28 February 2010

The Grand Adventure! Part-the-Third

First, a few things I forgot to mention earlier:
Wicked mad props to Vancouver public transportation. In the words of a fellow passenger, taking the train and bus was "impressive" and "painless." Anytime public transportation is painless, it's impressive.
Also, we saw a total of ten different teams, and three of them won medals! Two bronze and a gold!

Now, onto how amazingly cool curling is. There are many reasons for this.
Curling is, in Kyler's words, a combination of bowling, golf (because Scotsmen are cool), polo, chess and Starcraft. If you want further explanation, you'll have to consult him.

It's very much a gentleman's game, or a game of kings. The officials do, basically, nothing, except keep score. They generally don't even DECIDE the score, they just record it. If the two team captains (skips) agree, that is the score, without any officials needed. The only time the skips don't agree is if the stones are literally so close together that they can't tell which is closer. This is the only time the officials are called over, and it's just to measure. The players don't call foul, they don't say someone cheated, or this judge or that official favored this country or that. Heck, if they want the game to be over early, the two teams just have to shake hands and that's the end. No need for officials at all.

The game we went to started with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police leading out the teams (score!), and then had a bagpipe band open the match! Apparently all curling stones are made in Scotland, always. Awesome, no?

It's a sport that you can learn later in life, and keep playing later in life. Whereas figure skaters retire at age 30 it seems, some curlers in these Olympics were in their forties. Curling isn't easy, the precision is amazing and the strength it must take the sweep those stones... crazy. But it's something your body can learn to do and handle for basically your whole life, which is sweet.

Curlers also have awesome fashion sense. Well, at least the Norwegians do:
As the sign that we saw at our curling match said, "Canada's Men=Gold. Norway's Pants=Silver." And it came true!

The curling match we went to had three separate pairings: France v Sweden (who ended up with fourth), China v Switzerland (who ended up with bronze), and Great Britain v Canada (who ended up with GOLD! Go Team Martin!). Let me tell you, if felt more like a hockey game than a curling match. The Canada/Britain match was especially exciting, and Wayne Gretzky was there! The coolest part of the curling match, and of the Olympics for me, was when the entire crowd started singing "O Canada." Don't believe me? Watch the video. (Each word, except "O Canada" and "Watch the video" are different links, by the way)
You may be saying (if you watched the gold medal match) that people sang O Canada another time, it can't be all that cool. But I have four reasons why the time we sang it was cooler:
  1. We sang it first. While those who sang it at the gold medal match were imitating us and thus knew cool when they saw it (in us), they still just got the idea from us, not on their own.
  2. Theirs was the gold medal game, which everyone knows includes at least one national anthem. This means their spontaneous singing was more expected, thus less original, and less cool.
  3. Our singing was more in tune. At least one of those articles linked above even mentioned the in-tune-ness.
  4. Our match was much closer, with Canada actually being down by one instead of up by three, when the singing broke out. This means it was less celebratory and more helpful, in attempting to give the Canadian boys the spirit and will to win. While celebrations are fun, helping give strength to a team when they need it is cooler.
  5. And, I know I said four, but here's another one: Kyler and I were actually there!
In conclusion, curling is the coolest sport ever. If you get the chance to watch it, do so. If you get the chance to play it, let me know! I'm dying to try.

25 February 2010

The Grand Adventure! Part-the-Second

Here it is, folks, the one you may or may not all be waiting for: The Rasmussens Go To the Olympics!

Kyler and I rented a car and headed to the Great White North... which wasn't particularly white. It was, however, completely gorgeous weather. We were completely loving just that aspect. I was even a little worried I'd get sunburned! We also walked all over Vancouver... by the end of the first day, both Kyler and I were sore, but we survived.

Vancouver itself was really fun. Every one and everything was about the Olympics. Random stores had huge signs,the college didn't have classes,buses supported to home country,random street performers reigned,and there really is a McDonald's at the Olympics!(A Burger King, too, to be fair)We waited in way too many lines including ones for the Russky Dom(not nearly as cool as it looks, sadly), the Olympic Superstore,and Security.
We stalked whatever random athletes we saw,got our picture taken with Mounties,and tried to guess who lived where at Olympic Village.
What do you think? Korea?The fightin' 'Roos!

This particular picture is rather fun:Want to guess where we took it?
...In a Sleep Country (Canada). We also bought an official Olympic cowbell there. Go figure.

In addition, we did actually go to a few games, a dressed to show our support.We actually had a couple of random people we didn't know (or ask) take our picture in the facepaint, one while Kyler was painting my face, and one after we were both done.

This is at Germany v. Finland, Men's Hockey. Look at all the flags!And, the final score.Suomi! Suomi! Suomi!

We also went to Switzerland v. China, Women's Hockey. Final score: 6-0, Hop Suisse! Lastly was Curling, but that was cool enough it actually will get its own post!

I like this picture. How many different affiliations can you spot?

All in all: Olympics are really, really cool. Totally worth it, but if I were to do it again, I'd have another day of just wandering around Vancouver (no events), and really do my research into where everything was that I wanted to see... and into what was actually worth standing in line for.

23 February 2010

The Grand Adventure! Part-the-First

I've decided to divide our recent adventures into three parts, with this being Part-the-First. We'll see how long it takes me to finish all three parts, but the third is my personal favorite, so hopefully they will all get done as a result.

Kyler and I took off, on a jet plane, for good ol' PDX, or Portland, Oregon, for those of you who don't speak Airport Codes. For the first time in over a year, we got to hang around Oregon for a few days, and it was pretty much awesome.

First, we got to see a bit of family, and enjoy spending time with them and thinking of new restaurant/shop ideas (brownie/choc-tacos anyone?). I've missed my family, especially not seeing them at Christmas, and this helped a lot. Plus, they tell some very interesting stories...

Also, Kyler and I went to the beach with my mom, dad, and sister. It was seriously amazing at the beach. So warm and sunny. Well, except at night, when it rained so hard that it woke us up. But we were in a yurt:

and thus warm and dry.

We took lots of pretty beach pictures, as should be obvious,

and I tried to make a sandcastle.

I ran to get Loradona to come and look at it, but then a big wave came and... the motte-and-bailey castle just couldn't handle waves twice or three times its height. Such is life.

We also went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory, where Kyler and I had a discussion on who should be who in this picture:

Jeanette: Should I be the cow?

Kyler: I can be the cow if you want. (He doesn't want to offend me...)

Jeanette: But the cow's a girl. Are you a girl?

Kyler: How do you know it's a girl? It could be a boy.

Jeanette: It's a dairy cow. It has to be a girl.

Kyler: Fine, you can be the cow, I'll be the farmer. After all, I used to call you Angus.

Jeanette: (shakes head)

Loradona and I also decided at the beach that we were twins, especially in our awesome mittens! Who doesn't agree?

Kyler and I also went to Powell's, had lunch with my dad, went to the Scandinavian Store, and rented a car... but more on the latter two in the next entry.

All in all, it was a blast to be able to spend time with my family and my beloved homeland.

And, since I'm not sure where else to put this picture, and it is in Oregon after all, the view of Mount Hood from our airplane window as we headed back east.

11 February 2010

Physics in real life

Because I’m that cool, I have two somewhat embarrassing and/or strange anecdotes to share with you.

The first is from Tuesday. I went to the gym at about 6 PM, and all the usual elliptical machines that I like were occupied, so I tried a different one. It was a little strange, but a fine workout, nonetheless. The foot-thingy of this strange elliptical apparently had a little more mass than my usual ones, however… something I discovered when I hopped off when the time was up, and the momentum of the machine was enough that it swung back and hit me in the ankle. Ouch. I have a nice, swollen bump and the beginnings of a bruise now, and it’s rather tender to the touch. Who knew that physics like mass, velocity, and momentum would actually matter in real life? Or come back to hit me, literally?

The second is from Tuesday night. I had a dream. See, Kyler and I had dentist appointments Wednesday, and apparently I was a little anxious about it (it is the first one I’ve had since before we got married, after all… I know, I’m a slacker). In my dream, I was flossing my teeth in preparation for the appointment, and there was something stuck behind the last of my molars that was really difficult to remove. I go to the mirror and open my mouth, and back behind my teeth is a shelf of gums (kind of like Mom’s Attic in U Haul trucks). On this shelf… it’s a veritable salad gold mine. There’s several peas, lettuce, carrots, etc, and I have no idea how long they’ve been there. I think, I have to clear that out before the dentist sees! So with my toothbrush, I reach back and swipe across the shelf, dumping its contents into my mouth. Tasty.

In other news, I leave for the airport in about 36 hours. No, I am not ready.

07 February 2010

Who needs to grow up? Who needs to know their future? Over-rated!

As previously promised, this episode of Kyler and Jeanette features a healthy dose of pretending to be seven, a fair amount of wishing for phone calls, a little disappointment, some decent food, and something to look forward to. But I can't spoil the plot so soon! You must be patient!

First, Kyler and I pretend to be seven years old. I realized that in the entire eight months we've lived in this apartment (such an eternity!), we hadn't made a fort. This thought immediately shamed me, and the planning began. Cookies were made, furniture rearranged, and movies netflixed. As a result, Kyler and I had a fort to be proud of:
We even spent the night in it, and it wasn't too bad. We used all the couch cushions as a mattress.

Second, the days were accomplished that Kyler should hear from grad schools, offering interviews, and giving us a definite future instead of the unknown. Days came and went, and no phone calls, no emails, no letters... no known future. Interview weekend for at least one of the schools (if not all) has now past, and Kyler has heard nothing. Needless to say, he was a little disappointed. However, we did as I promised: we'd go out to dinner wherever Kyler wanted, whether in celebration or in consolation. In this case, it ended up being the latter. However, the consolation food appeared to have worked:


(Okay, so he's really bad at looking sad, or even happy, when he's told to for the camera. Use your imagination a bit.)

Third, the Olympics
are just around the corner! In less than a week, we will be heading out to Portland, and then a few days after that, up to Vancouver, British Columbia! Who needs silly sporting events like the Superbowl (especially when you don't have TV) when the OLYMPICS are so close?
And, as a bonus, here is a description of a less-than-typical,-but-not-altogether-strange day at work:

9:55 AM - Get to work (I'm working the later shift today). Paulette is not at her desk, and I put my stuff down and am about to go see if I can find
her or if she needs help with anything.
9:56 AM - Get a page that there is blood in the clinic. In
stead of finding Paulette, I decide to go pick it up.
9:56:30 AM - Jan calls. "Jeanette! You're here!" "Yes." "Did you get that page?" "Yes." "Are you going to go pick it up?" "Yes."
"Great! Paulette's in the OR, call us if you need any help." "Okay."
9:58 AM - Start processing blood.
10:45 AM - Get paged by gross room. A surgery that had been a mastectomy yesterday and today is a l
umpectomy creates a rather large piece of tissue, and the staff doesn't want to get in trouble.
10:50 AM - Get to gross room. The lumpectomy is rather large; the tumor is not.

11:15 AM - Come back to the lab empty handed.

11:16 AM - Continue processing blood.

11:30 AM - In between blood spins, embed some polyps in paraffin.

11:35 AM - Continue processing blood.
12:15 PM - Tell Paulette to go to lunch. She might never get the chance otherwise.
1:10 PM - Meet Kyler for lunch! Yay!
1:50 PM - Continue processing blood.

3:15 PM - Paulette changes out of scrubs and goes home.
3:30 PM - Get called into the OR at the University.

3:32 PM - Leave Lab Aides
in charge of blood processing; change into scrubs.
3:40 PM - Wander around University Hospital, trying to find OR 4.

3:45 PM - Find OR 4; collect tissue.

3:50 PM - Get paged by Huntsman OR.

3:51 PM - Get patient information on University OR patient

3:52 PM - Get paged by
the Lab Aides.
3:53 PM - Leave University OR; call Lab Aides

3:55 PM - Head to Huntsman OR 4.
4:02 PM - Meet Lab Aide at Huntsman OR Front Desk; trade tissue from University OR for collection equipment for Huntsman OR 4.
4:05 PM - Enter Huntsman OR 4.

4:15 PM - See blood splatter all over the surgeon's neck and face mask.
4:25 PM - Breast is remo
4:30 PM - Enter gross room with breast.
4:40 PM - Receive tissue from staff.

4:42 PM - Get paged by Huntsman OR 1.
4:43 PM - Freeze cancerous breast tissue.
4:44 PM - Get paged by Lab Aides.

4:45 PM - Freeze "normal" breast tissue.

4:47 PM - My boss enters gross room: my favorite surgeon needs me in the OR.

4:48 PM - Grab cryotubes, a pen, and liquid nitrogen.

4:50 PM -
Enter Huntsman OR 1.
4:51 PM - Inform my favorite surgeon that Thais no longer works here and hasn't for 10 months.

4:52 PM - Start freezing vials of polyps.

4:55 PM - Freeze "normal" colon.

4:58 PM - Thank my favorite surgeon
and leave OR.
5:00 PM - Realize I've been away from the lab, on my feet, and constantly moving for the last hour and half.

5:01 PM - Collect my equipment that I left in the gross room.

5:02 PM - Head back to the lab.

5:10 PM - Enter lab; Aides are hard at work finishing/starting several patients worth of blood.

5:12 PM - Weig
h tissue from University Hospital.
5:20 PM - Start entering tissue from University Hospital into the computer tracking system.

5:30 PM - Weigh breast tissue

5:40 PM - Start entering breast tissue into the computer tracking system.

5:50 PM - Check on Lab Aides

5:55 PM - Decide to chang
e out of scrubs.
5:59 PM - Colon can wait until Monday to be weighed and entered into the system, right? As long as it stays frozen...

6:02 - Log
off computer.
6:05 - Lock up drawers with patient information.

6:06 - Check o
n Lab Aides.
6:12 - Head out to the car.

6:15 - Thank heavens that Kyler is picking me up.
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