Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day weekend has been pretty great! Zeke needed a bath Saturday after work, as you can see to the right (I tried to get him to pose pretty for the camera, but he was still pretty mad at me!). If you don't know why Zeke needed a bath, you probably don't want to know; I will just say he was very stinky and disgusting, and I let him know that we couldn't be friends until after I'd had two cups of coffee and a nap.

Annie, Kristin and I headed out to Hanauma Bay today for a bit of snorkeling, and afterward we headed to the beach by Annie's house in Kailua. We had a good, old-fashioned Low-Country boil, since all three of us are Carolina girls in Hawaii on Memorial Day. The food and the company was fantastic...keep the short jokes to yourself!!!


Thursday, May 24, 2007


School is pretty okay this time. Can't really beat the drive to school and the availability of parking right next to the classroom, but the professor is a little uninteresting - okay, fine, it wasn't just the jet lag knocking me out about halfway through both of the classes I've attended thus far. But this time it's only for a few weeks, which is nice, but it also means 13 weeks of class are crammed into that time, so I'm staying busy with just the one class and worrying about my grad school application. I'm planning to start biochemistry (online) after I am done with this class, and hopefully I can work really hard and be almost done with it by the time Jeff gets back.

Monday, May 21, 2007


I just got back yesterday after almost two weeks in the Carolinas, mostly for my brother Casey's graduation and commissioning (left - he's the really tall looking shaved head guy, hahaha), but also to get the Columbia house ready for new renters. It was a good trip - a combination of meeting up with family and old friends and making some important decisions, and at the end I was ready to get back. Kris met me at the airport, where I was cranky because I hadn't eaten since about 10am Minneapolis time (Northwest airlines doesn't serve Jess-friendly food during flight; in case any of you don't know by now, I have issues with mayonnaise). I was so happy to get home to the Zeke, but worried at the same time because he has issues with "obsessive-compulsive grooming," when he doesn't get enough attention! So I came home knowing I was going to have to get ready for summer school, get him to the vet, and get over my jet lag. Zeke also seems really tired, and the vet on base can't get him in until the 4th, so I might be taking him to a civilian vet unless he perks up. Or maybe he needs a kitty shrink; who knows?

Little highlights from the trip:

My friends Brandon and Janice (from college) came to Manning with my family, where my parents have a pontoon boat. There were actually about seven people on the boat when I took the picture to the right, but needless to say, small boat and lots of people doesn't leave much room for accurate pictures!

My best friend Nikki and I (posing with GODZILLA, rawr!) had a blast with a window shopping excursion that included an "ugliest dress" contest - I miss her every bit as much as I miss my family. The woman is amazing and has lost FIFTY pounds (0ut of sheer determination and will power) since the last time I saw her. She looks great, and I am so proud of her!

I didn't have enough time to do everything I wanted to do, but I think if I had, it would have been really hard to leave it again.

I will post more pictures as I get them - the best family photos (the ones where I am starting to look like the spitting image of my mom and my brother looks exactly like Grandpa) were taken on other people's cameras, so I'll have to collect them and put them up when I get around to it. I'm starting school today - it's a 6pm night class the day after I got back to the island, which means it's going to feel like midnight until 3 in the morning, at least a little, but hopefully with the help of copious amounts of coffee I'll be able to get back into the swing of things quickly. I am actually looking into a couple "something special"s for when Jeff gets back, also... It's really not that much longer now!


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Jeff Spotting: Busan, ROK

After Maizuru, we jetted across the sea of Japan to Korea (again), this time in the lively city of Busan (also called Pusan - both names are correct). All of the action (for the crew of the PAUL HAMILTON, at least) started on Texas Street, supposedly named for a comparison to the Wild West. Not so much Wild West anymore as full of Russians: it's curious to look at all the Korean signs and realize that they all look foreign, and then see some Russian writing and think, "I know what that says" but then looking again, the letters are familiar, but the words no-so-much.

We ate dumplings and calamari and kimchee at little Philipino/Korean/American place before wandering through a variety of little shops. Eventually the smells of the poor sewage system drove us to the International Market (where the picture of the above shrine was taken) looking for souvenirs and gifts and knock off purses. We found all these things, but since I'm not much into fashion (as opposed to a strong ethical stance against purchasing knock offs), I neglected to buy a purse or twelve, as did some of my cohorts (sorry Jess and Mom...). We did run into a free beer giveaway on a street corner, though, right across the way from a lady selling tiny bunnies. Free beer and bunnies! Though the thought of purchasing a bunny crossed my mind, there wasn't really much to do with it; the ship environment isn't well suited to small fuzzy animals.


Monday, May 07, 2007

Jeff Spotting: Maizuru, Japan

Lots of Japan port calls! Maizuru was better than Wakayama, at least from the standpoint that there was more opportunity to enjoy it.

The sailors of the PAUL HAMILTON had a chance to work with the JMSDF to clean the Kyoraku Park in a Community Relations event. We actually do something along these lines in just about every port we go to, and usually the number of volunteers quickly exceeds the number of spots available. This event had a larger cap, so I put myself on the list.

Later that day, a few of us took the train into Kyoto, which is famous in part due to the 1997 signing of the Kyoto Protocol, which is a multi-nation agreement to reduce Green House Gases. Although we didn't review or sign any agreements, we wandered the downtown area an date dinner at a fantastic "cook your own meat on a hot stone in the middle of the table" restaurant.

I think I've been fooled into eating mushrooms several times in several of eating establishments: Normally I avoid them as best as possible, but when they're in everything, and half the stuff that is served is unfamiliar, it seems difficult to bypass them.

I borrowed the above shot of the cheery tree and the below shot of the waterfall from someone on the ship: they are unfortunately un-attributed.