Friday, August 6, 2010

I apologize in advance if you ever hear my music on the airplane.

But first… The End of KAFS 2010: We had our last “field trip” (and we all know how I feel about using that phrase). It was arguably the best "field trip," but then again our "field trips" have included an 8.6 mile hike through a swamp, reforestation efforts, and a 6AM wake up. This one was (thankfully) different. We left at 10.  Went to a scenic overlook. Went to a Heiau (Hawaiian temple --- Went to Panda Express. Came home. Discussed “notion site” (not gonna lie, I could have done without this part).  Studied for our quiz. Went to class. Took said quiz. Only listed two things when I was suppose to list ten (Goodbye sixteen points. Thank you reading skillz of a first grader.). Spent an entire day packing and enjoying the beach one last time. Spent another day sitting around doing nothing because I scheduled a real late flight. Oh! And did I mention that I bought the world’s largest avocado?  

Just add salt and pepper! And it was only $ much avocado for so little cash money!

Now... about my iPod (affectionately named Rico Suave (in memory of my first car)). 
While at the airport in Honolulu, I realized that I was tots being “that girl” that everyone was looking at and judging. I looked like the pretentious Mac user. When I wasn’t changing songs on my iPod, I was checking texts on my iPhone. And when I wasn’t downloading new apps for said iPhone, then I was typing my final/BLOG on my bright pink MacBook. Well, with all of attention on me (or so I was telling myself… I am sure that in reality no one noticed and I overreacted to something yet again) I started to worry that everyone could hear what was playing on my iPod.

Now. If you were to ask me I would tell you that I have GREAT taste in music. I mean c’mon. I have the necessary skillz to be a professional mix maker. However, others may disagree with this statement. It is more than safe to say that I have the music taste of both a 13 year old white girl (spanning several decades) and a 25 year old black man. Again, while making for (arguably) the best iTunes library east and west of the Mississippi I am not sure if all airport goers appreciate this. Especially the six year old boy that I was seated next to (but to be honest, I don't care if he was happy because he was a pain in my tushy). 

For example, on my “iPhone” mix (which is songs just for my iPhone… “that girl” coming out again) here are ten songs that can randomly come on at any given time. (and I would try to find links to all of these on YouTube, but you are all big boys/girls and to be honest, you should already know all of these songs by heart!)
1- “You’re a Jerk” ---New Boyz
2- “How Do You Sleep?”--- Jesse McCartney (not the one featuring Ludacris, but I have that one too…)
3- “I Swear” --- All-4-One
4- “Tearin’ Up My Heart”--- N*Sync
5-  “Break Up” --- Mario
6- “Everywhere” --- Michelle Branch
7- “Baby”--- J. Bieb featuring Luda
8- “Tipsy” ---T-Pain (not to be mistaken for Tipsy by Chingy, which I also have.)
9- “Do You Remember?”--- Jay Sean featuring Sean Kingston and Lil Jon
10- “One Call Away” ---Chingy featuring J/Weav

Oh. And I do have a mix titled "weezy." with nothing but Lil Wayne. (YOUNG MOOLAH BABY!)

And none of it is edited. I only buy the "explicit" version. So, sorry airport goers that had to watch the female version of Steve Jobs in Honolulu today. And sorry to the passerbys that happen to get a little sneaky peak into my current obsession with Pretty Ricky. Or should I say, you're welcome?!?!?!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

17 hours in Idaho is just not enough time.

One week left. Things are getting rough. Someone (who shall remain nameless because fellow field schoolers have started to read this...SHOUT OUT!) has stopped doing their own dishes. The kitchen/entire house smells like something is dead and decomposing. I learned (the hard way) that one of the girls (again nameless, but the same one that doesn't do dishes and chews reals loud with her mouth open) here has both of her nipples pierced. No one cleans their hair out of the shower drain when they are done with it. I have become the brunt of many jokes. And I am beginning to seriously doubt my street cred to be doing anything in the anthropological world. But the end is in sight and to be fair, things aren’t quite as bad as they may sound.

Today was our last day in the cave and things were very chillaxed (which was really good for me because since seeing Inception I think that I am not sleeping well out of fear that my dreams are going to be extracted or even worse that ideas are going to be planted in my mind and I am going to end up in limbo.). We did have a little photo shoot for some Hawaiian airline magazine and I was specifically told not to pose, which was really hard for me. Then we had an "authentic luau" with Hawaiians living on the island of Ni’ihau. (For more information on this secret little island please refer to --- and save the lecture on how reliable Wikipedia may or may not be.) Rumor had it that they were going to catch a wild pig for us to eat and I assumed that there was going to be dancing (hula=luau in my mind). However, there were neither of these things. Instead we had potato salad, rice, poi, and laulau (which did have pork, but I am not totally convinced some of the other items were authentic.). But they did sing to us in Hawaiian and that was sweeeeeet

 Just one more quiz, packing, a final and then field school will be FIN. Time really has flown by, but I am more than ready to get back to the mainland and start something else new and exciting (and never ever in a billion years screen clay again).

But the one thing that I am not looking forward to when I get home is the amount of errands that I have to do in the 17 hours that I have before I leave for my last summer vacay of twenty-ten. My “To Do List” is pretty long and I am sure that you want to know what is on it, and I am more than happy to share.

To Do During My 17 Hours in Idaho:
- Buy my textbooks (Now, you might be saying to yourself “Can’t this wait? Her classes don’t start until August 23rd.” And you are half way right, but what you don’t know is that I like to buy used textbooks because they are way cheaper, but that I do not like to buy used books that have been highlighted and written in (that is something that I like to do to my books myself). This means that I have to get there early to look for the book that belonged to the kid that never opened it. This is really important, and therefore needs to be done ASAP before I get stuck either buying new books or written in books.) ---P.S. Love you lots Dad!!---
- Figure out if taking 15 credits is a good, bad or great idea. (I just realllllly want to take this one class on Idaho history and I know that I can do it and to be honest I am not going to have a life anyways (living at home with my mom and two (adorable!) cats) and I just love the Gem State sooooo much!)
- Turn in my final for one of the classes here. (While I appreciate the extra time, this does kind of mess with my summer plans and therefore I cannot guarantee that the quality of work will be the best. Ideally, I hope to complete this before I even get off of my second flight.)
- Go tanning. (Judge this all you want, but I need to maintain what I have built up here and I got me some crazy lines going on and I need to get them taken care of.)
- Figure out what being a TA really means. (and it might just maybe be nice to know who I am going to be working for... )
- and last, but really not that important, it might be nice to try to get a couple hours of sleep.  

Seems easy enough! 

We went on a hike. It was reals long... like 8.6 miles long and it was kind of cold and it was in a swamp. 

I accidentally stepped in the swamp with one foot. Good bye new shoes. It was nice knowing you when you were clean and your right one looked just like the left. (but thank heavens that I wasn't wearing the polio shoes!)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Jobs that I should have access DENIED.

A lot of the people here are really into doing this whole archaeology thing in the future. Like as a career. For the rest of their lives. I, on the other hand, am not. Doing Hawaiian archaeology (and dare I say any kind of archaeology) for the rest of my life would be my hell. The devil would literally be standing over me while I spent eternity screening through samples of dirt with nothing in it. But this fact (and that I asked someone to be thesis advisor and finally picked all of my classes for the fall) really got me thinking a little bit about what I might actually be capable of doing in the future. And then I started to think about the things that I most def. should not, under no circumstances, do. (Be advised that this list is incomplete, and I am willing to take suggestions of other careers that I should not pursue.)

Junior High/High School Health Teacher/Sex Ed Instructor: For starters, unless the medically accepted terms for certain “parts” (you know the ones) are “down there” and “thingy,” then this job is not for me. I blush really easily and I don’t like talking about “it” and if I do have to talk about "it" I always spell it out (s-e-x). If I was ever in a jam and teaching Sex Ed to a group of eighth graders was the only thing separating me from a homeless woman, know this. Lil Wayne would be included in all my lesson plans. (Go to 3:40 for a little preview into how I would teach my students about safe sex--- In fact, we probably would just listen to a lot of Weezy and try to get as many lessons out of it as possible (like don’t carry around concealed weapons.).

Would you really want this man teaching your kids about s-e-x?

Matchmaker: I can't find someone for myself, so what do you think makes me qualified to hook other people up? Nothing. Exactly. 

Personal Assistant: Oh! You want me to get you coffee and food and wash your clothes and walk your dog and carry all of your stuff and keep track of calendar and answer your e-mails and follow you around like a little puppy all at the same time all day every day? No thank you! I don’t even want to do those things for myself, let alone for someone else.

Pilot: The TSA/FAA wouldn't even let me finish filling out the application before they realized that that was a disaster in the making. And, add Airport Security because that job would be no fun and I firmly believe that you should be allowed to take on more than 3 ounces of fluids and I know with my luck that I would be the one that let the crazy terrorist onto the flight. 

Boot Camp Leader: No way in heck would I make some poor just out of high school kid do push ups and sit ups in the heat for hours on end while I was yelling at them. Under my reign they could stay up late, sleep in, and keep their hair the way that they want it! And then the terrorists win... 

College Professor: I know what students say about professors behind their backs, and I just don't have the nerves for that. And I would hate grading papers and I just know that all of my classes would get put in the 8 AM slot. 

Professional Wrestler: Hahahaha! Need I say more!

(and just to add some optimism) Jobs that I would be GREAT at:
- Professional doodler ( specializing in hearts, flowers, and deltas)
- Anything involving cats or cookbooks or both
- professional playlist/mix maker (or Wedding DJ)

And a little update about the happenings (but not in a day by day form because that is just too much work for me right now seeing as I wrote an eight page paper on four articles that I did not understand!): went to the Na Pali Coast at 6 AM. Sat at the front of the boat and almost fell out. Went snorkeling twice and saw some really amazing fish (especially the one that was black and blue polka-dot and looked like it was glowing in the dark). Got a cheeseburger at this one place in Waimea and it was really yummy and I am excited to move there one day and eat lots more of them. Went to a rodeo and repeated to myself every time a cowboy walked by “cowboy butts drive me nuts!”.  Went to this new sight and nearly witnessed Dr. H nearly jizz in his pants over a piece of seed shell that can be dated. Back to the cave (found coconut and Dr. B was super excited so I looked reals smart…win!). Work. Class. Quiz. Sleeping. Eating. The usual… you know. 

Cowboy butts drive me nuts! And there were people in Wrangler jeans here and I felt like I was back at home! 

Na Pali Coast! We saw dolphins on the way over!

X marks the spot at the Na Pali coast! Oh, nature! You do the craziest things!

Less than a week left here on the Garden Island... but don't fret readers! I am oddly ready to leave and start a new adventure (in the form of PA VACAY 20-10 and living at home for the first time in 4 years!)!! 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Life Changing Revelation: WALK ON THE WILD SIDE!

So tomorrow we are going to the Na Pali Coast. Where/what is that you may ask yourself? Well… let me tell you!
- A very special place on Kaua'i with waterfalls and valleys and cliffs that you can only get to by boat or hiking.
- A state park that is being preserved and has lots of native stuff and I am going to get to plant a native plant.
- A place where you can go snorkeling.
- A place that is really expensive/hard to get to and it is going to fall into the ocean one day and you might only get one chance to ever go (ignore the fact that this will be my second trip there…).

Well. I am really excited about this trip and I really want to go snorkeling at least once while I am here and I really want to go at this place because there aren't going to be a million people there. So today we went somewhere that you can rent gear (about $18 for the three day period that I will need it for) and I was the only one that got some! Now, maybe other people can’t swim, so I don’t want to judge, but I realized something while I was renting my mask and fins… WALK ON THE WILD SIDE. During this trip I have done a lot of sitting on my tushy. I used to love this life style and was tots fine with it but HELLO! I am on Kaua’i where there is so much to do and see and learn and I want to do and see and learn it all! Even if that means that I have to do and see and learn it all by myself. No one is going to stop me from WALKING ON THE WILD SIDE during this field trip!

And as I was thinking about all the ways that I am going to WALK ON THE WILD SIDE while still on this little island, I realized something else… I can WALK ON THE WILD SIDE EVERYWHERE THAT I GO!! There is so much to do and see and learn every where I am! Idaho? Sure! Pennsylvania? Get ready Megan!  Random places that I decide to go in the future? You know it! No more sitting around for this girl! So...instead of being bummed that no one wants to do things with me and therefore not doing them, I am going to laugh in their faces and then head off on an adventure that Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay (the first people to successfully climb Mount Everest) would be jealous of and take lots of pictures and have the most amazing time and be the happiest girl in the world. Neal Armstrong will be turning green with envy when he hears about my new lifestyle! I used to have imaginary friends when I was little (and arguably when I was even a little too old for it to be "cute/normal" anymore) and they are all that I need to have a great time in life. They are always willing to WALK ON THE WILD SIDE with me!!

This might require me taking out a couple loans to pay for this new found life style (WALKING ON THE WILD SIDE ain't free!), but life is just too short and there are too many things that I need to do before I get too old/have too many cats. And the I have already quit napping (cold turkey) so nothing is standing in my way!

Care to join me? Let me know. You (whoever you may be) can be my P.I.C. (partner-in-crime)! I will update you on all the adventures that I take! Hikes? Sure! Snorkeling? Yeppers! Rodeos? No doubt! Triathalons? You know it! Museums? Duh! Visit all 50 state capital buildings? Get it!

I am purging all the negativity out of my life (aka people that annoy me, foods that I do not like, things that I do not want to do but feel obligated to do, clothes that look bad on me, shoes that do not fit) and I am going to have FUN FUN FUN! Good thing that I really like school (WALKING ON THE WILD SIDE NERDY STYLE!) because I still plan on finishing two masters and maybe a Ph.D, but know this! My thesis and dissertation are going to be really FUN and I am going to have one hell of a great time writing them (all 1,000 million pages!)!!!!

And a BIG THANK YOU to Jason Derulo for my new life anthem... Get it!!!

Watch out world! It's time to start WALKING ON THE WILD SIDE!!

If I wasn't sure enough that I wanted to do this, this image totally made up my mind!!

"I want to WALK ON THE WILD SIDE too!" 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Necker? I hardly even know her!

Thoughts/Questions/Concerns (and of course a day-by-day!):

- Today in class we learned all about the remote Northwest Hawaiian Islands of Nihoa and Necker. And every time my professor would say “Necker” I would say (In my mind of course. You know that I don’t interrupt in class.) “Necker? I hardly even know her!” and then laugh a lot in my head at how creative I am! And then we saw pictures of some old stone sculptures of men that were found on the island of Necker (hardly even know her!) so I drew a picture in my notes. Here it is for your enjoyment: 
Oh... and not only did I think about the Necker? Hardly know her! thing... I wrote it down in case I forgot it!

- Have you ever wanted to sleep but your roomies are still awake and you feel reals bad about turning the light out and you just hope that they will get the hint and be nice and turn it off for you, but they don’t? Well… that has been the story of my life these last two nights. Grandma here likes to go to bed at a reasonable hour (read as 11 PM) but sometimes the lights don’t go out until after midnight! So I just lay in bed thinking that maybe I can fall asleep, but I can’t. And then when I wake up at 7 AM the next morning all I want to do is go back to bed.  

- PDA is G-R-O- Double S GROSS! (and I might just be saying that because I never get the chance to commit it, but if I did I would respect others and not do it in front of those that are less fortunate.)

- I am really starting to like it here (and yes, things were kind of bleak for a little while), but I am starting to get a little worried about the fact that this is a learning experience with a grade. We have a midterm due on Friday (no biggie but I turned it in today!) and then a three page paper that I have yet to start and four mini papers summing up four different articles that I still have to read and I get graded on all of them! AGH! This is so much work and did I mention that I get a grade!?!?

-  Do you think that I am going to have enough time to do my laundry after Hawaii and before I go to Pennsylvania if I am home for less than 24 hours? The washing machine better be empty and ready for a marathon when I walk in the door!

- Did anyone else think that this is what I would be doing all summer? Kind of a disappointment... not going to lie, but I WILL find some kind of really great artifact before I leave. 

- EXCITING NEWS: I plan on snorkeling Friday and then again at the Na Pali Coast on Saturday (during our special tour… VIP BABY!) and then we are going to a rodeo on Sunday! Can you say “best weekend ever”? I can!! Only thing that might make it better, COKE ICEE!

Day Ten (continued):  Eventually escaped from the house. Went to this weird beach party thing in honor of Koloa Plantation Days (It was a basically a bunch of tourists at an overpriced hotel.). Came home. Made pina coladas. Went to bed.

Day Eleven: Woke up. Lounged around in my pj’s until noonish. Went to the beach. Got rained on. Then got sunned on. Got rained on. Then got sunned on. Went home. Dinner. Homework. Bed. (my kind of day!)

Day Twelve: Back to the cave! Screened more clay (SOOOO much clay!!!!). Lunch. More clay and then (what I have been waiting for all of my life!) ARTIFACTS, SNAILS, FISH BONES OH MY!  Home. Dinner. Class (real exciting and we learned brand new data that hasn’t even been published yet...but I cannot tell you because it is kind of a big deal.). Home. Got a midterm (AGH!). Watched stuff on Netflix Instant. Bed.

Day Thirteen: Cave. More screening dirt with stuff in it. Lunch. Still screening. Home. Dinner. Baked a funfetti cake for someone’s birthday. Class (learned all about the weather here on the Islands). Home. Ate cake. Worked on midterm. Bed.

Day Fourteen: Cave. Screening. Digging (yeppers! I dug in the dirt in the bottom of the cave and I had to wear a helmet and pull out giant rocks and I did an awesome job!). More screening. Lunch. More screening. Home. Watched/Dominated Jeopardy! again (Was one episode the little kid edition? Yes. But I still got a bunch of the questions right!). Class. Watched Teen Mom Season 2 Episode 1 (LOVE!). Worked on my midterm. Finished my midterm. Sent my midterm into my professors and then panicked that I forgot to answer part of the question. BLOGGED. Made the goal that I would most def post this blog before I go to bed (ACHIEVED!). 

(Sooo many shout outs so little time: Hi Aunt Ann! Mom said that you are reading my blog…Hope that you are enjoying! Lots of love from Hawaii to Kansas City! 
And HI to bride-to-be Jill! SOOO excited for the big day in October (I'll blog about that too!!)!)

And because BFF Lauren was worried about the status of the blog after this little Kaua'i adventure is over (which is coming up sooner rather than later) CAT CUDDLIN' & COOKBOOK COLLECTIN' will go on!!! I'll make a few changes, but I know that you all want to hear about my first year in grad school and I just can't disappoint!) 

And (last thing... PROMISE!) I put a sample of this blog into thing that tells you the famous person that you write like ( and the answer is... DAN BROWN!!! But I bet that this is wayyy better than The Da Vinci Code

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A life without napping is no life at all.

First full week FIN and well underway in the second! And I am still going strong! Not sunburned. Rash tots gone and has not even started to make a return even though I am no longer using the SPF 50.  Making friends like a boss (kinda). Able to climb in and out of the cave without bumping anything but my backpack. Found a HUGE piece of gourd the other day (ignore the fact that I accidently broke  it in two somewhat smaller pieces). COKE ICEE. Field school ain’t half bad (except all the sandwiches that I have to eat. That part is whole bad. AND that the internet is still being a pain in my tushy...don't get me started. Don't EVEN get me started!)!

Day Six: Back to the cave. Started to dig in the part of the cave that we will be working on all week (in case you want to map it out, II 75 1.3 meters from the datum rock at R 40 (oh you didn’t understand what all those numbers meant? That’s weird because I have no idea what I just said either. People here just rattle off numbers and facts like you know what they are saying and the best thing that you can do is smile and nod and then talk about what it all meant with your classmates over the screen later when the professors aren’t listening). Lunch at the beach. More screening clay (straight up clay. NO artifacts.) through a mesh screen that you would see on a window to help keep little tiny bugs out. Home. Eat. Class. Homework. Sleep.

The hole that we are getting all of our dirt from. 

Where that hole is... aka the cave that we are digging into. 

The pumps that we are using to get rid of all the H2O in the cave. 

The wheelbarrows that we use to strain out all the artifacts.

The screens that we use. I could probably make you a set if you want. Nothing here is that fancy/high tech/high quality. 

Day Seven: Back to the cave. More screening clay through mesh. Finding nothing. Lunch. More screening clay through mesh. Still finding nothing. Then the professors brought us sand with lots of bones in it so that we wouldn't stage a coup. Home. Dinner. Class. Bed.

Day Eight: No cave today! Went to the Allerton Botanical Garden where our TA’s taught us how to make maps and use compasses and pace out steps (totally knew it all from FFA forestry in high school. Who would have thought that I would have ever used those skills again? Not me. It was a realllllll shocker.). Made a (not-so-great) map of grassy place. Lunch on the beach next to sea turtle eggs. Library to “work” on my paper (read as “Facebook in a place with reliable internet”).  Home. "Nap"/Watched a documentary on Miss Gay America on Netflix while doing laundry (please note that this is the first time that I have laid down to try to take a nap since getting here and I couldn’t even sleep! Who am I turning into???!?!?!). Dinner. Totally forgot that we had to go to class. Super bummed when I remembered. Went to class (which was actually our professor giving a talk on his new book at the community center). Home. More homework. Bed.

Where the sea turtles laid their eggs (in the area that is marked off with caution tape)!!!

Day Nine: Woke up late (and it felt soooo good to be able to sleep in and not have to make a brown paper bag lunch while still half asleep!). Sang “rain, rain go away” to myself as I listened to it pour outside. Realized that blogging a day by day of what I do here makes the time both go really slow and really fast at the same time. Packed up my bag just in case the rain stops and we get to hit up the beach. Cleaned out my purse (which I have not used since I got here). Reorganized all the apps on my phone. Told everyone that I was going to get a COKE ICEE at K-Mart. Told my mom that if the COKE ICEE machine was broken I was going to freak out. Watched everyone else do homework and decided that maybe, just maybe, I should do the same. Went to K-Mart. COKE ICEE. McDonalds fries. Came home. Watched/Dominated Jeopardy. Read. Dinner. More TV game shows. Spoons/Egyptian Rat Screw/Poker night. Bed. 

Day Ten: Woke up. Got ready for a hike with members of the community on the Hapa Trail. Got there an hour early. Started the hike. It was easy-breezy. Saw ANOTHER monk seal at the beach! Lunch. Home. Tried to take a nap (FAIL). Planned an escape plan for tonight because I CANNOT just sit at this house anymore when there is so much to do here on the Garden Island. BLOGGED. 

Was the hike on all flat ground? Yes. Was it rocky? Not really. Was this guy prepared to climb Mount Everest? Yes he was. And I think that he had Shape-Up hiking shoes. He also had an intense conversation with his wife about the quality of his walking sticks and the grip.

What do you do when your wife beater is just a little too long? Make it into a belly shirt DUH!

Monk seal...again! 

Well that is a little summary of the past few days. OH WAIT! I forgot something BIG... I have decided that I am going to try to run a triathlon. It can't be that bad right (2.4 miles of swimming. 112 miles of biking. 26.2 miles of running.) Training starts when I get back to the mainland. WATCH OUT WORLD!

(ANDDDD Shout to my DAD for being an avid Cat Cuddlin’ & Cookbook Collectin’ blog reader (even though he neither cuddles cats nor enjoys cookbook collectin’)! Hi Dad! Love you and thank you for being “surprised” with my writing skillz!)

"Send me to Tracy ASAP! She misses me and I am the cutest cat in the whole wide world!"

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I would rather hike UP ten hills than down one.

Full Day Five is about to come to a close. (I would have posted this last night/earlier today, but the internet here is coming and going as it pleases paying no attention to my blogging needs and your reading desires.) Today was our first real day in the cave doing cave things. You know, digging, screening, pumping out water to actually find artifacts. The usual. Today was also host to our first lecture class. It was interesting… and while I did the reading and I would dare say that I understand the general premise behind each article, I am no where near close to understanding the little details. In most cases I can’t even pronounce the words. And some of the places he was talking about could have been in NeverNeverLand for all that I knew! (For example... there is an island in the Pacific called New Ireland. Who knew? Not this girl!)

Update of the Field School so far:
Day Two: Went to Shipwrecks Beach and LEI’d (this still cracks me up) out under the hot sun for a bit. While there we watched three very brave souls jump off of a huge rock. MANIACS!  Then we returned home where we read fascinating articles, ate dinner, and slept.

This is the rock that those crazzzzy guys jumped off of. It might not look far up, but it is. And once you jump you still have to swim back to shore. 

Day Three: “Field Trip.” That is what they call it. I call it “Hiking Day.” The phrase “field trip” should only be used when referring to a group of elementary kids going to Ferdinand’s in Pullman, Washington to watch a video on how to make cheese and then getting free ice cream cones. This was no Ferdinand’s. Instead our “Field Trip/Hiking Day” was to Limahuli Botanical Gardens where we looked at taro (or as the Hawaiians say “kalo” (must suck not having a “t” or “r” in your alphabet)) beds, native plants, Polynesian species, and invasive plants. We also had to hike into a valley carrying a spiny palm so that it could be planted later. Which is when I realized… I don’t like walking downhill. I would way rather try to climb UP something than make my way down. Even during my high school cross country days (yep… get your laughter out now, I ran cross country in high school for four years…AND I WAS VARSITY ALL FOUR YEARS!) I hated having to run down hill. Going up is when I passed people. Downhill is scary and momentum is NOT my friend! After “hiking day” was over we came home. Ate. Showered. Slept. Everyone was really excited about the soccer game in the morning so they wanted to be refreshed.

The taro/kalo fields. 

The water fall in the valley that we hiked up. 

Day Four: Woke up. People watched soccer. Those vuvuzelas sound like a swarm of bees coming to get you. I watched ten minutes. No one scored so I read more articles. Then after a thrilling victory for Spain, we went to the beach. While at the beach we saw not one but TWO endangered species. (Did you know Hawaii has more endangered species than any of the other 50 states?) There was a sea turtle trying to eat in the water. The lifeguards had to announce SEVERAL times to all the snorkelers that they needed to stay 20 feet away. Some people were all up in that poor turtles grill. At one point the lifeguard said through the megaphone “Can you hear this? Is this thing on? I have had to tell ten times to move 20 feet away. You are like three feet. That means you need to move, like, 6 times farther.” Then we saw a monk seal tanning on the beach. It was roped off though so people could not touch it. Came home. Ate. Read more. Bed. 

You can kind of see the turtle in this picture... but this is the best that I could do from 20 feet away!

Monk seal living in the dream... besides the whole about to go extinct thing.

Day Five: Woke up. Ate dry cereal and made lunch. Loaded up into the vans and headed out for the cave. Crawled in. Learned to screen sediments and identify artifacts. Screened a bunch of dirt and clay and rocks. Found birds bones, fish bones, the tiniest snail shells (and lots of them), old wood pieces, sea urchin pieces. Walked to the bathroom. Found a skull on the road. Picked it up (I am learning to deal with dead things much better!) and carried it to Dr. B to be identified. He said it was a cat. I nearly cried (I am still upset about this and made note of this in my field journal). Climbed into the new site that we will be working on (I had to wear a helmet and it was a real sketch ladder, but I survived!) Came home. Cooked dinner (I made nasty brown rice (whoever buys bulk bags of brown rice instead of Minute Rice is just silly!), chicken and broccoli...and everyone said that they liked it. Were they being nice? Probably. Did they mean it? Probably not. Did I have to add enough soy sauce that I should never eat salt again to make it taste like something? Yes.). First class (talked about the colonization of Oceania and Lapita Pottery for two hours...Don't ask me to sum up it up). Home. BLOG. Bed soon. 

There is a definite trend to our days. We wake up. Eat. Leave. We come home. Eat. And Sleep. There was some talk about charades last night but no go. Either way, I have a ton of time to Facebook (if the internet isn’t being a little beatch) and to write postcards.  The problem is that the time zone change here is so whack that by the time we get back from class it is at least 11PM on the “mainland.” So sorry that I text people at like midnight…my bad!

 To sum up everything so far (and then some pics of the cave!)... I AM SURVIVING FAIRLY WELL!! But then again, it is day 5... ask me again on day 15!

From inside the "poor man's time machine"/sinkhole/digging area. 

This is the little hole that we have to crawl through to get into or out of the site. It involves quiet the technique to get in without bumping your head!

Did you know that there was once a commune in the cave?

(And shout out to BFF Lauren for finding the most amazing YouTube video ever. If you want to see your favorite childhood cartoon characters and get a GREAT anti-drug message at the same time then this will be the best 27 minutes of your life! 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Breaking News: LeBron going to play for the Heat and my skin is white.

(I am BIG fan of Craig’s List so this post is being set up in rant/rave style…enjoy!)

Rave: I am IN the house. I have a bed. Did I sleep well in it last night? No. I slept rather poorly. But the point is, I have a bed IN a house.
Rant: If you see me out in the sun and I am not wearing a hat, please do not ask me if I need sunscreen. I know that I am white. Unlike Michael Jackson (RIP) and Sammy Sosa I have had the same skin color for the last 22 years, going on 23. I know that I might burn. However, I sometimes just don’t wear sunscreen and I hate wearing a hat. I do this knowing that I might be a little red, but without that red I will stay white forever. Please do not point this out to me. Again, I KNOW! Which brings up reason #867970 why I LOVE cats: They do not judge the fact that I have skin that is whiter than white and they do not remind me constantly.
Rave: My computer has been unplugged for 24 hours and I haven’t had to charge it !
Rant: I had to wear a hat today.
Rave: I saw the cave for the first time today. It was not at all what I expected it to be, it was still really cool and I did not have to wear a helmet (fingers crossed that it stays that way)! I will take pictures soon so that you can see my new home away from home.
Rant: There is a dead body somewhere in the cave.
Rave: I am in wayyy better shape than I thought after our little hike today, and the food is subpar at best so I better be lookin’ ballin’ after this little adventure!
Rant: Granola bars. Ewwww to the extreme, and they are one of the few things to eat in the house.
Rave: My polio shoes are not as bad as I thought that they would be. I am sorry polio shoes for laughing at you non-stop when I was buying you.
Rant: This is like real school. With lectures, syllabus, quizzes, writing papers, midterms, and a final that is due while I am on PA VACAY TWENTY TEN. So not cool.

I don’t have any pictures yet (and to be honest, we really haven’t done anything yet) but I am sure that there will be lots to come! And, now that I think about it, I did try to take a picture of these sea turtles that we saw floating in the water below us, but I couldn't zoom in far enough....sorry charlie!
Yesterday: arrived, sat around, watched tv, met people, ate frozen pizza (cooked of course), sat around some more, bed.
Today: woke up, ate dried cereal, drove around, ate a pb&j, hiked a ways (for all you Camp Four Echoers it was basically from Sky Meadow to Smuggs without Thighmaster in mid-July), walked in the waves, came back to the house, BLOGGED!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

D-Day: Let’s get this digging par-tay started!

Well. The program starts tomorrow! Seeing as I am one of the most nervous people on the face of the planet (Once, I literally started to shake and cry before a parliamentary procedure competition in high school) I am starting to freak out just a little bit. I have re-read EVERY e-mail several times (even the one that I got confirming that they got my application). I have packed and re-packed my bag. Everything barely fits and I had to get rid of a quiet a bit to even get it that close. It is GO TIME.

Best Case Scenario: The program starts in the following way: We play some sweeeet ice breakers and then Dr. B and Dr. H sing “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from the Disney film Mulan to us because they a) want to scare us b) want us to be ready for anything (including a battle with the Huns) and c) want to remind me (as if I have forgotten) that I have absolutely NO CLUE what I got myself into. (And yes. At some point during the adventure I will walk to the ocean and sing "Reflections") And then everyone wants to be my friend and I am the most popular girl in my class and I have the most comfy bed IN the house!

Worst Case Scenario: No one likes me. And I have to sleep outside with no tent because I did not bring a tent. And then, as if this all isn’t bad enough, I realize that I forgot something really important. And then a rock falls on my head and the cave implodes on me.

And just to double-check my packing list:
- work clothes (i.e. shirts (including one from my first NATIONAL BPA convention!) and shorts and socks) CHECK
- party clothes…well I have one nicer top and a pair of overall shorts… so CHECK
- polio/hiking shoes (and I feel oddly ok making that comparison/joke because FDR is my favorite president!) CHECK

yep. these are my shoes. and i did arrange them that way so that you could see all angles.
- “lightweight sleeping bag” and a pillow. CHECK
- sunscreen (i don't plan on wearing it, but I have it) CHECK
- iPod (I know that there will be at least one night where all I am going to want to do is curl up and listen to a little J.Bieb while watching Wordplay) CHECK
- textbooks, PDF articles, composition notebooks, mechanical pencils. One very nerdy CHECK
- postcards. And postcard stamps. CHECK and CHECK
- a rash... NOPE! good news the rash is gone!! i look normaler again!
- Nalgene water bottles. CHECK
- painted toe nails. CHECK

I think that I have it all... except this really great giant floral shirt! my final farewell before I enter the "poor man's time machine" (what one of the professors call the cave) I want to leave you with this photo. WISH ME LUCK!! Let's be honest... we all know that I am going to need LOTZ of it!

I found this little tiny paper flag at the pool and I immediately ran back to the house, got Koa, put the flag in the ground, pulled up some grass, and then took this patriotic and inspiring photo. And I did it all in a wet swimsuit with my hair all over the place. You're welcome!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Reason #867969 Why I LOVE Cats: I do not like mice/rats/rodents of any kind.

Fun Fact #1: When I was in…oh let’s say...7th grade my family went to Hawaii with some of my dad’s friends for a little vacay. We stayed in this old house that was once part of one of the sugar cane plantations that raped the land of Kaua’i (it was the manager’s house… and I do not condone slavery in any way shape or form, but my mom made the reservations so talk to her). One night while dinner was being made (it was stir fry night (you have no idea how vivid this memory is in my mind)) I was in the kitchen “helping” and a mouse ran out from under the fridge across the floor to under the oven. I FREAKED THE F OUT! I climbed on one of the barstools and proceed to scream as loud as I could b/c that was clearly going to help the situation. EVERY SINGLE time I walked in the kitchen after that I would stomp my feet, sing real loud, and scream at that wretched little brown mouse to stay away. (And once I almost lost a job offer at a summer camp b/c I told the director that I was scared of mice and could not work indoors b/c of it…lesson learned on what not to do in a job interview.)

Fun Fact #2: One of the cave’s big claim to fame (at least in the Anthro world) is that a fraction of a Pacific Rat (Rattus Exulans for you rat nerds) pelvis was found in the cave that proved that humans had really come to the island much earlier than was originally thought and that is why the birds started to go extinct because the rats ate the trees blah blah yada yada. Excuse me! That is no good for this girl! Add to my hate for rodents my hate for dead things in general and we might have a problem on our hands.

Fun Fact #3: I do not like birds. There are a lot of bird bones in this cave also. In fact, one of the original researchers of this cave is a bird expert in every sense of the word. Legend has it that if you hand him a bird bone behind his back he can identify it with no problems. And he worked at the one of the Smithsonian Museums! What did I sign up for!?

BUT I do like snails. There are a lot of snail fossils in the cave. On day numero uno I am going to volunteer to be the “Snail Girl” and deal exclusively with the snails. My credentials for this position: I used to have a collection of snails at my fort until my dad logged the area and ruined all of my hard work and research. (I tried to rebuild but it was never the same.)

Obvs this has the potential to be a huge disaster. But the good news is that I think that I finally have everything that I need to survive. Still, rumor has is that I might have to sleep in a tent…HA! I will make some really close new friends (if you know what I am saying) if that is the case.

(P.S. I know that you are all wondering how to say "Happy Birthday America" in Hawaiian. Well... it is "Hau’oli la hanau Amelika." And in honor of the fourth I watched fireworks on the beach. Tried to go to a roller derby scrimmage (long story short, but there were like four ladies at some red dirt outdoor basketball court). Walked a 2K at 6:30AM. Went to a carnival type thing (minus the rides and cotton candy). And today (the 5th of July!) we snorkeled and then I napped. OH and there was a Golden Girls marathon on TWO CHANNELS!! I did not even know what to do with myself.)

Tiki man at the pool!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Best Friend. Soul Mate. Lover. Koa: My Warrior

There he was lying on the beach getting a little sun. He immediately caught my eye. And not to brag, but I caught his. My body: red like a freshly boiled lobster (still got that rash and added a sunburn to the rest of me). His body: plastic and the same color blue as a hypothermia victim’s lips. Love. At. First Sight.

My little Army man!

I named him Koa (which means warrior in Hawaiian (which brings up some very exciting news: I got a Hawaiian/English dictionary! BILINGUAL BABY!))

Bad news though: Koa has crabs (just kidding… he is perfect and STI FREE!)

Koa loves to be by the ocean so you better be expecting lots and lots of updates on Koa and I. He is going to be like my little “Where’s Waldo?” in all future pictures!

- Went to the Lihue shopping center yesterday (and I resisted the COKE ICEE that awaited me up the street at K-Mart (pat on the back!)) and saw a Hula contest.

This is the MC. He held that little dog the entire time that he was presenting the dancers.

The Hula-ers!

- Went to an art walk (where I found my new dictionary (or as the Natives say “puke wehewehe ‘ole-lo”))

There was also this man playing Elvis/Johnny Cash/country music outside of the bookstore.

- My mom just photoshopped a picture of her face over mine. It is too creepy to post on even this blog. We need more things to do.

- Played in the waves today. Nearly got swept to sea. Got sand in places that sand should never go.

- Still reading articles about “sweet potatoes”, “carbon dating”, “avian extinction due to habitat loss caused by pacific rats” and more "interesting" archaeology things. (blahhhhhh borrrrrrrrring)

- Wrote a bunch of stuff in the sand.

Don't we all!

This is going to be the next cover of The Trident. Wait for it.

Watch out Pennsylvania!

-Found some weird alien signals in the sand.

Will Smith Tribute: "Men In Black" meets "Independence Day" on the beaches of Kaua'i.

-Went to a farmers market and got some veggies and fruits, and then we went to a beach made of glass.

- I made my own lei and then got a giant iced tea from McDonald's.

My lei!

Strolling on the beach and found some kitty footprints.

- And the day ended with my mom telling me a vagina joke.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Why yes! That is a rash on my chest, but I am still beautiful on the inside.

It is unexplainable, but sometimes when I get a little bit of sun on my chest (and I am talking about real, straight from the sky sun (not tanning bed sun)) I get this rash. It is an itchy, big, red bumpy blob. It is my cross to bear. Well… as I was complaining about this rash looking real ugly, my mom (bless her heart) turns to me and says “You’re beautiful on the inside.” AND THEN SHE STARTS TO LAUGH and has to leave the room to regain composure. Thanks a lot MOM! You birthed me and you can’t even say with a straight face that I am “beautiful on the inside” (which is already one of the biggest insults you can give a person). Aloha to you too.

And that is how my day started. But even with that small set back today was not half bad. My loving mother woke me up at 6AM for a beach walk. We shopped a little. I got another COKE ICEE and then I napped for four hours (oops!) because I had to take a Benadryl for my rash. Then we made Pina Colada’s (and drank them out of coffee mugs) and went to dinner where there was this local band playing their ukuleles! And even though I could not understand one word that they were saying it was very nice and soothing (comparable to baby making music).

As you look at this photo, please have this song playing in the background.

Oh! And last night I found the Hallmark Channel on the television (channel 63!) right as Golden Girls was on! It was pretty much the greatest thing ever. In fact, while it was on I totally forgot that I was having a rash situation. That is how happy Blanche (RIP), Dorothy (RIP), Rose (stay strong GF), and Sophia (RIP) make me!

(And a shout out to my sister Sarah from STL for following my blog! DELTA/BLOGGER LOVE!)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Macy’s, Salvation Army, Coke Icee: This is Still America After All!

The first complete day in the Aloha State is coming to a close! But first a wrap up of yesterday: Mom and I made it to the “cottage” last night around 10PM Hawaii time…which is 1AM Idaho time! I had to dump out my entire suitcase to find my pj’s and then I hit the hay while watching one of my favorite movies, Wordplay.

Our meal on the flight came with a prayer and a flower. I tried to take a really pretty/artsy photo with my phone. Obvs that didn't work.

Mai Tai's on the plane!

And then I woke up. Thank you very much Mr. Rooster for helping me with that one (and he didn't even wake me up singing some song from Rock-A-Doodle-Doo). There are wild chickens and cocks (had to) running around all over this island (including in the K-Mart parking lot) and they are not afraid to make their voices heard no matter time in the morning it is. Sooo pleasant!

***FUN FACT: We are staying in Kekaha (“the place” in Hawaiian) which is the home of Hawaii’s first (and according to Wikipedia, only) train robbery! The thief was a fisherman who liked Western movies and wanted to copy them. Learn something new everyday!***

When I finally got out of bed my mom was more than ready to start the day, which included the following: Salvation Army in Hanapepe. WalMart. Salvation Army in Lihue. K-Mart. Macy’s. Taco Bell. While each of these stops was memorable the BEST parts of the day were:
-The recipe that I found for Garbage Soup submitted by Phyllis Diller in a cookbook with recipes from friends of Mamie and Dwight Eisenhower. Who would have thought that Mamie and Ike where so close to Phyllis.
-Not seeing any honeymooning couples committing excessive PDA right in front of me
-Seeing a lookalike of my car (His name is Carlos. He is a green Honda CRV and he is everywhere. They must have made like 800,000 of him just for the state of Idaho!)
- COKE ICEE from the Little Caesars in K-Mart!

Then we came back home and relaxed by the pool while I was forced to read scholarly articles about “sites”, “formation processes”, and “archaeological records.” Dinner. Sunset on the beach. And of course BLOGGGING.

Ignore the fact that my hair does not like this weather and that I was unable to find any funny cat postcards (yet!) I would say that you have yourself a pretty good day! And here are some pics of that day!

Lobster dinner!! (while walking on the beach I found all of these pieces and then put them together. And we didn't have lobster. We had tuna.)

I found this shoe and my heart started to break for the little girl that lost it. And then I felt extra bad for her because I bet that her mom was really upset with her.

I really like this postcard b/c I think that Hawaiian shirts are really funny!

Sunset on the beach.