Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Daily Mammal

This is a cute blog, just featured on blogspot. Another thing that has made me smile this evening!
So this hawaiian translation made me laugh, which in itself is a miracle today. Long day, long story, been on the phone twice with Stian tonight sounding like moaning mertlye so not going to repeat it here.....lets just say it's 7.30pm and i'm in bed....

"He lumi maika'i keia e ku pololei ana i ke kanaka peke"
This is a wonderful room for a dwarf

From the "Slightly Bent Hawaiian Phrases" website

Tomorrow I am off to see Stian and go camping in the Grand Canyon (can we all say brrrrrr). An unexpected trip, but if I don't get out of here I feel like my head is going to explode, so it was nice of Stian to let me tag along...........

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Minus the boxes

Well, okay, so it isn't sunday anymore......but I am finally, mostly, unpacked.....or at least as much as i'm going to before heading out this weekend to see Stian and the Grand Canyon.....:0) Today I came home early as a new fridge/freezer was being delivered, so thought it a good time to update the blog. I have to say i'm totally amazed - my apartment has 34 steps leading up to it - steep steps at that - these two large Hawaiian guys just zipped down the stairs with the old fridge, zipped back up with the new one, and even took their shoes off at the door! Amazing, esp since I thought efficiency didn't exist here....I eat my hat!

Here is my new fridge in place, plugged in and even cleaned!

The "Watling Complex". To the right is the A-Frame - Paul and Kristen live in there, on the left - lower is Grodnick (me) and upper is Les, Alison and Jenna. Pretty nice huh, even in the rain...:0)

Closer shot of Grodnick. I basically live under the upper deck, but still have lots of sunlight (windows on 3 sides) and I get the great views of Manoa Valley.

My front deck with my cute little swing-seat. Yes, I need a shoe rack.....

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Well, I'm in! Jenny helped me move all my junk today, went surprisingly fast, so have spent most of the afternoon and evening unpacking. I'm pooped, so this is mainly a picture post. Hopefully some "unpacked" pictures tomorrow....

My shoebox! This is standing right up against the corner. You can see off to the right is the separate kitchen.

Inside the galley kitchen - for storage space it's actually larger than my kitchen in Falmouth! I'm at the very end, to my left is a fridge.....still no day!

The back deck - I need to take a photo of the front deck but it's covered in boxes right now. There is a really cute swing seat out front. Here in the back there is room for a small table and two chairs, so i'm on a mission to find some, as the view (below) is fabulous....

What I will be waking up to each morning, pretty sweet.

Friday, January 18, 2008

It's friday.....

Ahhhhhhhhhh is all I can say. I've been here nearly three weeks, can hardly believe it. Today I got an account number for my start-up money - woo hoo! Now I can start to get all those things like an IP address, a photocopy number, a telephone........that is I can on tuesday, as i didn't have the number until all the secretaries had gone home and monday is a holiday........:0)

A comment from Dave on my previous post got me thinking. He asked me to show some pix of my science on here. Science. Of course! That is why I am here. So i've just looked through a bunch of pictures that reminded me why I love doing what I do. And that all the cr*p i've been through this week is worth it, because it means I get to keep doing what I love to probably didn't know you did it, but thanks for reminding me of that Dave! So here are a few pix from the deep - I don't have many here with me tonight, but i'll put a few more up in the coming weeks. Here is also a link to my podcast (scroll to Deep-Sea Corals), which has lots of cool pictures and video in..........but your not allowed to laugh.....esp at my mixed up UK-USA hybrid accent.....

I love this photo - it's a deepsea jellyfish that happened to get caught up on the lens of a camera we were dropping to the bottom - Deepstaria enigmatica

It's a deep-sea coral (~1000m) and it's purple.....we were meant for each other!

Today I also got a letter from Callie - thank you! So I thought I would post a picture of Calyfield - this is a hydrothermal vent on the Galapagos Rift, in 1679m of water, that I helped discover in 2002 on a cruise that took place just a few days after Callie was born. This is a picture taken out the window of DSV Alvin by either me, Tim (my pdoc advisor) or Phil the pilot. Pretty cool huh.

***If you wish to use these pictures for anything, please contact me and i'd be happy to help you***

Thursday, January 17, 2008


....trapped a nerve in my neck again.....this time reaching to grab something off my desk...........just in time to move house in 2 ug and double ug

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Swim and a Mai Tai

After work today I went for a swim at Waikiki and then a mai tai and dinner at Dukes on the strip with Liz and Chris. Was nice to get out, remind myself why people keep telling me i'm lucky to be in Hawaii. It was beautiful, and even relaxing, i've been such a miserable cow all week, just seemed to wake up Saturday morning in a bad mood and let it continue. Tonight it had a brief respite which was nice, and I think I am feeling a little more up than the weekend. I now have a desk, I have a chair, I have a monitor (found my one from my "home" boxes), I have filing inserts (still haven't filed anything), I have $6K of startup promised (not received) - still no phone, grants, account numbers, full pay, pay direct to my bank, IP address or credit card - but the desk and chair are nice.....Three more days and i'll move into the shoebox.

Interesting fact : - The Mai Tai is a well-known alcoholic cocktail purportedly invented at the Trader Vic's "Polynesian-style" restaurant in Oakland, California in 1944

Kulia i ka nu'u

"Strive for the summit"
This was the motto of Hawaii's Queen Kapi'olani


Traffic is driving me crazy!

Monday the students came back, I helped Jenny take Goofy pup to the vet at 8.30am, we were back by 9.30am and headed straight to work. There were no parking spaces on campus. I had to street park in an area where I had to move my car at 2.30pm. Ug.

Today I got into work quickly, was at the campus at 8.15am, BUT it took me 30 minutes to find a parking space in the multistory lot.....

Never again will I complain at having to drive around for 5 minutes to find a space in Woods Hole....

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Crazy cat lady....

It's been a weird weekend, been grumpy most of the time with little reason. In many ways I think i'm still feeling displaced, not quite settled as yet - next weekend I move into my shoebox, and am really looking forward to having my own space again - it seems like forever since i've really had somewhere to unpack to and space of my own to do only what I want in. Jenny and Doug have been fabulous, as was Nicola and family last month, but it's been such a long time since i've lived with anyone that i'm just so looking forward to having my own space again. Feeling pathetic, like i'm turning into the crazy cat lady, only without cats. And i've been missing Riley pup so much this last few days.

Today was even busy too, went out to the North Shore with Les and Anne (one of his graduate students from Maine), will post some pics tomorrow when I download. Was fun, I just wasn't totally in the mood I, need to figure out how to relax my brain more I think. We even had giant shave ice, which was so tasty - sugar and ice, how can you go wrong?

Les, Anne and I on the beach....shortly before getting covered with a wave

Anne and I, with our giant shave-ices

Waves never look as big in photos as they really are. These are 20ft plus - all beaches closed. Pretty awesome, even covered my new car in sea-spray!

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Today I went to "New Faculty Orientation"....and was fully orientised......was actually pretty good - I picked up two major things that struck a chord -

"It doesn't matter what position you have, it doesn't matter where you are, only your attitude to the task matters" - Hamilton - School of Arts and Art History

"If anyone asks you to be the chair of a committee as a new faculty member, it's insane" - Robinoe - Zoology Department

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep and cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

- W H Davis 1871 - 1940

Hawaii Time

I was told by many before i got here that I would soon come to recognise the term "Hawaii Time", and indeed it now makes perfect sense. Many things here move much slower than the mainland, everyone takes things at a gentler pace. This sounds like a good thing, until you try and work here. Most people who stay have found their own way of working around Hawaii Time without it driving them nuts, many people never find a way to deal with it and leave. I've had my own dose of Hawaii Time here at the university, but i'm still laughing about it and it isn't driving my completely insane yet, so maybe i'll make it. Here is my list from my arrival here at UH - more for me than anyone else, just as a reminder -

- No chair at my desk (ended up buying one yesterday)
- Desk nice, but drawers rusted shut
- Sharing an office but only one phone
- And that phone is on the other side of the office from both of us
- Have a filing cabinet, but no inserts to be able to put files in it
- Three grants transfered from WHOI in November gone missing
- One grant paperwork found tucked in the secretaries drawer without being submitted
- Other two never found - restarted all the paperwork
- Can't print grant paperwork as I don't have an IP address
- Can't get an IP address without a grant to charge to
- 6K of startup promised turned into 3K (better turn back soon)
- Can't get to startup account because fiscal office is closed because the building has no power
- As grants not here only getting 75% of salary not 100%
- Can't backdate pay to recoup what i've lost
- Can't get a monitor for my computer as I don't have a grant number
- Tried to get a UH credit card, but fiscal office shut
- Particular fiscal officer to sign credit card is also on holiday until Feb
- Can't get another phone put in without a grant
- Found another desk in the campus warehouse - woo hoo!
- Desk will be delivered anywhere in 2wks to 2 months

Felt very circular yesterday, maybe today will straighten out. I'll probably keep adding to this list i'm sure.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

To do list......

35 does it build so fast!

Monday, January 7, 2008


"There are some things women don't do. They don't become Pope or President or go down to the Antarctic"

Harry Darlington
Chief pilot on Finn Ronnes 1946-48 Antarctic Research Expedition

Sunday, January 6, 2008

All coming together.....

Well, I have to say, today is really the first truly, overarchingly, relaxing day i've had since I arrived here. Yesterday I spent 5 (yes five) hours at a car dealer and have come away with my first ever new car (gulp, gasp, NEW, I feel like a grown-up....I also feel like i'm going to be paying for it for the rest of my life...), and today the morning started with confirmation I will now be living in a basement studio (aka Grodnick) belonging to friends Les and Alison. It's a shoebox, but one with at least a separate kitchen to cook in, is bright and airy, and is in a great QUIET part of the city (no traffic noise, V. close to UH too), so that has made me very happy and much more relaxed about being here. I move in on the 20th.

So in 6 days, I have:-

- Gone kayaking on New Years day
- Started a new first 'real' job
- Set up my new office
- Unpacked 1/3 of the boxes I shipped out here
- Investigated and signed up to use the histology lab, TEM and SEM facilties
- Unpacked all my samples
- Got a car (a new car.......gulp)
- Named the car "Beach Belle" (to those who remember my Isuzu 'Belle Star' you will know why)
- Put a roof rack on the car
- Found a place to live

Not bad for 6 days if you ask me. It might well be time right now to head to the beach. That is if I can pluck up the energy and peel myself off the couch.....

The Beach Belle. A 2008 Mazda 3. Showing off her new roof racks in the last photo. Still in disbelief I actually ended up with a new car.....but I have to say, I LOVE it.......

It's official....

woo hoo! Love how they chose the picture of me with my eyes closed.......

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Bark Bark

I've substituted playing with children to playing with puppies - Jenny and Dougs cute doggies Barkeley and Goofy. They always say never work with children or do I get a job playing with both???

Barkeley, the leader of the pack...

And Goofy, the very new addition from the puppy pound. A seven year old lab mix, Goofy was in the pound for a year and is a skin-and-bones nervous wreck right now. At somepoint his jaw has been broken so he has an eye tooth sticking out the right side of his mouth. He's totally afraid of everything, every little bump and bang, every person who walks in, every noise in the street sends him cowering in the corner and pacing. He'll get better, and already is getting there, but I ask anyone out there, how can you treat any defenseless animal like that?? Especially one as cute as Goofy. Nothing upsets me more.


So i've been here four days now, and I have to say am feeling overwhelmed and a little depressed. I'm trying to kick myself out of it, as how can you be depressed in Hawaii for f**ks sake? A combination of looking at poky little run-down apartments going for $1500 a month, getting lost numerous times around the city in my rental car and feeling like i'm never going to be able to navigate around here, the weather is mostly just grey and pouring with rain (I even got cold last night), a small insignificant bag of basic (nothing fancy) groceries cost me over $100, and just the constant traffic noise no matter where you are.

I know that looking for somewhere to live is always depressing, as you see twenty terribles then one good. And the prices are actually not far off Cape prices, but the space that you get for it is so much smaller, far worse condition, and nothing I looked at yesterday even had a square foot of space to garden in (alas my plans for a square foot garden might be going down the toilet).

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone - I hope it brings everything you wish for, and is even better than the last.

I'm on the road again but have reached my final destination - well for now anyway! I got into Honolulu yesterday at midday, poor Stian driving me to Oakland airport at 6am! I was greeted on the other side by a smiling Jenny and Doug and a beautiful Lei which just smelled wonderful (and still does). We went out to "Dukes" for lunch, came home, took a short nap then headed to a New Years party. I lasted until 9pm, when Jenny very kindly took me home, was in bed by 10 and asleep by 10.30pm. Well, at least I made it to San Francisco's New Year!

Today has been a lazy and wonderful day, took the kayak out and got it wet at the beach, with a very green looking Diamondhead volcano providing the immediate scenery. Caught a few small waves (I have to relearn kayak surfing!), then headed to a mexican for some lunch. I'm now about to take a shower and a nap and continue with the lazy New Years day theme!

Hope you all had a good one, hugs.

My wonderful smelling Lei from Jenny and Doug, what a good start to my new life!

And an even better start to the New Year!