Notes from a faraway island
May 25, 2008
my trip to CT
Topic: visiting Jay and Susan
well, centuries later, skeletons were found.
it's been a long time since I posted, somehow spring has morphed into summer. I did get a chance to get down to Niantic Ct to visitme friend Susan and Jay. Susan is the cutest pregant woman I've seen (I am a bit biased) and Jay was his usual entertaining and fun self. They have a great place and it was very relaxing. We did 13 geocaches in 4 days in the Rocly Neck state park right by their home and also in other nearby state parks (Devil's Hopyard and Harkness). The beach was only a block away; saw tons of birds, played Wii, ate incredible food made by uber chef Susan. That trip will hold me until my next day off this Fall.
Check out the photo album 2008 trip to CT
thanks guys, for a lovely time!
April 10, 2008
Yesterday's island article
Topic: a good week
This week has been successful one for me and my committee peeps at our Annual Town Meeting. After 2.5 years, dozens of public hearings, hundreds of comments and emails and letters and conversations and testimony and research and........you get the point; we finally passed 4 articles protecting current use of our waterfront for the community and the public. We had a large cadre of lawyers speaking against these articles for their clients and it took a lot of planning, chutzpah, and some well worded and passionate speeches at town meeting to garner the 2/3 majority to pass these zoning changes. Check out these links for details: www.nantucketharborplan.com and www.ack.net or www.nantucketindependent.com
next weeks town elections will be VERRRRRRYYYYYYYYY Interesting (a little D. Anne lingo for those who frequent our local and lively chatroom www.yackon.com).
The Clean Team is ready to swing into acktion starting April 26th (daffodil weekend, don't ask) check out our kickoff events at www.ackcleanteam.org
Also this week, I had an article printed in Yesterday's Island, a free newspaper available from April to Decemeber each year and very popular with tourists and ACK residents alike: http://www.yesterdaysisland.com/2008/features/torpedoray.php
until next time, here's to a warm spring day!
April 2, 2008
Now on Facebook
Well, I have a million updates to do to my blog, but recently I got on Facebook and have been locating old friends and new friends. Lucky for me I can post an rss feed on Facebook and also send it to folks on my contact list who may (or may not) wish to get the latest greatest ramblings from this blog.
This Saturday, April 6th, in honor of National Poetry Month, we will be doing a special show featuring Jack McCarthy. Check out Jack's work at www.standupoet.net
and go to www.nantucketpoetryslam.org for details
see you soon!
March 14, 2008
Topic: anniversary fun
Len and I bought a Wii for our third anniversary. We figured it would not only be fun to do together, but also would help us get some exercise. It is one of the best things we have ever bought ourselves. It comes with some very basic games and we got the sport pack that includes bowling and tennis and golf and basball. Now we are locked in a head to head bowling competition and we are both pretty darn good if I say so myself (ranked pro after 3 weeks) typically in the 150-220 range. And the first weekend, we bowled about 30 games and then took 2 days to recover because you do make the same movements and pull the same muscles as if you were really playing. Now, in my very limited free time, I am playing Mario galaxy. The tennis is a lot of fun too, baseball's not bad, billards are great, we both suck big time at golf. This weekend I am giving a talk tomorrow and Len is heading off the Rock to hear Robert Pinsky at our old venue Poetribe (www.poetribe.org). It's been a busy and stressful week, but spring is right around the cover!
March 8, 2008
more from Plum
Topic: spring ahead!
Actually right at this moment, on a rainy Saturday, I am working with my lab intern Thomas; he is patiently sieving sand and I am writing water quality research reports. Last month has been super busy as usual. One of our many community hurrahs we helped out on is the "One Book One Island" events (Len did the finale, I did a presentation on Santiago's voyage.)
Check out the finale and other videos and photos here: http://nantucket.plumtv.com/stories/another_chapter_closes
We also had a dolphin rescue attempt which was featured on Plum TV (they did a great job!) at http://nantucket.plumtv.com/videos/dolphins_stranded_madaket_harbor
and Plum TV did two small short films on me this last week. Check this one out (shows my family) at http://nantucket.plumtv.com/videos/plum_life_sarah_oktay
so the wonderful people at Plum seem to be inadvertently or maybe even deliberately documenting my life ;-)
tune in next time for updates on friends, family, movies, etc.
February 10, 2008
February 1, 2008
Saying goodbye to old friends
Topic: my cat wants to kill me
Well, obviously Fridays are a good day for me to post. Lots has happened over the past two weeks. In fact, both Len and I seem to be busy all the time. This entry will talk about two items:
1) the bittersweetness (making up words as I go ;-)) of meeting great people and then they end up leaving the island to find their way in the world. Very common in college relationships, and especially normal for Nantucket. Another loyal reader and all around great person, Sarah Hinman, has left the island after gracing it for almost two years to continue school and reseacrh in KS. My guess is that I am one of the few people on island who can appreciate what she missed about the plains states. I for one always appreciated her smarts, smile, and willingness to pick up trash as an uber loyal member of the Clean Team. So happy trails, Sarah......hope to see you again soon.
Of course a ton of our friends also are enjoying themselves on cruises (DG) or down in the Keys (hi JoAnn and Steve)........we miss them short term but know they are coming back. You are coming back, guys......guys!?
2) Secondly, as you can see from the topic line, my new kitten BBQ wants to kill me. I don't think its entirely deliberate, but I have a broken little toe, black and blue foot, and nice tiny (but painful) scratch on my lip and one furball to blame. To be fair, the broken toe happened about a week and a half ago. The equation: foot winding kitten (feed me!) + beer + naturally clumsy person ≠ ballet! Old friends will be shocked to know that it hurt bad enough the next morning that I went to the ER. I know, not even a bullet wound typically entices me to go there. I did get to wear a stylin' lucky Tom Brady type boot that weighed approximately 20 pounds for 4-5 days until our first real snowstorm of the year hit and I decided socks would not cut it in the snow. I'm still limping, but I should be right as rain in another week or two.
Plenty more to describe (snowstorm photos and tales of hilarity as some very patient poets got stuck for 24 more hours than they planned), but it will have to wait until my next entry.
January 18, 2008
where do the days go??
Hello again. Well, I found out I have at least one fan who is checking this site regularly (Hi Andre') so as a reward for his loyalty and/or tolerance for my bad writing. I want to feature his web site today: http://www.pangaeapress.com/
Andre and his wife Anne have a home on Nantucket and one of their sons was a huge help to me as a volunteer research assistant this past summer.
Busy weekend ahead with MLK events and Sunday's Pats game. the past week has been busy with meetings and preparation for this years Annual Town Meeting. Some of my good friends on island have been suffering the loss of their parents, which is a sad but normal part of getting older. One of the absolutely best and sometimes worse parts of living here and knowing so many incredible people (at last count Len and I have met and count as friends or acquaintances perhaps 500-1000 people) is that almost every week, someone we know or someone close to someone we know dies. Young, old, its the intrinsic nature of this small island out to sea.
On a happier note, I heard from an old friend over Christmas who I had not spoken to in 10-12 years (not intentionally, just one of those drifted away folks). And, I have been asked to start submitting stories to one of our local papers, Yesterday's Island. After they come out this summer, I'll post links to them here.
Tonight, I am heading out to a girls night out event and Len is going to a potluck dinner, so for once, a Friday night will be special. I hope everyone out there is warm and dry.
oh, and go PATS!!!!!!!
December 27, 2007
In the land of root canals, ho ho ho
Topic: Back from the holidays
Well, we made it back on island last Sunday and a good time was had by all except for the X-Mas joy I had of enduring an absess that did not want to respond to pain meds. So today I am off island again to get a root canal and sad to say, I am looking forward to it. We had a great time at our old venue Poetribe on Saturday night. Our surprise arrival was their Christmas miracle. We got to hear some incredible poetry from many old friends and some new ones and a lot of the heavy weight wordsmiths from Boston made it down. We have a ton of social events coming up in the next 2 weeks, so we enjoyed a quiet Christmas at home. Latest news from my family, this video of my nephew wrestling in the 2007 Walsh Ironman event. He beat the #3 seed in his weight division, very cool:
Len's family was doing fine and we got to see friends and snow in the great white north area of Massachusetts. This weekend, the field station will be hosting the Christmas Bird Count.
During our trip off-island to America, we got a chance to see of couple of movies, quick reviews: "No Country for Old Men", one of the best movies we've seen in the past 5-10 years; "I Am Legend", decent start, then ran out of gas, see Omega Man again instead.
Happy New Years to everyone!
December 18, 2007
Topic: Holiday fun
Well, starting tomorrow, Len and I are off on a miniroad trip to visit friends and family scattered throughout the rest of Massachusetts. We've missed the majority of very bad storms although we have had our fair share of high winds which shut down both of the ferries and a few of the planes over the past few days. At least we have heat and light, unlike my friends and family in Tulsa who have endured 4-10 days of no electricity. Our thoughts go out to Chad Parenteau who lost his father earlier this month.
Hope all of you reading this have a wonderful holiday. I'll be posting right before Christmas when we have returned to ACK.
November 27, 2007
Christmas Stroll Events
Topic: Christmas Stroll Events
Boy, I would not call Sunday's night Pats-Eagles game a beating, more like a nailbiter! Fortunately, 8 Yackers showed up to stare at the TV in disbelief.
Christmas Stroll is upon us and of course, the Nantucket Poetry Slam and the Atheneum have a lot going on. This week, Regie Gibson performs Saturday at the African Meeting house at 2:00 pm with Robert Rivera and Eric Peterson (see below) and Richard Cambridge will be performing at the Nantucket Field Station at 2:00 on Sunday, December 2nd for our December Poetry event. We are thinking about changing the name of our venue, you'll hear it here first! And for information on Stroll events and activities, go to Nantucket Chamber of Commerce
December 1, 2007
Christmas Stroll Performance
Synesthesia: n. 1. A sensation produced in one modality when a stimulus is applied to another modality, as when the hearing of a certain sound induces the visualization of a certain color. 2. A seamless marriage of word, song, chant, cello and, percussion. 3. What happens when an Irish ballad meets Moroccan rhythms; when a Shakespearean sonnet hangs out with classical cello and when modern American poetry hooks up with Egyptian Tabla. 4. An artistic offering premiering only on Nantucket.
Regie O’Hare Gibson: Word and African Percussion
Robert Rivera: Cello
Eric Peterson: Middle Eastern Percussion
November 25, 2007
Well, one of the best things to do one a long 4 day weekend, besides walking Nantucket's beautful trails, or going to the Festival of Wreaths, is to catch up one your Netflix movies. Currently, I am trying to make it through Richard Linklater's 2.5 hour Fast Food Nation. I have to agree with my favorite movie review site, www.rottentomatoes.com, that at best FFN is a 51% so so movie. I loved Linklater's "A Scanner Darkly", but this time he makes a "Crash" like attempt to link a variety of disparate story lines into a cohesive narrative, with less than engaging results.
Tonight, we'll meet fellow Yackers (www.yackon.com) at the Rose and Crown to watch the Pats put a beating on the Eagles.
November 23, 2007
Hope everyone had a great Turkey Day. Yesterday we had a lovely dinner with friends Jim and Anne Sutherland. Anne was just featured in the Independent's art section and of course, Jim is my stalwart volunteer. We also made two new friends, David and Laurie. Today, I be brining and cooking a turkey, cause there is no such thing as too much turkey. By the way, the link for the day is www.snopes.com
which is the best site on the web to dispel those pesky urban legends such as the one about turkey dinner containing enough tryptophan that it makes you sleepy. Don't say you didn't learn anything over the holiday. I am also grateful that I am not at some Black Friday shopping nightmare.
November 19, 2007
back in the saddle
Topic: back in the saddle
Hopefully an appropriate title after returning from a 6 day vacation to Oklahoma to see my family! A good time was had by all and I was able to spend some quality time with friends and family in some gorgeous weather (warm, slight breeze, 68-75, sunny). I also did some geocaching (www.geocaching.com) with my nephew Jerrod and I gave guest lectures in Zoology and Environmental Science at Broken Arrow High School at the request of my nephew Justin. The addition of a hot tub and sauna at my brother's house was the icing on the cake and of course we have a traditional holiday viewing of Saw 4 at the nearby metroplex. My lovely sister-in-law Steph, got permanent eyeliner that looks great and I'm jealous. And Alan is doing well and can ran faster than I can bike (uphill and in the wind ;-))
Of course while I was gone, Nantucket had one of the worst storms in the past 20 years (http://www.flickr.com/photos/eyeonack/). We lost several feet of vegetated bluff here at the field station and I had the joy of watching the waves and storm long distance via web cam (http://22.214.171.124).
Yesterday's poetry show featuring David Surette (www.davidsurette.com) was excellent and we had a moving tribute by several friends and family who read the late Del Wynn's poetry.
As winter approaches, I plan to try to put on an entry almost everyday, so stay tuned!
October 11, 2007
Moving a lighthouse and more
Topic: Moving a lighthouse and m
arghhh, I just spent entirely too long writing a very detailed post, just to lose it all. Well, back to the drawing board.
This past week, 3 things happened on island that are indicative of a life on a faraway island, first and foremost, the Sankaty light was moved from the edge of a bluff to a spot 400 feet away. For pictures and info go to http://www.sconsettrust.org/ or to www.yackon.com (search for Sankaty) or either newspaper link below. Sadly, we lost one of our teenagers too soon and over 500 people showed up to grieve and celebrate her life (www.ack.net or www.nantucketindependent.com). And a group of investors banded together to save the Dreamland Theatre. Once again, Nantucket will have 2 movie theatres and perhaps more performance space.
And for the top 17 recent events:
- My college buddy Joel Seymour and his lovely bride Michelle welcomed infant Gabriel Zen Sept 25th, who was born at home in 5 hours. After speaking with a calm and strong Michelle the following day, I'll bet she made cookies later that afternoon.
- Dear friend Lisa is off to Galveston to do some environmental education work while hubby Markus heads back to Antarctica for more research.
- An alumni group of biology students from 1976 returned to the field station to share their experiences and reconnect.
- We got a postcard from Paris from world traveler Patricia. If there is a special place for friends who always send postcards, Patricia would have a reserved seat. I, on the other hand, bought 3 postcards in Maine from our trip there for Rachael and Sam's wedding in July that some friends can expect to receive around Christmas!
- My nephew Justin is now a senior in high school and is considering attending Johnson and Wales in nearby Providence (culinary school with a wrestling team, now there's a combo). My other nephew, Jerrod, is apparently, almost 7 feet tall ;-)
- Someone is turning the big 5-0 on October 28th, and it ain't me
- Speaking of older men, Len just finished a production of "12th Night" for the arts festival and is busy working on a new show.
- This weekend we host Eric Darby (http://www.ericdarby.net/) for the Nantucket Poetry Slam
- My buddy Tammy got another beautiful tattoo and I'm jealous. See her tattoist art work at http://www.myspace.com/riceworks
- SBPF meetings will continue in November, curtailling some of my travel plans. Friends and family can expect to see me in the beginning of December. If you don't know who SBPF are, you have wisely decided not to listen to my tales of 4 hour meetings 3 times a week
- Family scalloping started on island and my scalloper buddies kindly showed what they were catching to a Magic Years class who came to visit the field station (2-4 year olds who make great thank you booklets). I not only got the chance to teach the kiddos, but the scallopers shared some of their luscious catch with me. And the Scallopers Ball is this Friday.
- Len and I attended Tim and Rebecca's fantabulous wedding and reception at the end of Sept (pagan and unitarian ceremony, another nice combo). This year is the year of weddings as I'll be going to my 4th one in December
- I ran a booth with info on the field station for last weekend's Cranberry festival for the Nantucket Conservation Foundation (www.nantucketconservation.org). Over 2000 attendees.
The Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative Conference on Sept 22nd was successful with lots of naturalists and scientists in attendance. I am co-chair of the NBI and helped host the event. Go to www.nantucketbiodiversityinitiative.org for more info.
- We made some headway on our giant knotweed removal project, the Moby Dick for our Invasive Species Plant Committee group
- Len and I got a new ninja kitten named BBQ, a feral kittty with a docked tail and notched ear. very cute; Canada and Jake are not amused. Pictures soon.
- Good friends Kin, Amanda, and Annie coming to see us on the 19th.
Links for the week:
New link from our BIO class this summer. Great pictures, thanks to Joe Catricala http://gallery.mac.com/g/newer.html?url=http://gallery.mac.com/joseph.catricala/100021
Two weeks ago we installed a second web camera on the dorm/classroom. Go to www.umb.edu/nantucket to check this link out as well as our harbor buoy data. the second web camera link will be live there by the 17th of October. If you can't wait, email me and I'll send you the link.
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