Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday stroll down memory lane

So I missed my Saturday stroll down memory lane yesterday because I was out with friends all day: beach, dinner, fireworks, a movie... It's hard to believe it, but I went an entire day without turning on my computer. Anyway, Sunday is also a perfectly lovely day to walk down memory lane.

Four years ago, I was enjoying a busy start to my summer, and I documented much of it in my private journal.

Started my internship at New England Aquarium today. Broke the soap dispenser as I was getting into the shower in the morning. It was early (6:45--earlier than I'd probably been up in months), so give me a break.

Discovered Kukui [our gerbil who was black and round like a kukui nut] had died this morning just before I had to leave for the aquarium. Left a note for the others, but I guess they didn't see it. They buried her later in the afternoon, but before I came home. Not much of a funeral. It's the first time in about 16 years that we've had only one pet.

There was a body floating in the harbor this morning. A couple aquarium people were on the roof and saw it and called the police. They blocked the area off, and removed the body. I heard they estimated the body was like 3 days dead, but I haven't heard who it was or any of the details.

This morning, my brother and I had some excitement. I had let the dog out since she had asked. I was watching her out the window, and I noticed her suddenly go poised and ready, then shoot off towards the neighbors' fence. She is really not a competent hunting dog, but she had that look of being after something. I bolted outside yelling after her. What she had found was an adorable baby deer. I dragged the dog back inside, then called my brother out to see it. The fawn was on the other side of the fence in the neighbors' backyard, and we started to approach it. It let us get surprisingly close--perhaps it was too young to know better. We wondered where its mother was. Was it lost? I went inside to get my camera, but when I came back out, it had disappeared.

So here was my excitement of the day.
I was at the Edge of the Sea exhibit [touch pool at NEAq] around 11:45, over by the sandy area with the hermit crabs, whelks, periwinkles, lobster, and horseshoe crab, where I usually like to stand. Suddenly, there's this man in front of me, showing his kids the exhibit. It's Daniel Dae Kim--Jin, from Lost. This was my first face-to-face encounter with a celebrity (though it's not like he's the hugest star or anything). I was way too shy to say anything, so I just did the professional thing, telling his kids about the horseshoe crab, flipping it over to show its book gills and mouth and such, and showing the molts. But being the geek that I am, I was totally excited.

The biggest event of the summer was my family's Alaskan cruise. My grandparents on my mother's side bought tickets for the whole family (themselves, their three children and respective families--15 in total) on the Holland America ship the Zaandam. I had never been on a cruise before, nor had I been to Alaska. It was spectacular.

Tonight we stayed at a hotel outside of Vancouver (our cruise leaves from Vancouver tomorrow) where they were filming a scene for the movie John Tucker Must Die. It sounds like it will be a terrible movie, but it was kind of cool to see the movie set stuff. It did mean that at midnight, there was an incredibly bright light outside our window and kids getting off a school bus and cheering, over and over again. I took a couple pictures of it from our window.

It's the first day of our Alaska cruise. It was absolutely gorgeous as we set sail from Vancouver, BC. Sunny and windy.

Emily and I spent some nice time out on the front deck, and there were only a couple other people who came out on the front deck while we were there. It was incredibly windy. It was also hard to find--we'd seen the deck from a lookout deck on level 10 or so, and we set out to find this lower front deck, but we walked around the third, fourth, and fifth deck before we realized that we had to go through these unmarked doors on deck 3 to climb the stairs up to the front deck. Anyway, when we found it, we were very pleased with ourselves. Had to stand at the front of the ship like Rose and Jack. Then Nate, Tom, and Caroline spotted us from up on some other deck, and we said to come down. Took tons of pictures.

My cousins and me on the front deck

Played a bit of Scrabble in the library tonight before bed. I started with an entire 7-letter word "PETUNIA" which gave me 74 points. Yay.

Saw a dolphin breaching this evening (about 10:00). Watched the sun set over the water at about 10:37. It was awesome. There was this poor moth out on the front deck, holding on for dear life, since it was soooo windy out on the front deck.

Time stamp: 10:27 pm

Went to the Karaoke Night. Emily was the only one of us who sang (the rest of us were too shy). Some random lady had said someone should do the Titanic song, and I supported the idea (I know it might seem like a bad idea because the Titanic sank and all, but I thought it would be funny). When the karaoke announcer guy Mark announced that Emily was singing "My Heart Will Go On", he gave her the mic and I overheard him saying to this other cruise staff person Scott something like, "Every time someone does this one, I always feel like killing myself." I gave them a good glare to show them I heard, so Mark followed up with hasty a "But I'm sure your friend's going to be fine." Boy were they surprised [Emily, after all, is going to school for voice and may go into a career in opera--she has a gorgeous mezzo-soprano voice]. Afterwards, Mark admitted to the audience that, before the song, he had told Scott that whenever someone does this song in karaoke (and he's done a lot of karaoke so he's heard it many times), he always feels like sticking a knife in his ear, but that is no longer the case, because Emily was amazing. Go Emily, you show that pig.

We saw Glacier Bay today. Very nice glaciers. Saw a good bit of calving. Took lots of pictures. Also saw sea otters, humpbacks, a harbor seal, and another bald eagle.

A glacial valley

Saw orcas today. We were in the outdoor pool on the Lido deck, which was sufficiently warm. It definitely was cold though whenever we jumped out to see the orcas. Apparently, the ones that live in this area don't even eat any warm-blooded animals. So said the whale watch person on the cruise, but I don't know whether that's true or just something she said to make us feel better.

This was actually in July, but I figured it made narrative sense to bring some closure to the cruise...

Disembarkation today. So sad. My uncle kept saying "Good morning!" No, it's not.

We went to the Vancouver Aquarium which was very nice. NEAq is a much older aquarium and thus isn't as shiny and impressive.

Saw the Zaandam leaving with her new passengers. *Sniff.* But we had a good time.

Zaandam embarks with her new lucky passengers

See more photos from my trip here.


Sebastian said...

Way cool! 'Very nice glaciers'. Understatement, or just not an appreciator of vast frozen blocks of ice? :P

This is '05; were you a huge oceanography nerd back then? Or not quite yet? Was it this cruise that turned you into one...?!

I want to do an Arctic cruise some time; it's the kind of thing you 'have' to do as a photographer. Expensive tho'...

Eleni said...

A big understatement. Looking at my journal entries, it seems I was doing mostly documentation--at the time, I didn't feel the need to convey to myself how cool everything was. Perhaps I haven't done my Alaska trip justice in allowing my '05 self to describe it on my blog.

I've basically been interested in the ocean ever since watching The Little Mermaid when I was about 5. At the time of the cruise, I couldn't have been called a true oceanography nerd; I was more of a marine animal enthusiast (I was interning at the aquarium, after all). It was the following year that I started taking proper oceanography courses, though I don't think that was related to the cruise.

Alaska was gorgeous. All of the scenery out there is bigger. The glaciers are awesome. I had just gotten my camera, so I had a great time taking pictures but unfortunately not all of them came out that great. Yes, it's expensive... We were very fortunate that our grandparents bought the tickets for the cruise!