Thursday, September 25, 2008

Heading Back

To Hawaii that is. Most of the "business" stuff I came for I accomplished: the Camry sold (finally out of my Dad and Stepmom's way), found the paperwork I needed for immunization records (I think), and I closed a bank account that has no branches in Hawaii. I also rounded up what I hope will be the most useful of my college books for my upcoming studies. Yes, I know that new classes will require new books, but I imagine that I will need to review some of the material I should have already learned. And there is the Sociology GRE I need to take if I am to apply to that department. Plus, I miss having books. My very small collection of 8 is depressing considering I had 5 full bookcases in Colorado. With the box I mailed to myself, I might have enough for a full shelf now.

Between rain-filled days and waiting around for people to come look at my car, I did get to do some fun things. Went to Defiance Point Park in Tacoma with my Dad on Sunday. We hiked around the park, all the while feeling lucky we had found a hole in the weather. The trip home included a detour through West Seattle for pub-grub followed by a walk along Alki Beach. Soon as we got home it started raining again.

Tuesday I caught the bus into downtown Seattle. I had a gift card leftover from Christmas, and it turns out September is a great time for deals on summer clothes. I then walked all over the downtown area, from Pike Place Market to the International district. Some things have changed dramatically from what I remember on previous visits, but there was still enough the same that I felt at home. By the time I'd had enough and decided to find a bus back, I had been walking around for nearly 7 hours. Just like the Euro-adventure, it is still the best to see a city by foot. Again, I managed to pick the best day to do that, as it has been raining for the last two days. Here are some pictures I caught along the way (and yes, I forgot my camera, so all pictures were taken with my cell phone).
Flower Stands

Produce. Wish I could find something like this on Oahu.

The guys that throw the fish.

"Go to Hell" brand cigarettes. Found at a small odds and ends shop in the market. Thought it was hilarious.

Looking out across the water from the park at the end of the market.

On the bus ride back home I got in contact with my sister, and instead of making the connection to get back to my Dad's house, we went out for some retail therapy.
The funny "Spotted Dick"

Some EVIL wine. Bet this would go good with the "Go to Hell" cigarettes.

Tonight my brother should be stopping by with his girlfriend. He's making some big changes in his life right now, and it is good to see him doing so well. Next time I promise to remember my camera too, so I can get better pictures.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I have thought of using Space-A travel before, that is, flying on military flights where there is space available for passengers, but was never quite able to figure out how to go about doing so. A few weeks ago at a BBQ, a Navy retiree filled me in on some useful information, and I found that getting signed up and learning more was a simple visit to my local Air Force Base. Thinking that the passenger terminal would be closed over the weekend and holidays, I went in the day after Labor Day to get myself signed up and learn more.

It was easy. Show them my military ID card and I go on the list for 60 days. The sooner I know I want to go somewhere and can sign up, the better my chances for going. I was then given a sheet with telephone numbers for bases all over the world and told to call ahead to get on their lists. With a dark week (read: no hours) coming up at work, I signed myself up and made a mental note to stop back by a couple of days before I wanted to fly out. I was told that if I came in person, I could get flight information for the next 72 hours.

On Monday I stopped by after work. The next flights that looked to get me close were headed to California, but I was told they would be a good bet because the base there acts as a hub. I had to work Tuesday, so I wrote down the info for Wednesday and went home, thinking that would be the earliest I would have a chance to get out.

Tuesday I stopped by again, just to see if there was anything new. There was. A direct flight, and if I wanted to make it, I would need to be back ready to go in 3 hours. Good thing I travel light, I was able to finish up work stuff, get packed, and go see my boyfriend before heading back to base to see if I would make the flight. Of course, it helps that the base is only 15 minutes away. About half an hour after getting there I was told I would fill the 5th and final spot available on the plane. When I was handed my ticket, I was told not to go anywhere, we were loading shortly. The plane was meant for take-off an hour after the seats had been assigned.

Now for the other part of Space-A: it is unlikely you will be on a plane meant to carry passengers. I rode on a C17. It was full of cargo. Hence the reason for only taking 5 additional people.
(not the plane I was on, but I pic I found online)

I arrived at Ft. Lewis (near Tacoma, WA) at about 5am local time. Made it to my Dad's house a few hours later, and now I'll be here for about a week visiting family and friends. I think next time I might see about traveling out of the country. That would be fun, but I probably need to save some cash first.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I'm Going Back to School!

Today I received an acceptance letter from the University of Hawaii, granting me admission as a graduate student to start in the Spring 2009 classes. According to the information they sent, looks like classes start on January 12, 2009. I haven't looked at class schedules yet, so I don't know what is going to be available, but I do know I'll be back in the classroom. I haven't yet decided on a set program, but am looking at both Anthropology and Sociology. I'm also interested in their International Cultural Studies Certificate, which would go along with either program.

The next step will be trying to convince them that as far as their residency requirements go, I'm not a resident of any state, and therefor should be granted in-state tuition for Hawaii since I have been here the longest in the last 12 months. Then I'll have to work on the funding issue.

But I'm still excited, some of my waiting has paid off. Now if only I would hear back on one of those government jobs I applied to last week....