November 23, 2006 11:32pm
Thankful for Family
Happy Thanksgiving! Did you have a good one? Are you full yet from eating left-over turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and pies?! I had pasta and meatballs for dinner on Thanksgiving; perhaps you can save me a Thanksgiving meal in the freezer ;) Even though I didn’t have any turkey, I did celebrate the day with family! How special : )
I am so thankful Deac and Meagen decided to spend the holiday weekend over here in Stockholm. It’s been absolutely wonderful to get to share today with them, and I’m very much looking forward to more adventures in the next couple days that they are here.
I met up with them at their hotel this afternoon, and we headed out to find a place to eat. We ate at a little café – it wasn’t the best, but good enough… I wish I had taken more time to research the best places, but I tent to wonder around quite aimlessly through the city, instead of having a detailed agenda of places “not to miss” (doesn’t make for a very good tour guide!). After eating, we just decided that we’d walk around a bit… a walk is always nice after a big meal (Grammie, did you get to walk the Green last night after dinner?). It was a bit rainy out, but still very beautiful. We walked through Kungsgaten, viewed Gamla Stan and the Royal Palace from across the water, and spent some time strolling about the National Museum (there’s my museum for this week, I’m still on track with my goal of one per week!). The building that houses the National Museum is just about as impressive as the many works of art within it. The building is gigantic, elaborately decorated, and dominated on the inside by very high ceilings, huge mural paintings on the walls, and commanding while marble steps that go up at least three floors. There is art and furniture from all over Europe and one of the exhibits details the history of Swedish (or perhaps Scandinavian) design since the 1600s. Once outside the museum, we crossed a little foot bridge and walked onto another island – Skeppsholmen. We hiked some stairs to this circular building that turned out to be a church, but other than that we didn’t too stay too long here because it was quite dark by now, a little rainy still, and I guess we were all getting a little tired (I was so impressed Meagen and Deac were up for exploring given that they had basically been awake all night with their flight here). Tomorrow they are going to do some exploring on their own, as I have practice in the morning, will run into lab in the afternoon, and then practice again in the evening. I think we’re going to meet up tomorrow evening though. It’s SO great to have visitors : )
I couldn’t stop smiling today as I held a pipetter in my hand and diluted a stock solution of primers in order to run a PCR reaction. Oh, being back in the lab. It really does make me happy. Yesterday when I was there, I had to go through a more official tour, work through a checklist of safety items, get my picture taken for my ID badge, and fill out some more paperwork. I did get to plate some bacteria onto some blood plates. That was new for me! I was supposed to look at the colonies I grew today, but plans changed a bit once I got to lab today. Ingrid, the like all-knowing mother of the lab, is teaching basic microbiology techniques. She is teaching me what I need to know about proper lab technique so that I can work with bacteria without infecting myself or anyone else. She’s super sweet. Today she had a dentist appointment though, so I was more on my own for a while – just meaning that I read some papers. I have my own desk and computer though, so that’s very generous. I was prepared to be seated in the lunchroom or even in the corner of a conference room or something. So, anyway, with Ingrid being gone at the dentist, I had time to set-up a PCR reaction. The experiment I’m starting in on is kind of complicated to explain in a simple way, but basically the very short of it is that I’m working with the bacteria that causes pneumonia and contributing to research about how the pili (long, finger-like, feeler appendages attached to the bacteria cell wall) are assembled. If the way in which pili assemblage is better understood, there is potential to incorporate some of this knowledge into developing vaccines. Anyway, I actually did a bit of benchwork all on my own today and it surprised me how much I missed it. I really was having fun just being in the lab! Tomorrow I will run my PCR product on a gel to see if I successfully amplified my product. I hope it works. Good night!
November 24, 2006 11:55pm
Wonderfully busy Friday! Shooting practice this morning, into lab all afternoon, team practice again this evening, and then out to a very nice dinner with Deac and Meagen tonight. Big game tomorrow against Sunsdvall Saints (two former Michigan State players on their team). In practice today, we actually went over a bit of a scouting report. Impressive. Time for a good night sleep now. God natt. Sov gott.