The Manhattan Project Hits Home. Literally.

So people knew I went through cancer treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma during 2019-2020. And if course like everyone you do the usual questioning “why me?”. “You were just unlucky.” And generally that’s just it-bad luck. But…there was one factor that lived in the back of my head, one that effected many people of my generation in the suburb I grew up in and others surrounding it. An innocent looking creek.

Coldwater Creek runs through north St. Louis county, a tributary of the Missouri River. During the Manhattan Project, St. Louis based Mallinkrodt Pharmaceuticals was asked to come up with a quick way to refine uranium. After the war the Atomic Energy Commission contracted Mallinkrodt to continue processing uranium. Later radioactive materials were buried underground near Lambert St. Louis International airport. The creek begins at a spring nearby, runs under the airport, and resurfaces in north St. Louis county before dumping out into the river.

Kids would play in the creek. During heavy rainfall it would sometimes spill its banks and flood neighboring houses, land..and a school.

https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/17/us/radioactive-school-coldwater-creek/index.html

I went to Jana for kindergarten. The creek ran alongside the park we used to walk to and where we went to summer camp. I’d considered that maybe my cancer could have been caused by Coldwater Creek, but since we never really played in it and didn’t live all that close is was always an outside chance.

Until this story. Now, the possibility has jumped tenfold. Add to that that an offshoot of the creek ran behind my aunt and uncle’s old house and both my aunt and my younger cousin also had cancer. He had skin cancer and she had breast cancer.

The effects of Coldwater Creek have been known for some years now, but it was always just sort of swept under the rug. Mallinkrodt kept it will hidden. Oh, did I mention that another burial spot is awfully close to and underground smoldering fire at a landfill? More below.

http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2016/ph241/wolk2/

The news about Jana has made national news. Sadly, it took a story like this to draw attention to this mess. My friend asked “why doesn’t the Army Corps of Engineers just buy up all the land?” Because of how many people that would displace. When I was living in Florissant the population was between 50-70k. That’s just one of about 3 or 4 suburbs effected.

This is a huge mess and I fear it will only get worse. I’ve included a couple other links about Coldwater Creek and Westlake Landfill and their impact.

https://moenvironment.org/blog/brief-history-of-radioactivity-in-st-louis/

https://www.atomichomefront.film/

From Simply Stressed to Stressed and Depressed

Still stressing about the job thing. Do I stay here, or so I move back to St. Louis and look there? I have family there but my car is old, I’d have to leave my dog, taxes work differently there. Then today it hit me that once my cousin gets married next summer I’ll be the only one on either side who isn’t married or has been married. Sure there’s my cousin Scott, but he doesn’t really count because he’s gay and I don’t know if Seattle even allows it.

So now I’m stressed and depressed.

Awesome.

Stress Level: 3,905

Soooo stressed having to start all over again.

What I want is for the family to move back to St. Louis. So I won’t have to to alone. I couldn’t move into an apartment here alone; moving 500 miles away would be a disaster. Or I assume. But my mother had this chip on her shoulder that everyone in her family is against her and she believes her mother likes her sister over her. Even though she says she doesn’t want to move because it’s more expensive to live there, and she doesn’t want to move away from my sister and my nieces, I think the former is the reason. My dad, though, would move back. Even though he doesn’t want to leave the kids either, he doesn’t make stupid excuses.

Really, other than my sister and the girls, there’s nothing tying us here. He got a job here on my aunt’s suggestion but once we got here we didn’t see them any more than we did before. My grandmother and aunt and uncle lives 2 hours away, but Grandma died and my aunt’s and uncle aren’t they type you just drop in on. The aunt and uncle that lived here since moved to Dallas so now we have literally NO REASON to stay.

Ugh.

Thanks, Mooky

Cineworld, Regal’s parent company, declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week, but the CEO Mooky Greidinger sent out a message saying business would continue as normal, blah blah. Ok.

Cut to yesterday. September 13. My boss sent out a text asking everyone to come in for a meeting at 3. That’s when he dropped the bomb on us that the company couldn’t come to an agreement with the landlord so our last day of operations would be today (September 14). But we would be kept on the payroll until next week to box up papers and stick them on a U-Haul to go to Oklahoma. After that we’re all unemployed.

I half expected the closure. We’re simply not doing any business. What I didn’t expect was a “so long, and don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.” What’s even a bigger slap in the face is that even though I have been with UA/Regal/Cineworld for almost 26 years, because I’m not titled as management-though I and 2 others do the same work-I don’t get any severance at all. Only Laverda and Victoria get any sort of severance. Even my GM, Troy, doesn’t get any because he’s only been there since April or May. They are at least going to pay us our accrued vacation and sick pay.

So now I’m in a position I haven’t been in since 1996-starting all over again. My anxiety has been slowly creeping up. I already had a vacation planned with my sister in October so I’m going to wait until after that, maybe after the holidays. Luckily I didn’t buy a new car so I don’t have to worry about that. But still. It sucks.

Thanks, “Mooky”. You bastard.

🎶On the Road Again🎶

He’s back and cruising around! Slight hiccup though. Took it to get it inspected yesterday and it failed because the parking brake didn’t hold. And Dad is concerned that the gas gauge isn’t reading right. So the guy’s gonna look at it for us. The inspector, though…there’s something shady about a guy that tells you to take it to a guy that sells trailers to get it inspected because he’ll just pass it right there and then you can get it fixed. 👀

Then there’s the issue of which of us is going to drive it. No sooner did the girl hand me the keys yesterday than Dad took them from me. Brian, the mechanic, was really surprised it was in as good condition as it was. Because we kept it undercover 99% of its life. When I pulled into the bay at Jiffy Lube the mech that met me did a double take when he first saw it.

The Monte Rides Again!

Dad this morning. I think he and the car made a deal to not let me drive it. 🤨

It Was Quite the Party

So, one of my uncles died Wednesday. It was quite sudden but not entirely unexpected. Anyhow, funeral was yesterday (Saturday).

Victoria comes in to work today and asks “How was the funeral?” Um…it was a funeral. How do you answer that? “We poured one out and had a bitchin’ party”?

Weird.

Self-Awareness Fail

If you weigh a third of a ton, walk like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and make office chairs cry in agony when you sit on them, the last thing you want to do is eat like food is going out of style.

My friend and co-worker had Chic-Fil-A, a large soda, and a large iced tea when I arrived. That in itself is bad enough, but then she had her husband bring her Japanese food. 😳

On top of that, her eating is atrocious. I unfortunately happened to be up there while she was eating and she’s smacking her lips like a cow chewing cud-my apologies to the bovine population for that insult-and then lets out a huge belch. I mean, braaap. But she excused herself so that makes it all okay, right? Then she did it again a bit later.

The reason I bring that up is because of her weight. If you weigh that much, eating a gazillion calories without exercise isn’t going to help and doesn’t look good. She’s always talking about she hurt this or she pulled that and huffing and puffing. Plus the waddling and chair abuse. During lockdown she got a job at a home supplies store and was so proud she lost 15 pounds! I asked how much she wore before then. She sounded insulted but answered “330.”

I’ll admit, I’m not a stick. Before I was diagnosed I was hovering around 175. At my lowest I was 120. Now, I’m fluctuating between 147-150. While I’d like to get back at least into the low 140s I’m a lot more conscious about what I eat. I don’t stop for fast food before and/or after work like I was. For example, wanna know what I had for lunch yesterday? The rest of my macaroni salad from the day before. Had Wendy’s for dinner cause that’s what the family wanted. My one weakness is soda. Especially now since we have Pepsi. I have little courtesy cups of it throughout the day at work. But really no other time, occasionally at home.

Just had to rant. I told a couple other of my co-workers that if I ever sound like that and belch like a trailer park hoosier to just shoot me.

Hometown Drowning!

My hometown was inundated with rainwater this week. Over Monday and into early Tuesday night the St. Louis area got upwards of 12″ of water in a 24 hour period. And then some more today. Here are just a few pictures about a mile or so from my old house.

😢. And one of the animal rescues lost some puppies because the water rose so quickly they just couldn’t get to them in time.

Sad.

Fun with Indian Scammers Pt 2!

Shortly after my list post I got another call. So I decide to try the “police department” thing. I answered with “Police Department, how I direct your call” or something to that effect. There was a noise for a second, then someone said something like “uhhh”. I repeated who I allegedly was and asked if they had an emergency. There was silence on their end as I laughed silently on my end. Then after a few seconds I hung up.

A little bit later I got ANOTHER call, but this time it was someone telling me I’d indeed been added to the nationwide “Do Not Call” list which I in fact did sign up for.

It’s possible these calls may have been legit but I was getting them numerous times a day, M-F. I’m not old enough for Medicare. Plus Medicare being a government entity communicates via mail.

Hopefully my days will be quieter.