28 December 2009

In Canada, but speaking of non-Canadian things

Ah, the Great White North. Kyler and I are here, and enjoying ourselves mightily. I kind of wish we never had to go home, because this whole hanging out with friends and family and relaxing thing is basically great. Ugh, and I can't stand to think of how many emails I probably have waiting for me at work. Let's not think about that, shall we?
This is my new skirt I bought with the gift card I got from Kyler for my birthday. Pretty, eh?

So, on to News You Can Use...
Kyler was approved for his greencard. In three years, he can apply to become a citizen. Apparently the fact that we've been married more than two years made the whole process much easier. Who knew? But I'm glad we waited... who needs more paperwork? That's the good news. The bad news related to it is that the guy who interviewed us suggested Kyler does NOT go to school in Canada, since he'd be living outside the country for longer than 6 months at a time and the government might think he's abandoning his citizenship application. Well, actually, the guy said if Kyler wants to do both (become a US citizen and go to school in Canada), he should wait until the three years is up and he is a citizen because then the government won't care how long he lives outside the country. But, for now, he's just not applying to Canadian grad schools. If things don't work out, maybe we'll try that Plan B.

Kyler graduated! Well, assuming he passed all of his classes this semester, he did. And we're going on this assumption. It doesn't really feel like much has changed, but maybe it will when he starts working instead of going to school. We'll see.

We went to Temple Square to see the lights the day after Thanksgiving, and I don't think I'll ever do it then again. It was way crowded, and felt like I was on a conveyor belt that couldn't stop or slow down, and yet couldn't actually even see the lights and nativities anyway!Mary, Joseph and Jesus. Aren't they pretty?

Shepherds watching their flocks.

There's a ton more we've done, but I think I might wait until after Canada to post on all the Christmas-like things. It'll give us time to get more pictures.Kyler and I were kind of frightened by the icicles outside our apartment complex. They could totally hurt someone!

02 December 2009

Of Rocks and Hard Places

So, today was an interesting one, and upon request I have agreed to explicate it.

Jeanette, dearest wife of mine that she is, bought me a laptop for Christmas/Graduation. It is a fine laptop. Unfortunately these things don't materialize out of nowhere, however, so it had to be delivered. The problem with that is neither of us are home during the day, thus making it hard for us to be here when it might arrive. I thought perhaps they might leave it with a neighbor or the apartment manager, but no. It basically came down to a choice: either let it sit out in the open in our apartment complex all day, risking a rather effortless theft from just about anybody, or I skip the morning shift at work.

Now, I'm not one to miss work lightly. Until this semester, where I've had to take quite a bit of work off for immigration reasons, you could have counted the number of my absences or tardies on half of one hand. The people at work are also rather reasonable folk. I figured I could count on them to be understanding of my situation. Upon lengthy deliberation I decided to call in and tell them I would not be in until my later shift that afternoon.

It would have been almost ridiculously easy to lie at this point, and say that I was not feeling well. There would have been no repercussions whatsoever had I gone that route. Unfortunately I often try to be honest with the beings around me, I was rather straightforward about my situation. The morning passed, I got homework done, my laptop came safely, and I was even able to be around to receive a call from Les Schwab, letting me know my tire (see previous post) was ready for me to have put on. I even felt rather charmed about the whole thing.

My boss didn't see things that way, however. When I got to work, he pulled me aside and informed me that I should have been fired. If I'd had more than two weeks left of work, he probably would have fired me. He himself had Fed-Ex packages sitting on his porch, but it was no excuse for missing work, and my actions were grounds for termination. If I'd been in the real world outside of BYU, no boss would have hesitated in immediately giving me the axe. I was apologetic and went back to work pretty depressed about it.

Then I talked to one of the full timers, the one who I would've worked for that morning, in fact. He seemed shocked at my boss's reaction, and said that me being gone for that reason was no problem at all. My coworkers also expressed that they weren't sure what the big deal was about. I don't blame my boss, really. He's just doing his job. A job that involves enforcing rules. I'm not sure I regret my decision, though. I certainly don't regret being honest about it. I was faced with a rock on one hand and a hard place on the other, and I've come out of it with a new tire, a safe laptop, and a few worldly lessons learned. Hard to see how the day could have been more productive.

24 November 2009

Oooh, the incident!

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, for which there is much rejoicing in the Rasmussen World. Days off of school and work, lots of food, and time to relax. Hallelujah.

For my birthday, I got a couple of fun things:From my mother, the new pie plate. I think she noticed my comments here, and decided to fix it. Isn't it pretty? She got me a scarf, too, but it didn't look good on my fancy-schmancy table. I can't wait to try out Thanksgiving pie in it, too!

From Kyler, I received a gift card... for Dress Barn. Included in this gift was the offer of him coming with me, helping me shop as long as I wanted, and not complaining. He did a great job! Here is a picture of one thing I bought, and maybe someday I'll get the skirt I bought up here, too.
In case you were wondering, the dress in navy blue. I might be hard to tell in this picture.

And, now, we will discuss "The Incident." Last night, Kyler called me at about the time I was expecting him home and informed me he was stuck on the freeway. He's done this before, and always said there's an accident or really bad traffic or something. This time, though, his voice is shaking a little, and he goes on to tell me, "I lost a tire. Can you call AAA?" I'm freaking out a little, but I ask him all the good stuff, like which exit he's near and stuff. However, my freaking out is probably nothing to his freaking out, since he's still sitting in the middle of the freeway, and can't really move because a) there are cars driving fast around him and b) his tire is a hundred feet in front of him, not firmly attached to the wheel as it should be. Exciting.
AAA was really nice and got him a tow to our apartment (since I have the AAA membership, not him), and then I got to hear the whole story from Kyler. He's driving at, like, 70 MPH when suddenly the car starts to want to turn (like the front tire is flat and it's trying to pull that direction). He's trying to get over to the right side and off the freeway when he starts hearing weird/bad noises, and then he sees his tire rolling away in front of him. This all happened in, like, a minute. Now the boy is stuck in the left lane, and doesn't make it over to the side until a cop comes and helps him. There he stays until the tow truck gets there. The tire is still on the side of the freeway (the opposite side Kyler ended up on, he decided not to try to get it). And now, a picture or two of the carnage:There is no tire there! Just a little bit of rubber. The prognosis appears mostly good, though: Kyler didn't die. The car is completely fine. The rims appear undamaged. The tires are under warranty, though discontinued, so they gave us a used one to use until they order another one for us from some special place. All in all, things are well. Scary, though. Definitely scary.

Ooooh, the incident!

12 November 2009

Zoo: applications, primary and the Zoo all qualify for the word.

So, Jeanettie's getting sick, so she decided to stay home from work. After all, we wouldn't want to get my co-workers (or the cancer patients) sick, and I want to not be ill anymore myself. Since I'm relaxing and drinking lots of water, dozing a little, and watching Gilmore Girls, it's a decent enough time to attempt to update the blog.

Last week:
  1. Kyler took the GRE psych subject test. He thinks it went all right, but we'll have to see.
  2. I ran the primary kids through a relay race for the primary activity. Surprisingly, most of the chitlins were afraid to pick up the baby dolls and sing a lullaby to them. Too bad for them.
  3. Kyler, Liz, and I went to the zoo! Kyler took about a million pictures of everything, and sometimes even included people in said pictures.
  4. It was the primary program on Sunday. Everything went well. The first counselor and I got to chase after a particularly fun 6-year-old during rehearsal... in heels. Everything else went great though, I passed out and collected sunbeams successfully, so what else do we need?
Coming attractions include:
  1. Kyler is finishing his grad school applications. We will hear about interviews in January.
  2. Kyler got travel and work permissions! Yay! We can officially head to Canada for Christmas.
  3. The Olympics are still coming up, though we have no place to stay (we've contacted the Bishop of the Vancouver 1st Ward, so here's hoping) and we realized Kyler may or may not have grad school interviews. They may be over a long weekend in February... hopefully not that weekend in February. If it is, anyone want to come with me?
And now, for the pictures!
The first things we saw when we got to the zoo were the tiger cubs... triplet boy babies! They were adorable!
Here's one of them! Fuzzy and cute, all sleeping together.

And here is their pretty mommy. Not fuzzy, but sleek and shiny. And she could totally knock me out with a whap of her paw if she wanted to.

While we're talking about kittens, here's the snow leopard and her kitten. Cute, cute, cute.

Kyler took this picture. That is all I will say.

Baby giraffe! She's, like, 7 feet tall. I'm a midget.

We decided we couldn't not get a picture of the cougar! The mascot of Kyler's "alma mater," he said. Not yet, kid. Not for another month.

Do you live in Cougar Country?

Kyler and a zebra!

The zebra was kind of scruffy. That's against the Honor Code...

The baby elephant!

Look how little she is compared to mommy! And mommy wasn't that big of an elephant, honestly.

The penguin is preaching to his followers. The one in front does not agree with the him, apparently.

I'm kissing the camel. Thankfully, he didn't spit at me.

And, another baby! A white, adorable, hilarious as it was bouncing around trying to get in trouble, baby monkey!

The Jeanette-geek-out section:
Giraffe anatomy! This is an explanation of why all the blood doesn't rush to their heads, causing them to pass out, when they change their altitude drastically. Cool, huh?

With an elephant femur! It's the size of, like, my entire leg.

And an elephant skull! I love anatomy.

The playing with statues/signs section:
Hear no evil

See no evil

Speak no evil

Riding the rhino. Do not try this at home. We are experts, with years of experience that keep us safe.

Secrets, secrets. It's not very nice to keep secrets.

I think Kyler is going to lose this fight, but don't tell him that!

Kyler wishing he had the wingspan of an adult male orangutan.

I actually was pretty close to an adult female orangutan, though I am on my knees to make it work.

Liz, the adult female gorilla.

With the elephant! It made weird trumpet-y noises, and occasionally played "Baby Elephant Walk."

And, that is all the photographic pain I shall subject you to at this time. Consider yourself lucky.

18 October 2009

Life=Good, as simple equation

A little more than a week ago, I went to the doctor's office. No, I am not sick or pregnant; I was given a clean bill of health, actually, and I was there to make sure I stay that way. The doctor asked me some about Kyler and if he was nice to me, how work was, if there are any huge stresses in my life... basically, he just wanted to know if I was okay. I told him, "Life is good." I realized just how true that sentence is. I am loved by family and friends, I have a job that allows me to sustain myself and Kyler, and the world is generally a happy place for me. Life is good.

In other news, I got my passport! I am now free to move about the world. I have to wonder, though, why I was required to send in two identical pictures with the application. They sent the second one back to me with my birth certificate, so why not just send in one picture in the first place? What in the world do I want with a second photo that is not terribly attractive? Eh.
So, Canada is officially an option for Christmas for me! Yay! We'll see if it's an option for Kyler, though...

Kyler took me to the opera yesterday, The Tales of Hoffman, performed at BYU. Strange opera, quite entertaining, but strange. Kyler's had to go to a few things for a humanities class he's taking, and he's brought me along. I can't say I've minded so far, and the one thing left for him to go to is the Utah Symphony... fun!

There's more going on, but it's all the same: I work, Kyler works and goes to school, application deadlines for grad schools are fast approaching, and we enjoy eating tasty food. Yum.A homemade pot pie. That's right, folks, I made this, crust and all. The crust recipe has been handed down in my family for generations......Doesn't it look tasty? Kyler ate half of it for dinner. And, yes, it's in a round cake pan instead of a pie pan. I don't own a pie pan, but this does deep dish very well.

Like I said, life is good.

30 September 2009

Dream a little dream of me

Well, folks, here it is. Summer is officially over in Utah, and it is time to pull out the gloves and scarves… though I wore neither today. When we woke up this morning, it was probably about 40 degrees outside. Fun times. I walked to the bus stop wearing my jacket, holding an umbrella (I know, gasp! Jeanette using an umbrella! It’s not ideal to show up to work looking like a drowned rat), and my head covered in my Georgia Tech hat Cliff got me that one year. It was chilly and wet waiting for this bus, but I survived. It is definite proof, however, that summer is on its way out, at least for the day.
Then why is it that our apartment is so warm? I am predicting not needing to turn on the heat EVER, all winter long, which could be nice I suppose. We’ll see if that prediction comes to fruition.

In other news, look, pictures!Look at the pretty new paint job on our car! No dent and no scratches! Yay!

And here's one with Kyler. We're enjoying the pretty car, even if we do need to get new brakes now. Fun....

Kyler and I hiked Ensign Peak with Liz and Jake a few weeks back, and it was really fun. A nice short hike with an amazing view of the city, even if, yes, my hips started hurting. Yay for going uphill.
So here are some pictures from Ensign Peak.
Kyler and I up at the top with the monument. We can actually see this thing from where we live, if we look closely up into the hills.

Another one of us, this time with the view of Salt Lake City. It looks a lot smaller from up there.

And here's one of Liz and Jake, for good measure. You can see the mountains pretty decently in this one...

Let’s see, what else have we done… Kyler and I both got emails from the Army, offering to pay for grad school if we join up. That’s the joy of taking the GRE. I haven’t received as many letters as I did for colleges after I took the SAT (does that mean I didn’t do as well?), but it’s still early yet, and I don’t care. Kyler is signed up to take the GRE psychology subject test in November, and he’s working on his applications for grad schools. I’m trying to help as much as possible, since he’s going to school, working, doing research, commuting, etc, but I just can’t write his personal statement for him… and I doubt he’d want me to. After all, he got a 5.5 out of 6 on the GRE written portion, and I only got a 5.

Kyler has also applied for a green card, making our banking accounts significantly lighter, and I applied for a passport, which only made a minor dent in our financial assets comparatively. Here’s to hoping he gets travel documents in time for Christmas… and the Olympics! Although, we have yet to find a place to stay for the Olympics… whoops.

I’m trying to think, and I’m thinking that’s about it. The primary program is coming up? I’ve earned a tiny bit extra money babysitting a couple of adorable kids in the ward a time or two? Kyler and I are happy and healthy, though completely unsure of what the future holds? Yeah, that’s about it.

I've also been having strange dreams recently, though I'm having trouble remembering them.
In one dream, I'm at work and it's 4:10 (when I normally leave at 3:30) and I realize I haven't left yet! My co-worker and I discuss how I'll make up that time (since we're not suppose to work overtime), and we come to the conclusion that the next day I'll leave for lunch extra early but come back at the same time. Problem solved!
Another dream was partially based in reality. I realized my soft pillow was no where to be found (in Real World), but I was too asleep still to sleepy to do much about it. Then I dreamt (isn't that a word? Blogger thinks it's spelled wrong) that our apartment management took the pillow away to fix it or update it or something, leaving me with just the pillow case (or, sheet in Real World). I tried to tell them (in Dream World) how much I needed my pillow, or at lease a replacement, but they didn't have much sympathy. Shortly after this, I decided (in Real World) that my pillow was probably on the floor, and then went back to sleep. When I finally woke up, I was right: my pillow was there, right next to the bed, not stolen by my mean management. Thank goodness.
Now, who wants to psycho-analyze those dreams for me? Anyone?

01 September 2009

You're all the things I've got to remember

Holy cow, it’s already September? I feel like time is going by so fast, and I’m being a slacker and not updating the blog. Such is life, eh? But, since we’re here, let’s review what has happened during the month of August…

I got to add another skill to my resume! We’ve been practicing making paraffin blocks of solid tissue (like breast), the cutting the blocks into very thin sections, mounting those sections on slides, and staining the slides so the tissue looks pretty. We had never done this before, even though our facility should be able to. Blame it on the massive turnover that has occurred since I started. But, we’ve been practicing, and we’ve officially been given The Blessing, our cuts, slides, and staining look good and we can start doing this on important pieces of tissue! Yay!
This may not seem that cool to everybody, but it’s really cool to me. For one thing, all those slides I taught off of while I was a TA I can kind of make now (assuming I have the tissue to use)! For another, when I was looking at our slides of unknown tissue type before the official-type people looked at it, I pointed out ducts and blood vessels and adipose… and the official-type people noticed all the same things! Isn’t that sweet?

This is a picture of breast tissue (sadly, not cut/stained by me, but by these guys, sorry!)See all the dark purple circular areas? Those are the ducts!

Kyler and I celebrated our 2
nd anniversary. We went to an expensive Italian place considered to be the best Italian restaurant in SLC and rather enjoyed ourselves. Honestly, we’ll probably never go there again, as there are decent Italian places that are quite a bit cheaper. We definitely don’t regret it, though. Tasty, tasty stuff.

I had a surgeon yell/swear about/at me. He's one of those surgeons that give all of them that stereotype, you know the one: cocky, foul-mouthed, quick-tempered jerks who think they're the center of the universe. He had tissue for us to collect, so the nurse paged us to come to the OR. I rush over, liquid nitrogen and tubes in hand. When I get into the OR, I talk to the nurse, and she tells me that the tissue he has for me is right over there, so I get to work. I'm putting tissue into the second vial when I hear him say, "Are they here yet?" I'm not entirely sure who he's talking about (I can't be the only person they might want in to OR, it'd be selfish of me to think so!), so I continue to put tissue in vials. Then he asks the room, "Where are the damn tissue people? Where is Jan [the research coordinator, and the only name he knows of the TRAC lab]?" I answer him this time, "Jan's not here, but I am." I'm freezing my second vial and starting on the third when he responds, "What took you so long?" At this point, I take a glance at my pager: it's 10:53. I decide not to reply to this surgeon due to his aforementioned magnanimous qualities, and just continue to freeze my tissue and quietly exit as soon as I'm done. When I'm back at the lab, I look at my pager again, and discover that I was paged by his OR staff at 10:47... that's right, six minutes between page and being in the OR freezing tissue, and that's "so long." Self-centered jack... no, I'm polite. At least he gave me tissue. I like collecting tissue.

Kyler started his last semester of his Bachelor’s degree. Okay, this only happened yesterday, but it was still in August and still exciting. He doesn’t seem terribly enthused, but that might be because he had his generals yesterday, with his psychology classes starting today. We'll see how the semester goes for him.

Last, but not least, I am teaching Sharing Time in primary on Sunday. I suppose this isn't August, but I don't care. Deal with my inconsistancies. We're talking about how Bible prophets teach us to strengthen our families. Fun times, eh? If anyone has any suggestions, feel free to volunteer them.

Currently listening to Reel Big Fish - "Take On Me"

04 August 2009

I'll fly away in the morning

It's officially August, which means wonderful and terrifying things. For example:
  1. Kyler and I are both taking the GRE in less than two weeks (on the 15th). I'm slightly petrified, even though I don't know for sure it'll matter or that I'll even apply to any grad schools. Kyler seems completely calm, which is how he always is for tests. He is so going to kick my butt.
  2. It's going to be our SECOND anniversary this month! Kyler and I aren't really doing anything fancy, just buying each other some kind of present and going out to eat dinner. Speaking of which, any suggestions on what I should get him?
  3. The summer is almost over. This is always the saddest thing about August. Kyler has been able to work but not be stressed at all about school, so it's been good. I'm going to miss it. Wait, when is Kyler ever stressed about school?
  4. Speaking of school, Kyler will begin his LAST semester as an undergrad! How exciting! Now, he just needs to get ready for his grad school applications.....
  5. And, uh, I think that's it? I'll add more if I think of more.
In other news, the state of Utah is strange and has a holiday on July 24th, Pioneer Day. While this may be odd, it means we had a day off, and on said day off, we went to the aviary here in Salt Lake with some friends of ours. We had a good time, though a great horned owl stared at us menacingly. Here are a few pictures we got:A Golden Eagle! Isn't in beautiful? Sadly, it can't fly... many of the birds in the aviary have had wing injuries and would die if they were released into the wild.

The baby swan! It was actually really hard to get a picture without his/her parents getting in the way. While we were trying to get a picture, we heard a woman tell her kid that this was the ugly duckling. Personally, I think it's a cute little signet.

Me with a couple of cool red throated birds (there are two there if you look closely) that I can't remember the name of right now (a dollar to the first person who can tell me what the name is). We're chatting, having a good conversation. These birds are awesome, they hollow out huge old tree trunks for their nesting area by themselves. Plus, they're bringing me little bits of cotton-y stuff as a present. Sweet!

A Scarlet Ibis! I totally knew what this bird was from a distance, all because of some (stupid?) short story I had to read in freshman english... in high school. The Scarlet Ibis (the story) is good for something, kids!

I am taller than an emu. Or is this an ostrich? Either way, I'm taller. I'm so proud.

Kyler wanted to look down on the flamingo with disdain, for being so short. Is he succeeding? You're the judge.

In more other news, Kyler and I have currently have a rental car as ours in getting the dent taken out/a new paint job. Kyler's having fun driving a different car; I can't get used to driving an automatic again. What? There's no clutch to put in? I can't rev my engine as I pull off the line? Weird.

And, finally, here is a picture of my cactus. We bought him at Ikea, and I don't know how to tell if he's dead or not, but I hope he's still alive. I named him Neville.
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