year. I won't go into too much detail. Suffice it to say that it has me hyped up for this coming year. I reason I'm all hyped is because on my future grandma-in-law's land is a sinkhole that as far as we know has never been explored. I am hoping that the sinkhole turns out to connect to a cave. Also behind her land on someone else's is also a sinkhole that we know would go at least a few feet, how much further would be the question. Now I need to contact that guy to get his approval to look at it. We will see what happens and be sure that I will be keeping this updated on this as it develops.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Sometimes you just gotta try something new...

At least, it wasn't new for me, however the person that I wanted to write the post refused to do it so it's left to me. Maybe she'll leave a comment about what her opinion of it was (*hint*hint*). I guess I need to backtrack a little bit.

It first started before John and I left for Saint Louis for an old high school friend's after-wedding reception. John decided to look up events going on in Saint Louis so that we would have more of a reason to go than just my friend's wedding (John had never met her before so he felt really out of place) and found out that the Japanese Festival was going on at Missouri Botanical Garden. John hadn't really been to the Festival before but thought it would be fun and I knew that I would enjoy it.

John didn't seem to have much fun at the reception, particularly after they started the music. John tends to be one of those guys (I guess I should say that most guys are this way) that would rather stay off on the sidelines. I hate dancing on the floor without my man with me, even though I will go and do it anyway (the music tends to be too much for me to ignore most of the time). So off John goes with Drac (Moueska's man) and JR (my friend Lar's husband back from basic). Next thing I know the first slow song is a ladies choice (I think it had to do with the fact that the only man on the floor was Mr. Barnes with Mrs. Barnes for the sing songs) so off I went to try and drag John onto the floor. Of course John wrangles a promise from me that we would be leaving after that.

So after that one slow song John and I let my sister and Drac know that we are about to head out to the Japanese Festival and they decided to join us. So after saying our farewells to our friend and her new husband Moueska agrees to meet us at the front of the Garden.

We John and I get there and call them. It turned out that they took a sidetrip to visit Tom's dad and pick up some chairs in case we ended up watching the taiko drums in the evening. When they called I told them that we would go ahead in and meet them when they got through. So John and I walked around and browsed the vendors and watched a little kids parade until they got there. By the time they got there though, the only thing left that we would be able to watch was the taiko drums so Drac and John set up the chairs while my sister and I went "shopping." I put that in quotations because neither Moues nor I have a job right now so we were trying to limit our budget. While we were there we saw a lot that we wished we could afford but we knew that we couldn't. There was one thing however that I had been looking for a loooooong time that I decided that I could justify buying. In the gift shop I found a kite with a dragon head on it and a long tail. I just couldn't help it. It is currently hanging on the wall of my library and waiting for the day when the winds are blowing calling for the dragon to fly free.

After we watched the taiko drums for a while, John decided that we needed to head out early as he didn't think Wasabi would be open long enough to go there if we stayed for the whole show. So off we go to Washington Avenue for some good (at least in my opinion) sushi, miso and salad with ginger dressing. I don't know what Moueska and Drac thought of the whole experience, maybe Moueska can give us a rundown on her blog (*hint hint*).

Saturday, August 28, 2004

This week was my first week of classes in over two years. It felt slightly odd the first day. Imagine getting close to campus about ten minutes before class and barely finding parking spaces about a half mile from campus! Luckily my first class was my Pilates/Yoga class so you can bet that I was already warmed up! After that it's off the Economics and despite what I had thought of that class I think I'm going to enjoy it, I may even get a better idea as to why the USSR "didn't work." Following that it's off to grab a little grub back at my half-mile away car, good thing there was a nice park on the opposite side from where I parked so I enjoyed a nice PBJ, apple and Sprite while watching the geese. Then it's back up to campus for my Cultural Anthropology. I know that I'm going to enjoy that one. Imagine a prof that gets you hopping and goofy shouting out in class. That's what it's kind of like. I didn't even notice that an hour and fifteen minutes had gone by. Right after that it's time to hoof it over to the Johnson for my retake of College Algebra. Luckily this time I didn't get the same prof and this one slightly more interesting, he intentionally throws in curveballs to get you to say...wait a minute.... What's more, I can actually understand what he's saying. Three and a half years ago I had an oriental professor that I not only could not understand, he really didn't help me to understand things at all.

All in all I think I have a good, if slightly less intense semester this year. I had actually hoped to have that and that worked in my favor. As I am academic probation (as I had a few new things transferred in) I am limited to twelve hours, but am only taking ten as I wanted to throw in a pottery course that was filled up and the only other dance class was the Pilates/Yoga course so I jumped at the chance.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Update time!!

It's been a while since I've posted so I need to let everyone know what's going on.

July 21st was my last day at work at the SC. I am pretty sure that I'm already missing working there, but I am also pretty sure that my experience has taught me a great deal about my interests and what I enjoy doing. For the next few days I packed my stuff to move at the end of July.

July 24th-Went to North Carolina to visit with some of his dad's side of the family with John, his mom and his sister. I had a great time getting to know his sister and mom a little bit better as well as meeting some of the family. On our way back we went through the Biltmore Mansion. What I wouldn't give to have a house like it on a much smaller scale. On our way back I asked each of them which of the rooms was their favorite. John loved the library. Imagine the library from the Beast's castle in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" And you would know that I'm talking about. My favorite was torn between the library and the Banquet Hall. The Banquet Hall had medieval tapestries and carving along the wall depicting various stories. In the center was a huge table reminiscent of a Maedieval Banquet table for the royalty.

July 30th-Begin move out of my apartment. John and his cousin came up in two pickup trucks and help me get my dining room set (dining room table, chairs, buffet and china cabinet) . John had called all over the place to see about getting a Uhaul or something. Nothing. So they brought both of the pickups up to Saint louis and got them loaded up and went back to Cape. They got all of the stuff unloaded around 1am. When I heard about that the next day I felt sorry for both of them.

July 31st-John went back up to Saint Louis and helped me load up some more stuff as well as help me put my dresser (which has lasted through my brother and I as little kids all the way up until when I moved, it was in really bad shape) out n the corner as well as my old dining room table from way back. I had saved it from the dumpster at my Grandma Alice's back when I was twelvewith the intention that I would have it when I got my own place. I would have rather have taken this piece over to a Goodwill or even down to the thrift store which his gram and aunt volunteer at, however as John always argues whenenver I even slightly bring it up-we didn't have the space. I just hope someone gave it a home.

Now you are probably asking why didn't her family help here, after all they live in Saint Louis as well. The thing is that while I was getting my stuff moved, dad and the remainder of the family was moving atthe same time elsewhere. So some of the time that I would have typically spent packing up at my place ended up being spent over at dad's house going overthe stuffthat I want and don't want anymore.

So now here I am in Cape G., signed up for college classes and trying to figure out how to get around without a car. Just remember, never fail your driving test more then twice.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Walkin' in the Rain

The most I've done these past few days is take the bus out to Johnnie Brock's to return a cloak that I rented for the opening weekend of "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" and the SC. that meant that most of my day has bee spent either on the internet or watching TV.

When I woke up this morning I had a different plan in mind. If I didn't still have a sore jaw I would take a walk and get myself prepared for the "Komen Race for the Cure" that is going on this weekend. The extent of my exercise lately has been biking to work which while it is exercise (a full 7 1/2 mile ride each way) it's not working the muscles that I would use for walking-at least not in the same way. As it was (and at the time of this post is) raining, I needed to wear my red waterproof jacket. I will tell you this-it is definitely worth the $60 I paid for it (and that was a children's version of it-if you are a gals' size four or below go to the kids rack in REI, you'll fit an XL easily).

While I was out walking and listening to my soundtrack of "Journey into Amazing Caves," (all of the songs are from the Moody Blues, I started kind of noticing the details in vines and what not. Part of my loop included walking on an unpaved section of Grant's Trail between Pardee and Watson. Along that section I got the feeling that I temporarily could notice the past in the surroundings. There were wooden crates that made me think of hobo villages and buildings that at one time must have bordered the boxcars that brought steel and wood from elsewhere.

I'm actually looking forward to this weekend although it will be as busy as can be. I'm supposed to be at work about 1pm which would definitely be after the race, but I'm scheduled to work until 8pm. You can bet that going to be tiring. On Sunday I'm supposed to be fitted for the my bridesmaid dress for Dad and Kathy's wedding. I've already gotten the invitation for both John and I. It's definitely going to be different. This year is definitely a year of changes. I wonder what more is going to happen.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Today is a lounge day

Why is that you say? Well earlier this morning I got my wisdom teeth pulled. Can't say that the first part was all that pleasant. Hope to have a better day tommorrow though. Sunday after work John and I went to pick up my race materials for next Saturday's Race for the Cure downtown. Hopefully I'll be feeling good enough tommorrow or Wednsday to get a little practice in. I'm hoping to beat my time last time (about a 13 min/mile).

Work has been hopping. Like I mentioned in my earlier post, the SC is showing "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban." I worked the midnight showing of it and it was fun! I took off from work a little before the time I would normally have and went over to Johnnie Brock's to check into their dungeon for a cloak to wear with the "Prof. Mac Gonagall" witch hat that I would be wearing that evening. Unfortunately someone that worked at another movie theater had bought all of their cloaks a few hours before I had gotten there. So instead I ended up renting a cloak instead. I wish I could buy it off of them though. Hopefully I'll feel good enough tommorrow to turn it in so I can get my deposit back. I don't have enough money otherwise. That evening I went around with my manager to talk with some VIP's that were there for a preview of the "SPACE" exhibit on a Segway. That was fun, imagine a bunch of bigwigs drooling over what you are riding/driving! After that I helped with making sure the kids that were in line for the movie were getting the goody bags with activities and whatnot. Next thing I know, it's time to call numbers __ through __ to line up for the theater for the 12:01am June fourth performance of "Harry Potter 3!" I was even among the first people to see it!

The next day at work all of the shows were sold out, in fact they sold out the day before. It seemed like there were a lot of people willing to pay the money to see it. Hopefully this runs under August, which is the end of the run for us.

BTW, if you are curious about prices for it- it's $12 for per adult ad $10 per senior (60+) or child (2-12). I know this is more expensive that the standard theater, but in general it is right on par for IMAX screens.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004


Well I know that I haven't updated my blog in a while, but after I found out that Blogger added a commenting system to the weblogs, I figured it was time to try and keep this a little more current. To do this I'm going to need to recount things that are going on in my life.

1: I am now engaged (yay!), This happened mid-April. I already knew it was going to happen, but I still find it nearly impossible to believe-until I look at my left hand where my black opal engagement ring sits. Why black opal I'm assuming you are asking? That's for another post.

2: My dad is getting married at the beginning of August, which is one of the reasons why we haven't set a date. I want my dad home safe and sound before planning ours. I'm supposed to be a bridesmaid for them, so as this is my first time in a bridal party (oustide of when I was a two-year old flowergirl for my cousin's wedding) so this will be an interesting experience I am sure.

3: The museum where I work is nearly done with renovations (finally!) so I won't have to redirect visitors to the Dome. Now we'll need to redirect them back to the Main Lobby. *Sigh*

4: At the SC (will henceforth replace "the museum where I work") we are in the works for "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban." When we have this movie it will be crazy despite the fact that the price for the tickets will be a little more spendy than our current Omnimax films.

Well, this is it for now!

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

If outsourcing is good for the US economy, where's the jobs to sustain it?

I am sure that everyone that reads this blog (which I suspect is not all that many anymore) has either heard about outsourcing or experienced it firsthand. It seems to be part of everyday life these days. Just a few minutes ago I read this . It seems that the US Treasury Secretary believes that it is beneficial the economy. He may very well be a point. I can see it very well. Unless the jobs that are being outsourced are replaced with jobs of similar wages, the majority of the populous will be pushed out of the way in favor of the people with money.

How could this possibly happen? Here's an example. Let's say you are the creator of sprockets. You start out as a small business and as the popularity of sprockets grows. As your demand grows, you start hiring more people. At first you simply hire people to make them. As your workforce grows you add managers and marketing to the mix. After that you add custodial etc. Now let's say for a moment that you figure, "I can make more money by shipping my base force out of the US and pay them less" (as one US dollar might be worth two to three times theirs, they would still be paid a decent wage) so you start by shipping the lower part-making aspect overseas and keeping the marketing and custodial for the last part of the assembling. A few of the people that used to be managers of the assembling staff might very well find other jobs within your own company. Then you decide, I don't need this big of a marketing staff, I'll just outsource to another company. That company may or may not necessarily be a US based company.

You're probably trying to figure out my point. Originally when outsourcing first began, it was simply the assemblers that were outsourced. Those people were told, look, there's the computer industry that is still here and kicking, why doing you go there? Well, now even those jobs have been outsourced to countries like India and Russia. Sometimes it really doesn't work to the benefit of the head programmers for a company as they would have to go back through their coding to figure out point by point what they created so that they can tell their programmers overseas "this needs to go there" and so on.

The pitfall of the outsourcing is lost jobs. The upside, the economy's great. The companies that are based in the US are thriving and surviving...but how long can this last when there aren't enough people to buy what they sell? People need real money to afford things like internet access (which customer service for it is generally outsourced) of cable services, cars, etc.

My own job at the museum where I work could be outsourced, but only to a degree. I mainly do reservations, cashiering, ticket-taking at the parking lot and greeting the visitors as they come in the door. Reservations could be outsourced to other companies (some of which may be overseas) but a majority of my position requires direct contact with the visitor in some form. Even direct people service is being replaced to a degree-only it's not outsourced as much as it is replacement by automation. Five to ten years ago it was unheard of to get an e-mailed ticket which you could take directly to the concourse. Now that is standard practice, cutting out about 1/4 of the employee base. Where do those people go?