Monday, September 25, 2006


When Annie called early this morning to see whether I was up for a trip to the Waimea Valley Audubon Park, of course I said yes. I mean, who in their right mind would give up an opportunity to go somewhere and drive really, really fast?

I had a much shorter trip than they did, and they found parking at Waimea Beach Park, which is pretty much impossible because it is the most popular beach on the North Shore. I started looking around on my own and instantly noticed that I loved this place, so I looked into volunteering now and then. Some highlights:

This is a 2,800 year old extinct species of tree. I don't remember the name of it, but it's just awe inspiring that when they cut this tree down it had 2,800 growth rings, and someone, maybe even several people, counted them all. I am not sure what the Japanese means; maybe someone who knows their kanji can translate it and send it to me!

There was an awesome waterfall at the end of the trail where you can borrow life jackets and float lazily in crisp, cool freshwater. This is Dan, Annie and me doing exactly that!

The hibiscus hybrids were pretty spectacular. This one was my favorite because of the shape and the vibrant color.

Last, but certainly not least, this photograph is not zoomed! In fact, this guy rather rudely gave me the brushoff he was exiting the dining area. But in his defense, one of the waiters was irrate at him and his lady friends for disturbing the customers, so he was forcibly asked to leave.

I took LOTS of pictures - there are more photographs if you click on this link .

Other than that, I heard on the radio today that Pat Benetar is playing with the Honolulu Symphony in a couple of weeks and I would LOVE to go!!!


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Photo album

This is a pretty tree I pass every day on the way into school - it is near the Sinclair Library on UH campus. I think it is a rainbow eukalyptus. The photo doesn't really do justice to all of the colors that are in the bark, lots of yellows and pinks and oranges. The bark is very smooth, and I've read that they are one of the fastest-growing trees in the world - they can grow up to 100 feet in seven years!

This is the building where I work. It's on Nuuanu (you pronounce both of the U's in that) Avenue in Honolulu. Strangely enough, right across the street is a 7-11, and two blocks down is another 7-11. It's a residential area about a ten-minute brisk walk from the bus stop, which is between Chinatown and the capital downtown. As you can see, the building looks pretty small and old - and that's an accurate description. Dr. Pang is probably one of the hardest working doctors I've ever seen - the office is open six days a week, and he often even sees
patients even on days the office is closed. This is the first office he had when he split off from his father's practice, and he admits that he outgrew it years ago - but this is one of a lot of things he does so that he can keep costs low for the patients. He's very big on not wasting anything - and that includes time and money
looking for different office space!

These are pictures of the buildings on campus where I have class - chemistry is on top (did the word "Chemistry" written over the door give it away?) and biology is below. Go ahead and pick on me for getting a much tighter shot of the chemistry building; biology was giving me so much grief this week that I didn't want to risk being struck dead in my tracks by a ray of pure evil originating from that building. Luckily everything is worked out now; it just took multiple frustrating conversations.

This is the Queen Liliuokalini student services building. I don't think the buildings on UH's campus are anywhere near as nice as the ones at USC, but you have to keep in mind that Hawaii was very, very poor before it became a state. The mountains are nice...there's usually a pretty decent breeze on campus, but most days start out with the rain when there isn't a cloud in the sky. So, just like Mililani, there are a lot of rainbows in the Manoa valley.

Last but not least, this is a mural at the Campus Center (I know, original name for a student union, right?). I just think it looks neat. There are a lot of stairs going up from this direction, but there are something like four different entries to that level. It's a weird building.

So now you guys have an idea of what I see on a daily basis. Sorry I don't have anything more interesting to report - I do have two tests next week, after all!


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Holding down the fort

I definitely like the blogs with photos better, so I guess that means I need to have some adventures while Jeff is away!

Jeff left for six weeks underway on Friday. He should be pulling into San Diego sometime next week, where he'll visit some of his buddies from when he lived there before. We looked into flying me out there to meet him, but unfortunately I have tests in both of my classes next week, so it won't work.

Tuesdays are long; I work the entire time the office is open, which meant I was away 12 hours yesterday with commute time. This is definitely a tough schedule when a new dog is in the picture. I don't know why I always thought going back to school would be the best thing ever. I think it'll be great once I am learning something, but at the moment, it feels more like I have to prove to everyone that I already know it because the classes are so easy. It feels like high school.

Needless to say I am learning much more at work than I am at school these days!

It's going to be a very busy week for me due to a screw up in biology lab - the lab met on Labor Day when the rest of the university was closed. An email was sent out two days before, but my email address was incorrect on the list. So I showed up Monday prepared for the lab they did LAST Monday. I am a little peeved about their resolution - I can't make up the lab because they no longer have the materials I need, so now I have to find a bunch of things they looked at through a microscope *online* and draw them - completing a lab report as if I were actually there. This is on top of the lab report that will be due next week and the lab report for Chemistry. It hardly seems a fair resolution that I should have to do more work than the students in the lab did when the instructors were the ones that messed up!!!

So my exciting plans for the rest of the week are doing three lab reports, Thursday, taking Kitsune on an outing or two (hopefully) and studying for tests in both classes next week. Fun stuff, huh?


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Order in the blog!

Time for me to attempt to restore a bit of chronological order to the blog... Jeff and I had a pretty amazing Labor Day adventure and I've also started another job - and right in the middle, bam, my train of thought was derailed by some crazy person hauling a crane through an H1 overpass!!! (In case you were wondering, I have elected to stay on this side of the island today because I don't imagine the problem was resolved overnight)

Mini adventure
Jeff and I did mostly home improvement over the weekend, but I really wanted to fit in some beach fun time - especially since he is going underway for a month later this week. So Monday we bought boogey boards and set off in the Mini searching for the perfect wave. We mistakenly chose the North Shore, which is glassy and perfect for swimming this time of year, so we ended up going west along the North Shore toward Kaena Point from the other side. It's really an interesting area! From the road, we saw some white swells at a decent pull-off spot. The sand seemed a little loose, so I was just starting to say, "Jeff, we're going to get stuck," when, you guessed it, we got stuck! Unfortunately I didn't have the real camera with us - just my cell phone - and I'll come back and edit this entry with pictures of our beached Mini once I figure out how to get those pictures from my phone onto the Internet. Luckily there were some pidgin-speaking locals there to help us get it out - we pushed and pulled and managed to get the car out without having to get a tow truck. Thank goodness the car is so light!

Jess's new job
As you could probably gather, I am pretty happy about it. The commute is pretty horrible (well, especially on days when it takes seven hours), but it's worth it because I've learned more in one day on the job than I have in two weeks of school. The staff are nice and extremely helpful, and the doctor is efficient and a notorious grammar fanatic, according to the staff (I think my writing skills helped me get the job). I can tell this kind of work wouldn't be for everyone, because part of it involves cleaning medical instruments that get pretty gross. I always thought there was some magical, never-ending supply of clean supplies in examination rooms. Definitely not the case! It would have been a huge sign that I am going in the wrong direction if this job grossed me out or made me uncomfortable, but it looks like all systems are go!


A long, long journey

I'll start on a good note by saying that my first day on the job was pretty excellent. I am sure I will write more about it later...

It is 11:35 at the moment, and I just walked in the door at 11:17 after getting on the bus at 4:30 this afternoon. After getting on the bus at 6:30am, it made for a long and frustrating day, but apparently someone who probably should have been chlorinated out of the gene pool decided to drive a truck towing a crane under an H1 overpass, knocking it out and shutting down the only cross-island intrastate around 3:40 this afternoon (RIIIGHT during rush hour, of course). So there were millions of people trying to cram on a closed highway, onto detours in various places, and when that didn't work, they started going circle island and cramming that, also. Various radio stations were suggesting everyone who was in Honolulu just stay in Honolulu for the night; needless to say, it was too late for me, as I was already on a bus that wasn't letting me off any time soon - it felt like the stuff bad action movies are made of. I finished the Salman Rushdie book I was reading and was disappointed I hadn't packed Jeff's GameBoy - luckily some of the folks in the back of the bus were good conversation. The bus wasn't as packed as usual, so no one stood up the whole time; however, it was a 4:30 bus and most people hadn't eaten since lunch, so people were cranky, tired, hungry, thirsty, and pretty much everyone had to urinate. A few people didn't make it, which made sitting in stopped traffic for a few more hours very, um, aromatic. I was definitely happy to get home and definitely not as happy as I could be about living in Hawaii - it doesn't really bode well for any kind of disaster situation if one accident can shut down half the island.

Kit and Zeke were just as happy when I got home as I was; they were both out of food, and poor little Kit was bored outside all day, but I was too beat to play with him much before putting him to bed. But I am not too beat to relate my little story as it's happening...and now, it is time for me to go to bed as well!


Friday, September 01, 2006

Employed again!

I just received a job offer as a medical assistant for an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist in Honolulu. The pay is a bit better than the coffee shop, the hours are pretty reasonable (although I will have to work half days on alternating Saturdays), and the experience will be fantastic for getting me into a graduate program. The job is mostly medical records, patient histories and some office work, but occasionally I'll be aiding in surgery. I am pretty excited about that part - not about the work itself, which will be holding retractors, but about being able to be right in the same room observing. And the Saturdays won't be so bad when Jeff's gone; at least it'll be something to do!