Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Cave...

Wanna know where I've been lately? For class, I wrote a paper on the recent adventures/field trip taken with my class. Enjoy. Please note: sarcastic comments and true feelings about the trip are italicized.

After spending weeks in the classroom learning about rocks, caves, and water (and other exciting topics) it was time to set out on the highly anticipated all day GEO-100 field trip. (This didn't need to be all day. Some of us have jobs.)  Our first stop after a quick half hour drive (that seemed like an eternity, but thanks to driving with our lab groups, the day wasn't as bad as it could have been) was the stop to the English-Sulphur exit ( I kid you not. Literally on the SIDE OF THE HIGHWAY. I thought that we had missed the stop and needed a place to turn around.) where the group spent the morning looking and “digging” for fossils that were over 300 million years old (What that really should translate to is pretending to find rocks, get bored after about ten minutes looking, decide to have a competition of who can get a rock closest to the goal, or throwing rocks from a cliff . Your's truly was not involved. I just watched.)  When we pulled in to the exit, I was not prepared for the search of fossils on the side of the highway. (No really, I wasn't.) While the brief hike was filled with trees, and rocks, the climb was well worth it. It was a great experience to get hands on with Mother Earth and find my own fossils. (That I don't know what to do with). Finding fossils takes a lot of work, but to find fossils that were over 300 million years old made the experience worth it, (taking fossils that old should be illegal.)  and made me pay attention to what I was looking for (Or thinking about my PFM prepared lunch.) Leaving with a nice size bag of red sand stones, and fossils, it was time to get back into the car where it was off to part two of the day; Hemlock Cliffs. (Oh boy. More climbing. I wore the wrong pair of shoes.) 
            (Insert yet another long drive farther from civilization.) The first glances of Hemlock cliffs were absolutely breathtaking.(This part was true.) Everything was so green and vibrant. I had been told that there was a waterfall somewhere down in the forest, but there was a good chance we wouldn’t be seeing it. It made me that much more determined to find this spoken of waterfall. Following the sounds of running water, I would stumble upon the site of the waterfall where I was greeted by boulders that made me think I wasn’t getting close with Mother Nature. I climbed (slipped down) the boulders and found myself standing under the waterfall with my hands cupped waiting to drink the water from it. (The highlight of the day,and something that you would see in an early 2000's Jessica Simpson romantic music video with now ex-husband Nick Lachey.) My peers had told me that the water was safe to drink, so I trusted them. It was some of the best water I have tasted; it was cold, clean tasting, (or so I thought) and refreshing. The waterfall and the subsequent hike was my favorite part of the day. (Partial lie. The hike? MISERABLE) The hike was strenuous, but invigorating.(Strenuous for a girl who doesn't hike, is allergic to trees, plants, pollen, grass, and didn't want to get her shoes dirty. At one point during the hike, I was with one half of my group, while the other half? No sight or sounds from them. My professor eventually caught up with my group and finished the hike, where at one point I heard one of my peers ask, if the waterfall water safe to drink. His answer? Ehhhh, I wouldn't personally drink it because it hasn't been filtered, but it won't kill you to taste it. Following the hike, it was time to devour my well earned PFM sandwich accompanied by enough snacks to last me a week. My professor had told us that there were picnic tables at the site. Negative. Instead, with half of my class still missing, we roughed it, and used the ground as our table.This is where I became friends with tick one and tick two. With less than 10 minutes to spare before leaving for final the main reason of the stop day, the other half emerged from the woods.)
           (Again, insert another 30 minute drive of four hot, sweaty, and exhausted people; at one point I saw a sign that read 48 miles to Louisville) It was time for the main event of the day (At this point I could have been back in civilization, earning dollars and hours at the PFM) and the reason of our trip; Marengo Cave. It had been a while since I had been to a cave, so I was looking forward to this part of the day. (Because I could see the finish line of the day). Plus, I was informed that the cave was a chilly 52° inside, and after the strenuous 1.2 mile hike, the coolness was a much needed relief. It was an added bonus that Sarah, alum of IUS was our tour guide. Once down 15 feet below the surface, (and no cell phone reception to be had) we were started our Crystal Palace tour that greeted us with millions of formations of stalagmites and stalactites. (I had to get some sort of scientific term in the paper.) Throughout the cave, there were two “attractions” that I enjoyed. (One because I really did enjoy it, the other, sounded like I really paid attention. The first was the mirrored lake illusion. It made you think that the water was twice as deep as you thought. (I'm tired, hot, and not in the mood to play mind games) The other was when Sarah turned out all the lights to show how Orris and Blanche (Blanche? She's one of my favorite Golden Girls) founded the cave; in total darkness. No screens of cell phones, no flashlights, nothing. (Okay, fine, maybe that was kinda sorta cool.) Sarah had lit a candle to show just the tiniest of light. When the tour was over, it felt like it had just started. I would love to go back and spend the day there and do some of the other tours.(Insert exaggerated eye roll here. That's about the last thing I want to do on an off day. Just someone get me back to civilization and cell phone reception.) 
            Overall, the field trip(s) were a great experience.(Compared to sitting in a basement with no windows identifying rocks and fossils.)  I found great enjoyment of getting to do hand on things, and spending time with my classmates outside of my lab group. (Almost finished with the class, and still don't know the majority of names.) I also really enjoyed getting to see different parts of the state that I haven’t seen before. (Because we all know about Sara's two mile radius) This field trip was something unique, different, and fun. (Insert the awkward sentence closer here.) 


Sunday, May 19, 2013

I'm Alright...

Where exactly have I been since the big announcement you ask? Incredibly BUSY. I thought Summer 2012 was busy, but in Summer 2013 busy took on an entirely new meaning. This blog is going to have to hold you over until June 20th, because I kid you not, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesdays, I leave my house around 7:50-8:00 AM and do not arrive home until 7:00-7:07 that night. I've started Summer school that meets four days a week, three hours a day from 9:00-12:00 studying about ROCKS and MINERALS and immediately head straight to the market for a full days work. Typing that makes me exhausted, but the good side to those long days? It has made these last two weeks of school fly by, leaving me with only four more week of school. But Sara, thats only Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday; can't you blog the other days? Thursdays are my days off from the market, and even Thursday afternoons are filled with appointments or studying. I also work Friday and Saturday mornings. By the time Sundays roll around, I'm exhausted from the previous week. Did I mention on top of school, I'm averaging about 36-37 hours a week at my  home away from home? There are days that I feel like I got hit by a bus.
      So what I'm asking of you, to please understand that I can't make blogging my priority right now. But please look forward to reading all the ridiculous stories that are being stored in my noggin to be told come June 20ish. 


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I’ve Been Waiting To Smile, Been Holdin It In For A While…

Greetings Humans! My favorite Aunt Sara invited me to be her first ever guest blogger on this so-called blog of hers. While my Aunt Sara won’t know what I am until I arrive in to this world, she wanted me to be the first to announce that I’ll be making a grand arrival somewhere around her 25th birthday! We all know how much she hates change, but from the day she found out I was coming, she hasn’t been able to stop squealing. You should hear how my soon to be parents told her I’ll be joining her family in a matter of months.
     Being the Rainman she is, she remembers the moment clearly. It was one of those cold, rainy, just nasty lazy Sundays. My Yanks was so gracious and invited my mom and dad over to their house for a quick Sunday night dinner that included pork, green beans, and other delicious side dishes. When my parents arrived at my second home, Aunt Sara was upstairs in her room studying for a highly anticipated biology test. She had heard us arrive, and figured she might as well be social and make an appearance. And then she saw the adorable gender-neutral striped bag that she would soon never forget. “Who’s that bag for? Me?” Just kidding she thought. And then my mother replied, “Yea, actually it is for you…” Aunt Sara never gets anything during the week. Maybe my parents saw something that just screamed her name. For her, this was slightly unusual. “You can go ahead and open it.” Maybe it was yet another Hard Rock CafĂ© T-Shirt. But they hadn’t gone anywhere. Aunt Sara was straight up confused.
                  Earlier in the day, my Yanks had asked Sara if she was going to fix her hair. What did it matter what my aunt looked like? My mom had seen Sara at her worst, and with my Dad joining us on family trips; he too had seen what Sara had looked like at the crack of dawn.
                  Back to the opening of this very special Saturday present. The bag seemed to be very light, but again, cotton t-shirt should be. As Sara began to pull out the tissue paper from the bag, she noticed that this article of clothing was rather small, and on this now teeny tiny “t-shirt” Sara saw a red, felt letter “I” that would begin a sentence that has taken her squealing to a new level. As she began to unravel the package some more, she continued to read, “Love My Aunt Sara”. Amidst the complete chaos going on in her already busy brain, out of the corner of her eye, she saw Yanks capturing this wonderful news with her camera. So that’s why she had her fix her hair!?!? I hear the pictures are priceless. Once the package was completely unwrapped, she already knew what was coming. Sara is finally becoming an Aunt.  My mom and Dad weren’t sure if Sara had grasped the idea of the onesie. As a matter of fact, Sara’s first words weren’t Congratulations, or I’m so excited, they were, “Am I being Punk’d? I’m just waiting for Ashton Kutcher to come out and Punk me.” Following a good five minutes of handshaking and speechless blank stares, it was time to sit down to enjoy what Sara thought would be just a casual and quick Sunday night dinner.
                  Words cannot describe the excitement that I have for the newest addition to the family. As the great philosopher Winnie The Pooh once said, “A grand adventure is about to begin.”


Monday, April 29, 2013

There Are No Ordinary Moments...

As the Robert Brault quote reads, "Enjoy the little things in life... for one day you'll look back and realize they were the big things."  I recently came across a book titled 14,000 Things to be Happy About.  I decided to venture to and see if I really wanted the book. I figured I would take a look at the three pages they allow you to preview. 475 pages later, I didn't need to purchase it. Scrolling through almost 14,000 ideas, the idea of this posting came to me.  Sit back, relax, and smile at some of life's greatest forgotten pleasures.

Laughing out loud. Birthday celebrations. Incurable enthusiam. T-shirts and jeans. Homemade soups. Living a long, long time. Hearing good news for a change. Waking up to a white Christmas. Poems by e.e. Cummings. Sunday naps. House guests. Full tanks of gas. L.L. Bean Totes. Watching Thunderstorms. Decorated Christmas Trees. UPS packages. A good long hard cry. Basketball. Downloading music. Sailing on Lake Michigan. Part of you being a child. (Because we all know how over rated adulthood is) My personal favorite: Helpful hint books. Kids: a very sweet lesson in enjoying life. A long hug when you really need it. Finding leftovers. A mothers love. Rereading letters with the words you need to hear again. That incredibly rare Saturday off from the market. Fresh clean sheets. Rainy Sundays. Being young at heart. The sound of the cork popping off a bottle. Being waited on hand and foot. U-S-A Chants at Sporting events. Car dancing. Baking treats for work when no one expects it. Fully charged electronics. Making a wish. Running hugs. Realizing how lucky you are.


Thursday, April 11, 2013


1 Days Of Work 
1 Hour Of driving to and from school
1 Day Of Class 
2 Finals 
1 Pointless Appointment
1 PFM Field Trip with the Breakfast Angel 
1 Neighborhood Dinner Party at the house 
1 Online Assignment 
1 Biology Project/Presentation 
1 Journalism Project  

That stand between myself and a glorious 12 day vacation before I head back to Summer school where it's three hours four days a week for six weeks studying about rocks. #SNOOZEFEST 

I guess what I'm trying to say here is, that if you can bear with me through these final two weeks of seeing just how much work my professors can pile on myself and my peers,  I should be able to find some time between my break and DERBY/HALF BIRTHDAY (and yes they do fall on the same day!  Plan accordingly) to blog about the ridiculousness of my so called life. 


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Won And Done...

Before I begin, I apologize that this is my third basketball post in a row. This is something I plan to look back on for many years, since I took a phone call the last two seconds of the game. Basketball season is officially now over. Normal blogging may now resume.

January 2nd:  The UofL Football Team beats University of Florida in Allstate The Sugar Bowl 
February 24th: Louisville native Jennifer Lawrence wins Best Actress In A Leading Role at the 85th Academy Awards  
March 16th: UofL Wins Final Big East Tournament 
March 17th: UofL Earns Number 1 Overall Seed in NCAA Tournament
March 31st: UofL Women's Basketball Team beats Number 1 Seeded Baylor to earn a spot in the Elite 8 
April 1st: Rick Pitino is elected into Basketball Hall of Fame 
April 2nd: UofL Women Beat University of Tennessee to play in Final Four
April 3rd: Son Richard Pitino accepts University of Minnesota Mens Basketball Coaching Job 
April 6th: Rick Pitino's horse Goldencents wins Santa Anita Derby qualifying him for the 139 Kentucky Derby 
April 6th: UofL beats Number 9 Seed Witchita State in Final Four Game
April 7th: UofL Women Beat California sending them to the NCAA Women's Championship Game 
April 8th: University of Louisville WINS their first NCAA Championship title in 27 years!!!!! 

And finally the best picture of the entire tournament... 

Tuesday Morning Headlines... 

It's Louisville's World, We're All Just Living In It. 


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Let's Bring Kevin Back To Atlanta, Let's Bring Him Back Home...

You could say this posting started with this tweet:  

This was not what I wanted to see what happen after UL successfully went Duck Hunting and sent the University of Oregon Men's Basketball back home after beating them in the Sweet Sixteen and earned a spot in the Elite 8.  
We had lost to Duke back in November during the final game of the Battle For Atlantis tournament  during Thanksgiving. Honestly, we could have won had UL not lost one of their star players, Gorgui Dieng to a broken wrist. Following the loss, Rick Pitino told the team, "Don't worry guys. We're going to see them in March. We're going to have Gorgui back, and we're going to beat them." At least Rick was trying to be optimistic.  

Fast forward to Easter Sunday, where those words came true. I kept telling myself all weekend that we have what we didn't have in November. Gorgui. He was a key player in this tournament. 

With my Easter dress returned to my closet, I slipped on my lucky sweatpants and shirt where it was time to once again cheer on my beloved Cardinals in what I thought would be a game of seeing just how long Duke would be kind enough to not run up the score.  

We had decided that maybe it was best if we watched some of the game on mute. We wouldn't have to deal with the commentary and the screaming of thirty thousand some odd fans.  

Repeating what their coach told them back in November, UL stormed the court and did work.  

Again, with the T.V. on mute, I looked away for a second and then saw one of the saddest pictures I have ever seen. 

With 6:21 minutes left to play in the first half, and Louisville up against Duke, the inevitable happened. I'll spare you with the details, because we have all seen it.

Kevin's first words to Rick? 

In an exclusive ESPN interview, Kevin said, "I honestly didn't feel pain, I felt shock, I have never felt anything like that in my entire life." 

Following the horrific scene, I immediately turned to Twitter only to see my time line filled with tweets like this: 

 After witnessing what many are saying the worst sports injury they have ever witnessed and both teams in tears, UL somehow managed to get back on the court and play like they have never played before. If they could just get to halftime and get an update on Kevin, maybe they could pull this game off. 

 Rick talked to the players, and following what probably what was the most inspirational halftime speech any coach has given, Rick sent the team back on the court with more than 12 minutes left in halftime. He didn't want the team sitting there thinking about Kevin. He wanted them back on the court warming up for what would be an emotional and inspirational second half. 

At one point during the game, the top five trending hash tags were about Louisville, or Kevin Ware. 

I would have loved to know what Rick said to them, because Louisville somehow managed to pull away from Duke, and won the game for Kevin. Towards the end of the second half when they had realized that they had earned the final spot in the Final Four, Kevin's best friend Chane Behanhan slipped on one of Kevin's extra #5 jersey's honoring their injured player. 

During the post game presentation of the trophy to the team and the announcement of the All Midwest team, Rick took over the microphone and asked that the arena stop what they were doing and chant Kevin for two solid minutes. 

Kevin would go on to have surgery Sunday night fixing his injury at the local hospital two minutes away, where Indianapolis 500 injuries are taken.

Rick Pitino stayed the night in Indianapolis with his son Richard Pitino (former UL assistant coach, now head coach at Florida International University University of Minnesota ) where Rick checked in on Kevin and took him the  Regional Championship t-shirt and hat. And oh yea, he let Kevin keep guard of the trophy.

The surgery was Sunday night. This picture was tweeted MONDAY MORNING: 

Literally less than 24 hours after the horrific scene, he was up, on crutches, and attempting to walk. 
Following the successful two hour surgery, medical professionals have said that he could be back on the court in SIX MONTHS. I have no doubt he could be back and ready to go. As Kevin said, "This is a minor setback for a major comeback." 

Monday morning on Twitter arrived, and Kevin was still the talk of the nation, and even John Calipari sent his words of encouragement. 

Kevin's injury managed to land headlines on Good Morning America, World News Tonight With Diane Sawyer and many other national media outlets including the highly coveted cover Sports Illustrated. 

The words for this cover are just priceless. 

Per the doctors that worked on Kevin said that if they were pleased with their work, and everything seemed to be okay, Kevin would be released to return home to the team Tuesday afternoon. And he did exactly just that. 

With the NCAA regional trophy in hand, Kevin returned home to Louisville, where he made his first stop at UL's practice facility to be reunited with the team as they began practice for their Final Four game against the Cinderella/Number 9 seeded Witchata State. 

This is just one of about twenty pictures taken on Instagram with him and his teammates. 

Sorry for the posting of pictures, but there is no other way to tell the story of America's team. And just because I'm on a picture roll, I'll leave you with one that when I first saw it, I shed a little tear. 

#L1C5 #WinForWare