Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Plenty of room at the hotel Katie Ann

Apparently, there was a fire on one of the boats while at sea.  I don't know the details.  And, apparently, the crew who was supposed to go out on this boat's next trip will be killing time on my girlfriend, Katie Ann.  Pfft.  Seriously, good ol KA is supposed to house these degenerates until the boat is fixed or something.  And the toilets are broken.

If there's one good thing about opening the house for a bunch of people, it's that there will for sure have to be a repair done to the sewage system.  With only a couple guys, it's gotten pretty bad in the bathrooms.  I don't even use the ones on the boat anymore.  I hold it until I go to the Dynasty for my pillaging efforts.  That's right.  I just plunder the galley on the Dynasty.  Me and June go over there with ski masks on and demand ramen noodles, cookies, the occasional pop tart, and chips.  Just yesterday, I went over there with a jug for the spaghetti sauce I intended to steal.  Got the booty and just walked right off the gangway onto my own boat.  I haven't given up on this pirate thing at all.

I don't know how long these yahoos are gonna be here.  And I don't know the depths it will sink to.  They are coming tomorrow and I'm sure conduct unbecoming an employee of 'this company' will run rampant.  But who knows?  Maybe the crews for other boats are a civilized lot.  It's bad enough when we have our own crew on the boat.  Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Road warrior III

Still warring, on the road.  I like it here.  Every time I take a step back, I just think to myself how glad I am to be alive.  I consider how fortunate I am to be in different places.  From the bow of the boat I was looking at Seattle and its city lights and the cranes in the distance.  All I could do was breath it in.  I caught myself rationalizing what I was feeling and let it go.  Let it be.

How much of what we experience as discomfort is the result of regret and worry about tomorrow?  For me, I know that I have a few regrets about burning some bridges, and this not because of the bridge being burnt but just not being honorable.  It gnaws on me at times.  And any rational person in my position would be worried about future security.  Many of us fret even though we have that security.

But when I sit to eat there is food.  When I inhale, there is air.  Every time I look around I see God and His finger prints.  How can one complain?  How, when we are redeemed, can anything bring trouble to us?  Do His promises fail?  They do not.  I feel promise in my bones and in the depths of my soul.  My existence is proof enough for me.  The birds who fly show me freedom.  I too will fly.  I often do.  In my mind.

What will come?  Who cares?  Whatever comes through that gate will be dealt with.  And I will have a greater chance of success if we do it together.  I gotta tell you.  I like Seattle.  I love my home of Sacramento too.  And the beach locales have their draw.  Now?  While I'm here?  This is home and I wish for no other.  This very moment, right now, whenever that may be is life.  The present is a gift.

Third engineer

I'm now honorary third engineer.  Before getting too excited for me about my promotion, understand we only have a chief and first engineer on this boat.  And I couldn't take second because although it's a fictitious and therefore vacant position, I'm sure there's someone more qualified.  The promotion I gave myself is really just kind of an ironic result of the bilge alarm going off last night.

Ya.  The aft bilge pump alarm was causing a scene.  So I went and turned it off.  Then I considered the possible implications.  Now, this is a fairly big boat and so it is a little different from a sail boat where you have one or two pumps to take care of all the water that comes aboard.  There are more pumps here than in Oprah Winfrey's closet.  Literally pumps everywhere.  But as far as I know, the bilge is at the lowest part of the boat and deals with runoff type water that collects low.

I comforted myself with the knowledge that the boat was quite buoyant with an empty hold and not too much fuel.  Just to be safe, I constructed a rudimentary protractor and other survey tools to keep track of the boat's attitude in the water so I could evaluate the various envelopes.  And I consulted the diagrams of the boat and in engineering to familiarize myself with the respective bilges.  Didn't seem to be anything wrong.

But let me tell you.  You know how when you think you're getting sick or something, every scratch in the throat takes on new meaning?  Like you can feel yourself getting sicker even if you aren't?  Same thing here.  Each little shudder of the boat had me all jumpy.  The bass blast of far away ships sounded like some new alarm that I had no familiarity with.  I looked on line to see if I could research the subject a little and found article after article that said 80% of boat sinkings occur while docked.  Because of faulty or poorly maintained equipment.  Including the bilge pump.  Ha!

I convinced myself it wasn't a big deal after hours of careful observation.  I'm almost embarrassed to admit that it had me somewhat rattled.  I would really hate to be the notorious night watch guy that let the boat sink.  Might even cost me my job.  When the real first engineer came today (I stayed up all night to make sure I talked to him when he got here) I got the Vietnamese version of Katie Ann functionality.  In his accented English he showed me around the boat some more and I asked quite explicitly, "which alarm should I be concerned about?".  He said, "Don't worry-the fire alarm.  If fire alarm goes off, call someone.  And leave."  Couldn't have said it better myself.

So laugh at me all you want for being a Peter panicker.  I'm the diligent freezer rat you want night watching your boat.  Cause I make crude measuring devices like the freaking Egyptians of antiquity.  I'm the guy who breaks into the service manual to learn what the hell is going on.  I'm the guy who walks across to the Dynasty so ask the engineer about the issue but then changes his mind when he sees that the damn Dynasty is doing three wheel motion with about a five degree list to starboard and a five degree pitch.  That happened.  I was like, better safe than sorry so just go make sure everything is ok and talk to someone who knows.  Got a look at their boat and was like, ya, better make sure I'm in worse shape than them before I bother anyone.  And I turned back.

And now I feel safe again.  I might no get any more shares with this promotion to third engineer, but the knowledge is reward enough.  Who needs more money when you can be third engineer and second mate at the same time?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Who said nightwatch wasn't fun?

My view
Piano on the bow?  Check.  This may come as a surprise to those of you who know me well.  I bought a piano today.  I know, I know.  I'm sensible and would never spend money on anything I didn't absolutely need.  Two things.  One-I absolutely neeeeeeded a piano.  Two-I am wholly frivolous and spend money on things I don't need all the time.  Judge me or don't.  Fact of the matter is that my sanity is restored.  Well, that might be overstating it a bit, but my insatiable thirst for musical expression is quenched.

If we were to compare this to literal thirst, it's quenched like about 4 ounces of medium cold water out of the tap.  Depending on how thirsty you are, it could make all the difference.  I have been thirsty, and thirsty in that way like when you are walking around the house and see the spigot in the sink and realize you haven't had any water in a while and then have a drink and realize you needed to hydrate.  I didn't understand how bad I needed this until I drank. 

Again, to compare this to literal thirst, the gigantic bottle of refrigerated water would be like a seven foot grand piano on top of the wheel house while the boat was barely making way.  Maybe there'd be fragrant gardenas all around and some jasmine.  And maybe Mila Kunis would be leaning lightly against me as I let my song pour forth.  Something like that would be the whole enchilada.  But, if you'll recall, there was a scene in which I said that if I could have any job on the boat, even if I made it up, it would be as the boat pianist.  And here I am, literally living my dream.  Maybe there's something to that 'secret' stuff after all. 

Here's the scene as it is.  I bought the piano and stand and brought it on the boat.  If having enough money to get the piano out of the store weren't omen enough, then the low tide that made the gangway literally level as I strode onto the boat with this piano was.  It was as if the angels were asking me to play, rolling out the diamond plate carpet for my entrance.  Welp, the only thing to do was put the thing on the bow with the setting sun as my light.  And all the city lights as it goes down.

It just takes a little outside the box thinking to make the best of a situation.  For my next project, there's a whole lot of line and nets on deck.  I bet I could make a commando line and basically turn this place into an amusement park.  It'll be like that southpark when Cartman bought the amusement park and kept it to himself.  I could hang the crane off port and make a sweet rope swing.  Just hang a rope ladder off the side so I can get back on the boat.  Put a catch net on the stern at the end of my commando line so I don't go flying into the cove.  The freezer hold is empty, so I could turn the conveyors into a roller coaster ride if I put my mind to it too.  The possibilities are endless.

Right, none of that is gonna happen.  Actually, I take the security of the boat rather seriously.  I mean, I have some stuff on here that I'd hate to get stolen.  I am fairly confident that without heavy equipment no one is making off with any of the company's stuff.  The only things not locked away or welded on or weighing more than a thousand pounds is garbage.  Just keeping the honest people honest here.

So that's that.  Happy Memorial day weekend to everyone.  I'll just be holding it down here on the boat.  Living the dream, as it were.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Just when you thought it was safe

Looks about right

Ok, change of plans.  You know that fun movie everyone was talking about making?  And when I say everyone, I mean me.  But I talk about it enough to account for everyone, right?  Ya, well, it's gonna have to be a horror movie now.  Night watch on this floating cesspool of the spirit world is having a profound effect on my perspective.  Well, not really, but it is noteworthy.  I mean, come on, I ain't 'fraida no ghost.

You tell em, Ray.  But seriously, I hear a lotta noises and see something out of my peripheral vision regularly.  For anyone who's been on a boat, the noise situation is really a bit of nothing.  We sleep through cranes, winches, generators, people hitting the deck with ice picks etc.  And while docked, there is much work going on around us.  So, the noise could be anything and often is.

But let me tell you, if this were a movie, or life as movie, the screeches of wind blown steel cable about gantries and distant wailing of train cars' indifferent collisions are enough to make a horror afficianado smile.  And the common folly of running toward mystery to investigate is irresistible.  It just can't be helped, and even as I walk about the boat I hear the horrified people on the other side of the screen chiding my recklessness with gems like, "Don't!  He's behind you!" and "He's already on the boat!  He shook the gangway from the top deck!". 

Further scrutiny would reveal that I am wholly unarmed and unprepared for any force with more menace in mind than the occasional drunk sailor with a case of mistaken boat identity.  It is a one hundred percent fact that any effort to secure the boat will result in more trouble for me than it solves.  Best case scenario, I mistake someone who has every right to be here for an intruder and commit an assault.  The worse case would be a real life armed force taking over the boat and real life shooting me.  In neither event would any course of action on my part be productive.  I guess the middle ground would be catching a petty criminal trying to make off with an extension chord or steal the twenty thousand pound doors from the back of the boat. 

There are rumors.  The veterans of the boat swear to them too.  That there is a ghost on the ship.  Legend has it that this was a military boat and that the freezer hold was used as a morgue.  Doubt it.  Might have been constructed in a shipyard next to military boats or served some other capacity during war time.  Don't think they cleaned up the Mekong Delta with our trawl net and stored the bodies in the hold.  But what do I know?

I am kidding about switching up the movie, but it would be waaaaayyyy easier to make a horror flick than something artful and funny.  But there is no easy way out.

The fun movie is on.  And I'm getting a piano tomorrow to lull whatever ghosts there may be to sleep, make them weep.  I tell you the rain drops in Seattle will be the tears of angels on that day, henceforth known to all who tread on this Pacific Northwest as "chi wano wano ana".  Which means, "Day of angelic tears".  Ya I'm lying about that.  But I'll be glad to get on some keys.  Maybe I'll whip up a theme for the movie. 

The picture at the top is from the movie 'Pan's Labyrinth'.  If you have any Christian notion of redemption in your heart, or if fatherly love means anything, then watch it.  I am a sap, true.  The valve for water works is set low for me, and even at the mention of this story I get emotional.  Just wow.  So there's that.  Movie still on?  Check.  Haunted ghost ship night watch?  Check.  Piano on the boat?  I'll let you know...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Calgon, take me away...

So the hot water heater is fixed.  Anyone remember that commercial?  Somehow I do.  It is becoming far too clear for comfort that my fixation with the eighties is unhealthy.  Yet the fact remains.  This about summed up my bathing experience today.  Ya I wore shower shoes.  And ya I cut it somewhat short so I wouldn't have to listen to chief bitch about taking all his hot water.  And for the first time in a week I managed to languish in a hot shower and scrub with total confidence and comfort.  The only thing that was missing was a rubber ducky.

The things we take for granted huh?  And the way perspective coerces conceptions of normalcy.  It's just life.  Just living it.  The dream, as it were.  I may be coming unhinged.  Is it a sign of questionable mental health or a robust mental health to be so far out of the norm?  Whatever the case, I have not changed much in a very different environment from that which I am accustomed.

I have been this way.  I remain this way.  I am still nearly impervious to boredom and alarmingly resilient to sub-standard conditions.  Sixteen hour shifts in the -25 degree freezer?  Sure.  Living on a big ol' boat with no cable?  Why not?  I mean, really I kind of like it.  I wake up and smell the sea air.  The cityscape of Seattle, which is a beautiful city, greets me anew each day.  I have even romanticized the corporate and modern iteration of seafaring into some likeness of the shwashbucklers of years long past.  Just neurotic, I guess. 

That last line reminds me of my mom, who would often times describe herself thus, "I'm so neurotic."  Uh-oh.  But what else could be going on here?  This isn't a cry for help or anything, but maybe an awakening to the playing field's geometry.  In golf, you play the ball as it lies in the absence of a foot wedge. 

And here, we have a bit of a dodgy lie.  But it can be made to work.  Did I mention the movie?  Oh yes, I did.  If ever there were a place for neurosis, it's in writing a tale.  I've been doing some outlining.  And some movie watching with renewed interest.  I've decided I want this thing to be just very watchable.  And amusing.  Like most dreams and whimsical fantasies, my first notions of this project were all the huge stars and gag after gag and a huge budget et cetera. 

The real deal is going to be just a fun and interesting perspective.  And gags.  And stars.  And my wit.  Cause let me tell you, not to brag or anything, but my wit kept this boat afloat last season.  That's not just me talking.  The factory manager and some others shared similar sentiments.  One reviewer says, "working with Corey makes the day go by hella faster!".  Another exclaims, "You crack me up!"  The ice wench said simply, "Wow!  You are amazing!".  See?  Already glowing reviews. 

So it's gonna start like this.  During the opening credits over a black screen you will hear mumbled Islamic prayers.  Then over that a beat box.  It will sound like a song (This happened, by the way).  The scene is going to open up in a conference room where we are having the orientation and while the prayer-song fades slightly, you will hear a recruiter, Selena-not to be confused with "Serena" say "Here at United States Fish (not to be confused with American Seafoods) we are sensitive to other religions and cultures."  She will say this all optimistically while the camera pans around the room at a diverse group.

She will continue "Can anyone tell me what it means to be sensitive to other cultures?"  And the camera will show painfully bored people enduring the orientation.  A hand will go up and the music will stop.  A man of indeterminate age and likely African heritage will say "If my religion is Rastafarian, can I smoke the herbs on the boot?"  Selena will tactfully acknowledge that there is a zero tolerance drug policy and the camera will pan to a strung out looking white guy and flashback to a party scene at a strip club where he is clearly enjoying illicit drugs. 

Then it will snap to present time with Selena droning on about the rules.  Each rule will be flagrantly broken in a flashback scene of a different member of the crew.  Not to get into it and write the whole movie impromptu here, but one such flashback will happen when she says no firearms on the boat.  It will flashback on a scene at a firing range with a wild eyed asiatic fellow named Robert, who has a southern accent, emptying the magazine on his police issue Glock and firing it empty repeatedly even after the ammo is gone and the gun is clicking.  His rage will subside and it will show him packing this gun into a travel bag and going to orientation.

So we won't wear it out, but there will be a few scenes of similar taste.  Then when she says that there is a zero tolerance policy on alcohol as well, it will show a middle aged man sipping from a flask and putting it into his back pocket.  The camera will not jump in time here, but rather follow this guy into the doorway of the conference room where Selena says, "Oh hi there!  This is your captain, Barry."  He gives a half hearted salute and burps...

Is that not just gold?  It's all in fun and none of these people necessarily correlate with their real life counter parts.  It's just artistic liberty.  But they do say reality is stranger than fiction.  Just saying.  Anyway, that was just to set the tone.  Just a kind of against the grain, motley crue, excuse me, crew.  It'll kind of build up into a situation where everyone leaves the orientation feeling uneasy.  Then there will be the crew up, people getting to know each other, character introduction etc.  And then the fun will begin with everyone getting seasick on the steam up.

And the stage will be set for the All-Star work ethic we all got to know and love.  The point will be driven home about all the red necks on the boat and the many Africans.  The fishing will be just crappy, so a mutiny will be afoot.  The mutiny will, of course, be my idea.  Except I will be mostly kidding.  Some of the others won't be.  After fishing yellow fin for a month or so and having only made something on the order of 500 dollars a couple guys will get to their breaking point and sneak up to the wheel house independently from, but simultaneous to each other.

 One person will be the Asiatic cop fellow and another will be Ahmed, who I named the Egyptian Magician.  His flashback scene is going to be him sneaking semtex onto the boat in the face of the no explosives rule.  Yes, that is in the handbook.  Ahmed is a cheery and eccentric fellow who just got mixed up with a few terrorist types before coming aboard.  Anyway, he and Robert, the Asiatic fellow will for sure get to the wheel house at the same time.  They will find the captain with an eye patch, stuffed parrot, and bottle of rum.  Maybe a cutlass too.

Everyone will look at each other and ask 'what are you doing here'?  A three way argument will ensue.  The captain will then get a call from the home office and inexplicably pacify the explosive wielding Ahmed and well armed Robert by shushing them to take a call.  The captain will flip his eye patch up and get out of character for the call, sounding again like the reasonable man we all know him to be.  He nods solemnly a few times and says, "I understand."  He hangs up the phone and says to the two would be mutineers, "We're fishing cod!"  (Cod pays far more).

Somehow, this makes them happy and they leave like nothing ever happens.  After seeing them out over his shoulder, the captain again flips his eye patch down and mutters something piratey like 'barnacle breaths'. 

Ya, taking over the boat wasn't even the climax.  We get cod and go off-load.  Get a few gags going in Dutch about the hooker cab drivers.  And take on a few new people.  Do another trip with some gags and shenanigans, like when nap time took my size thirteen right boot and put it on his left foot.  And was being totally serious about it. 

I think the point of the movie, or journey is the love affair between the ice wench and the freezer guy.  People are growing.  People are getting introspective about their lives.  It ends happily, with the captain running off with the Somalian, Adam, who knows all about piracy and is in a position to help Barry fulfill his boyhood dreams.  He is leading a Ship full of Somali Pirates and speaking not a word of the language.  Robert, who revealed that his dream job would be to run a day care gets one, according to the plans that he, my character, and ice wench laid out. 

This is based on a funny scene that actually happened.  At one point early on last season, I asked the guy in the freezer with me what job he would have on the boat if he could have any job, even if he made it up.  I forget what he said.  I think he wanted to be the gigilo for the insatiable seawomen that didn't exist.  This was still totally within the rules as I said he could make it up.  Well played.  I said I would want to be the pianist.  So we came up into the factory and I asked Robert, the Asiatic guy from Lousiana with a southern accent, "Hey Robbie, if you could have any job on the boat, even if you made it up, what would it be?"  I swear he said, "I'd wanna run a day care.  You know?  For kids?"  I kinda nudged him along by saying, "No, Robbie.  Any job on the boat.  But you could make it up."  He said, and I quote, "Oh.  Well...I'd paint this summumabitch black and take over other boats and make their crew process our fish."  That actually happened people.  I can't make this up.

Just a priceless transition from loving day care owner to pirate.  I gotta stop here.  This is getting way too long.  But these are just a few ideas.  I think they are gold.  And there are way more.  We did so many movie references.  StarWars in the freezer when Zac and I got pissed at the case up guys.  Lethal Weapon, Die Hard.  Rocky 4 and 2.  I sang songs.  There was some nastiness from one of the girls.  A tiny guy we made go through the conveyor to unclog it.  Nicknames for the prospective mutineers.  Wow.  I can't wait to get this together.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fighting with Tongans

Yeah.  Just kind of a bad idea all around.  So my buddy from the boat, Junior, does night watch on the days that I don't.  When he does, I hang around and BS with him.  Somehow, and don't ask me how, we got on the subject of boxing.  It turns out, we both thought it would be a good idea to mix it up together.  Now, the tail of the tape hasn't been this lopsided since David and Goliath.  While I may be somewhat Jewish, June bug is not even close to a Philistine, though his size would indicate the Goliath clan hopped a Princess cruiseliner to the Tongan islands and set up shop a while back.

My buddy (we sing the song from the commercial when we see eachother) is a conservative 6 foot 2.  And an easy three hundred pounds.  I go around five ten when I am lying flagrantly, and five nine when I lie marginally.  I am an indeterminate weight that hovers anywhere between two thirty and two fifty, depending on the accessibility of McDonalds.

We squared off.  I slapped his face with what I thought was the requisite speed and ferocity to tame his insatiable blood-lust.  He laughed.  Uh-Oh.  I dodged left.  I weaved right.  I feinted with my left.  He pounded me with his right hand.  I flinched not an iota, for I saw not his punch until his hand was coming back to guard.  It seemed, then, that he was as quick as advertized.  I was quick too, but before I get too excited, let me explain something.  While talking to June's brother the other day, His brother told me that June was feared.  I don't fear June.  And that's because were are friends.  Friendship mattered not in this fun little altercation.

Fear would have been a proper emotion at this point in time.  A street fight would have been a better venue as well, for then I could use any of the myriad objects to render this giant unconscious.  There was a pipe or ten on the trawl deck.  There were a few electrical cords I could have choked him with in the galley.  And given the proper motivation, I could have certainly bludgeoned him with the television.  As it was, we traded blows until I was in danger of losing a contact lens and we were both spent. 

No one was hurt, but when I looked in the mirror I noticed more than one abrasions on my face and neck.  My hands were chewed up and my notions of status as an honorary Tongan warrior were squashed.  No chance.  So, short of having a pipe handy I suggest leaving the fighting with gigantic Tongans to the giants and minding your P's and Q's. 

And did I mention that there is no hot water?  Ya, there is no hot water on the boat.  Guess the hot water heater needed a little maintenance.  I'm living like a savage.  And, not surprisingly, I kind of like it.  I think I'm gonna buy a piano to play.  Just so everyone knows I'm an artistic savage.  Don't let your children major in Philosophy.  That's how this happens.  Just a friendly PSA.  \\m//

Monday, May 21, 2012

Book review: 'The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart'

Ya.  Pretty, pretty, pretty good.  I dragged a few Lawrence Block novels out of the old key crew galley and Lawrence Block can whip up a story.  Highly recommended.  Oh, and I love Bon Jovi.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I'm sure there's a name for it

Ya, so I'm night watch on my first love, the Katie Ann.  I also am playing house, so to speak.  Or, living with her, or on her.  I'm staying on the boat.  It's not a bad gig.  I get full time work and a little over time with my expenses paid.  That is, no rent or food, unless I prefer to eat out over Jaime's culinary abortions over on the Dynasty.  American Seafoods employees are welcome to join the dynasty in what I'm sure amounts to the worse dining experience since Louis and Clark walked coast to coast and ate muskrats and things.

Jaime was the slap dick galley guy on our last season's boating adventure.  His food sucked.  Ricardo's food was outstanding.  Whatever.  The point, if one exists, is that I had to go and score some internet to keep myself occupied for these long work shifts.  And the first thing I do is listen to eighties music.  And older.  I just listened to Tina Turner like she was the mana that keeps my quasi Jew self going.

So I'm looking at these old songs.  Songs, I'm sure I don't need to remind you are the same one's that I listened to when my parents were around.  I'm feeling this crap that I listened to as a toddler.  My cousin Shelley, who by now has disowned me, was listening to them too while she babysat me.  I am stuck in the past in a way that is at least, if not beyond, marginally neurotic.  Even as I grow a beard and have retired from at least one profession, I miss my youth.  Perhaps it is a blessing to have dead beat parents.  For mine were awesome.  And I can't let them go.  They were, without question, my favorite people.  And so I watch antiquated Tina Turner videos and hear my mom talk about how scandelous Tina Turner was in her youth.  I'm a senior citizen, but I'm only thirty.  Bummer.

I'm starting to learn about hard work, however.  And as I learn about it, I find that hard work was never my nemesis.  I have no problem with exertion.  My nemesis is money making.  I just don't go through life with ways to make money on my mind.  I have life on my mind.  Money is part of that, for sure.  I'll do better this time around.  I'm sorry to have been such a disappointment Shelly.  I'll do better.

Monday, May 14, 2012

My first love

I knew it was gonna come to this.  I'm staying on the Katie Ann.  It's hard to turn your back on your first love.  So I'm the night watch guy for ship yard.  It's not bad.  But it can be boring.  I was all alone on the ghost ship on mother's day and feeling a little down.  I felt all alone and without purpose.  I wished I could call my mom.  I wished I could hear her tell me it would all be ok.  I wished I could reach out to anyone.    Perhaps there were people I could reach out to.  I was too afraid to expose myself.

But here I am.  And I was reminded that I was here for a reason by my cousin Jeremy.  I didn't fully receive it that day.  But the fact remains.  I am here for a reason.  And it will work out.  I think once there are people here and work to do I'll pick it up.  Once we hit the sea, I'll feel close to my maker again.  For now, I need to get into a rhythm of shipyard.  To tell the truth, I'm just not sure about which direction I want to go with my promotion.  Going on deck has it's benefits.  The main one is being outside, at least for the short term.  The long term benefit is that on any boat that goes on the sea, there is a position on deck.  And on deck you get sea time, a kind of odometer for how much you've done on a boat and beneficial for when you look to get a job on another boat.

The other way to go is in the factory.  The first gig would probably be quality control, or QC.  Then you get into foreman or factory manager positions.  Going this direction, there isn't a whole lot of cross over benefit except in the fishing industry.  But there are plenty of fishing boats.  I haven't made any decisions yet.  But I will have to do so pretty soon if I want to leave the basic processing behind me. 

I'm not sure which way to go yet, but I am certain that the best course of action is to do a good job at whatever it is I am doing when I am doing it.  So, I'll continue to get good evaluations and keep my ear to the ground.  The sea is calling me and I can see myself turning salty and making a career of boating.  Again, I thank Rich for the introduction and support.  We'll see what happens.  And there is always the movie I am going to write.  It seriously has to be done.  There is a whole side to life that exests exclusively on the high seas that must be shared with the world.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn...

So the flash fox is over with for the time being.  I caught up on sleep and am totally lucid.  But that doesn't mean that things are any less interesting.  I am currently staying at a Motel 6 next to the college campus.  I figured it would only be for a couple days until I headed back to Seattle to either work on a boat for shipyard or actually took off to do some fishing.  Well, we're going on day four at the motel and life is beginning to feel like a movie.  In truth, it's felt like a movie for quite some time, but is now taking less imagination to fill in the gaps.

Waking up in the slightly messy room-the kind of mess that only happens in temporary residence, where housekeeping cleans up often enough to keep the mess in line but the resident is concerned little enough about the place to mess it up-I notice that my up keep is equally sloppy.  I am unshaven since coming back into town and haven't changed clothes in nearly a week.  Being holed up in this room, I don't really get very dirty and so haven't found the need to change.  With my new electronic devices, I am happy to entertain myself with the internet and the cheap applications that are novel for the first few weeks-Angry birds, Solitaire, chess, etc.

I have internet here at the Motel 6 and have tried to make use of it.  I attempted downloading a word processing program on my new lap top, but have been unable to complete the operation.  I doubt that this is because of any shortcoming from my computer, but don't doubt that a setting or two may be off enough to hinder my efforts.  I lack the technical savvy that it takes to overcome these small hurdles.  I need to get someone in the know over here to deal with this.  I am afraid, at least in part, to find out how big of a problem may actually exist when it comes to my new machine.  I am also afraid to look too closely into where the machine may have come from.  The deal I got on it was unreasonably good.

One of the useful things I have done with the internet has been looking at some script writing tutorials.  I didn't imagine that it would be so easy writing a script that it would literally write itself.  It seems, however, that it is involved enough to make it challenging to keep the story straight while managing the format at the same time.  Unlike writing a book, where the story is self evident, with a script the story must be shown to the reader.  The picture is painted visually with words that describe the picture rather than the picture being the words that tell the story.  For example, there is no internal monologue, unless it becomes external and therefore a soliloquy.  A scene that could be described in a few pages of a book, where perhaps the main character is having some type of internal debate or has some subtle feelings that are important to the development of the story is approached differently in a script.  With the script, these feelings have to be demonstrated with body language and introduced with correlating scenes. 

The same character, who is bummed out because of a fight with a girlfriend or something has to show why he is bummed through flashbacks of the fight or actual dialogue.   This isn't to say that it can't be done or that I can't be good at it.  It's just that it's gonna take some work to do it well.  And it may be worth it to get some of that script writing software the tutorials talked about.  Keeping the story straight without having to worry about format will make it go a little more smoothly, I imagine.

As for the j-o-b, I exchanged some messages with Serena.  She was happier to hear from me than I would have guessed judging from her voice mail.  One of the things that was weighing somewhat heavily on my mind was how to bring up the subject of possibly changing boats.  On the bigger boats, there is much more money to be made-or so I've heard.  I'd wondered if perhaps I was going to be designated all-time Katie Anne processor crew.  Well, on my voice mail Serena indicated that I should be in touch with her soon because some of the other boats were filling up.  The implication was that she had a spot for me on one of these other boats that I needed to come redeem.  I think I might.

Another thing I think I might do is try for a promotion on the Katie Ann.  If there is an advantage to the boat, it's that it is shitty enough that there is alarming turnover.  Ergo, there are spots opening up somewhat regularly.  And this is another angle to consider.  Whatever the case, the motel has been fun, but I am about ready to get serious about life again.  And the motel is costing a bit of money too.  Cheap is a relative term and what is cheap for a night or two becomes a greater liability over the course of a week.  I wonder if James got in trouble for the crappy job he did at running the boat for the last trip we took last season.  Talk about a disaster.  That guy was in over his head.