Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In Hawaii!

Got into Hawaii yesterday evening, and am staying with Jenny, Doug and Hannah until friday, then i'm staying with Laura to catch up with her until I fly out on sunday. Whirlwind visit, lots to do! Today has been fun though, went out to breakfast with Jenny and her sister Mary at the Kahala hotel (where they have the best buffet breakfasts!), then headed into work for a few hours and caught up with folks there. 

Little Hannah turned 2 today too, it's been so much fun catching up. She can now say Auntie Rhian, but has elected to still call me Mimi on occasion, which I still find just as darn cute as ever! Caught up with Miss Barkley too, I miss my furry companion, but we'll be trying to get her out to Maine when I get back from the Antarctic, so let's all hope for June! 

Some photos of the Aloha day! 

At the Kahala with Jenny, due for #2 on my birthday in June! 

View from the Kahala - a little difference in temperature from Maine! It's been super windy today though, making it quite pleasant rather than stinking hot. A beach day is already planned with Laura for Saturday - little Hannah's birthday party is in the morning, so we have plans to stick around Waikiki for the rest of the afternoon and work on our Mai Tai drinking and tans. 

One of the beautiful orchids in the wall of orchids at the Kahala. 

Miss Barkley. You're supposed to be in Maine right now little girl! 

And little H, loving her dat-dats. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Earth Hour 2011

I hope you all turned off last night for an hour between 8.30-9.30pm! I enjoyed a little candlelit dinner on my new table, though will admit I left the radio on for company, as I was on my own. I then did a little candlelit organizing - fun! 

Saturday, March 26, 2011


This week has been a week of furniture, and i'm so excited about. Excited and nervous. This is the first place i've ever rented unfurnished, and though i've always bought small items, the big things have remained out of my reach until now.

This week a bed arrived, unfortunately frame first and then the mattress, but either way, it's here now and i'm sooooooo happy not to be sleeping on the floor anymore. It's a (cheapo - not the one you're thinking) memory foam mattress, and is so so so so comfortable. After 2 months on a futon in Hawaii and then the floor here, my back is so much happier with me now.

And today it was kitchen table time! I ordered it last week from a local place and today Chris helped me pick it up. It's nothing fancy, but I am completely over the moon to have somewhere to sit and eat. To put this in perspective I haven't had a table I could eat at in over 5 years. In Hawaii my place was 300 sqft and back in MA the last place I lived in was too small for a table. Sitting in front of the TV eating dinner is okay on occasion, but every day and night really sucks. It's just nice to be somewhere else other than the couch (not that I have a couch here yet) to eat, to type, to work.

I loved my little Grodnick in Hawaii. I loved being confined to 300 sqft, it kept me honest, it kept me from expanding. But long term, it's just not me, I LOVE having a table to be able to eat, type, craft, pay bills, etc. etc. on. It sounds ridiculous to be so over the moon at a table, but I am. I feel like an adult. :0)

And just as I get comfortable again, I'm off again. On Monday i'm down to Boston overnight to catch an early flight out to Hawaii. I'm back on the islands for 5 days for one of my graduate students defenses. It's going to be nice to see everyone again, i've been missing my friends. I've made a couple of friends here, but with the madness this few months has been, haven't really met many people yet, especially not my age and "hang aroundable" with. It'll come, I just need to be here, both in body and brain, and that might be closer to fall/winter before that happens.

Here are some photos. Don't forget Earth Hour tonight!

If all else fails i've found i'm a prepacked furniture wizard......

My BED! Oh so nice to be up off of the inflatable mattress on the floor! I even bought some new bedding today, decided it was worth the splurge to replace my 8 year old el-cheapo threadbare sheets. I particularly like my bedside table, don't you?

The much more assembled kitchen. Still not totally unpacked and in place, but much more useable, and I think i've found most kitchen boxes now. 

The light of my life right now (sad isn't it). My table. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spoke a little too soon.....

And we're back to winter! Photos from this weekend through today.....

Sunday, March 20, 2011


That's my new word of the day. I don't know if i'm coming down with something (possible, but I really hope not) or the exhaustion of the last few weeks/months caught up with me today. Either way, horizontal has been my position for a lot of the day, I didn't really get out of bed properly until 1.30pm, quite possibly a record for me.

I can honestly say I've never put this many proposals in in such a short period of time (4 in 3 months), and they all take so much mental energy (they've all been "new" proposals this time, rather than recycled unfunded ones) out of me I just feel so drained. Add that with moving, unpacking office, lab & home (twice), dealing with the Antarctic cruise prep (which has been a real bear this time) and then the Alaska trip, and I can honestly say i'm beat up. I'm hoping it's that rather than a cold, I have a proposal due on the 28th I need to put a lot into next week.

I'm still loving Maine, making some fast friends and starting to get into the swing of things, but I also feel like i'm not putting my energy into being here right now. And that's probably just how it's got to be for a bit. I REALLY like it here, and REALLY want to stay, so REALLY need to keep throwing in proposals so I have a job past next Feb. It's so much at the forefront of my brain i'm finding it hard to relax at all. Not really how I wanted to start up here, but I guess it is what it is, work my ass off, suck it up for a while and hope it all works out.

I did finally get out for a run yesterday, which was just glorious (thanks Mum for sending me my running jacket - and thanks for the mini eggs!). My first 2 miles in Maine, and it was a gloriously sunny day (i'll download some photos from this weekend and post them, it's been gorgeously sunny, still cold, but just beautiful). I'm thinking about races in the fall, about a big hiking trip in September, keeping the eye on the prize and trying to convince myself all this work at the start of the year will pay dividends. It'll all be worth it, I have a good feeling about this place, I really do feel like i've come home.

Hope all is well out there, i'll try and get back into updating, apologies for the hiatus! As usual i've come back from this trip pining to go back. The photo was taken by our first mate, loaded on the zodiac and getting ready to head out to dive (it's about 80lbs of gear you wear!). It really was so spectacular, I hope I get to go again next year, let's all put in good thoughts for that proposal to get funded!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Some video from the trip!

Got back to Maine early monday morning and have been in a fog ever since. Unfortunately no magic fairy came and unpacked either my house or my office while I was away, nor furnish my house, so it's all been a bit ass to come back to. But i'm getting through it, boxes are being unpacked slowly, dishes being washed and piles being made. Today my bed is supposed to arrive, unfortunately the mattress doesn't arrive until next week, but hey, at least it's a start. Other furniture is going to have to wait for some travel reimbursements to happen, but I did set up the TV on boxes last night so I have a little background going while unpacking. It'll get there, it would just be nice to get at least one of my spaces unpacked and not looking like a garbage heap.

Here is some of the dive video from the cruise I just went on. Most is still embargoed by National Geographic and they have to release it back to me (which i'm sure they will), so I can't post photos until they've gone through them. Hopefully it'll be soon, we got some great photos! This video will give you a good flavor of why this cruise was probably the most special underwater experiences i've had in my career. Submersible diving is fun, but I have to say, this beats almost every sub dive i've ever done, hands down.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Photos from Juneau

We're on weather watch here, it's been high winds in the channels so we've been delayed, hopefully by not more than a few hours (we're hoping to leave monday midday), but we're still all on tenterhooks. My technician Christian arrived out this morning, and this afternoon we're going to take all the gear down to the docks, so that as soon as the boat arrives (it's been stuck 150 miles south of us) we'll be ready to go. 

In the meantime, aside from lots of packing, organizing and catching up on work, I have had some fun in Juneau, I really like it here, such a beautiful place. Yesterday we did my check out dive (required to work with the folks here) which was awesome - so much to see, I really should have taken my camera!), then Bob and Michelle took me cross country skiing on the Mendenhall Glacier Lake. It was hard work (no trail and icy), but to get that close to a glacier an icebergs was pretty amazing! 

Here are some photos!

View from the office i've been using here at the Auke Bay Laboratory. 

Bob took me on a tour of downtown - got to be careful of snow falling from bridges around here! 

The Governors house - where Sarah Palin used to live. Looked hard, but really couldn't see russia from here....

Avalanche on Mt Juneau! These happen everyday in the winter, pretty spectacular! 

Some of the awesome icebergs frozen into the Mendenhall Lake. 

More icebergs - this one with a hole through the middle. 

Which of course I decided to slide through! 

Bob and Michelle! 

The Mendenhall Glacier. Pretty different from when I was here in September! 

I couldn't get enough of the frozen icebergs! 

The frozen waterfall. This is where we hiked to in September, looked pretty different back then! 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The new pad!

Here are some photos of the new pad! Now i'm off to Boston, then Juneau early in the AM tomorrow. I'll be updating my work blog - - if you want to keep in touch while i'm in Alaska! Otherwise, i'm back in 2 weeks!

My dining room, complete with elegant furniture!


Bedroom #1

Bedroom #2

Basement/living area

Other side of the basement