Wandering in search of......

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Close Encounters Of A Penguini Kind

So today was going to a very rough one, I woke up with the groggy's. Basically I just could not wake up. So I went to work and as I was walkin to work a friend walked by and said that there were a bunch of Adelie penguins really close and that they were walking right up to people so I thought well this sucks cause I have to go to work right now and I would love to see the penguins. So I decided to ask the boss for a chance to have a team moral trip, which we really do but we usally are so busy, but today was slow in the beginning so she said that would be fine. The team packed up in a van and headed to the point where they were. Mind you the pictures from my last blog entry are from the same place but this time it was quite different! As you can see an Adelie penguin came right up to me, I mean right up to me to the point that I could have kissed him! I took these pics and a little video unfortunately I cannot show the video so only the pics! There is no zooming involved here just point and shoot! Hope you enjoy! Till the next time!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Xmas, New Years and More!!!!!!

Well the year is coming to an end. I went through the holidays unscathed in that I did not burst from all the food. My whole life I have made the dinner with the family and now that I’m here and I do not make the dinner so I eat way too much. Overall, the meals were fun and the conversation revolved around funny family stories, yes all the family was spoken about, but all in good taste. We some good food too, lobster as you can see in the pic. The next big to do is New Years, and let me tell you! Whew, we had a pretty darn good one this year. First and foremost we have an event called Icestock where they have music all day and the Chili Cookoff. I worked with my coworkers on the chili this year, last year it was all by myself. We went all out on the chili and costumes as well. Many folk said we had the best chili but we did not win, the judges did not eat enough only one bite was not enough, you had to eat multiple bits to get the flavor! Nonetheless, it was a blast I had a great time but stayed up late mind you I work nights now so I was up all day and then took a four hour nap before we began the actual New Years celebration. We started in a friends room and then moved to the “place” It was held in the oddest of odd places and quite befitting really since this place seems so industrial! So normally folks go to the coffee house or one of the bars but this year there was an “underground” event held in a decommissioned fuel tank, which is now a storage “building.” I really did not know what to expect but it turned out to be quite the setting and we all had a blast. One thing that was awesome about it was that there are wooden floors inside so while everyone was dancing it would bounce up and down! I got a small kiss but I would have loved of course to have a very nice long smooch! It really is funny, I saw so many people having a really intimate time, my roommate who has the worst body odor, breath and overall stink known to man throughout human history (so bad I had mom send a plug in air freshener) and he was able to be with a really beautiful woman, a Harvard Grad student of all things! It seems that this year is just another one where I have to hear the, “why aren’t you with someone” crappola. I really have gotten to the point where I just don’t know how to feel anymore, I feel like I could easily close off and just not allow anyone inside! I try to be me, I try to just allow life to take its course, I try I try, I also have not tried, and not tried to be or do anything. The women that I am good friends with down here are supportive; they remind of the goods things about being patient and what not. They tell me that I’m a catch and that some day I will make someone happy! We shall see!

So after New Years we all recovered slowly. My next day off I went to check this art project out. It consisted of all these big and small blue balls that were a representation of the stars above. They were laid out in the configuration of the constellations that are seen in this area, well at least when it’s dark! As we were checking it out we had a gentleman stop his ice road grader and had us take his picture since normally there is no one around to take it for him. As we were talking we began to get on the subject of penguins and like normal enthusiastic Antarctican travelers we would always jump at the opportunity to see some penguins. Down where I am located there are really only two species available to see, the Adelie and the Emperor penguin. I would say that you are almost guaranteed the chance to see an Adelie, which are small bouncy little penguins. They remind of a young juvenile kid with that curiosity and excitement. They bounce around and waddle over to you many times and look at you with this kind of look that only a curious kid could have. However, the Emperor penguin is quite different and you are extremely lucky to see an Emperor during a season. I would say maybe about 30 people out of the 800 or so get to see the Emperors, that is as long as you’re not a scientist who gets to go out and be near there nesting areas, which are very far away. So all that said, after finishing up with our discussion of the blue balls he asked us if we wanted to see a couple of Emperors that were out near the runway that is pretty far out from the station and we don’t go there for recreation but I work it for my job as a cargo handler. Nonetheless, I was working in town so I would not have able to see them. So we went out there and there they were. These two beautiful birds that were very stoic little creatures were just standing there without moving that whole time. They had that look of an old man just looking out onto the world! Well lets just say I truly could not believe that I reached my goal of seeing Emperors!!!! That was the highlight of my season so far!

So last year there was this event called MAAG (McMurdo Alternative Art Galley) and I submitted a bunch of paintings and I had a blast so this year I planned on doin the same. So they had posted a meeting for it on our general email system and I went to it with the intention to tell them I would submit something but after I sat down I realized it was not a artist meeting. What it actually turned out to be was the committee meeting for the organizers. Ooopps, so I sat there for awhile and there started talking about the roles that needed to be filled. Lighting, sound, set up and take down and of course food! Who do you think raised his hand and volunteered for that one! Yup, twas me! I decided to take on that huge role, a little responsibility never hurts right! So normally they do a meat and cheese tray and some chips and crackers. Well, once I got involved that was definitely not going to be the case. I decided that I would be adding to the menu. I thought about it for a while, looked at some recipes and came up with the idea that I would do three different other appetizers. They were a ginger grilled shrimp with a wasabi soy dip, chicken sate with peanut sauce and Indian style vegetarian samosas. Mind you this was not for 15-20 people it was for about 2-3 hundred people, can you say oi vey!!!!! Wow, I truly understand what mom and sister goes through when they are doing all those events that require massive planning!! So I did it and last night was the event and man with all the lack of mojo that I seem to not have for the woman, it at least filled my ego with many excellent comments on my efforts for the food! I really had a great time and was able to have it go off with virtually no bumps, I mean don’t get me wrong there were a few but no more than usual for such a big task!! The people were so happy that it was not just meat and cheese!!! So that is my life as of now, we are starting to get ready to leave and time is coming to an end and I have no feelings of “I want to get the heck off this island”, I am very happy about that!!!! Better yet I am getting that feeling of man I really truly love this place and all that it offers, everyday I find at least one moment where I say to myself, my oh my what a wonderful world. The elements of this outdoor world are just superb really just amazing and unparalleled!!!! So I will be coming back at this point again! But first travels oh travels. So look out friends, cousins, and random peoples for Mr. Seth AKA Hooch!

Here is a bunch of photos consisting of time spent on the runway, blue ball art project, penguins (both Adelie and Emperor), New Years festival they call Icestock, Christmas dinner. My pics from the art show will follow in the next blog entry.