U is for Underground

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This is part of the ABCs of Fun blog series.

I understand many people wouldn’t like being a cave because being underground gives them the willies. I couldn’t be happier.

Whether it is walking tours, crawling tours or going caving outside of work I have fun at it.

I first fell in love with caves in 2006 when I began working in the tourism business. While I was underground, I also fell in love with my husband.

Caves hold a special place in my heart. And they are great places to nap too!

U is for Underground

 

Any day underground is a good one.

I started caving for fun in 2006 and have kept it up. Work and school have kept me busy so I haven’t had as much time to play in caves with my friends, but at least my work keeps me in caves.

I lead wild cave tours for visitors that have never been off a walking trail in a cave. It’s amazing to share this experience with visitors and help them gain that sense of accomplishment upon completing different portions of the tour.

I realize that I will probably never get into Lechugilla cave or other important notables because I am casual caver. I have enjoyed my time as such  :)

I have been through tight squeezes, chest high water, nasty chert crawls, and fallen asleep on a perfect pile of dirt.
I even got married in a cave. It amused Kit and I because there were some guests that refused to attend the ceremony because they were too scared to walk 500 feet into the entrance. It was a beautiful wedding and I could not have been happier :)

I have so many good memories and fun times Underground that it just had to be my letter U!
The Underground world is so much fun :)

T is for Talking


I’m sure what you’re thinking is how ditzy can this chick be if her most enjoyable past time is texting. And maybe I am ditzy, but I do love texting people.
Here’s how I break it down, crazy or no. I love talking to people face to face. I don’t like talking on the phone at all, but I love texting. I could sit and talk to a friend all night around a campfire or stretch out that one cup of coffee much longer than I could ever make a phone call last. With a phone call you can hear your lover’s voice but no matter where you turn your head they really aren’t there. At least with a text message there is no guise of intimacy. I feel like a text message is just a short modern letter.  I absolutely love receiving hand written letters and replying to them. I love emails too but no real person ever sends emails–Too bad too, because they are super fun.

I have admitted my like for texting so I may as well reveal my other short comings related to texting. I have texted while driving but I have sworn it off and do NOT do this anymore. Scares me when I see others doing it now. I have texted someone at the same party, but it was usually to ask things like Would you like to bail early?  Things that wouldn’t be very polite to announce to the whole party. I also, on occasion, text my husband who is in the same house with me. Mainly, that is just to irritate the shit out of him because he will read my text and answer verbally while I text a reply.

One thing I try avoid are texting short cuts and I do that for two reasons. 1) Many of my friends have pet peeves related to texting and 2) I was so stoked to get a full keyboard (QWERTY) that I still relish the fact I don’t have to type one number two or three times to get the correct letter. I know, I know, me and my first world problems.

I have admitted my guilty/guiltless pleasure. Judge away. And if you want to judge me directly you can always send me a text saying how silly I am.

S is for Spanish

If you enjoy Spanish or are taking a Spanish class and need some help outside of the classroom activities I highly recommend this website: Study Spanish. It was supremely useful to me while I was taking college level Spanish. As far as I know you can access many of the beginning Spanish exercises without paying a dime. (Select study help from the bar of options running across the top). The page I linked directly to is for accented letters that we don’t find on U.S. keyboards. You can memorize the alt+letter codes, but I never could remember more than two letters.

Another fun Spanish link is Mi Vida Loca [my crazy life]. It’s a Spanish language learning drama series on BBC. Sadly, I got busy with class and life and never got to finish it, but I got over half-way done with the series. All the episodes appear to still be available for free on BBC’s website. I am seriously considering picking it back up again. Or maybe starting all over.
It encourages you to speak outloud while you “play” the interactive game/episode. You can make choices and learn new words as the character is getting chased by an unknown evil. Makes things interesting for sure.

There are tons of other Spanish helper and Spanish learning sites out there. My next goal is to find online games for children. Matching games that speak Spanish or help children learn new words would be a really good pace for me.

Spanish is really fun and I think learning the basics of Latin while I was in grade school really helped me in my college classes.
The only downside to language is that I am stuck in the horrible in between stage. I know enough vocabulary and grammar rules to speak Spanish but I am very shy about speaking to Spanish speaking folks. The Hispanic groups of folks in my area are very nice and forgiving. I think that most people would appreciate even an attempt at the language, but I am still having trouble making the leap.

Anyone have any tips on leaping the language barrier? Spanish is so fun….but I am sooooo shy. :)
In the mean time, I will keep my flashcards, translate music lyrics to my favorite songs and pepper my slang with Spanish words.

R is for Reading

Check Out More of Lostfiniel's art by clicking the picture.

 

Reading has been a favorite hobby of mine longer than anything else….Well, maybe it doesn’t beat eating, but you get the picture.

When I played pretend and acted like a dog (around age 4-6) it was the best time ever. I would run around until my knuckles were raw and my mother’s temper was worn thin.

Another joy at that age was when my mother would “make” me read because she wanted me to learn. Even though I grew tired of trying to decipher the words I look back on my early reading with my mom as a wonderful gem.

Reading taught me new words. For some time I kept paper bookmarks in my books so if I was reading and came across a word I wasn’t sure of the meaning I would jot it on the back of my bookmark and define it later. I learned this technique to avoid mispronouncing a word out loud and getting giggles or comments about my unfamiliarity with words.

I learned to pass the time by reading. If I couldn’t wait til Dad got home from work so we could start our new project I would bury myself in a book until it was 5:00.  I have fallen so deeply into a book before that it takes several calls to get me to surface.

Ignoring external influences was a great trick I learned from reading. Healing from a surgery or illness? Read until you pass out without straining your hoarse voice. Hungry, but it’s not quite dinner time? Dive in for a couple chapters until dinner is ready.

Pretending to be a dog was an infatuation that came and went.
Journaling has been a huge part of my life since I was 15.

The one lovely constant has been my joy of reading. Picture books, magazines, novels and sometimes (rarely) even text books for school.

Thank you to my family for teaching me the joy of reading. It has been the best gift I’ve ever received.