Saturday, December 26, 2009

Of weather vanes...and your vanities

Well if I thought for a second things would slow down after I arrived here, I was SADLY mistaken. Not that I mind being busy, but sometimes, life throws you for more curves than seems possible. Fortunately these were not insurmountable.

Mine have taken a few different forms.

The first few months were such a wild ride, and while at the time it seemed like everything was coming down around my ears, now it still seems crazy, but tolerable. The past always rears its head in unusual ways, and while once upon a time, someone said to me that you are not that person anymore, be that as it may, that person helped shape the one standing today. No matter how much I try to shove it into pine box, and hammer the nails in, it always seems to come out in the most odd moments. Whispers in the hallways and stolen moments in broom closets. This is who and what you are, as it so happens.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Anyway, I'm standing on the cusp of the season almost being over. I'm relieved for sure. I have also asked to leave very early this season, so I can take a trip over to Iceland. I'm not sure what I'm going to be doing for work this off season, but I'm guessing it will all work out the way it should. Sometimes I have to let go. Give control over to the divine influence (more like the voices in my head), and let them do the negotiating. Let them do the driving.

My sweater puppies drive a lot.

Work is interesting. I have really enjoyed my co-workers on an Epic scale. At times I have not enjoyed the stress, and I certainly do not enjoy it when my pager goes off, and it has nothing to do with a booty call. But overall, it really is not bad, and will keep the doors of opportunity opening, provided I keep my temper in check. This season is was a test for sure.

Well, Happy New Year to the masses, and as always I'm hoping for peace on earth and lobster tails for everyone.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cover the ears...

Or not.

I start the long process of flying back to the Ice on Friday.

All I can say, is what a weird fucking ride this season home has been.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Of line drives and Anubis...

Kind of in a funk today...

Actually more like a melancholy. I'm not sure why. Not like I have much on my mind, or really my plate, but this season stateside has been nothing short of insane.

The breast lump scare, the basement flood, my parental units, his parental units, our work. All of it made the time fly like a blur, and not necessarily in the best of blurs. I'm ready to go home to the Ice.

I head out to Chicago this coming weekend for a surprise birthday party. I'm excited. I have never been to Chicago, so it should be quite the adventure. I'm only there for a few days though, and I'm sure taking in a town like that, one should expect to stay longer. After that I'm on to Arizona, to see my family. I try to go at least once before I redeploy. Usually there are construction projects waiting for me, but I get the sense that I'm going to probably make up my own projects. I have some planting in their yard I would like to do, and if I get really frisky, I want to build a awning for their porch, and maybe find a grill.

I'm food porning a ton. Not that it is necessarily a bad thing, but it does lend itself to me cooking a lot of things, and not necessarily eating them, particularly when it comes to sweets. Fortunately I can pawn them off on unsuspecting people. But in the case of some soup I made, if I'm not willing to really it eat, I'm definitely not interested in pushing it off on others. Of course, I will not get the chance to cook once I'm on the Ice, so I'm trying to get in what I can. Once upon a time I used to shoot guns for therapy and relaxation. Now I cook.

I did get the job I had hoped for this season. I'm excited. Nervous as hell of course, but excited.

All right...I'm boring myself to tears.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Oh irony...

She is a sneaky little devil.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Glass coloured eyes...

I turned 37 today.

I'm not sure what I think about that.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Take me home Ice road

Well, I am now standing on T-11 days. Booyah!

I can see the edge from here, and it is clearly paved with no sleep, no transition time from night shift to day shift, packing, training and what? Working like a banshee during the re-deployment crunch. No time! Nada! Shit!

I'm continuing to train for the position I want next year. I still do not have any confirmation if it will be mine but from the fact they have let me cross train here and there over two weeks I think is an indicator I might be in like Flynn. Today was the first day I seriously panicked I might not be up for the task. I know I will be fine and there will always be a learning curve to jobs down here, but it was probably just being overworked, adding more work training on top of a 12 hour shift, and the drugs to try and get my lockjaw to treat me a little kinder. The jaw is doing better thanks. I'm sure my boss is thrilled that I can curse like normal again. Really.

I have to get my room packed up this week. I'm intending to do it on Weds morning and Weds night. Not that it will take that long, but being I'm on a night shift it makes my not waking the neighbors up a little trickier.

You can sleep when you're dead. You bet!

My boss was in tears today. She is having a rough time of it. I could say lots, but I'm not going to bother. I hate people hurting particularly when it all could have been avoided in the first place.

I saw some Minke whales tonight. What a treat! As I understand I may be the first person this season to see them. I had been lamenting not seeing them, and as I was at lunch around 0024 I spotted them. Fortunately my binoculars were close at hand. :)

Anyway....blah blah. I'm feeling good inspite of it all.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

by the time you read this

I'm already wishing I was on the beach....

Friday, January 30, 2009

tickle the rabbits ass

and make it all for naught.

I had not counted the days until this very moment, but I'm out of here in T-18. Oh yes. Then I will be on vacation and not giving a hoot.

So what am I doing about the frustration? Calling passengers on their bullshit for one. Stick a fork in me, I'm done. I have never understood how people, who are just people can think that because of status, anyone should be required to respect them or be afraid. (Now granted, if said person has a gun, the gun is respected and I would surely fear the person, because ultimately it really is not guns that kill people. It is people, and people would still kill people if guns were not available. Anyway, I digress.) I'm toeing off with people, and my poor Director is dealing with some of the aftermath. I'm not going to continue to allow people because of position or title push my co-workers around, and certainly I will not allow them the ability to push me around or try to tell me my job. I know my job. Most days it really is like herding cats truth be told. My Director in spite of having to do clean up though, really is not having to do too much battle. I can fight my own, and I pick and choose them as best as I can. I think he's more amused than naught. I'm doing a lot of toeing off though with various agencies, and while toeing the line is okay, I'm very aware that if I'm not careful, I'm going to crash into the line.

What else am I doing? I'm looking for a new job, and now I'm cross training on a position I hope to obtain before the hiring manager leaves the Ice. There are multiple reasons for this. I am slightly burned out on my job but due to work related issues.

The job would be a field camp cargo coordinator. It would be one of two positions being hired for this next season. The pay raise is about 100.00 per week on the low side, with a different kind of stress, and I would be pretty much working alone. I'm either going to suck or bloom in the position, and being that I have pretty much done most of the tasking of the position in jobs past down here, I'm opting for the blooming variety. It would make me more marketable on international contracts to boot. I would also not be required to pull a night shift for half of the season, and while I would be working close to the same amount of hours, it would be for 6 days a week instead of 5. Which in a place where the environment has a horrible toll on your body, is something to consider.

The caveat right now though, is I'm training for this position after my 12 hour work days. I'm ready to keel the fuck over. All in all though, I'm confident I will get one of the positions. The person I'm cross training with wants me to take the position, and the hiring manager is someone I know as an aquaintance, and she seems thrilled at the though of getting me.

What am I doing about work in the U.S.? Well, of all absurd things, I'm currently in negotiation with Rocky Mountain Festivals. I worked for them in the past, and they are fairly begging me to return. So I'm negotiating them providing me with an apartment, amongst other things. We will see what they come back with. I know they want me on a multi year commitment, but I'm not sure I can give it. Life is too unsure, and there are always new things to opt for.

Anyway, I guess we will see what shakes loose.

I spoke with my family this week. It produced a knee jerk crisis reaction. So I will be heading to Arizona immediately after my vacation. My father says my mother is getting worse, and my mother says she is getting worse. I need to see it, try to understand what is happening before I can even hope to help. I am looking forward to going home, I'm not looking forward to the sadness it will bring to see her as she is now. The disease is cruel, that I can definitely say. I'm already pondering recipes to bring down with me, so I can do some massive cooking while I'm there, and pretend like everything is okay. Cooking while I'm there I have noticed is my way of being able to cope with the reality that the 3 of us face together. I had not realized it until I started thinking about how many dozen tamales I should make so that my parents would have left overs. Last time I flew, I took frozen tamales in my carry on. This time, we make them! Together.

I will still be able to work on my project for the home/orphanage in Cape Town, so that is awesome. I will be glad to cuddle with my dog again, and I will be glad to be put to work doing more construction for my parents. In September I was building, pouring concrete, and doing general labor in 100+ temperatures. I'm hoping for more of it. I reveled in the heat of Phoenix, and I reveled in the place I still call home. I reveled how good I felt working so hard, and that my body did not let me down, in spite of itself.

I'm looking foward to being in Colorado for Easter. Another tamale festival to be sure. Last year I missed Easter because of being in Cabo Pulmo on the Baja coast. This year, I'm doing tamales and a fairly large-ish party again. I usually do insane Easter baskets for the guests. The only thing that would make it awesome would be to fly my own parents out for the event, but I doubt very seriously my mother could handle the stress of flying anymore. :( I'm trying to already work on a guest list, and getting the gifts of the baskets purchased. I have some ideas, but if I'm not careful I could go nuts on the spending. Feeding that many people in the manner I love to is expensive, much less all the accessories to go with it.

I should get back to work. Damn. The night is not getting any younger, and I still have things I should hash out.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Beyond your grave

I wonder if we will ever stop talking about what might have been. What could have been, and those stolen moments briefly found. This is not some huge gaping wound, merely a papercut that gets found when you squeeze the lime in your Mexican beer.

I took a long walk today. The weather is exceptionally warm and beautiful, and I surely would feel like more of heel if I did not take full advantage of a glorious day. So I did what any proud Antarctican would do. I grabbed a nalgene, and made myself a 36oz bloody Mary, packed up a bendy straw with a monkey, packed up some pickled garlic and a monkey toothpick, grabbed the camera, and went for a walkabout.

This is the first time this whole season I have scrambled up to Roll Cage Mary. I usually try to visit once a week, but obviously that has been in previous seasons, and before the fracture on my foot starting complicating my life. I managed to scramble up the hill with lots of panting, but little pain. I was presented with the endless white horizon.

I sat on the rocks with the virgin, and broke out the blood Mary and subsequent accessories. I sat in the sun and listened to some industrial tunes, while watching the Oden and the Gianella off load fuel at the ice pier. The Gianella is our fuel tanker, the Oden is our icebreaker. My monkeys had a hard time staying afloat in the nalgene, but it amused me greatly to have shiny objects that the nesting Skua's did not. I noted that they were eyeballing my bloody Mary with conspiratory little eyes.

I finally decided I needed more sun, so I scampered down the hill in another direction. I hit one of the little bowl areas that pucker that particular area of the hill/mountain. I saw the Skua well before it landed on the ice in front of me. Just the same, Skua's are big, and they are more than a little aggressive. I was rather surprised such a large bird was able to land on such thin ice, and I do believe the bird was rather alarmed as well. Needless to say, while it was busy posturing for me, it was having a hard time keeping in the upright and locked position. I opted to stand there and watch it, because I was sure at any given moment the bird would fall through the ice, and into the shallow pool below him. No such luck in the end, but it was interesting through the camera lens he looked like he was walking on water.

He finally flew off, and yes, I did not try to walk past the bird as it was blocking my path. First off, kicking one like a football is a 20k fine, and you would get voted off the island. Secondly, I have respect for the birds, because I know if it was really bent on it, it could kick my bloody Mary drinking ass. I have been attacked by these birds before and I think Alfred Hitchcock was on to something with making a horror movie about birds. I would say obviously he had a Skua run in, but I doubt it very seriously. He was just a disturbed man.

I started to finish my descent of one hill, so I could start climbing the other, when the smell of horses hit me. Scott's hut at Hut Point. A stark, if not startling reminder of how harsh the continent can be, and how horribly wrong things can go with the wrong management at the helm. I find the various huts to be a rather somber reminder. Namely because I cannot fathom how they thought coming down here was a good idea in the first place, but then continued to try and traverse this white wilderness. These people that explored and died here, I'm not sure if I'm impressed or if I think they were fools. Even with our technology this place can be dangerous fairly quickly, without the technology, I would say suicidal. Anyway, I digress. The smell of the horses is like a kick to my gut. The smell is strong, and gives me an amount of anxiety I cannot really explain. Under normal circumstances I would find the smell pleasant, and a reminder of youth and my fondness for riding horses. Here, I find it unsettling. Perhaps it is because there are no real smells here, much less an animal that you can smell. Not to mention an animal that has not been on this continent in a very long time. Something that does not belong here. Something that was never meant to be here.

I scampered up Hut point to the cross, and sat in the sun listening to the ice cracking below. You can hear it when the water surges, and it can be very loud. I find it to be a certain kind of music to my ears. Something that I have only heard here. I drank a toast, and eventually determined that I should get down the hill. I cruised around the hut, and took in the oozing seal. Yep, he oozes. He was killed, and left out oh so long ago. In his decay, his fat has slowly been oozing during the summer season. No ripe to the fella, just ooze. I took a few photos of him for Jaret, and while in my view finder there was no shadow, there was shadow that must have been mine, that appeared in the pictures themselves. I'm not convinced it was my shadow, considering I had gone to huge efforts to get make sure I was not leaving any shadow in the frames, but I was the only person standing there. Does not belong here.

The long walk home was good, and it was nice to be able to wear my hair down, without it blowing all over hell and creation. Being in the sun today definitely was not a bad thing.

I got in, and cranked the heat up. I really had not realized how cold my body had gotten. I found a friend on line, who had some exciting news. I wish that I could be a little more excited. I wish that our last conversation had gone differently. Or I wish that perhaps this news could have waited to let the last conversation settle a bit. Either way, it made me feel like the shadow that showed up in my pictures at the hut had taken substance in my stomach. Not meant to be here.

Monday, January 19, 2009


I'm watching your porn and eating your M & M's.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Where has the guile gone?

I woke up bone tired and with a sleeping pill hangover.

6 cups of coffee and a chocolate cupcake later, I'm still no closer to being awake than I was when my alarm went off. The problem with being on nightshift in Antarctica for me, is I always feel awake. Oh sure, I could cave in to my insomnia, I'm a pretty big fan of it, but only when I have the room to myself.

I still have not gotten to rollcage Mary to have a bloody Mary with the Virgin Mary.

I have been diligently trying to plan my travels for after I leave the ice this season. I believe after much deliberation that Tonga is where I'm heading to. I'm definitely keen on it. It sounds lovely, and I'm sure I will be able to get some sun, sleep, and frozen adult beverages by pieces of eye candy that I would be better off not interfering with. I'm still feeling nervous about getting back to the U.S. though. I have job offers that are sort of like jellyfish, there, but no real substance or challenge to them. I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but I do want to get a better grip on it, if I can before departing here. I just think it would make my time on vacation a little more stress free.

I'm intending on spending more time in Arizona this year. I have discovered that I miss my family quite a bit, and while I would never claim to be homesick, there is a part of me that really wants to be home, in the desert Southwest. I feel like I need to be there for them, but moreso, I need to be there for me. Arizona will always be my home. My family is 4 generations desert rat. *shrug*

I'm intending on getting outdoors more when I'm in Colorado. I keep saying I want to do this, or I want to do that. What I have lacked is the discipline to make it happen. I want to learn how to white water raft. I want to do lengthy hikes. I want to get more involved in caving. I want to become an adequate skiier. Who knows maybe I will take a job while I'm in Colorado that will allow me to do things like that instead of being worried about the money side so much. That being said, I'm wanting to put money together for a down payment on a house. I'm not sure how confident I feel about being a home owner again. Being that it is a buyers market though, and I would like to obtain some rental properties and be the slum lord I know I was meant to be, now, rather than later seems to be the time.

What else?

Nothing much really. The Oden is here, and the ice breaking is going well. We are seeing more wildlife. That is always nice. We have been in a cold snap the past couple of days, and more than once I have heard people say they think summer is over. Me, I'm not convinced yet. I think we have a few more days of warm weather. It has smelled like rain a few times this year, and we have had slushy type rain, not quite hail, not quite rain, not quite snow, but something with substance and wet. It has left the ground wet like a rainstorm would, and you can smell the water in the earth. Truly, for a girl that loves rain in the desert it is a huge joy.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Snow Royal

Well I understand that Prince Albert the II of Monaco comes in this week. Interesting stuff. I wonder if I should extend an invitation to "Bloody Mary with the Virgin Mary" morning (insert William Shatner singing Common People here). Anyway, he is here visiting the continent for most of the month. He is going out to field camps and bases to shake babies and kiss hands. I guess you get to do that when your country signs the Antarctic Treaty.

My thoughts are disjointed today. I'm not feeling good, and my sense of humour is caught between a rock and a hard spot. Ah well.

Concordia Base called tonight. They had an aircraft crash. Not good, but from what I understand from the radio operator they are all fine. Which is good news. Though Prince Albert goes out there in a few days. I wonder how that will impact his visit. It impacts my flights for sure.


Friday, January 2, 2009


How about that? A new year.

Last year had some major ups and major downs (so down that whale shit looked like stardust to me).

I hope things for myself are on an upswing this year, and the world over. I'm in Antarctica yet again, and while I'm not completely removed from information, I try to remove myself from it. It seems like there is such hostility the world over, up risings, bombings, rioting, and never mind the economical woes the world is currently facing.

I do not make resolutions (unless they are of comedic value). But I am making a wish. I wish for a little world peace, a little understanding, with a dash or two of tolerance for good measure.

Happy New Year everyone, and be good to yourselves and each other.