My nostrils are crooked!

[Update 1/1/2020: Far and away, this post is the one that gets the most hits from direct search queries.  Since I am now an experienced ENT surgeon (although this is not medical advice), do not worry about crooked nostrils!  Most people have slight asymmetry to their faces.  Specifics on nostril-shape: a deviated septum or flared medial lower lateral crura can cause differences in nostril-shape.  Surgical correction is likely to help but unlikely to create complete symmetry.  Also, if you have a wide nasal base and want your nostrils made smaller, be aware that it is hard for the nose to look normal after Weir incisions- scarring that I’ve seen is fairly obvious since surgical alteration of the alar groove tends to give a “stuck-on” appearance to the nose.]

Have you ever thought that people notice the weirdest things? I was thinking about facial symmetry the other day. Although you would think one side of the face should be a mirror image of the other, it’s often not. Sometimes it’s due to acquired life experiences- a scar here or there, for example. But a lot of the times, it’s just the way a person’s face is. I’ve seen pictures before where true mirror images of a person’s side of the face is copied to the other and it is really interesting. Some people look way different, usually in terms of how their countenance appears.

This thought comes up every so often because I frequently think of a plastic surgery patient who came to follow-up and was very upset that her nostils were asymmetrical. Qu-est que c’est? Who thinks about that? Well, my sister for one. Ask her about what she thinks about Rosario Dawson’s nostrils. Something vaguely bothered my sister while she was watching a movie featuring R.D. and at the end, thanks to an illuminating camera angle, my sis realized that it was RD’s freakishly large nostrils.

Discuss amongst yourselves. Next up in vague Mike Myer’s line references: “Head” in So I Married an Axe Murderer.

My Summer Vacation

With a subject like that, I feel I should be writing this in a bound composition book. Which, BTW, did you know the covers for the black and white marble composition books have totally changed? They still have the same pattern but the firm cardboard is gone! It is now a very flimsy thin cardboard cover. Way disappointing.

So, this summer has ended up being totally awesome. Apart from my entries bemoaning my complete lack of Kanji knowledge, it looks like I left off somewhere in Guam. Oh and the language fix. EMBARRASSINGLY simple. Less whining, more doing is the takeaway point o’ the day.

Guam was awesome. I stayed in a hotel right on Tamuning Bay, away from the main strip in Tumon Bay. I went there several times for dinners, movies, and hanging out but there were so many KH people around that it was nice to be removed from the action for the majority of the time.

There was an awesome restaurant near the Marriott that I totally cannot remember the name of but it was a combo coffee shop with fresh out of the oven baked goods and a great restaurant. I had an ahi tuna/mashed avocado tower that was incredibly good. The presentation was beautiful- perfectly layered circles of the dish components.

My favorite place in Guam is definitely Ritidian Point. It’s a nature preserve with beautiful beaches that feel like they are private. Each beach site has its own parking spot and it’s really nice to go on a weekday. I could look in either direction and for a good part of the time I was there, I was unable to see anyone else. It was so beautiful and peaceful.

After the Guam trip, the KH sailed around for almost three weeks until we got to Hawaii. Hawaii was amazing. I stayed in a condo near Kailua (East/windward side) 1-3 July, worked on the 4th and during the day on the 5th, then stayed in Waikiki 5-7 July. The absolute culinary highlight was brunch at the Halekulani. I have been to some amazing brunches in my life (Army-Navy, Shangri-La in Malaysia) but this was so far beyond those places it’s hard to describe. My favorite dish was the Eggs Benedict with the egg on crab hash as opposed to Canadian bacon. It was delicious. Other highlights were the Kailua pork right off of a whole roasted pig, crème fraiche with the ripest berries, fresh sashimi, cheese blintz, and awesome pecan rolls. I got to wash it down with a spicy Bloody Mary that was totally delicious since the waiter seemed to take it as a personal challenge to deliver a truly spicy one. The horseradish was minced to a wasabi-level of fineness and definitely delivered a punch. Although I still prefer the diced horseradish since it adds a little more texture to the drink.

I also went to the beach. I went sea kayaking once. I have still yet to climb Diamond Head and I didn’t go back to Waimea Bay and jump off the rock so I guess I’ll have to go back again at some point.

Although I did go back later in the month. Yes, after 3 weeks of RIMPAC (oh the jokes made with that name, oh ho ho!), the KH went back to Hawaii for three days. Although I had a few work related errands to do, I still managed to get to the beach, eat, drink and sleep. It was very relaxing.

Then came the time I had been waiting for all summer- getting my iPhone! No, just kidding. It was time to get ready to leave! I cleaned out my desk and stateroom, packed things in bags, completed my check-out list, and was ready to go when we pulled into San Diego on the 7th. I picked up my car that day, filled it to the brim, and moved all of my stuff into my new digs in Hillcrest which is an AWESOME place to live. My run to work is just under 2 miles. There’s a great wine bar right around the corner with a great cheese/meat/bread/olive platter that I found on my first night (priorities!). I ordered the large platter because I was hungry and my only other wine bar “platter” experience was at Bitsy’s in Ometasando where the $12 plate had maybe an ounce and a half of cheese on it. And a cracker. But oh my, I am back in the USA where restaurants are communist establishments if they do not take it upon themselves to expand your waistline for you each and every time you visit. The plate came with four forks and was enormous. But it was very good so next time I’ll go the half-size mini route. Gooooooooo, self-restraint!

The next day I did, in fact, get my iPhone. I had been planning on going to the hospital to check-in but I was told to not even bother, that a Monday start was just fine. Although I wrote back and essentially said, “No really, I already feel like a big dummy starting so late,” I was told not to worry. So, if I’m told twice to take a day off , well, that’s what I do! So I got my black 16G iPhone and I love it. It is still outfoxes me on a daily basis with its sheer amazingness but someday, I’ll be able to stop making one-touch phone calls that I don’t mean to make.

I *heart* San Diego!

Argh, I have totally be trapped in my “I have so much to update and I don’t know how to start” paralysis. Exhibit A? I don’t even have any summer pictures on my FLICKR account. I will work on it- promise! I have to finish up Guam, Hawaii I & II as well as various other topics o’ the summer.

BUT, things that I already love about San Diego-

1. MY IPHONE! I finally got it. And it is the kewlest. I love it. I’m trying to think of a name, but it can’t be forced, you know?

2. I live 2 miles from work. And I ran my future commuting route tonight. One or two slight inclines but nothing bad in either direction!

3. My new roomie is great. Phew! Normal in email translated to normal in life. And her dog is even cuter than the pics!

4. I made mussels for the first time ever. Tomato-garlic broth, only 4 unopened mussels, no food poisoning- awesome!

5. I love Cabrillo Monument National Park. I think it’s tied with Torrey Pines for prettiest views in SD.

6. I am completely moved off the Kitty Hawk. It was slightly hellacious moving all my stuff off (heavy!) but it’s done.

7. Checking into the hospital is working out well. But that’s another entry.

Ok, I’ll write real, essay-like entries v. soon. No more cop-out lists!

Kanji still haunts me!

Ok, so I really want to continue my blog (BTW, Hello! It’s been awhile, no?) but my profile is still in Japanese when I try to edit posts, settings, etc. This is very problematic since I can’t read Japanese! So I’m going to try and figure out how to change the language setting.

But for now…I’m in San Diego! I arrived yesterday, picked up my car Bluey, moved off the ship (heinous), moved into my new place. I will write more later but I’m just trying to figure out if I should pack it in and just start a new blog or call a help line. Does Blogger have a help line? I will let you know!

Kanji haunts me!

Argh! I’m in a U.S. territory and my blogger account still comes up in Japanese lettering. What to dooooo???!?!?!!?!?! I certainly don’t know enough to change it. Boo!

So, guess where I am right now? If you said, “Mmmmm, not Hawaii?” I would say bad words followed by “You are correct!” The past two weeks have been a roller coaster of rumors and irritations as the Kitty Hawk has to continue forward since the GW is a burnt little husk of a boat right now. Here’s a breakdown-

Kitty Hawk: Summer o’ fun: CANCELLED, Summer of long exercises: Game on!

GW: Pierside in SD, collecting COLA and working duty section only

Who’s the winner? I will let you take this vague sporty metaphor and draw your own conclusions.

HOWEVER. I am slightly winner-y in that it looks good that I will start my residency sometime in August. While this is less than ideal, it’s definitely better than September and definitely better than being bumped for a year. That would have made me very sad.

And, to answer the question as to where I am, I’m in Guam! In the Santa Fe hotel. Who needs 8 days in Hawaii when you can have 3.5 in Guam? That’s like a showcase showdown prize you would TOTALLY pass on. But at least you’re still in the Showcase Showdown, right?

I went to a Hail and Bail yesterday, which was fun and today I’m just chilling out. Maybe I’ll finally get my haircut after wanting to do so for the last 2 months. Whoa! Slow down speedracer of excitement! And Thursday I’m meeting up with a bunch of people to go see the Indiana Jones movie. I will let you know my personal opinion of how Harrison Ford has aged. Until then!


And…I’m outta here! It’s been an awesome, less-than-a-year in Japan but I’m so excited for what lies ahead. Although I’ll probably scoff at those words in a few months once I’m fully immersed in the bleariness of residency sleep deprivation. Things are newly up in the air (of course) after a fire on the G-Dub, but there’s no sense in worrying about things now. It’ll take a week before any real news comes through about how the KH may be affected. So, I don’t even have my fingers crossed right now because in the grand scheme of things, my lil’ residency plans are pretty puny on the importance scale. I mean, except to me, but it’s only on my blog that I’m the star of the show!

I wrapped up my time in Japan with a duty day, followed by a trip to Nikko and Tokyo. Yesterday was a crazy busy day, but I have now crossed off everything I wanted to do in Japan. After all, I even got to eat at Pepper Lunch, under the JR train tracks in Shibuya! It’s a punch-button menu place where you hand in your ticket and get a plate of whatever raw beef you ordered that cooks in about 30 seconds flat in the hottest cast iron skillet known to man.

Thanks for reading. I’m planning on continuing my writing because it’s a nice little outlet. If I become too boring during residency, please let me know. Then I’ll start making stuff up!

Sayonara minus 2

Good-bye Yokohama! I finished cleaning the apartment yesterday. I paid the final bills between 1300-1500, then met with the agent and landlord rep at 3 o’clock. The timeliness of it all was amazing. I love the narrow time frames- forget the “morning” or “afternoon” options you get in the States! Not that I am a States hata’ after this brief Japan interlude. There are just a lot of things I appreciate and/or will miss. But I’m on my way to residency, which in a way is where I’ve wanted to be all along.

After the apartment close-out frenzy, I went to Kamakura and bought some more beautiful things at the paper shop, continuing my trend of using the KH as my own personal moving van. Tomorrow I have off and I’m planning on going to Nikko. I would love to see it in the sunlight as opposed to the mist I saw it in with Mom. Although it was beautiful then, I think the gold leaf in the sunlight will be amazing. So, fingers crossed! Or I could just check the weather report.

Packout complete!

So, what do I do? I go to the Loft, the best store around, and pick up a few last minutes things that I’ve always wanted. Nice! Fill the house as soon as it’s emptied. Other than the Godzilla sized dust bunnies. The movers left those behind, curses! But it’s ok. I have lots of storage room on the ship *huge eyeroll*. At least I bought my coolest!bike!ever! prior to the packout. I love Japanese bicycles and now I own one. I am the kewlest!

I definitely cashed in my moving karma this a.m. so I better work on banking some up. The movers showed up at 0758 and the appliance guys arrived at 0858. So, by 11, I was done for the day (see: shopping note above). Best move ever! The two guys were pretty speedy and I tipped them so I think all my stuff should arrive. They won’t steal my Sponge Bob pinata or lifesize Elvis cutout as payment. Not that I think they would, but really, you can’t be too careful with such priceless items.

Among my purchases, I bought two “sake cups,” which are little glasses of sealed sake. There are the funniest pandas on them with very peculiar, doesn’t-seem-very-panda-more-anteater-but-then-again-I’ve-only-seen-pandas-from-afar-at-the-zoo snouts. Longest made up adjective string ever!

But have you ever bought something “cute” or carried something *super* necessary that became much less positively superlative the longer you carried it? Yeah, that was me and the panda cups. But I stuck it out. And now they’re in my empty apartment, save me, a bunch of trash I need to sort (gack! Japanese recycling laws, dame!), and my new purchases.

Pictures tomorrow. Indeedy. I love the surfing pics. And I will share with you. Only because you asked so nicely!

Surfing Safari!

Last Saturday may have been one of my favorite days in Japan. I went on a surfing safari with an awesome group to roll with. Zuks and Mechen had been talking about surfing Chiba forever and in the course of various conversations, the group shaped up to include me, Ben and Bernard.

Zuks had borrowed Andrea’s ridiculously large Jeep Wrangler. We took the auto ferry to Chiba. The day was completely gorgeous, especially since 4 out of 5 of us had spent the previous day on the ship in duty status. We sat out on the top deck with the exception of a chu-hi break. Hey, start the morning off right!

We drove around Chiba for a few hours with a few snackie breaks. The main point was to get around the point of the peninsula to see the waves on the ocean side. We scoped out a few spots before deciding to stop at a really nice reef spot. It was a difficult spot to surf even for the experienced guys because the waves were breaking left and the current was pushing us right. I had an awesome time. BTW, I’ve never surfed prior to this. My paddling is pretty set, but I have to work on the whole pop thing. But I had fun trying and using the surfboard as a boogie board worked!

We were all kind of wiped when we started driving back, but all of a sudden we saw an AWESOME beach spot where we had actually looked at earlier in the day. We walked down to the beach and I decided that we were definitely going in. Mechen was with me and we convinced the other three, mainly with the “When are we ever going to be here again?” argument. Pulling on damp wetsuits in the fading light of day was slightly unpleasant but the surfing was so awesome that everyone was really happy we stopped.

We left around 1930 and headed back to the ferry with a growing sense of foreboding that maybe we really should have checked the ferry schedule for the last ferry of the day. After getting a little lost, we arrived at the terminal exactly 27 minutes after the last ferry had set sail. So, we went to dinner and ate just about everything in sight. Then we took the tunnel/bridge across the water to Yokohama. By the end of the night, I was definitely done with being in the car after multiple “scenic routes”. But there’s no way it could have been done without wheels and it was an amazing trip. I was just a little cranky after being in the middle seat all day-stupid short legs not needing legroom!

Sortie, sortie!

I’m writing this entry as a slight break from cleaning/organizing my place in preparation for the Tuesday pack-out. BUT! We are in Class C sortie status b/c a typhoon is apparently lurking to the South. I am crossing my fingers (and my toes!) that we actually don’t leave because that would cause ever so slight a hiccup in my “leaving Japan” plans. As well as hundreds of other people on the KH but hey! This is my blogie blog!

So, the rest of Hong Kong was awesome. On Thursday, I played major tourist with my one friend who wasn’t on duty from that main group I was rolling with early in the week. We went on the Star Ferry (the rickety one!), Man Mo temple, the Peninsula for Brit style tea (delicious!), Ladies’ Market, and dinner and nighttime city views atop Victoria Peak. It was awesome. I got to see a lot all in one day and even though I was ready to head out, my palie walie headed back to the ship b/c he was tired from his duty day. What a weenie! So, I headed back to my hotel to sleep. My liver was pretty happy if not my party face.

Friday, I went to Macau. The Portuguese architecture was pretty cool but it was quite different than I was expecting. I thought it would be a little piece o’ Portugal on the seaside. Instead, it was a fairly congested small city with tons of casinos. I’m definitely glad I went- it was just different. We actually decided to head back to HK for dinner, which was a great decision since we had a great dinner at Vivo. Then Sue and I headed to Lan Kwai Fong and didn’t get back to the ship until 0240 (curfew was at 0300! We’re so naughty!).

Then we left Saturday. Underway was notable for the fact we came into port early, which was totally sweet. I definitely did work hard for the week and a half underway because there was this totally raging stomach bug going around that was slaying people. I saw over 100 people my duty day. It was almost fun to be busy although I was burnt by the end of the day.

So, we came back Monday the 12th. I didn’t do too much the first two days, but then I went to a BAYSTARS GAME!!! My favorite!!! I bought a wristband that I’ve been wearing non-stop. It’s my Kinjoh #1 power! I love it. I also bought a cell phone charm. I hope my Iphone-to-be has a little cell phone charm attaching place. I love that about Japan. I feel so Japanese and blend in-able when I have my cell phone charm.

When we were at the game, Sue and I decided that we had to karaoke one more time (at least) before leaving Japan so the very next night, we went to 2econd Home with an awesome group. Prior to, we had some awesome Indian food. There are pictures floating around somewhere that I am a little afraid to see. Being caught mid-sing is actually very unflattering. Almost as bad as mid-bite but really, there’s nothing worse than that. Other than the completely separate category of being caught doing socially unacceptable things, nose-picking and the like, etc. [Please not, I do not pick my nose nor do I know of any photos that would document this completely false fact, unless they exist of Caroline, age 4 or younger.]

Then yesterday, I went with four friends to Chiba for a surfing safari. It was so awesome, it deserves its own entry so until next time, space cowboys!