Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Here's to Alpha Phi Omega...

...Loyal brothers we!

In college, I was very involved in a co-ed service fraternity called Alpha Phi Omega. The organization mostly revolves around service, but also focuses on leadership and friendship. The beginning of each school year was a big recruitment time for the fraternity and those of us on the exec board (I'm kind of a big deal) would sit in the quad in shifts during the day trying to get people to come check us out and hopefully be interested in joining our fraternity. Liz - my friend, roommate, and APO brother - sent me this link today and apparently we're in our college's welcome packet! That's me in the middle and Liz on the left sitting at the recruitment table in the quad. Goes to show that not everything we do goes unnoticed, even if its years after the fact.

"Men of Alpha Phi Omega, may we always be!"

Sunday, October 25, 2009

O Canada!

What an adventure that was!

Aaron and I decided to take a trip to Canada during our visit and see what our neighbors up north had to offer. Aside from the signs being bigger because they measure things in kilometers & meters, Canada is a lot like the US of A. We took Aaron's big Dodge Ram truck (very American - it's even red!) and drove into Vancouver. BIG mistake. The lanes are teeny tiny and the parking garages barely have a 6 foot clearance (I don't know how many meters that is...). We definitely stood out like a sore thumb while we were navigating our way through the city. Once we parked, we took a ferry, called the SeaBus, to North Vancouver and were not impressed. It was a quiet part of the city without a lot of anything going on. We walked through a market and looked around a bit, but didn't find much, so we made our way back to the regular Vancouver and had some dinner at the Transcontinental, a former train station. It was pretty nice and instead of saying "eh" after everything our waiter said "cheers" every time he left our table.

Once we finished eating, we decided to get out of the city and find a nice little town to spend the night and we arrived in White Rock. A very cute and quaint tourist town that is a hot spot during the summer and a main player in the transcontinental railroad movement. We visited all two bars that were open and retired for the night at the Oceanside Promenade with an ocean view room. (The hotel was like a little condo, and even had a fireplace!) The next day was Aaron's birthday!!! So we spent it walking around the town and walking out on the bridge to get as close to the ocean as possible. After soaking up the little bit of sunshine that came out that day, we had lunch at an irish restuarant and headed back to the states.

Next time I go Canada, I plan to go to a town called Whistler. Apparently it's where the 2010 Winter Olympics are going to be held and its little tourist town surrounded by mountains with lots of skiing/snowboarding opportunities - heck yes!!

Left: The arch on the USA - Canada border

Right: Me and the Vancouver skyline

Here I am in White Rock, Canada enjoying the partial sunshine near the ocean. And in the background, that land to the right is the United States!

Right: Me expressing my inner photographer

Left: Aaron took and re-took an Asain couple's picture at least 10 times for them so they returned the favor, but we only had them take 3. Silly tourists.

Here are some other interesting facts I learned while visiting our neighbor to the north:

Blinking traffic lights. Definitely caught me off guard. When the light turns green it blinks until it turns yellow, and then red. If it’s a green arrow, there’s usually a solid green light above it and the a green arrow below it that blinks until the light above it turns yellow and then red. Somehow, this is not a hazard. Must be a Canadian thing.

Unpasteurized Milk. Tastes like regular milk but a bit warmer and a bit thicker. Not quite vitamin D thick, but thicker than 2% milk.

Lots of women walking around. Not just the normal amount, but it might have been 10 to every 1 guy walking around the city and a majority of those women were Asain or Native American.

Skytrain and seabus. Not just a plane ride, not just a ferry ride, but cool Canadian public transportation.

Washrooms. Anytime you need to relieve yourself, you use a thing called the washroom; not restroom.

Canadians used to oppress the Asians too. In the late 1800s, the Aanadians were building a railroad to the west and passed the the Asiatic Exclusion Act to keep jobs in Canada and not have a bunch of immigrants take their jobs. Cool, eh?

I'll be back, Canada - don't you worry. There are more adventures to be had up north! Until next time friends...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Back in the Lou

I have just returned from a trip to the Pacific Northwest! I went to visit Aaron for his birthday and have some wonderful adventures! And I have stories to tell, of course. Unfortunately, the blogs will be terribly out of order, due to my lack of time to blog during the week. I'll start my saga with my not-so-wonderful experience in Kansas City airport on my way back to STL today:

Approximately 7:15pm CST
I HATE Kansas City Airport with an UNDYING passion. UNDYING. Not only do I have the regular hate for it because it requires me to go through security anytime I leave the gate for food, restrooms, or to go to a different gate, but I found a few new reasons to add to my hatred for this wretched airport.

There is not a single place in the Southwest terminal to go where there isn’t someone or some recording SCREAMING over the speaking making it nearly impossible to think, let alone have a conversation with anyone or talk to people in the airport. This means it’s also nearly impossible to walk around people because they can’t hear you say “Excuse me”.

Which brings me to my next point: People move ridiculously slow here. It’s like herding cattle. And it’s near rural Kansas/Missouri - need I say more? (Disclaimer: I don’t think rural Kansas or Missouri people are stupid, but they don’t ever seem to be in a rush.)

My flight was delayed. When I got off my plane the delay was 10 minutes. No big deal. It was already a 2 hour lay-over, so what’s 10 minutes, right? After picking up some magazines, I checked the screen again and what time is my flight leaving? 45 minutes delay. WTF?! I could have rented a car and driven back to St. Louis by the time I even get on my friggin plane.

There’s free internet at the airport, but it won’t let me access my blog. Again, wtf? Before I even get to post this, I will have typed up this blog entry on my computer, flown from KC to STL (God willing), drove 30 minutes to get home, let my dog out to potty and eaten food, and finally posted it on the blog, for you all to read. By then, I’m sure I’ll find a few other things to hold against the Kansas City airport.

If there is any way for you to avoid the Kansas City airport my friends, by all means, DO IT! I wouldn’t wish this kind of torture on any traveler. Safe Travels my friend.

11:06pm CST
Kansas City was not fun, but once we did get on the plane, the ride was VERY short. So short, in fact, that I was back in St. Louis well before 9pm. What was even better was walking down to baggage claim and seeing my bag be the first bag on the conveyor belt. I like St. Louis much better. Until next time...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A note to the big (wo)man upstairs

I've have tried the following:

1) Praying
2) Going to Church
3) Getting away from it all
4) Job hunting for days on end
5) Kicking myself

And have still not gotten any kind of response, answer or enlightenment from the big G-O-D. My last result: Blogging. Maybe God's really hip and has my blogs sent to his/her inbox because s/he has subscribed to my KICKING blog...

Dear God,

Please hand me my dream job on a silver platter. With extra benefits on side, please. And no fries. Thanks!

Love, ME

Think that will get the message to God?
Me neither.

So if you, my fellow friends and bloggers, have any ideas on how to not hate my job and life - not that I HATE my life because I have food in my belly and a roof over my head, but it would be nice to enjoy my life instead of just wanting to sleep it away because I have nothing else better to do with it- PLEASE, by all means, help me out. It seems as though no matter what I try to change, I still end up in my room alone at night with my dog, wishing I was some where else with a real purpose for being alive. My life/situation is turning me into quite the pessimist and I don't like it! Any help to get me back to a happier, life-loving, more optimistic self would be GREATLY appreciated :)

Until next time, my friends...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

She's crafty

I've been feeling quite crafty lately, and it might be due to the onset of autumn. Whatever it may be, it's getting my creative juices going. I've been trying to resist stopping by Hobby Lobby in fear that I'll drop $100 in just a few minutes buying scrapbooking accessories and loading up on yarn. It's addicting, it tell you.
When I get home from work at night, my adrenaline is still going from running around and getting everything done at the clinic, that I need to keep moving for a few hours after I clock out at work. I noticed a recent trend that I drink a glass of wine and facebook till the wee hours of the morning and thats nothing fun or productive, but it does pass the time. My goal for the fall has been to not do more than check email after arriving home and then its craft time. So far I've been knitting a blanket because I get cold very easily (it will look something like this but purple - pictures to come soon) and I have finally gotten pictures printed to continue scrapbooking! I would try my hand at jewelery making but I'm a little clumsy and would be afraid of spilling beads everywhere and them getting eaten by little dogs and children.
Anyway, hooray for fall and craftiness. If there's a craft festival near you, check it out! They're popping up everywhere this time of year so take a stroll and find something nifty to add to your collection!