Celebrate


I’m so happy! I finally got a call to go to work! Yeah!

I was thinking a lot about my situation. I hate being broke. I really don’t like being constantly on call either. I feel like I can’t really do anything. I certainly can’t plan anything more than a day or two in advance.

I have only had 5 weeks of work since the end of October. I had planned to go to the Rigzone job fair in Houston today and meet a friend for lunch afterwards. I had to blow off that and everything else and just get ready to go to work. Pack, clean out the fridge, get rid of garbage, drop off library books, get all the bills in the mail, make important phone calls, etc. This job is only for 2 weeks, but thank goodness, it should pay my bills next month.

I heard from a friend late last week that they needed a relief on his boat, so I called about it yesterday. They called me this afternoon and asked if I was available. Hell yes! I’ve been available for months!

I can’t get this song out of my head now. 🙂

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Bokeh

I found another photo challenge thanks to Cee. She has compiled a whole list of them. This one is a ‘photo adventure’ from the Little Pieces of Me blog. It’s going on for a whole month. You can post once, or as many times as you want. This month, the theme is

bo·keh/bōˈkā/nounPHOTOGRAPHY

  1. the visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image, especially as rendered by a particular lens.

I usually try to get my subjects in focus. I get blurry photos a lot more than I’d like. The point with bokeh is to leave the background (usually) out of focus. Sometimes, even the whole photo out of focus looks good.

I’ve been trying lately to practice doing this. I don’t really know what I’m doing with my camera, so when the photo turns out good I’m always happily surprised.

I usually use a point and shoot camera. Just because it’s easy to carry around with me. I usually keep it in my pocket all the time when I’m out and about. Some people can take really great photos with their phone, but my phone is not one of those.

When I know I’m going somewhere I will be taking a lot of pictures, I take my good cameras with me. I love my Sony NEX-5R even though it’s old and should probably be upgraded. It’s much lighter than my other cameras and takes great pictures, even in low light.

Here’s my entry to the challenge. I took this one with the Sony camera.

I may be able to come up with more later. 😉 If you want to join in and see what everyone else is doing, click the link here.

I Could Use a Joke

How about you?

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Happy Saturday. I hope you’re all having a great weekend. 🙂

Lone Star Pirate Festival

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Oh Boy, I wish I was going to be home for this! Amazingly, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of it. The Lone Star Pirate Festival. Wow. Right here in Houston, how lucky we are. 😉

It looks like so much fun. You get to dress up like pirates, drink lots of pirate beverages, listen to maritime/pirate music (the Bilge Pumps, Blaggards, etc), and go around saying ‘arrrrgghh’. And everybody around actually ‘gets it’. 😉

They’ll also have food trucks and vendors and according to their Facebook page, a real life mermaid. 😉 It’s also inside so you don’t have to worry about the weather. I’d love to go!

I can’t wish too hard though, since I am supposed to be working during that time period. It’s scheduled for July 20th and I should be shipboard by then (it’s not a pirate ship 😉 ).

I was thinking about it this afternoon and until this job I will have only worked 5 weeks out of 36! I can’t hope for anything else other than that I actually get to go do that job! So many have been cancelled this year at the last minute.

Maybe they’ll have another one of these festivals that I can go to. I hope so. I hope they come back to Houston. I don’t like driving all the way up there, but it’s not too far for something like this. If anybody get’s to go, I hope you’ll let us know how it went.

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CYW: Asparagus

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I don’t have any asparagus around the house to photograph, tho I do have some out in my garden. It’s not nearly ready to harvest yet, and it doesn’t match the color swatch anyways. I’ve looked through my photo stash and this is what I’ve come up with for Jennifer’s Color Your World Challenge for this week- Asparagus

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Most of what I found were of some type of plant/vegetation, but some were man-made. I found this display of tiny dinosaurs at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

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This asparagus colored plate (with delicious entree) was served to us at the Lemala Mpingo Ridge Camp in Tanzania.

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I always enjoy these challenges. It’s fun to try to come up with something to enter and to see all the different ideas people have to play along. If you want to see the rest of the Color Your World series and see what’s coming up in the future, click this link.

SNL: Air Traffic Control

I don’t watch TV much anymore (and get increasingly upset about paying over $140/month for cable), but one of the very few things I’ll turn the TV on for is Saturday Night Live. 

I used to watch it every Saturday night when I was growing up and loved the old cast: Gilda Radner, John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd, Bill Murray and all the rest. I don’t think the show is anywhere near as good as it used to be, but they still come up with some great stuff.

Enough worth watching, there’s usually at least one great sketch every show. I saw this one a week or so ago and it just cracked me up. I still laugh every time I see it. James McAvoy is fantastic with his Scottish accent and the situation is so goofy.

Actually, it resonates with me since ships also sometimes need to deal with traffic control. Sometimes we have to pass through “traffic separation schemes“, especially where there is a lot of ship traffic. They help keep some order and make it easier for us to follow the ‘Rules of the Road” (COLREGS). 

English is the international language of the sea (as well as the air), and like in the SNL skit sometimes it’s almost impossible to understand what people are trying to say over the radio. I’m sure at least some accidents are caused by mis-communication. It’s hard enough to understand people when you do speak the same language. 

Songs of the Sea: Smooth Sailing

Since it looks like I won’t be going to work any time soon, I’ve been looking at the travel posts in my email more closely. I get dozens of them every day. I usually just delete them because I’ve been on call for work for so long. I can’t make any kind of plans for more than a week or two in advance. 

Since I got back from my last (only one week long) job, I’ve been calling everyone for the last 3 weeks. No one has anything in the works. So, I thought I shouldn’t waste my time here at home, doing nothing, with no prospects of work. I could go to Mexico and get my paperwork started. I’ve been trying to move out of the US for years and finally got a temporary residency visa for Mexico. 🙂

I’ve been considering moving to Mazatlan, but it seems no one has direct flights anymore. That means I will have to change my plans. Mazatlan will have to wait. As long as I am still even trying to work, I will need to be close to an airport with direct flights to Houston.

I am still trying to move to Mexico, now I just need to figure out where. Puerto Vallarta? Cabo San Lucas? Guadalajara? or San Miguel de Allende? Anybody have any other suggestions?

In the meantime, those travel ads are making me even more anxious to get out of here! This song by Dennis “Menace” Roberts reminds me of the good times down in the islands. I love the music and the video is fun. Nice that they’re using real people in it instead of models too. 🙂 

I wish I could get back down there. Now, or some time soon I hope! 🙂 

Beyond Beautiful

I had just written a really good, long post about this book I just finished reading. “Beyond Beautiful– (A practical guide to being happy, confident, and you in a looks- obsessed world)” by Anuschka Rees. WordPress deleted the whole thing as I was adding the photo! I don’t know if I can do it justice at this point. 😦 

I finished the book in just a couple of hours. It’s only 185 pages long. It would’ve taken me longer if I had taken the time to do all of the ‘exercises’. I don’t think they would’ve helped me much. I’ve already got to the point of ‘don’t give a damn what other people think’. But maybe they might help other people who haven’t got to that point yet. 😉

Of course I’ve always known how ‘looks-obsessed’ we are in this country. I’m fat. I know that. I’ve been fat since I was about 13 years old. I’ve tried every diet in the book. I’ve gone so far as to have my teeth wired shut, and even now I’ve got the lap band (it’s not working either).

It sucks to have random strangers yell insults at you when you’re walking to school, or trying to have fun at the beach (“hey, it’s a beached whale”, etc). After all these years, I’ve gotten a lot better at ignoring all those idiots. But yes, of course it still hurt. It hurt even more when my grandmother would tell me how my “face is so pretty”, like the rest of me was not. 

I used to tell myself “if people don’t like me the way I am, then they can just go f*&k themselves!”! I still think that way, even more so now. At this point I could give a damn what other people think of my opinions, my fashion sense, my choice of car, or my looks, or anything else. I understand that whatever they think, it’s on them, -(it’s just their opinion)- not me.

What I got out of the book, what really surprised me, is how Rees states that pretty much every woman has such insecurities. Such poor body image. I have to think this is just an American issue. I find it hard to believe some poor woman struggling to survive on $1-2 a day in the slums of India or the wilds of Africa would obsess about how she’s not able to shave her legs every day (or even her pits). That nobody would ever like her, that she’d be shunned by society if her eyebrows were not perfectly plucked. 

It’s amazing to me to hear that so many women are so concerned about how other people see them that they’ll obsess about every little imperfection. I mean really, no one is perfect! No one! And who has the time, energy, or money to spend on the attempt to make yourself ‘perfect’?

But apparently a lot of women do this. It’s not just shaving their legs, fixing their hair, putting on makeup every day. It’s all that and more! Botox for the lips, liposuction for the belly, boob jobs and butt jobs and on and on and on.

Can you believe, they’re even doing surgery on their vaginas (vulvas)? To make themselves ‘attractive’ ‘down there’. Seriously! The procedure is called a “labiaplasty”

Women are spending a fortune on this crap! In order to feel good about themselves with all this insane social brainwashing going on all around us constantly.

WHY are so many women falling into this trap? Rees mentions advertising and how social media has been making it worse lately.

I have to admit, when I was younger I bowed to social pressure. I did try shaving my legs (I do still shave my pits). I used to wear makeup and wear something other than shorts, flip-flops and t-shirt if I was going out somewhere ‘fancy’. I still might do that if I ever go out somewhere ‘fancy’ (which doesn’t happen much at all these days). I gave up shaving my legs a long time ago, never did see the point to that.

I’ve never plucked my eyebrows, I’ve never used hair removal products, never used skin whitening stuff, rarely use lotions or cremes, almost never do my nails. My boobs and my butt are plenty big enough. I have some cellulite and freckles- who cares!

My thing is my weight. I’ve done just about all the things you can do to lose weight, including the teeth wiring and lap band. Thank god I never solved that problem so I could move on to the rest.

That’s another major point I got from the book: you fix one thing only to find something else bothers you and then you have to go on to obsess about that thing until you fix it.

Why can’t we just get over this whole idea that looks are what’s most important?

I’ve noticed this obsession is very obvious in America. Everyone is all about looks. They look at your clothes, your car, your house, your yard, and judge you. I don’t see that kind of thing anywhere else. Is this just an American thing? Or is it common in other places around the world? Any comments?