Saturday, June 19, 2010

Broken Bones, Unbroken Plans

Like I said earlier, I realized a bit late that I didn't share my adventures from last weekend. And since this weekend isn't going so great so far (more about that later), I figure it might be best to live in the memories for a bit.

Last weekend was, well, cold and wet. Even by Colorado standards. It was about 45 degrees and rained all weekend. Did that stop me from doing anything? Of course not! The Rockies were playing at home. Well, sorta. Playing that is. This is what it looked like when I got there Friday night:
I love these seats, btw. $12 - the same cost as a movie - and you can see everything! Unfortunately, there is a drawback to them. When there is lightning in the area, you get kicked out of them. Even if it isn't raining or storming yet. But, that was probably a good thing, because this is what it looked like ten minutes later:
when the temperature dropped insanely, the wind picked up, and the skies decided to open up and pour buckets of water down onto the field. That delayed the start of the game for about an hour and a half, but it did actually start. It never actually stopped raining, but it did lessen up to where they could play, I guess. Of course, they wouldn't let us go back to our seats in the nosebleeds, but they wouldn't let us sit in any of the lower seats, either, so I watched most of the game standing on the concourse between home and first. It wasn't too bad of a game, either. I saw three homers, a couple doubles, several base hits, and a triple. I guess the pitchers had a hard time handling the wet balls or something, cuz it was pretty much a batter's dream night.

I might have accidentally talked to an Avalanche player that night, too, but I don't know for certain. (I'm not particularly familiar with that team, although I should probably learn!) During the rain delay, when everyone and their brother was packed into the concourse, there were a group of casually-well-dressed guys near me. One looked kinda sorta familiar, but I couldn't place him. I knew he wasn't a Hawk or a Cub or any of the movie stars I might actually care to meet, and since I have no reason to know anyone in Denver, I was trying to do the "don't stare but discreetly try to figure out who he is" thing. Then they started talking about hockey and the Cup finals, which got my attention even more. But they were actually talking like they knew players, not like fans, and one of them jokingly mentioned that he "texted Hammer after the Parade to tell him that he looked like a kid on tv". In my Blackhawks-wired brain and in the context of a hockey conversation on that particular Friday, that immediately went to "Is he talking about OUR Hammer (defenseman Niklas Hjalmmerson, who, while extremely good looking, does actually look like he's 10 sometimes) and the Cup Parade??" So they definitely got my attention, but then the officials decided to announce that the game would start in ten minutes. I guess they heard the announcement but couldn't understand it (it was pretty garbled and the only reason I understood it was because I could see the JumboTron flashing the same thing) and one of them did a general "what did they just say?" to the area and I answered. He grinned at me and then he and his buddies started meandering (I assume) back to their seats. When I got home, I looked up the Avs' roster, and the guy who grinned at me sure looked a lot like Ryan O'Reilly but I can't say for sure. I'm kind of kicking myself for not being less discreet and actually finding out, but oh well. I'm going to try to hit up another game this weekend - maybe they'll be back!

Saturday was fun, too - the Circus was in town!
And they had trapeze artists, tightrope walkers, clowns, dancers, gymnasts, trampoline jumpers, tigers, and dancing elephants! It was a really fun show, although I would have gotten different seats if I'd known where I was sitting ahead of time. I was pretty much backstage, which on the one hand was kind of cool, because I was near one of the stage managers/board ops' stations, but on the other hand I got watching the crew sometimes instead of the show. Definitely worth seeing, though. Then Saturday night, myself, the girls (the two civilians in my class), and one of the guys went to Phantom Canyon Brewing Company for dinner and drinks. Very very yummy and lots of laughs!

For the life of me, I cannot remember what I did on Sunday (and I only had one beer Saturday night!), other than apparently nothing picture-worthy. Sunday, I went to the movies and saw The A-Team and The Karate Kid. Both were pretty good, although I don't remember ever watching The A-Team on tv, so I don't have anything to compare it to. I thought they were both entertaining summer movies, though. Oh, and I am looking for either a giant US or world map that I can stick pins into marking places I've been, or a blog equivalent, because I think it would be interesting.

The rest of the week was kind of boring, so I decided to spice things up by breaking my ankle on Wednesday and not getting it looked at until Friday. Okay, so they aren't sure it's broken and are going with "severely sprained" since it'd be the same treatment either way (splint, elevation, lots of ice, and painkillers - I thought if it was broken it'd be puffy and nasty looking and I'd be unable to put weight on it at all, but the doctor said that wasn't always the case) and this takes out the time of taking an x-ray and they were pretty swamped. And I wasn't even doing anything cool or fun. I literally tripped over my own two feet in my hotel room, which prompted the doctor to tell me to come up with a better story. I had decided that I was going to tell people I hurt it while using my Jedi powers to battle evil ninja pirates who were dumping more oil into the Gulf, but then my brother pointed out that ninja and pirates are mortal enemies and would never work together, so I've had to change it to getting caught in a battle between robot ninjas and zombie pirates. I have not had confirmation that this is plausible, but it sounds good, no? (ETA: My brother has apparently given up on my ability to tell a decent story. Literally, that's what he said when I asked him about the second scenario - "I give up!" Sigh. I think it still sounds better than "tripping over my own two feet"!)

Anyway, I'm supposed to take it easy and stay off of it except for work for the next two weeks and then maybe I can start walking and doing a light jog if it feels okay. I decided not to tell them that I'd done a weight workout on Thursday. (My ankle hurt, the rest of me didn't!) It's been 24 hours and I'm already going stir-crazy. It's just too nice to be indoors. I might go up to the ball game tonight - I can sit during a baseball game....

Friday, June 18, 2010

Update to Say There Will Be An Update

I was thinking about what adventures I wanted to do this weekend and realized I never posted last weekend's! It was a doozy, too, with soggy baseball games, possible meeting of hockey players (I can't confirm, but pretty sure), the circus coming to town, going out with classmates, and a pair of movies! Pics and a real post to come this afternoon, after I get out of class and my doctor's appointment.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Man, I don't even know where to start! I'm still so hyped up from last night, it's crazy! Oh yeah, in case you didn't know and somehow missed the loud screaming that came from the Chicago area last night...

THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS WON THE STANLEY CUP!!!!! Ahem. Not that I was excited about it or anything. Rumours that I may have called my parents and my brother screaming my fool head off are entirely unfounded, of course. And they would not have been screaming back at me, either, naturally. We could NEVER be so undignified in public! (Because, you know, hockey is all about dignity! ;-) ) Man, on the one hand, I would SO love to be in Chicago right now, on the other, I can't imagine how crazy tomorrow's parade is going to be!

(Random scenario today. We tend to watch ESPN at lunch, which is starting its World Cup coverage, and also catching up on baseball scores and football news - did you know the Pac 10 is soon going to be the Pac 16?! - and the guys have figured out that I can speak fairly intelligently, if not always in-depth, about most sports. One of them asked me today where I got my sports-fan-ness from. "My mom." "Really? Most girls say from their dads." "My dad likes sports, but the die-hard fandom comes from my mom." "Where'd she get it from? Her dad?" "My grandma." I thought it was amusing, anyway. Speaking of, my mom is doing a fund-raiser overnight marathon tomorrow!)

This is only intensifying (or maybe it was the creation of) my Chicago craving lately. First the Hawks, then baseball, and then the museums! I have a couple weeks off after this class gets over with - maybe I'll try to fly to Illinois for a couple days! I haven't really gotten to spend much time in the city itself for, well, probably since the last time we went to a Boston Pops Christmas concert up there. (Bird Dancing Guy! Sorry, inside joke!) And I haven't been to the museums for a couple years before that! I've been telling myself that I need to actually take a vacation for a while, and I think I've narrowed down my choices - either Chicago or Hawai'i. Chicago's more of a "day or two" type trip, while Hawai'i would be like a week thing. Luckily, I have friends in both places to stay with. Hmm....

Before I went absolutely completely hockey crazy this week (Game 5 was on Sunday night and Game 6 was on Wednesday), I did get one more weekend adventure in!

They have POLAR BEARS!!

Of course, most of the animals are smarter than humans and stayed indoors and slept through the 100-degree sunshine (I did NOT get sunburnt for once, yay spray-on sunscreen!), so most of my pics aren't that great. The ones who were cool enough to brave the heat were ones like these guys:

(first time using the video camera on the phone and trying to upload a video here so not sure how well this will work!) They were pretty fun to watch, and I got to see a feeding and training session with them, so that was pretty cool.

Not sure what I'll do this weekend - it's getting to the "ugh, it's the end of the pay period and pay day is still a few days away!" time, so maybe I'll just stay in town and go to the Olympic Training Center or something like that. The Rockies are playing at home again, too, and I know some of the guys were talking about going to a game this weekend. We'll see.

Now to bed (PT in the morning, probably kickball) and, knowing my luck, dreams of animals playing hockey! (Btw, I came in seventh place out of, well, a bunch, in the Puck This! Playoff Predictions Pool! I can't wait to pick my prize and find out who picked mine! And I HAVE been knitting, I promise! I'm almost done with the third row of my New Angle afghan! And I found a darling little LYS over by the Olympic Center!)

Saturday, June 05, 2010

A Day In History

I spent Saturday surrounded by skeletons, mummies, and plasticized human remains. No, I am not in the planning stages of some weird B-flick style Halloween show. I was here:
Now, this place doesn't hold a candle to Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry (I'm suddenly struck by a strong desire to see the Fairy Castle) or even the St. Louis Science Center. It has some interesting stuff, but it isn't very big at all. I got there around 1:30p and was able to see all of the major exhibits, plus two shows, before the majority of them closed at 5:00p. It being Colorado and all, there was a big emphasis on these guys:
And they're always pretty cool. There was the obligatory ancient Egypt exhibit complete with a couple of mummies, and a health thing where you could do all these different things and then at the end it would give you a printout of your current health (the sunscreen v. UV light thing was kinda cool). The shows I saw were decent. One was an IMAX movie called "Arabia" which was a history of Arabic people during their Golden Ages and turned out to be much more interesting than I had anticipated. The other was "Cosmic Journey" in the planetarium (like you guys seriously would expect me to pass up a planetarium) which, to be honest, was good but would have been better if I had been dumber. In fact, their whole space exhibit was kind of like that. It had some neat stuff - my favorite thing was their Big Dipper constellation, which was spaced out across the ceiling not only width-wise but depth-wise, which made it look VERY different from different angles! - but it was a lot of little kids' science class stuff and very little actual space relics or history. (I might have gotten extra nerd points for being able to tell what type of rocket they were showing a launch video for, though. I got some crazy looks when a kid who was watching asked what it was and the parent said "Oh, it's a space shuttle launch" and I just couldn't let that slide. "Actually, it's a Boeing Delta II rocket launching one of the Mars rovers." I did cheat a little on the payload, it was *gasp* on the sign!) They did have a small sliver of one moon rock, though. Eh.

I ended the day with (what I assume) is their current pride and joy, and rightfully so. I didn't know it when I decided to go up this morning, but one of the BodyWorlds exhibits is currently in Denver. I'd heard a lot about it, most of it controversial, so I decided to check it out even though I really wasn't sure how I would react to it. In a nutshell, for those who don't know about it, this German guy has figured out how to preserve bodies so that the skin and outer layer of tissues are gone, and the muscles, vessels, nerves, organs and bones are all visible. It's controversial in some lines of thought because, in these cases, the bodies are human. (Personally, I think that if these people donated their bodies for this, and they did, then I have no problem with it. It is not disgusting or gory or creepy or disrespectful in any sense of the word at all.) Some of the bodies are posed doing regular human things (walking, lifting, playing hockey - seriously!) so that you can see how things work together to give us motion. Others are dissected, sometimes cross-sectioned, into one of the best anatomy lessons I have ever had in my life. This is tempered with a focus on love and happiness and peace and how those things actually physiologically affect us and make us work better. (Did you know that optimists actually do live longer than pessimists? I didn't.) It is most definitely NOT an art exhibit, although it does show off the power and resilience of the human body like I have never seen, and I can't honestly say I enjoyed it or even liked it, but I can say that I learned from it and it definitely made me think. I might not go out of my way to see it again, but I would recommend it to someone who hasn't seen it before. So all in all, it was a good day. To the zoo tomorrow!!