Saturday, January 26, 2013

Male observers

Great idea, that.  Out here in the desolate Bering Sea there are few women.  As it is on the boat now, there is one galley girl (who is new), and a pursor.  The pursor is an inexplicable Asiatic yet somehow Russian lady in the age range of 40 to 60.  I really can't nail it down any better than that.  The galley lady is a bit younger perhaps.  That's it though.  The rest of us are manly men for the most part. 

Which brings me to the topic of observers.  Many of the observers are young, post college, women.  And the first rule is 'no fraternizing with the observers'.  That means hands off.  And that means you.  And me.  We had an observer last season who I may or may not have spent some time talking to on a professional level.  There were no firable offenses committed.  It was all a very copacetic situation.  Really.  I'm telling you it's not like I went out and spent Christmas with her family or anything.  Just some boat chat.

But the boat chat was nice and I miss my observer friend.  She was easily the second smartest person on the boat and a tremendous conversationalist.  We had paper airplane flying contests in the galley and I even gave her a piano lesson with a bottle of sriracha as a pen.  And we may have made faces out of food on used dinner plates.  Just good fun all around.  And, I imagine she is the type of person who would have no problem engaging in a food fight in either a hotel room or a restaurant.  Just a gut feeling.  So ya.  She was fun and I miss her here.

But sometimes sequels suck.  And I'm honestly glad to not have any other lackeys around trying to be the fun and personable government agent that she was.  There is no other like that, so why bother?  Since I've been fishing, I've had occasion to meet and talk to a number of observers and they aren't that fun for the most part.  So let's keep it guy and just let these fellas count their fish.  Right?

I'd like to talk about them, but there is a strict anti-harassment policy.  I'm not saying that I have anything to say that is harassing in nature.  I'm not saying that at all.  But I could venture a guess that our tastes in automobiles differ.  Like, say, a Vokswagen Bus versus a Chevy.  And that's it.  Basically what I'm saying is that I won't be fraternizing with these observers either.  Just like I didn't fraternize with the one from last season.  And we probably won't be talking about camshafts and cylinder heads.  But who knows?

So male observers are welcome, according to this observer.  And all my psychological fissures can be mended with a lucrative season.  I'm not saying I'm money grubbing or anything like that.  I do, however, prefer it when money is no object.  Money becomes less of an object, ironically, when it exists.  So, the property of money existing, in a real sense and being something of a literal object makes it that wonderful metaphorical non-object.  Glad we're all clear on that.

I wish I could talk about some funny stuff here, but there really hasn't been much.  Either that or I'm jaded.  I still laugh at wit and basic observations, but there is no 'Nap Time' crew member to share.  Everyone is pretty normal.  I'm not gonna say boring yet.  But ya, kinda boring.  It's like people want to be serious fishermen or something.  Pfft.

I did blow the dust off of the piano today.  Besides the distraction of teaching impromptu lessons to the legion listeners and declining all requests, it was pretty good.  The galley girl needed a cold shower.  I told her ahead of time, "Listen, if you can't control yourself I'm not gonna play.  Sometimes the ladies have a tough time keeping it together...".  I was mostly kidding.  But once I started playing and she stopped working everyone looked at me like, "what's going on here?"  Nothing.  Trust me.  I can't help it if I think way too much and play sweet seduction on the keys.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I'm at sea.  I read sometimes.  Most of what I read is something found on the boat.  So...ya.  Lotta Clive Cussler.  He writes books about boats and stuff.  His character is this smooth guy Dirk.  I have no problem with Dirk.  My problem is with Clive. 

I read the first book and it was tolerable.  There was a bad guy.  He was smuggling something or other with a fake boat under water compartment or something.  Ok.  Fine.  Then I read another one.  Same kind of deal.  Third time around I spiked the book like I scored a touchdown.  Just straight into the dirt.  But with plenty aplomb.

Come on clive.  You're writing a book dude.  You can make anything up that you want.  The bad guys could have secret Chinese technology, stealth, submarines, spaceships, teleportation...You name it.  And this clown just keeps doing the old fake bottom of the boat.  Kinda bugs me.  Now I can't read a sentence of his without scrutinizing it for cheese or BS. 

I know it's nothing of great import here, but bad book premises kinda bug me.  And this guy just owns it.  Sadly, the captain saw me reading these things and now we talk about these books.  I feel like Michael Bolton from office space, "I told the captain I like Clive Cussler".  It's kinda sad really.

On a bright note, I have a sweet George MacDonald Frasier book going right now.  Flashman gets it done.  I like Flashy.  And I need to blow the dust off of my piano.  I managed to click and drag some songs to my phone.  I feel like I'm in love listening to Dionne Warwick and Lakeside.  Just way too much seduction.  A house is not a home indeed.  Someone near to me said 'angel'.  I have to thank an angel face for the tunes that I now enjoy.  And the movies on my computer.

I have a program that will let me play any movie from these hard drives.  Awesome.  Yesterday I not only watched Beauty and the Beast, but Coming to America too.  Pretty effing awesome.  Now, if we can make some bread on this boat, I'll be thrilled.  Might even stick it out wire to wire.  Leaving early on that medical last season cost big time.  Big time.

And the island situation might situate itself this winter.  You're kidding yourself if you think I'm not gonna get certified to scuba dive for an island getaway.  Kidding yourself.  Gotta happen.  Islands.  Seychelles.  Booya!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Here I go again on my own

Back to work.  The big bucks, as it were.  And ya.  Once again we have a new crew in a new season.  Once again my mind wanders back in time.  It tries to tell me how much better things were than they really were.  I am prone, it seems, to romanticize things that have already happened.  Now I understand what is happening so I can deal with it a little better.

Last season began with me missing the Ice Wench.  She is now a distant, if not fond, memory.  I missed the rest of the crew too.  Well, now I am missing some of the crew that was on the disastrous season previous to this one.  None of these people were ice wenches.  In fact, the only women on the boat were observers.  There is no fraternizing with observers, so do the math.  I do miss certain people who were on the boat but are no more.  Maybe some of these people were or weren't employees of my company.  It can be hard to keep up with.

Bottom line is that I find myself free of distraction and in a bouyant mood.  I feel like myself again.  I want to thank you fallettin me be mice elf again.  It feels good.  The new guys seem like a pretty good group.  Everyone on the boat has experience this time around.  We are now an 'H and G' boat.  The deal with that is rather than merely catching the fish and selling them to a plant who deals with the whole fish, we ourselves cut the heads off and gut the fish.  That cuts out an intermediary step and means more money.  I like the sound of it.  On a side note, I also like the sound of the piano in my ear right now.  I'm listening to some of my own stuff.  It's sad.

Hanging off the side of the boat in the Bering sea at night is exciting.  I had the pleasure a few hours ago.  We were lashing down some scrap and I was designated knot tier.  I'm king of the knots.  When they want knots, they come to me.  Well, I had to get outside the guard rails a bit to grab the line.  Thrilling.

And a funny thing happens when you are staring at that grey sea, writhing seaward with it's foam and all the rest.  For me, I start imagining jumping off of the boat.  I don't fantasize about it.  There's no way I'd do it.  the picture plays out in my mind though.  Kinda makes me squirm.  Bad look.

That's about it.  I miss 'friends' very much.  I hope they are living well and smart.  But I myself am feeling pretty good.  I got jokes and songs.  I have friends here.  Maybe even something like a surrogate family.  There are some things I can't talk about.  That isn't one.  Good group.  Let's make it a good season.