Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Less "Whatever" and More "WOW"

One of the inevitable downsides of getting older is the amount of "splash and pizazz" that it takes to illicit a WOW or a WOAH or some other expression of awe and wonder. Of course, the most current expression is the ever popular OMG having replaced, groovy, dynomite, righteous, super and a bucket load of other trendy expressions used to express our "jaw dropping" amazement.   The OMGing of the world has saved bloggers and texters hundreds upon hundreds of hours of typing digit-challenged alternatives, for sure.

As for the loss of the "sense of wonder and awe" due to ageing, that becomes more apparent as grandkids arrive.  Did I hear you say: OMG.... How can that be??? Surely, Cheryl P. isn't old enough to have grandchildren??? I can see where you would be confused...inexplicable, really....but back to topic..

As I watch the little G-boys find such delight in things like BUBBLES and dandelions, it brings up the point that it takes a lot more to impress and amaze me these days.  There was a time that seeing a dandelion going to seed would have been a site to behold.  Now that little sucker is more of an annoyance than anything.  It wouldn't even illicit a "whatever".

As an adult, it seems that the ante keeps going up on the levels that it takes to cause us to become speechless.  (well...for me personally, I am not sure that level has ever been reached... but hope springs eternal)

Thought #1....A Place that is worthy  of a lot of WOWs, AWESOMEs, and OMGs

Last week hubby and I made an unscheduled trip to the Chicago area as we learned of a family member's passing.  While there, we decided to go to the Museum of Science and Industry.  I am a real GEEK when it comes to museums and as museums go, this one is a really AWESOME one. 

Sidebar:  A little blurb about the museum, if you aren't familiar. 

The Museum of Science and Industry  is located in Chicago, Illinois, USA in Jackson Park, in the Hyde Park neighborhood adjacent to Lake Michigan. It is housed in the former Palace of Fine Arts from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition.  It first opened in 1933 during the Century of Progress Exposition.  It is also the largest science museum in the western hemisphere.
Among its diverse and expansive exhibits, the Museum features a working coal mine, a German submarine (U-505) captured during World War II, a 3,500-square-foot model railroad, the first diesel-powered streamlined stainless-steel passenger train (Pioneer Zephyr), and the Apollo 8 spacecraft which flew the first humans to the Moon.

It had been years since I was last there and as with all things, there was a disconnect between how I remember it and how it is.   Some of this disconnect is that the museum has changed and updated but part of it is in the 30 or so years that have passed, what it takes to WOW me.

As a girl, I remember walking into the building and all but peeing down my leg,(yes, I was a strange little girl)  with the excitement of the planes hanging from cables from the ceiling.  Real planes...in a building...just hanging there...OMG!  As an adult, I find that still pretty neat but not to the level of peeing on myself...see, I have matured.

Thought #2...Worthy contenders for WOW.

The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, IL

A Boeing 727 hangs from the ceiling. There is a platform that allows you
to enter and walk through it.  The 727 was the mainstay of
air travel from 1963-1984 when it was retired from manufacture.
It held the record for most sales of a model until last year when the 737 surpassed

The Coal Mine exhibit was one of my favorites as a kid.  It still has some of it's earlier appeal but there have been some changes there as well.  Years ago, (many, many years ago) they use to have everyone don a lighted miner's hat prior to descending into the shaft via a coal car.  Very cool effect of actually going down into the earth. Now, you are herded into the safety room first and told of the dangers of coal mines. 

We happened to have a young guide that took elaborate pains to tell us how awful the bituminous coal coming out of Illinois mines is.  Seems that the crappy coal that comes from the 8th largest coal producing state in America is so unhealthily that nearly all of it is shipped to other countries.  HUH???

Another exhibit worthy of a couple of, NO WAYs and few  Oh, SH**s, is the German Sub, U505,  that was captured in 1944 and is the only type IXC sub still in existence.

The story of it's capture and the part it played in World War II is fascinating especially for those that are history buffs. 

Another of my favorite exhibits as a little girl was the  Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle.  Colleen Moore was a silent film star in the 1920s who had a love of doll houses and miniatures.  She started building a her Fairy Castle in 1928 and by 1935 with the help of over 700 artists and an estimated cost of $500,000  created a doll house that was indeed worthy of a princess.  The details of the castle are amazing...running water, electricity, priceless works of art and jewels,...even the pans in the kitchen are forged copper.  AMAZING!!

And the last one, I am going to talk about for today, is the OmniMax theatre production of:

The Omnimax technology didn't even exist on my last trip to the museum.  In the Omnimax theater the projector, projects the film onto a 180 degree dome that is about 5 stories high.  This differs than the regular IMAX film that is projected onto a flat screen.  This dome effect has you feeling as if you are in the middle of the action.  For this film about tornadoes and storm chasers, it is effectively off the chart on the WOW meter.

The film was filmed in Kansas and Oklahoma
You remember that I live in Kansas, right????

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Thechubbychatterbox said...

I've never been to this museum and haven't spent much time in Chicago, but your pictures are an enticement to go. By the way, I've only typed OMG once in my entire life, and it's right here.

Cheryl P. said...

Very impressive that you have gone until today and avoided typing OMG. I think that indicated that you know more words to use to describe excitement. As my other favorite word that describes "an over-the-top" exclaimation is frowned upon by many, I tend to use OMG fairly regularly.

Junebug said...

I will have to add this amazing museum to my list of places to go. I love museums!!

FYI - this summer my cousin and I are road tripping from KS to GA. Any places good in KC for to women turning 40, a 11 year old and a 9 1/2 month old to all enjoy at the same time? I think we are heading from Wichita, stopping in KC to see friends and heading to St. Louis to go up in the Arc. Perhaps I will get to meet my blogging friend? :-) Coffee?

Liggybee said...

I love museums! The last time I visited one, even the slightest display got me going "WOW!" Just the fact that people took the time to preserve pieces of our history and put them display for the public is simply awesome to me. I need to go see the museums in other states sometime. I'd really love for my children to see them, too.

Here's your click for sharing those thoughts! :)

Cheryl P. said...

There are a number of places in KC that are fun for both the kids and the moms. St. Louis is also loaded with family friendly places. We will have to communicate via email as you plan your trip. I would be thrilled to meet up with you when you are here.

Cheryl P. said...

I agree about the fact the people go to the work of saving history for us to see is so awesome. A lot of the big museums now have children's interactive museums built in, makes it really inticing for the kids to learn while having fun.

Nicky said...

I know exactly what you mean. This is exactly what I was talking about when I was ranting about the abuse of the expression 'wow factor'. There are less and less things that make me go wow.

That being said, those museum exhibits do look really cool though.

AngelBaby said...

I want to go there, it looks fabulous and I love Museums! I could even come up with some Wows. I know what you mean about things not being and exciting as they used to be. I think at our age we have seen it all so nothing is a Wow anymore.

Here's your click ....

Love and Blessings,

Cheryl P. said...

Right, you are about less and less being WOW worthy. Our world is getting smaller as technology with all its special effects diminish the amazing to "seen that" status.

It is a really cool museum. My pictures don't do it justice.

Cheryl P. said...

It's a shame isn't it that we some what lose our sense of wonder as we age. It's hard to see things with fresh eyes when you have seen a lot of life. Still it's nice to see some new surrounding from time to time to keep things interesting. Hope all is going well with you, AngelBaby. Take care!

Wolfbernz said...

Hi Cheryl,

Sounds like a really good time to me! What a neat place to visit and the theather, well, that would definitely get a Wow! or an OMG from mee to! Glad you had a good time


Trina said...

I search for the wow in everything! I suppose you could say it's my age, but if there wasn't a wow involved it just wouldn't be the same.

Now I'd love to check out that museum, it sounds awesome and so much bigger than the Air and Space in DC (and I always enjoy that one)

Clicks for you!

oldereyes said...

The Museum of Science and Industry would definitely have me Wowing, but then again, most museums do to some extent or another. It's interesting, though. In my sixties, I've seemed to regain some of my Wow for little things like a hawk sweeping down into our backyard or a bunch of baby quail on our back slope. The tornado thing sounds very cool. At the Discovery Museum here in Orange County, they have a room you go into that simulated various earthquakes, not only with film of the actual quake but with the room shaking and bouncing to match the quake's intensity.


Cheryl P. said...

I find all museums fun, even the little quirky ones. Yeah, that tornado experience is definitely a WOW and a few other words that luckily can't be heard above the wind sounds of the movie.

Cheryl P. said...

I do think some of our ability to find wonder and awe in things is related to age, but I think some is also built into our personality. Very cheerful, optimistic people find it easier than the over-thinkers and analyzers of the world. I would prefer to be the former but I tend to lean toward the latter.

Cheryl P. said...

I agree that ALL museums tend to wow me a bit. (even those little odd museums along the interstate like the Elvis museum or the Rt. 66 museum, I tend to find something that fascinates me)
As I was writing that post, it occurred to me that some of this lack of awe is a bit of the age I am in. (5 years away from being able to sign up for Medicare...and when I say wow to what our current health insurance is costing, it isn't the fun kind of wow...it is the oh, shit, kind of wow)
I tend to find awe and wonder in things when we travel but in the day to day life, the stress pretty much squeezes the life out of finding awe and wonder.
I don't mean to sound like I am complaining as I have a really good life but the direction we have taken in the last decade has made me more worrisome and less able to relax and find the joy in the little things.

meleahrebeccah said...

Oh yes. I *heart* Museums. And those photos? WOW INDEED!

Mayor Gia said...

Ah, very cool museum pics! I love the dome type thing -- there's one of those at a museum near me and they showed a film on alaska the last time I went. Awesomeness.

L.C. Griffith said...

Cheryl, you got me wanting to go to the museum...with you!! You'd be the best tour guide in the world. I love those IMAX theaters. I rode on a magic carpet in one of them once and it totally felt real. OH WOW!! LOL!! Yeah, I'm still a bit of a kid at heart. But really...you would be a blast to travel with;)

Cheryl P. said...

Thanks, Chicago has a bucket load of really nice museums. I rarely get up that way to visit but it sure is fun when I do.

Cheryl P. said...

Thanks, Gia, I agree thos IMAX domes are cool. I have seen that Alaska one as well. Very awesome.

Cheryl P. said...

Wouldn't it be fun to actually do something like that together. I used to get to Florida a lot as my FIL lived in Naples but rarely these days...(he passed away)

You are right about some of these types of kids bring out the wonder that you felt as a kid. So fun to feel that from time to time.

meleahrebeccah said...


Jayne said...

My WOWs and OMGs are much different now. Yesterday, I saw two small male birds fighting for the attention of one small female. I was enchanted. And rarely does a night go by that I don't look up at the stars or the full moon and get blown away by the majesty of it. Yep. I'm old.

Bodaciousboomer said...

We went there when we were in Chicago about 5 years ago? We probably spent at least 4 hours there. Did they still have the train that set the speed record?

momto8blog said...

looks and sounds like a great trip! too scary for me to itch the Oinmax...I think I would get nervous every time it rained!!
I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

Cheryl P. said...

Le'ts not call us old. (I am less than a year younger than you) Let's call us mature.

Yes, I think my wows are different now. When I was younger a new pair of really cool shoes would have wowwed me, but now a pretty pasture would make more of an impression. I think as we "mature" the materialistic viewpoint seems less important.

Cheryl P. said...

There are a couple of trains there although, I don't know if one set any records. The stainless steel Zepher is really interesting that used to run through the Midwest. Truly beautiful in all is shiny sleekness.

Cheryl P. said...

So nice for you to stop by....I could hug you for hitting the follow button. I love regular readers.

Normally, I am not frightened of storms although, Sat. Kansas (where I am) got hit with dozens of tornadoes and I was frightened. ONLY because I have my two little grandsons staying with me for a week while mom and dad are on a cruise. We have a tornado room in our lower level so its not that it is unsafe but unsettling with little ones around.

After taking care of a 1 year old and a 4 year old this week, when I saw your "mom of 8" I am singing your praises. Be thankful you can't hear my singing as it is truly awful...still you have my respect.