Monday, February 27, 2012

Midway, Day 74

Oy vey.  So today was a sick day.  Didn't sleep worth a damn last night, and didn't want to start another week in the sleep deprevation hole.  So I planned to sleep a little late, call in to a silly meeting, and go to work.  Well, after said silly meeting, I still felt like crap, so I just called the whole thing off and went back to bed for another few hours - until NOON.  I can't tell you the last time I was in bed 'til noon.  The rest of the day was mostly just snuggling with Gaia on the couch watching movies.  Made it to the gym and successfully got up some V2's (and not so successfully on a few others...), then met one of my former coworkers for beers up at Dingle.

Am still without clean clothes, but fortunately, I have way more clothes in general than one person would ever need, so we're good there.  Might run out of clean socks, but smartwool doesn't smell... right?  The saga continued Saturday afternoon when the delivery/install guys showed up, determined the space was too small to connect things, made me sign some papers, and left - presumably to go get beers on company time.  So I went up to Home Depot to order a new set, which are even more totally sweet than Saturday's non-delivered set, albeit more expensive.  But this new set also included driving to Best Buy in Tacoma to pick up the "stacking kit" so that these things could get delivered and installed before Mom & Dad get out here in two weeks.  It's becoming quite the ordeal, and hopefully it will all be over on Thursday.

I did (FINALLY) get started on Bridget's baby quilt, and I already love it.  I'm very excited about how it's going to look when it's complete.  I need to sandwich Molly's together this coming weekend - and hopefully my mom will be willing to do the binding while she's here - and then finish up Bridget's before the Europe trip, because I think she's expected to pop while we're gone.

Worth noting is that today is the one year anniversary of our first date.  That's right, the one where Adam was 20 minutes late and I thought he stood me up.  Also the same one that we had so much fun that I was giddy for days.  Not sure what it was (is) about this boy, but I'm pretty well hooked.  Maybe it's Gaia.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Midway, Day 69

Apparently it's been another week since I've posted.  And I swear I'm working on getting pictures together.  I feel like I need three different sets though (here, dorkbook, and work) and every time I start going through them all I get overwhelmed.  I swear it's on the agenda to get done before Monday.  (That's a self imposed deadline of five days, which means I'll procrastinate for four more.)  Soon you'll all forget that I even went and boy, then will those pictures be a surprise.

Planning for Europe is in full swing.  Adam got us tickets on a hotel train for our Barcelona to Paris travels.  He was going to surprise me with it all, but got so mad with the website that he asked me to help.  (To his credit, the website was horrible - even worse than the British Airways experience.)  But - assuming we got the right tickets - it's going to be awesome.  We get dinner and breakfast on the train, and our own sleeper car with head and shower.  Sweet!  And we're looking for apartments in Barcelona, which would be a pretty sweet alternative to staying in a hotel.  Also starting to make a list of things I'll need for as soon as my REI dividend becomes available.

I feel like all the days since I've been back have blurred together.  The weekend was spent mostly on figuring out if the busted washing machine is worth fixing or replacing (turns out the latter - new washer & dryer coming Saturday!!), hanging out with Gaia and making up work hours.  I had dinner with Dana and Suzanne Sunday, which is always wonderful.  Monday I spent the day chasing non-existing airplane problems, and discovered that SDOT is serious about repaving my street.  Gaia and I will be spending lots of time in Ballard in the next few weeks - so much so that I'm keeping her at Adam's during the day, coming back up to G-Wood to pack a bag for a couple of days and head back.  Hopefully they'll be done with the section that's only feet from my bedroom in a week or so.

Yesterday was FNG's wedding.  I emailed before I left Midway to make sure he was still getting married, otherwise I would have stayed another week out there.  He did, and it was fabulous.  Turns out the presiding judge was also in charge of the drug court, so there was lots of interesting things on the walls.  We all had a blast - even Mrs. FNG's mom.  Then dinner at Place Pigalle, which was phenomenal.  Duck with zucchini, hazlenuts and fig.  And good wine and great company.

Anyway, 7p was my self imposed deadline for this post.  Kitchen needs cleaning, two-day bag needs packing, and more fabric needs cutting tonight.  Gotta get started before I'm allowed to open another beer.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Midway, Day 61

I've discovered that using the zoom function on the Crackberry destroys the picture quality.  Thankfully, I haven't taken too many zoomed pictures on that phone.  And thankfully I discovered this with a chance to retake some sunset pictures.

Last night we went out to Rusty Bucket to catch the sunset.  It was the first night that wasn't completely clouded in, but still came with a few obstacles.  But, we were also the last people to view the sunset on Valentine's Day, given that 140 miles west of here is the International Date line, and given that we were the furthest west on the island we could be to see the sunset.  Not bad for a couple of kids who don't believe in Valentines' Day, eh?

Just a hint of it, but enough.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Midway, Day 60

Day 60/Day 5.  This place is amazing.  There are albatross everywhere - approximately a million and a half of them.  And monk seals.  And ducks.  And canaries.  Not sure how the latter got here, but they are speedy.  A night walk gives opportunities to duck and dodge the petrels, centipedes and little side walking crabs.  The night I got here the sky was totally clear and you could see stars forever.  It's been cloudy and windy and rainy since then, although the sun has come out today and looks like it might stick around for the afternoon.  My endangered species count is up to four, including the one short tail albatross on the island.  Rumor has it there's another one elsewhere within the Atoll, but they haven't found each other yet.  I could watch the field of albatross for hours - they're dancing and taking off and landing, and singing and talking and grooming each other.  It's fascinating.

Midway itself is pretty interesting too.  At one point it was home to 5000 folks from the US Navy.  There's a theater and a bowling alley and the All Hands Club, where the pool tables and music stage are still up and running.  There's a little store that's open for an hour every evening and you can pick up the essentials, like toothpaste and whiskey.  We saw the library last night, which just seems to be a give and take storage room of books, DVD's and VHS tapes.  Adam's room is in "Charlie Hotel" which was once the barracks, but has been redone.  So a pair of rooms that used to hold four to eight dudes has been turned into a one bedroom suite.  The "Clipper House" is where we get our meals every day - the food is phenomenal and the Thai staff works their butts off to make sure everyone is well fed.  They bring out a plate of meat & veggies for me at nearly every meal that has been made without soy sauce (and therefore gluten free).  Add a little rice, and voila, dinner and/or lunch.  We've been sitting outside watching the ocean roll in.  The other day I noticed that the waves looked like they were breaking all the way out at the horizon and Adam pointed out that was the opposite end of the atoll.  Generally it's only a few hours between "wow's" for me.  The Officer's Club is a little bar right on the beach, and the site of an epic cribbage ass kicking the other night (the second time I've ever beaten the boy).

Plenty of pictures to come - might even warrant their own page here.  It's highly unlikely I'll be able to get any real work done this afternoon and will probably need to get out and explore.  And, of course, it's been just wonderful to be with Adam again.  I had first date jitters on the plane ride over, but it didn't take long to fall back into each other and into a sort-of routine.  I'm about to head out for a run - 40 minutes and I'll be able to cover the whole island, in a figure-8 route.

More to come, I promise.   :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Midway, Day 55

So this should really be "Midway, Day 55/Day 0."  I'm sitting in Bradley Pacific Aviation's waiting room with all my stuff, waiting for the sun to start going down so we can take off and head to Midway.  Mostly uneventful commercial flight from Seattle to Honolulu, although pretty bumpy.  Got halfway through another John Rain book, got a little nap, tried to stay hydrated.  Nearly had a heart attack when my seat was double booked and the flight attendant took 10 minutes to figure out where to put me.  Got a cab and some sushi, coffee and a smoothie in Honolulu, then set up camp here.  Even got a little work done; wi-fi should be free in every airport waiting area.  The waiting room has been taken over with pilots who are coming and going, meeting for the next days' flights.  It's interesting to speak the language and be able to translate all of their plans.  My pilot has checked my passport and a few people have asked how I got so lucky to not have any official business out there, but still be able to spend a week with the albatross.  I'm sure as hell ready to go, partially because the G2 is totally sweet and I want to check it out, but mostly because I'm just stoked to get there.  But we still have an hour until we even walk to the plane.  Oy!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Midway, Day 54

Well, we are well over the halfway point, turns out.  Adam's departure date from the island is March 15th - almost two weeks earlier than the latest report.  And I think he couldn't be happier about it.  I'm kind of lamenting my lost two weekends in there to finish up all the STUFF I was "going to get done" while he was gone.  Ah well, would rather have the boy back.

It's 7p, and I'm sitting down to steak & green beans.  Gaia is going to town on her broccoli.  I haven't begun to think about packing, other than the obligatory lists engineers make, or the box of stuff I've gathered upon Adam's request.  Let's not even mention the personal hygiene that needs to get done tonight (bets on how long it's been since I shaved?), and I'm toying with the idea of making Cookie #4 to bring out with me.  Maybe I'll save that for if I'm still wired at midnight.  The washing machine bit the dust last night, so any hopes of that final load of clothes has been lost.  I'm actually going to end up bringing some dirty clothes with me to wash out there, which seems silly.  I think it'll actually work out well, as long as I can get my OCD over the idea of packing dirty clothes.  I have been dancing about all day, mostly because otherwise the excitement explosion would overtake me and the lab would have looked like Pompeii.  All focus was gone by about 1:30 this afternoon, and then I buttoned up my expense report, packed up and bailed out.  One good walk with the pooch, a run to Trader Joe's for chocolate goodies (holy crap, am I stocked up!), and an hour at the gym brought us to the current.

The long and short of it is that I am UNBELIEVABLY excited, have a shit ton to get done, and less than 12 hours until Niki picks me up!  Eeeeeeee!!!

You'll miss me, right?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Midway, Day 52

Alright kids, I do believe we've hit the halfway mark on this Midway operation.  Of course, I'm not positive about that because no one really knows when the boy is getting off the island.  Theoretically sometime between March 15 and March 29.  I heard a rumor of March 26, but then I heard the plane to Honolulu was full.  So I guess I'll just wait - not much else in the way of options, eh?

I do know that I am two and a half days from my departure time.  And I'm getting giddy excited about it.  Probably won't be much use these next two days, unless it involves thinking about packing, or flying halfway across the Pacific, or talking about one or the other.  Gaia has earned herself a return invite to George's - probably because she's perfect, but more likely because Moose died the week she was there and George, and his wife and son practically broke into tears when I came to pick her up last week.  But they're all going out of town halfway through my Midway trip, so the blessed Katie P will brave Gaia in the car and bring her back to the Greenwood Hood for the final few days.  Gaia will certainly be loved and spoiled in the next week and a half.

The rest of IMAC was uneventful.  I had more of an audience at my talk than I expected, given the buses for the hospitality event departed 15 minutes before I started talking.  But no dumb questions, and no hard ones either.  FNG, Charlie and I escaped and went to a Tapas bar near the beach.  It was delicious.  And they had GF chocolate cake to boot.  A little jaunt to put our toes in the Atlantic and life was complete.  Thursday I sat in on the much anticipated sports equipment dynamics talks, but was wholly disappointed.  The erg guy didn't know a thing about rowing ("We had the rowers row at 30 rowings per minute working up to 60 rowings per minute."), and the guy studying climbers' hand force grip as compared to performance only concluded that the less time the guy spent on each hold, the faster he got up the wall.  I left after that - the tennis racket talk held no interest, until I saw that the presenter was exceptionally attractive, but I was already halfway out the door and it would have been really awkward to turn around and sit back down.  So FNG and I went for a long walk on the beach instead.  And then found pizza.  And a bottle of wine.  And told ridiculous stories, because that's what we do.

Came home to a weekend of 60 and sunny - beautiful row Saturday morning, followed by (an nap and then) a big cup of coffee and some laundry.  Then I followed through with my promise to go to Wendell's trainer and her "class sampler" on her two year anniversary.  Mother Shitnuggets.  The first 30 minutes was step aerobics and my calves have never been more sore.  Then another 90 minutes of "step & sculpt" and "cardio kickboxing" and some bootcamp stuff.  I definitely held my own, but had to have a snack halfway through the operation or I think I would have collapsed.  This woman also teaches a "cardio striptease" class, so I'm on the hunt for someone who won't be freaked out when I suggest we go.  Not sure if it's the tired and sore (I had to use the elevators to go down today), or if I just wasn't paying attention, but I rolled my ankle on the run today, which was frustrating.  Wine is helping though.  So did the steak and kale.

Anyway, now it's time to not waste away in front of the computer all night - the kitchen needs cleaning (... or my battery is about to die).