Nanny Diaries
Great book. Funny, fast read. Don't buy it, though, it'll only give you about 3 hours worth of entertainment. Go to the library instead.

Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill
A good look at all the different views one might have of the man, but not very good as a biography. It's more like a cliffs notes. If you already know a ton about him, this is great, but if you don't have a clue, start with an actual biography first.

Once Upon a Time in Mexico
Worthy of your money if only for the beautiful people.

Funny as hell. LOTS of shooting. Dark, dreary. Bad movie. Don't waste your money.
"I can't believe I actually convinced myself that my dream guy was (insert former dream guy's name here)! The state should take away my vagina."

"I'd like to meet that repo man."

From Good Morning Miami

Monday night I met with the cave kids to eat pizza and go putt putt golfing. It's weird sharing lude comments with people you know are bosses and high school teachers during the day. I was an obstacle. Then I was a fountain. It's difficult to balance on one leg while swinging a golf club like a pendulum over the hole and shooting water out of your mouth. We almost got into trouble. Silly crabby course owners.

While we were waiting for the old folks :) to finish, I decided I wanted to put red streaks in my hair. So Jordan did it last night. It's subtly done, but a dramatic red. Not exactly what I was going for, but fun nonetheless.

I'm sooooo grateful I've made friends with Jordan and her friends. These are some truly great people. Lucky me.


The little girl I just started working with is wonderful. Her mom is super cool I'm having such a great time and can't wait to start doing more work with others. YAY!

I need to sleep as I have a long day involving all three jobs ahead. Barnes & Noble in the morning, finalizing the end of my employment with Silver Dollar City by turning in those nasty uniforms, and training for the Nova center job. And then St. Louis for the Mandy Reunion on Thursday!!!!

For the St. Louis folk that actually read this: We're having a party this weekend at Meesh's. Becky should be sending out emails. If you don't get one, you're not invited. Just kidding :) if you don't get an email soon, give one of us a call to get the time. Prolly Saturday night, though. Can't wait to see you all!!!!!

just in case...if anyone wants a mandy tshirt, we have some extras for sale :) Tshirt companies apparently only do a minimum of 12 shirts per order. Which doesn't work for 6 girls. :)


Perfect day on Wednesday. Went home at noon due to lack of oxygen in the cave. Sat in park reading, and then swung on swings in favorite flowy skirt. Yesterday saw two bats mating in the cave. Interesting noises they make, these bats. Today found out I'd be working with exec director's daughter for the clinic. Tres excited. Joan of Arcadia was good, Miss Match was lacking. Coupling yesterday was somewhat disappointing. Definitely won't keep me watching. How sad. Bob on The Bachelor Wednesday was worth watching. Seems it will be a dramatic, and oh so real, of course, season. Must indulge myself in a little soap opera drama. Off to bed now.

Ohhh...don't read Dean Koontz's One Door Away From Heaven. Fabulous read, but too quick and neat of an ending. Very Full-Houseish.

Mandy reunion less than a week away!


So, in addition to my highly fulfilling work at Silver Dollar City, I'm now working with Nova of Springfield, a non-profit agency geared toward providing for special ed kids. Not only did they want me to work with Martha Grace, the child for whom I applied to work, but they also asked if I would be willing to do more. YAHOO!!!!

So I'm happy.



oh how I love working in a town that is mentioned in the best cartoon ever

From The Simpsons:

Ode to Branson
Remember the stars, you loved yesterday?
Where did they go? Did they all pass away?
Was it drugs or a car crush,
or a face lift gone wrong?
No they're right here in Branson
and they're singing, this song!
My name is Charo, I shake my maracas.
Remember me foo, I was BA Barachas.
We're the performers you thought were dead,
like Bonnie Franklin and Adrienne Zmed.
Branson's the place we can always be found.
They took NICK at Night and made it a town.
You can call me Ray or you can call me Jay.
Just don't call me washed up, I do three shows a day.
Charlie Callas doesn't sleep in the ground.
Yes I'm still alive an I'm making me sound.
vup hi vup hala voop voop.
So sit back, relax, and watch our review!
In Soviet Union, review watches you!


Last night I came home to sleep and relax and stuff, but Ashley (Jordan's roommate) called and asked me (please please please pleeeeeaaaaase) to come up and hang out b/c she'd just finished a big final for massage school. I said yes, of course, and there went my stay at home night.

I stopped to get wine and beer to enjoy with the other of age people who would be there and was told that Brown Derby (the big liquor store around here) doesn't accept passports as ID. Luckily, the guy said he "wasn't gonna ask, darlin." Called Brown Derby wine center to see if I left my ID there when I was distracted by sexy clerk named Brandon. Sexy Brandon answered phone, but, alas, no ID. Guess I'll have to actually pay for a new one. Damn, and I liked that picture.

Ashley's older brother Josh was there and very drunk and/or high. Very amusing to watch and listen to. Very NOT sexy, though, so when he asked if I wanted to hook up, my no came out a little harsher than meant. The fact that he won't remember that and probably didn't give a fuck anyway eases my guilt.

Sarah played one of her songs...she's really friggin good. I'm soooo excited about her possibly playing at Relay. People will LOVE her!!! She's great. Called Vegas John to confirm rumors that Kevin Smith is making the next Scary Movie. Rumors were refuted. Met Laurie, who is now working with Martha Grace, the girl I will hopefully be working with after my interview tomorrow. She's really sweet. She brought a guy with her (Chris) who kept trying to tell me about ABA and what I could and couldn't do. I asked him what his major was, to make sure I didn't step on any toes. When he told me marketing, I decided not to let him interrupt me anymore. He was kind of a jerk to Jordan, and the total pissed me off. I think he's Laurie's boyfriend, though, so he must be nice some of the time. Maybe I'll see a better side in the future. Maybe it'll just take more beer.

A couple hours into the night I was feeling a bit down, very contemplative, when Jordan told me she was going to bed. I didn't feel like sticking around with Chris dominating the conversation, and I had a lot on my mind, so I decided to drive home. Probably not the most intelligent thing I've ever done. I got home and passed out after much uninhibited dialing. Thank God nobody answered. Then again, dammit to hell. People should answer their phones. Oh well.

Woke up today and still felt a bit down. Haven't really talked to anyone, though, so the Emmys and my cats helped me ignore stuff I should have been writing and figuring out. Amy IMed me, and out of nowhere I decided to discuss. She fucking rules. I just have to say that again. Amy fucking rules. I feel a lot better knowing that I have someone who loves me so unconditionally like that...even when she knows me so well. Also put some perspective on stuff...things aren't all that big of a deal. My emotions are often so fleeting, I need to pay a great deal of them much less attention. Still have some stuff to work on, but am not all torn up about it. Not as much, anyway.

Now I'm off to bed. Interview tomorrow, then some Johnny Depp on the big screen therapy. Mmmmm.
So those ghosts in the cave? Yeah...falling rocks.

Apparently, it's a big deal when there are falling rocks. I did not know this. Jordan and I were in the cave the other day and we heard the same noises I'd heard before. She told me they were from rocks. Sounded like some pretty big fucking rocks to me, but I guess the sound is amplified due to the audio effects of the cathedral room. We told Sue, a cave guide, who told Lucky, a lead cave guide, who stalled tours for awhile to go check it out. Must use this again.

No ghosts.
Debra Messing finally won an Emmy! Yay.
Neither Kiefer nor 24 won. Poor Kiefer. I'll comfort you!


Leaving to go out at 9:30. So goes another Saturday night that was supposed to be spent resting at home. This is why I have no energy in the cave.


A few differences between the Ozarks and everywhere else concerning Asian food:

In the Ozarks...

...you have to ask for chopsticks, and you'll be the only one using them.
...Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Thai are all the same thing, served at the same restaurants, by thesame people.
...all the waitresses are white, only the cooks, and occasionally the owners are actually Asian.
...everyone who is Asian is "Chinese"
...a Chinese restaurant without a buffet requires a jacket and tie and is a place you go for that pre-prom meal.
...it's not so much orange chicken, as chicken in orange gelatin.
...it's not so much sauce as it is thick country gravy.
...all Chinese restaurants have Friday night crab legs. The "good" places have King crab legs.
...Chinese restaurants have some knd of smoked sausage or steak in the buffet, thrown in for good measure.
...Chinese restaurants are fast food joints, Japanese steak houses, that may or may not have sushi, are the nice elegant places.
...Chinese restaurants seem to have stopped serving fortune cookies.
...you will NEVER see a Chinese person EATING at a Chinese restaurant. Oh wait...you'll never see a Chinese person that's not cooking. Hmmm.

Yep. Gotta get out of here.

Are there Chinese restaurants in Germany? Good ones, ya think?
Ahhhh, and then sometimes friends make you wonder in a good way. It's such a great feeling to hear from someone you haven't talked to in awhile and have it sound like they've missed you. Even if they didn't, it's a nice delusion. :)

I have an interview Monday with NOVA, the company that hires the employees for working with the autistic girl. Hopefully that all goes well.

A blind woman took the tour today. I would have absolutely no problem with this if any one of the following were true:
1. She had someone with her who could actually manage the cave on his own, much less while guiding her.
2. She didn't go on the last tour of the day, making us all get out of work 45 minutes later.
3. There was actually something to experience in the cave that didn't require site. You can't touch stuff, there's nothing to hear, and the only thing you MIGHT smell is bat guano...so what the hell? There are soooo many opportunities to injure yourself badly even WITH sight. Argh. Silly people.

I decided that people should be humanely executed at the age of 75. At least those who've ever mentioned going to some kind of theme park. This should not be allowed. Perhaps it could be a ride...we could allow 75 year olds in free, send em on a ride that doesn't work right, and let em have one last thrill. Dude, that could totally be part of the park. Okay, maybe not, and maybe I don't really want that, but you've gotta wonder what these people are doing in a 500 foot wet cold hole in the ground.

I can't really write anything else. I have so much on my mind, so much I want to discuss, but I can't write a damn thing. That seems so wrong.
I suppose I need to go write on my own, so the world doesn't have full access, before I start posting shit here.

Hmmm...I really need to slow down on the cussing. When it doesn't sound right without it when I'm writing, I know I must use it way too much. That's gotta be a bad thing.


Some fantasies never die.
My last day at Silver Dollar City is next Thursday. now I'm kinda sad about it. Guess I'll get over that pretty quickly. :)

A good quote from Becky for Relay For Life:

"I firmly believe that any man's finest hour is
that moment when he has worked his heart out
for a good cause and lies exhausted on the
field of battle...victorious"
- Vince Lombardi

How perfect. How amazing was that morning of March 16th? Ahhh, to watch a new group go through that. Can't wait.

Okay..more fun stuff:

Read the following sentence straight through without really thinking about it:

Acocdrnig to an elgnsih unviesitry sutdy the oredr of letetrs in a wrod dosen't mttaer, the olny thnig thta's iopmrantt is that the frsit and lsat ltteer of eevry word is in the crcreot ptoision. the rset can be jmbueld and one is stlil able to raed the txet wiohtut dclftfuiiy.

Pretty cool, huh?

Also, we named the other cat Hannah. She seems to like it. :)


And then sometimes you have those friends who make you wonder.


I've been enlightened to a term I most likely should have known, but didn't, so I decided to share it with the rest of the world:

moped (n.)

a person whom one would enjoy riding for awhile, but with whom one would not like to be seen in public

Oh yeah.

Okay, I just have to brag about having the best friends in the whole friggin world. Today's example:

Jordan. She rocks. Here's why...

I've been whining about wanting to quite Silver Dollar City and looking for a new job for quite some time. I've also been really missing work with Maddi. I put in my resignation to SDC and called all the behavioral health places around the area to see if they had anything available for work with autistic children. The problem here is that there's not a large market for it. In St. Louis, if you have an autistic child, you get ABA FREE. Usually it costs about $65,000 per year. Nationally, you get funding until age 3, but after that it's up to individual school districts. With St. Louis so close, most families here with autistic children just make the move to provide the best treatment for their child. Those that stay here often have to work through non-profits that can only provide a few hours of therapy or pay the cost directly. That makes the chance of me finding a job with autistic children very very low without at least a year's commitment. I decided that I missed the work so much that I'd do voluntary work just to get back into it.

I called Jordan on my way to her house yesterday and she told me she had a surprise for me. When I got there, she sat me down and said, "okay, her name is Martha Grace, she's nonverbal, she needs someone in the afternoons..." I almost started crying right there. I'm obviously not hired yet, but Jordan's friend Laurie is looking for someone to replace her when she stops working with this family. I'm applying for the position tomorrow.

It gets better.
Jordan's friend Sarah came over and asked Jordan if she'd called Laurie yet. When Jordan said no, Sarah asked if she was going to do it. Jordan told her that I would be taking the position. That's when I realized that Jordan gave up that job so that I could have it. I seriously wanted to bawl right there, but had to play it off all cool. I can not believe that someone who has known me such a short time would be willing to do something like that for me. It's incredible. I am so blessed to have such amazing people in my life.

When one door closes, another opens...cheesy, but true.
I have sooo just discovered the man I'm going to marry. Too bad he lives in Canada and has absolutely no clue that I even exist. The first time I saw him he was standing in a field, watching a tiger play. I was enthralled, wanting to watch forever, but then the show cut to commercial. Damn Discovery Channel.

So there's this experiment to reintroduce captive tigers into the wild. A 24 year old zoologist from Canada teamed up with a South African entrepeneur to create a sanctuary in Africa (where tigers do NOT live, by the way) to train captive tigers to hunt and then raise their children wild. The hope is that the new wild cubs can be introduced to their natural environment in Asia or Sibera to restrock the populations there and keep tigers from becoming extinct.

Dave Salmoni was a 24 year old accomplished zoologist and big cat handler when he started this project. I so want to be everything that he is, but the possibility of being a zoologist that actually gets to to do what he does is so small that I dind't think the risk was worth it. What better way to make up for that than to go through him, right? :) He's pretty damn, cute, too. :) Oh to play with tigers and cute men who play with tigers. That would be the life.

Anyway, the experiment rocks and seems to be going successfully so far. The tigers learned to hunt and are now being tracked by satellite to make sure they are truly adapted before impregnating the female. Check out the story of "Living With Tigers."

There's also a really cool description of the different species of tigers that are still living today. The last of the most recently extinct species, the Javan tiger, died no more than eight years ago.


So much to write, so little energy.

Had a fabulous night out downtown watching cops hassle public urinaters, tow trucks take away broken car belonging to one of said cops, drunken teenagers yelling about their drunkenness, and dealing with supposedly homeless but clean shaven beggars. All with great company, but didn't get home until 4:30, so was extremely tired this a.m. Had a wicked fun day in the cave today with Jordan and Gabe. Three hours of sleep adds a lot toward the hyperness scale. Karaoke sessions and pole dancing are wonderful ways to end the day.

My new little tiny kittens are doing fabulously. Mom refuses to give up either of them, so I guess we now have five cats. I haven't found a name for the really outgoing one. She likes to fight, she's fearless, and she's very mouthy. Any ideas? Her sister's name is Talula. My other cats are Gatsby, Mallory, and Brett, all named for historical or literary characters. Little one needs a good name, too.

St. Louis folk:
The Mandys are reuniting for WILD October 2nd through October 5th. I'll probably stay through until October 6th. That's a Thursday through a Monday. If you're in town and wanna hang out, let me know.

I'm reading a fabulous book: Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything Bryson has proven himself thorough and hysterical in his travel narratives, but this is sooooo much better. He delves a bit into the history of just about everything having to do with science. It's not, however, a sciency book. It is meant for everyone, and he does a great job finding amusing things to put in side notes to make even the most mundane subjects enthralling. I highly reccomend it. I'll close this post with an excerpt from the book that made me laugh.

On chemistry:

Perhaps nothing better typifies the strange and often accidental nature of chemical science in its early days than a discovery made by a German named Hennig Brand in 1675. Brans became convinced that gold could somehow be distilled from human urine. ... He assembled fifty buckets of human urine, which he kept for months in his cellar. By various recondite processess, he converted the urine first into a noxious paste and then into a translucent waxy substance. None of it yielded gold, of course, but a strange and interesting thing did happen. After a time, the substance began to glow. Moreover, when exposed to air, it often spontaneously burst into flame.

...[the material] soon became known as phosphorous. ... In the 1750s a Swedish chemist named Karl Scheele devised a way to manufacture phosphorous in bulk without the slop or smell of urine.

...Scheele's one notable shortcoming was a curious insistence on tasting a little of everything he worked with, including such notoriously disagreeable substances as mercury, prussic acid, and hydrocyanic acid. Scheele's rashness eventually caught up with him. In 1786, aged just forty-three, he was found dead at his workbench surrounded by an array of toxic chemicals, any one of which could have accounted for the stunned and terminal look on his face.

Off to bed for me...another long day in the cave tomorrow.



Today I was forced to ask myself whether or not I believe in ghosts. I honestly can't answer that question. There are many stories of ghosts in the cave. People claim they have seen Old Mr. Lynch up on top of the tower when nobody else is there. I KNOW the power of the mind. Light, incorrect depth perception, and a person's mind can definitely make them think they see someone when there's nothing there. How do you account for sounds, though? Not little creaking dripping sounds that can be explained away by settling structures or underground creeks, but real sounds that have to be made by humans.

Amanda and I were sitting in the bottom of the cave today when I heard the tower door open and close and heard loud footsteps on the platform. I heard no voices, so I thought the tour guide was ahead of his tour, or it was someone cleaning or something, and I waited to hear more. About ten minutes later, I realized I hadn't heard anything else. I asked Amanda what that sound had been. She had heard it, too, but thought she was hearing things because there was noone there. Assured that we both heard it, I got a little spooked, but let it go.

Upstairs in the darkroom, everyone tried to convince me it was the ghosts. I didn't buy it and told them so.

Downstairs in the cave, we heard more noises. These noises were not things that could have happened without SOMETHING making them happen. We had no explanations for what it could have been. I hate not knowing what I believe about this. At least I should have some explanation, right? Right?


Boo to those who diss Better Than Ezra concerts. Especially when they're free and you're drunk. Mandecca, those silly youngins don't know what they're talking about.

So today was an interesting day. I got to work and someone brought a tiny little kitten into the darkroom. Apparently, the shinglesaw workers found some kittens under their shed. Our feral momma gave birth and left the litter hidden, but too close for comfort for the park, so SDC security was going to put to sleep four beautiful little felines. We cavedwellers couldn't allow that, but nobody would do anything about it, so I offered to take them.

I spent the day offering kittens to tourists as they came out of the cave, walking around the park showing them off to passersby, and talking to the craftsmen to see if they might want one. At the end of the day, each kitten had a home, including one that I just couldn't resist taking for myself. I had to bring another one home to hold until I can deliver it to Springfield to its future residence, so I now have two tiny little kittens. They make my kittens look huge. They are way smaller than my hand. The one I'm keeping is all gray except for this tiny little white exclamation point on her forehead. She's got a huge head, funny shaped ears, and fuzz for fur that makes her look like a cross between an opossum and a koala bear. Her name is Talula. Currently, the little buggers are hiding behind the couch. They've had quite the day. They encountered humans for the first time this morning, got ripped away from their momma, met other cats, and then a huge German shepherd. I think they're a little overwhelmed. :)

As am I. So off to bed I go.


I'm in a mood. Here's some poetry:

wishes for sons
by Lucille Clifton

i wish them cramps.
i wish them a strange town
and the last tampon.
i wish them no 7-11.

i wish them one week early
and wearing a white skirt.
i wish them one week late.

later i wish them hot flashes
and clots like you
wouldn't believe. let the
flashes come when they
meet someone special.
let the clots come
when they want to.

let them think they have accepted
arrogance in the universe,
then bring them to gynecologists
not unlike themselves.

(From The Hell With Love, edited by Esselman and Velez)


The safety crew at Silver Dollar City installed a new "low clearance" sign today because of my clumsy ass. Coming out of the cave, I totally missed a low-hanging beam and rammed my head straight into it. Because I was in full forward motion, my legs kept going and I ended up pretty much on the floor. After a semi-forced trip to first aid and an hour of ice packs, I have a huge red knot that's turning into a bruise and a black eye, and a possible mild concussion.

Okay, I know there were more issues to address, but apparently my head injury has caused some sortof selective amnesia for those things meant to be in the blog. So toodaloo!
For Jordan:

M: You know, there's a Christian romance section at Barnes and Noble
J: Do they get it on?
M: I don't know, I think they wait for marriage.


Cardinals 2, Cubs 0


Also...BIG apologies to my girls for the drunk dialing. I miss you and thus had you all on my mind. Stupid things sound like good ideas when you're drunk, I suppose. Especially when you have other drunkards around. So Sorry, Mandys!

We've decided that Mallory (the kitten) actually looks like a ring tailed lemur. I wanna call her monkey now, as an endearing term, of course, but lemurs aren't really monkeys, and after geting irritated when other people called them that (they're prosimians, dangit) I can't really encourage the incorrect usage, now can I? Especially when she's sitting on my shoulder watching me type.

Hmm...but Mallory monkey is just so cute :)
I've either managed to severely fuck up a major relationship in my life and add drama to the soap opera that is me, OR I've fixed a problem. No doubt there will be some fucking up regardless of which it is. I suppose we'll see sometime soon enough.

You know, I used to say that I wasn't a jealous person. I was very very wrong.

It's a rainy day...a beautiful grey cloudy rainy day. I'm gonna curl up in bed with my kittens and read ALL afternoon. Who needs the relationship/friendship/work drama when you have kittens? Really.


Kiefer Sutherland REALLY needs to take his daughter to Silver Dollar City. And they need to go through the cave. And he needs to fall madly in love with the photographer. Only if I'm the photographer that day, of course. Also, someone needs to award FX for fine programming decisions with their "24 hours of 24" thing they've got going. I only watched the last episode, seeing as it was the only episode I missed during the first run. I don't think I could handle that much Kiefer, anyway. It's torture, really, seeing him all hurt up their on screen and not being able to kiss him better. I mean, really, I could do it so much better than that wimpy Kate Warner. I bought the DVD of Desert Saints even though I'd never heard of it because it was on sale for $4 and had Kiefer in it. Damn, he's perfect. Sexy and nice and tough and bad in all the good ways. Now that I've fucked up every opportunity I've had for a love life here, I really need that fantasy. Thank God 24 starts again soon.

A little Silver Dollar City-all girls in the darkroom cause the cave is flooded humor:
While enjoying our Dark Angel marathon (and getting paid for it), I apparently comment wayyyy too much on the sexiness of Logan Cale. The girls tell me I need to get laid. Michelle says I'm sick and I need a shot of penis-cillin. She then goes on to explain, "My brother, I mean my husband..." Freudian slip, Michelle?

Okay, my book reccommendation for the month of August: Truman by David McCullough. It's FABULOUS. Seriously...even if you're not into history, or biographies, or old people, or anything other than People Magazine...you'll like it. It's an incredible book. Go read it. If you have a long commute to work, go pick up the audio from the library and listen to that. (hint: that's shorter, too)

If you're into suspenseful thrillers, government conspiracy, or adventure romance with a hint of psychosis, pick up Dark Rivers of the Heart by Dean Koontz. It's actually pretty good, pretty involved...it exposes some things that are actually happening in the government, but takes them to extremes so that he could fit it all into a nice little package of fiction. It's not a literary masterpiece or anything, but I definitely got into it, read it quickly, and experienced some major concept appearance in the dream world. It's worth the few hours it'll take you to read it. Don't blame me for any nightmares about government conspiracies to end the problem with the circulation of pennies by taking out the Chinese and restocking the federal reserve.