Thursday, July 19, 2007

5th Week...

Hey Y'all.

It's strange how "y'all" almost sounds weird to me now. When I come back, I'm going to probably sound way different. Most of the people I work with aren't even English speakers. And the few that do speak English are from either Canada, New York, or California. Basically, I'm going to come back sounding like an ESL kid. (Sigh) Oh well, I'm sure once I get back to the lower 48, I'll pick my accent back up... Hopefully. Speaking with a Filipino/Romanian/Indonesian/French Canadian/Baton rougian accent is harder than it sounds, and not nearly as fun. It kind of just sounds like mumbles, where "s" sounds are traded for "F" sounds and every word sounds like a questions... Yeah, crazy.

Other than my linguistic confusion, things are just kind of puttering along. Same story, different day. It's the kind of job that makes this sort of thing hard. You see, normal blogs have the exciting parts of someone's day. When you have a job like mine, you don't really get a lot of excitement to write about. Which, in turn, makes this a very boring read for you. Sorry.

Actually, I bet if I think really hard I can come up with some highlights... Ah yes. Here's a few:

Exciting Events this week:
  1. Learned how to know if a light blub is dead. If it's on the ground, broken: it'd probably dead.
  2. Peeled an orange without getting winded!! 3 of you will understand what a big deal that is for me, and laugh. The rest of you, I'm sorry. Just rejoice blindly.
  3. Felt even less safe in the event of an emergency than I already do. We do these little "emergency drills" for the crew about once a week. Every time we do, I become more sure of this fact: If the M.S. Ryndam ever hits an iceberg and has to abandon ship, we are all screwed. Every last one of us. (that is not an official statement of Holland America and is in no way an opinion expressed by the head office in Seattle) But just between you and me? We're screwed.
  4. I ran 3 1/2 miles in about 40 minutes... or 45. And I don't care if that's a "good time." So don't bother telling me if it isn't. Let me dream.
  5. I had the first bit of fun playing music here in a long time last night in the crow's nest. This deserves an explanation.
Every night that we're not in the Vermeer lounge playing for a broadway show, we're in the night club-esque venue on the Ryndam, called the Crow's Nest. Most nights, the way it works is as follows: we play crappy instrumental song, maria (our singer) picks a great vocal tune and the crowd kind of warms up, then we play another crappy instrumental tune (i.e. harbor lights, killing me softly, tie a yellow ribbon) and the energy is sucked out of the room. It sucks. Well, last night, our Musical Director (who normally calls the tunes we play) was out for the last crow's nest set. So Maria and I sat down and made our own set list that included the following:

September - Earth, Wind, And Fire
Superstition - Stevie Wonder
Think, Respect - Aretha Franklin
Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton (Yes, ring band. I actually played wonderful tonight. It was great, we shoud do it sometime on sundays)
And lots of other fun tunes.

It was sooooo much fun. People clapped and cheered. There were lots of awkward white people dancing. The actually asked us to do more when we were done. I think that if every crow's nest set was like that, I'd be alot happier. Oh well, I suppose you can't win 'em all.

Wow, I was actually able to come up with some stuff to say. Imagine that...

I love and miss you all very much. I hate to beg, but please call sometime. It gets lonely up here, and when people call or text it's usually one of, if not the only, highlight of my day. If you do want to call, you an reach me almost any time on wednesdays or thursdays. I'm always in port on those days. If you call and I don't answer, leave a message. I promise I'll call back.

Hopefully, I'll talk to you soon. You guys rock. Every last one of you. Cheers.

- B

Monday, July 9, 2007

Ah, Alaska

Hello again. I hope all is well with you, as it is with me.

For those of you who don't know, I'm now sitting in the hallway outside of the internet room on crew deck "B" onboard the M.S. Ryndam, sailing North from Vancouver, Canada to Ketchikan, Alaska. For those who do know, I'm sorry to waste your time with old, meaningless information, such as mu whereabouts.

Sadly, there's not much new to report. I mean, it's a cool job and all, don't get me wrong. It's just fairly repetitive. Not much new happens to write about. Actually, I just thought of something. Awesome.

Happy July 4th! I, like you, realize that today is not july 4th, and it's surely not going to be july 4th when you read this sometime in the future. But, we all experienced it last week, and I'd like to tell you about mine... with pictures.

I celebrated my independence day in Haines, Alaska. It's kind of your typical small town U.S.A. type place. Really filled with old fashioned town pride and the whole bit. The day was marked with several high points, one of which being the town parade. Hence the picture. I don't know if you can see this, but the picture is really quite an oddity, in and of itself. Here we have a tiny child, on a four wheeler, being pulled by a truck. The only thing more impressive than an ATV driver under the age of 10 is an ATV driver being pulled by a truck... under the age of ten. So what if it's not an actual float. She threw some of those orange tootsie rolls, and those are totally sweet.

This is the next high point of the day, the mud volleyball tournament. Rednecks + Mud = fun for all. Overall, it was really just that. A bunch of hicks from the boonies of Alaska, just hanging out, playing some mud volleyball. Most of the people were cool, and really nice. However, there were a couple of people playing volleyball that were really intense... like really intense. Like "smear mud on your face and let out a Braveheart-style yell to intimidate your opponents" intense. Woah. You know how much I like loud, annoying people... wait, did I say like? Hmm. Moving on.

Lastly, there was a huge bar-b-que in the town park, for pretty much everyone that lived within walking/driving/crusing distance. Complete with fun-jump, local desert bake-off, a pie-eating competition, and used book sale. Very fun, very wholesome. The only thing missing was Kate :)

*The rest of you, shut up. You'd miss her too if you were me, so keep your mouths shut

Overall, it was a fun, family friendly way to celebrate the day that George Washington Carver, Teddy Roosevelt, and Colin Powell defeated the Germans to win our independence. Or at least that's what I thought. Apparently none of those guys were there, and it was England. Whatever... I'm not a historologist or anything.

Well, I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it, which is to say, not much. Just kidding. This is fun. It's like writing a letter to all your best friends with no response... or interest. Ouch. Just kidding.

Anyone who wants to call, I welcome it. I get homesick sometimes, you know? Thanks for your concern.

Anyways, this is over now. I'm off to watch my new pat metheny DVD, "The Way Up." Cody, we're gonna watch it when I get back.

Talk to you soon,