Sunday, May 31, 2009

from here

saturday night

so, it's saturday night, and i'm spending it at home with a glass of wine and my motorcycle owner's manual. i'm actually having a wonderful time. it's fun to get to know my bike.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Alright, today I finally changed the title to my motorcycle and it is officially mine! However, I have noticed a bit of a troubling trend of the bike getting hot pretty fast and the temperature gauge getting almost to the H... So, I have been spending the past few hours trying to see if I can find a reasonably priced motorcycle manual to figure this out. I think this weekend I will be spending some quality time with my bike. I found a great website that has diagrams of all the parts--I bet I could take apart and put back together the whole bike if I wanted to. But I don't want to. I also need to do research this summer :) I think it is probably just an issue of the coolant level, which should be easy enough to fix. Unfortunately, I have no previous experience with motor vehicles of any kind, so I am really starting from the beginning. Everything I read assumes a general understanding of the mechanics of a bike, so I end up feeling pretty stupid most of the time.

Anyway, tomorrow I am off to Coconut Island again to try and get some Octopus cyanea. I haven't had much luck recently... I sent Roger my proposal and he had a lot of interesting input that was difficult but necessary to hear. This is going to be quite the summer of self exploration (as well as cephalopod exploration).

I have been either sleeping too much, or not at all. It is sort of an unsettling place to be. I need to get my circadian rhythms back on track. I've lost eight pounds though, which is something :) I'm back on my gym schedule--kind of, and all the fruit I love is back in season. Strawberries, mangoes, pineapple (although that is never really out of season here).

It has been disgustingly hot here recently. Everyone says it is unseasonably hot for Hawaii. And of course my fan died. So I bought a ridiculously small fan for $20 that barely does anything, but was all I could afford. However, today, after taking apart my fan down to the motor and still not being able to fix it, I broke down and ordered a fan from amazon. At least there is free shipping.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sailing, Riding, Summer

So, still haven't taken photos of me on my bike--but I promise it exists! I've named my bike: Hunter. After Hunter S. Thompson. I thought it was appropriate. Today I went riding around the south coast of the island over to Waimanalo. It makes me happy to be here. Flying around on my bike (I made it up to 70mph today) looking at the beautiful scenery, feeling free. I feel like Nausicaa in the Valley of the Wind--at least as close as I can get without flying.

Last week I went sailing and took some photos. It was lovely. We got first place in the race, which earned us 3 pitchers of rum and coke. I am speaking as if I had anything to do with the victory, but really, I just served as ballast when they would "tack."

Last night I had drinks with a friend of a friend at the Royal Hawaiian--very posh! We sat right by the beach and watched the sunset while eating delicious food and listening to a live hawaiian band and watching a woman hula dance for us :) It's funny, I live in Waikiki, but never get a chance to do the touristy things.

Contrary to the way this post sounds thus far, I have also been doing work. I set up the octo tanks last week then went hunting for octos, though they are proving elusive. I knew they would be, but if I can't find them, there's no chance of getting research done! So, I better get hunting. However, it is Saturday night! So I will save the hunting for the week days...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I've been riding my bike and getting used to it. I love it. I love the freedom to move round the traffic and make it home without talking to several creepy bums (not all of them are creepy).

Today, I went to Coconut Island with Christine and was able to set up several of the octopus tanks. We'll see if it works out! I caught four crabs to feed to the octopi once I catch them. Hopefully I will get some on Thursday.

I talked with Les and he is very supportive about me getting my work done this summer :) He has just left for a conference in DC and I may get to take care of his cat when his wife and daughter go to Maine.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fantastic Planet

I saw this movie the other day--everyone should see it. It's amazing and awesome--amawesome!

Also, this...


I got it. I bought a motorcycle today. It's a 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 750. Here's a pic of what it looks like :)

The guy I bought it from asked for a ride home, so I had a nice long ride getting to know my bike today. I managed to avoid the highway, but honestly, I can't wait to get on the highway and really get moving. I feel bad for my bike starting and stopping at all the red lights. I did manage to stall twice (and I felt really stupid), but I am just getting used to the way this bike rides. The last bike I was on, you just let the clutch out in first and it rolls forward. This one needs a little gas to get it going cuz it is a bigger bike. I love it though--it definitely runs smooth. Also, unlike the bike I learned on, it actually goes into neutral without having to have the engine off! So I had a little bit of an embarrassing moment when I was trying to switch to second and I ended up in neutral. Not fun. BUT--I have an awesome motorcycle and I can take people on it and get around the island! I'm not going to ride it 24/7 until I get insurance, which I hope will be tomorrow...

So, the semester ended last Wednesday. I have been working for Les and trying to figure out what I am going to do this summer. I really need to get some work done on my dissertation research. It's been a good semester, I think. It was a semester of lots of life experiences. I learned how to ride a motorcycle, got master, nitrox, and rescue certifications in SCUBA diving, went on a research cruise in the Bahamas. It was great. But in terms of academia...not so great. I really have not been on the ball. I got here last semester and really hit the ground running, trying to figure out if I could do what I wanted with octopus. But this semester...I'm not sure what happened. I had a lot of classes. But, I'm disappointing in myself. Hopefully, I will get it together this summer! Although, I will be going to Maui at some point and possibly the Big Island as well :)

I'll get some pics of me on my bike as soon as I can :P

Monday, May 11, 2009

May 11th

This weekend I had my motorcycle class. It was wonderful :) I don't know why everyone doesn't ride a motorcycle. It is so exhilarating! It feels like flying... I wish I could fly. This gets me one step closer.

One issue though, is sunburn. I have a very attractive raccoon eyes and helmet sunburn. I learned my lesson after the first day of six hours in the sun on the motorcycle. I put lots of sunscreen on for the second day, but it didn't help much. I'm going to try to avoid being seen in public for a while.

Another issue is sweaty butt. Sitting on a hot motorcycle wearing jeans and long sleeved shirt makes for lots of sweating. But when you start going fast, you don't notice it anymore.

My favorite thing is weaving and swerving and feeling in control of this four hundred pound machine. When you gain some confidence, it starts to feel amazing!

We had our written exam yesterday morning (I got 100%!!) and then the driving exam in the afternoon. I got one point off because I went out of the yellow lines... But it was still passing!

I found a bike I really wanted and called the person who was selling it--it already sold :( so now I have to find a new one...

It is my birthday today and I have spent most of it writing my dissertation proposal. It didn't turn out great, but I did it. And now, I am going to make myself a cake and get some thai food to give myself a treat :) My friends are all quite busy as it is the end of the semester and so it will be a bit of a solitary birthday. But I am thoroughly enjoying it. I have given myself several treats--I slept in, I took a nap, I did the dishes and am cleaning my apartment. These are all luxuries I can't normally afford.

I'd like to extend a big happy birthday to my friend Salvador Dali

Friday, May 8, 2009

also, someone at UH has swine flu. so, i guess it's only a matter of time before i get it. it's a small island, and an even smaller campus...
NOAA has an article about our Deep Sea Cruise :) I didn't get a chance to write anything about myself, but there is a pic of me (with super white teeth for some reason) and it says I'm a grad student.

Tonight is my first motorcycle class. Tomorrow I will actually be riding, tonight is just preliminary stuff.

Monday, May 4, 2009


The semester is ending. It is hectic... There is a lot to get done before it is over and I am having trouble getting motivated to do it!

Yesterday though, I made it out to Coconut Island to clean off the tanks I will be using for the octos. It was quite strenuous. I ended up taking off a chunk of my toe and scraping my leg in many places. I didn't realize how much I was bleeding until I saw my flip flop was covered in blood. Oh, the things I do for the octopods. I'm excited though. Now all I have to do is write a proposal and collect some octopuses and start research! Ahh!

So, there may be a chance I end up getting a truck instead of a motorcycle... It might be easier for octopus collections.... We shall see. I'll keep you posted!

Motorcycle Helmet :)