Good afternoon everybody. It is 1:25 on a Saturday and I am finally getting to my e-mail. I really didn’t have a lot of pictures to put up this week but the ones I do have I really liked. Anyways, now you can compare times with when your e-mail server said that I mailed this. Does that make any sense? Too bad if it doesn’t.
Anyways, this week has actually been a little more productive. I feel that I am finally getting creative in my scrapbook. It’s been attached to me for the last couple of days. Unfortunately, Charity, it still isn’t any cool drawings. All I have been doing is finger painting and glueing stuff in weird patterns and what-not.
Of course I have to tell you first about the Pirate Party. I should have written about it on Sunday because now it seems like so long ago. Speaking of so long ago, Troy was looking at the picture of him, me, and Mandi at the McMurdo sign, it was taken the morning after we had arrived. “Look at us back in the day,” He said. I’m like,”That’s two months ago.” He’s talking to 21 year olds like, “When I was your age. . . ” Troy is 29. Anyways, Pirate Party. I was eager about it because I thought I had a few things to contribute to a pirate outfit and then Jana was all excited to dress up so we were scheming and shopping like crazy at Gear Issue. I think the funnest part was coming up with the costume ideas. Then there was all the prepping and dressing. Jana had bright red lipstick, I had drawing chalk for smokey eyes, we convinced Mandi to go and once she FINALLY arrived we were a pirate posse. I drew stitches on Jason’s eyebrow, a treasure map along Jana’s collar bone.
The party was small enough that when we arrived we made an impact but the numbers kept coming, the music was great and I was busy doing tattoos. I grabbed any black sharpies I could find which was none. Mandi brought some but they were too fine. Still, I did what I could. It was all skull and cross ones, mermaids, an octipus, and various things. Most people had no idea what they wanted but I just used what I knew about them to create a drawing just for them.
I just can’t say enough about how much fun I had. I got to do art, I got to dance like crazy, I got to wear a big wide skirt and I felt like I was in disguise and uninihibited. I could do whatever I wanted and it wouldn’t effect how people percieved me. I danced like a maniac and growled a lot. It was great – and people let me draw on them with a permanent marker. How cool is that? We were talking this week, so far it is just talk but I have heard that Rec would like to host more theme parties but just doesn’t have the man power for it. Well, we DAs all had a great time, we also double as GAs for Rec so we thought that perhaps we could get together, host a theme party and then set it up and clean it up for our GA time. Can you imagine? Get paid to throw a party? It sounds like the girls want to have a Ho-Down. Country theme, some line dancing, square dancing, I want to come up with creative decorations. I have some ideas about bandanas and making a wagon wheel. We could have a couple weird games or penalties, maybe a signature drink. . . I don’t know. I just want an excuse to draw on people again.
Sunday was Easter baskets, a chocalate party and saris. Cora had given up chocalate for lent and then had an extravegant chocalate party. I didn’t know there were so many differant kinds. She had decorated the 207 lounge with her saris from India. Emily and I stopped over during our break. We were in our DA uniforms. DA stands for Dining Attendant for those who have forgotten. That’s right, I am still going to come up with a Glossary today. I hope to keep adding to it on my sight so just keep checking it. The Sunday movie was Snatch and we had a wild time watching it. The toast word was “pikey”, take a drink when you hear it. Troy had watched it with subtitles so he was able to interpret some of Brad Pitt’s lines. We were supposed to have an authentic intrepetor, Brody from Scotland, but he never showed up.
We started off Monday with a Condition 2. The weather is always rated and posted several differant ways. We have a weather channel on TV, there is an electronic sign board in major hallways and a light pole outside. Have I explained this yet? Condition 3 is good, normal, fine. Condition 2 is iffy, no hiking off base, there is usually a windchill or a visibility problem and Condition 1 is the mother of bad weather. Anything goes and everything shuts down. If Condition 1 is announced during the day there is a check on everyone’s whereabouts and there is no going outside unless there are ropes betweent the buildings or unless accompanied by a SARs person or firefighter. I just heard of a story yesterday of a Haz Waste crew that decided to wait out a storm in their isolated shack but the storm was so severe and went on so long that they had to have a SARS team come and get them. SARs: Search and Rescue.
Luckily, Condition 2 only lasted an hour or so. Just the time that Troy and I had to be outside shoveling. Nice. Most of the walkways and doors that we shovel are protected so they tend to drift but it was kind of neat to be sheltered and then throw a shovelfull of snow out into the street and watch it blow away before it had touched the ground.
All the MCI (Mass Casualty Incident) people are on their toes. We should have the drill this week or next week. Every season they train people for an emergency and then stage a drill, the whole station rehearses their part. As stretcher bearers that work indoors we have been advised to carry a bag of Extreme Cold Weather gear (ECW). That’s why I was fortunate enough to have windpants with me on Wed. on our second Condition 2 day. That day was even crazier, people were reporting from -82 to -105 degree with the windchill. It blew you sideways and it was the first time that Big Red (our big red ECW parkas) felt drafty.
On Thursday I was sure that the Galley had the heads up on the MCI drill. Emily and Jana were GAs (general assistants) that day and they were heading out to be victims. They had cue cards for their behavior and injuries and they were layering on the clothes in the dining area before heading out. Turns out that it was SAR’s regular rescue training. Every two weeks they do a scenario. I haven’t heard of many. Skye got to be a hiker that went off the trail, fell down a ravine and broke his leg. Emily got to be thrown from vehicle that was returning from Scott Base. Jana had an interesting role. She was to be the drama queen, hysterical and panicky, getting in everyone’s way until “yelled at or medicated”, it said on the card. She played her part to at tee. She finally stopped when one guy yelled at her.
Thurs. I also got to pinset which I wasn’t planning on but it was great. I got to work with Eric from the fire house. The cooks came to bowl so I ran back to the Galley and got duck tape and “use first” stickers. We use those on food items. Did I tell you about the awesome perks of manual pinsetting? Since we handle the ball we can send messages back. It was great. I was telling people that they throw like a girl, to play nice, that the ball had been “close enough”. . . I should have written down some of the comments. I want to use them again. I had so much fun trying to get time to write and trying to think of what to write that I didn’t even think about all the “fish pitching” I was doing. This job reminds me so much of fish pitching. On Friday I was mimicking sorting fish as well, we sorted glass containers and then threw them into grinders to be crushed.
So, Friday was Yoga again. I am feeling more flexible and slightly stronger. I am still trying to work out how I can have a regular workout routine. We’ll see. I followed one magazine workout on Tues and could hardly move my arms the next day. Awesome. My hands were falling asleep more frequently after pinsetting though. I was wondering if it might be my shoulder. I really used them a lot. Emily is out now too. It’s just Troy, Jason and I on the uninjured list. Luckily people have been rotating out, but still. I just want to get through the season without ever being on light duty. I am really lucky because I have 4 days away from the Galley now. Friday was GA and easy, I have my montly 2-day weekend and then on Monday I am GA again. Cool. Recovery time. I am also going do the excersizes that Emily has been assigned for her shoulder and hope that that has some prevention. I’m really just a hypacondriac. I never even thought of my shoulder until Emily’s went bad.
Last night was also the girls’ night. It’s getting to be a popular thing. We went all out. We had egg white masks, egg and oil hair treatments and Sandi told us about a powder milk and baking soda face scrub. We sat in the sauna with our hair and masks and chit-chatted. Jason crashed the party so we didn’t get to have true girl talk, sort of annoying. It was the first time that Simone joined us. It’s actually the first time that she has been in the sauna. With Mandi and Janawe were a group of four. Real nice. We also ended up watching a movie and I finally got my girl talk with Mandi at 3:00 in the morning after she had dragged me to her place. Why do I listen to her? All right, I have yammered on enough. Are you happy? Tonight is wine tasting and some bands are performing. I am very excited. I just want to hear the music. I already got to taste the wine. It’s nice knowing the bartenders.
Talk to you later,
I will try to break up these long e-mails and write more often. I guess it’s been -30 all week. The latest news is that the sunset Polar Plunge was cancelled. Bummer. It also means that tomorrow is the official sunset. I haven’t seen the sun since last. . . Monday? Now we look for it by seeing it reflect off Ob Hill, it’s just a tiny patch of sunlight at the peak right now. Sad. It doesn’t rise till afternoon.
PS. Time: 4:15