Monday, December 28, 2009

Waiting for Christmas dinner

Paper mache. I ask myself, "Why haven't I created animal heads to wear to Christmas dinner in years' past?" Better late than never I suppose. Here I am waiting for the guys before going to dinner in the galley. Sigh, never keep a lady waiting.

After dinner I went to our department party for a few hours, and ended the night at MAAG (McMurdo Alternative Art Gallery). The carp shop was transformed into a psychedelic art groove displaying work from some of McMurdo's finest artists. It seemed appropriate that I wear my own paper mache creation, and in fact wore it all night long proving that I can still dance as good as the rest of them without being able to see a bloody thing!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Sitting down to enjoy the best Christmas morning breakfast. Panettone sent from Mamma, and coffee from Daniel. Thanks so much guys for making this Christmas feel like home.

After the morning mass I introduce Mini Mia, last year's pez companion to this year's. Everyone... meet The Pezquin.

The Holiday Party

They cut no corners and went all out for the Holiday Party. Living rooms were set up with fake fireplaces and Christmas trees. Even Santa made an appearance.

Carolers sang, and there was food and drinks for everyone, but who can resist having their head in the butt of a reindeer.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Memories on Christmas Eve

In the cargo loading area there is a soft and fuzzy fish that can no longer sing. This is for 2 of my favorite people in the WORLD, Amelia and Annelise. For all of the silly afternoons in Annelise's room singing the 2 songs on rotation over and over again. I had a favorite song which escapes me now, and that is probably a good thing.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Pressure Ridges

A pressure ridge is formed when an ice sheet breaks and layers itself over the other half. The top half is further pushed up and outwards by winds and ocean currents.

They stretch out along the Ross Ice Shelf for 2 miles. 2 miles of bliss.

However, water pools are forming as warmer temperatures approach making for a messy hike at times.

My favorite hike to date.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Antarctic Frostbite Softball Tournament

In keeping with tradition at Softball tournaments hot dogs and hamburgers are cooked on the grill. Except generally they aren't free, and generally these games aren't played when the outside temperatures are 9F/-13C. But again, there is nothing general about this place.

ATO (my department) vs. the Fire House. We were up 14/2, but lost 14/15 in the last inning. OUCH!


Saturday, December 19, 2009

The bright side is...

ARGH!!!.. The good thing about switching to the day shift is that I'll be working the same time everyone else is. Including Lauren who cleans our bathroom.

The Night Crew no more

In 2 days we will hand over our night shift and continue the rest of our time here working days. I've got 2 days to transition my sleeping pattern to work 0600 to 1800 beginning Monday morning. Still 12 hours, 6 to 6, but no longer on the "dark" side. Pretty much the same, same sun circles us above day and night, except I'll be fighting for a seat at meal times....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The beloved bowling alley

Condemned last season as an unsafe structure, the bowling alley is now being demolished. A very solemn week, as many are sad to see it go. Only a few will remember the joke, but bowling was expected to be one of my highlights here. But at least part of the joke remains. :)

On a Ride

A sun dog, we see a lot of these here.

A crack in the sea ice, yep, it's getting warmer.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The 14th Annual Women's Soiree

Pirate week at McMurdo ended with a bang, the 14th Annual Women's Soiree.

The Annual Women's Soiree is a melody of talented acts one after another performed only by women ranging in belly dancing, ukulele jamming, clever poetry, singing, and dance numbers including one involving a hula hoop. The theme this year was Bollywood which made some of the dance numbers pretty interesting. I am at awe, and inspired of the talent that surrounds me.

The overall reason for putting this together is to raise money by raffling off prizes donated by the people of McMurdo Station and from the small businesses of Christchurch to benefit a local charity in New Zealand. New Zealand provides the US Antarctic program with many resources and this is how we say thanks.

This year's charity is Cholmondeley, a residential facility in Canterbury that cares for children aged 3 - 12 who come from homes and families that are unable to care for them due to various reasons. Having just celebrated Thanksgiving and now getting ready for Christmas the timing couldn't be better.

We all have something to give, a random smile from across a room can brighten just about anyone's day, or, um..... creep you out. So all of you with creepy smiles maybe instead you are a good listener??

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's no wonder why I don't sleep

Working 12 hour shifts can be difficult, but not impossible to find the time to participate in many of the activities around here. I make sure that I attend the science lectures every week, go to yoga, movies, meet up with friends, and before my ankle did its own thing on the race, lots of hiking. However, the real reason sleep eludes me is an activity that I do not participate in... the construction out my window. Luckily in 2 weeks time I'll alternate my 12 hour shifts from nights to days and at that point I'll welcome sleep back into my life with open arms.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

We're the Young Ones.... (singing)

For those of you who know me from the "old" days I KNOW that you are laughing out loud right now, and can feel my EXCITMENT!!! Can you believe that such an event should be held here?! Can you believe that there is another soul out in the world (and here)who also has the DVD set?! I believe!

For all others who were not in my life 20 plus years ago The Young Ones was a British comedy sitcom from 1982/1983. A British comedy from which I can, even today recite each and every word..... BOMBS.