Sunday, 31 December 2006

Another one bites the dust.

Another year goes spiraling the drain. More people I've met and then lost touch with. More people I knew have gotten married, moved houses/cities/countries, passed away. Saddam Hussain has finally been executed for things he did a quarter of a century ago. And I am one year older. Feels like a good half dozen :-<. I'm beginning to get a hang of this though. More on that another time.

Was pleasantly surprised this morning to see curry for breakfast :). It was terrible by proper curry standards :P. But still the best thing around! Not that the rest of the food was bad though, it's just that... Well, let's put it this way, no wonder Indian food is popular. It's just better :D. While the Sun rose for the last time this year, it dawned on me that somehow I've ended up spending most of this year in Australia and even managed to get rather attached to it by the end of it. I've been on three continents this year as against two last year and one the year before that :P. (At this rate it'll take me just another 4 years to get done with at least one of my 'things to do before I die'!) Even got the see the Norwegian fjords again, this time not completely shrouded in snow :). It's been a good year. A busy year. I still don't know where my life's headed, but at least I'm not too worried about most of it :).

In the course of a discussion today, I realised that given a time machine, and given the choice, I'd much rather land up in the past rather than the future! Why, I am yet to figure out completely, but I'd rather not be burdened with the knowledge of where I'll end up (much less where humanity will!!). That's like reading the last page of the book before the rest of it, spoils all the fun. Digging up the past, now that's a much better adventure :). I guess I'm one of those people who get caught up things 'n stuff. Interestingly enough, did this vague thing called the train and railroad quiz today on some random site linked on a random blog. Turns out, I'm the London Underground :)). Something to do with the past. Then of course it totally takes off at a tangent, and goes on about difficult experiences and people spending less time with you and what not! I mean c'mon, how many people have had bombs going off in their guts?!! Yet roughly one in 64 people taking the quiz get told this :P.

The only time I have ever been kinda close to a bomb actually going off anywhere also happened to be this year though. And that was very very far from funny.

Ah well, one could end up with a very long post going on in this vein I suppose. So to cut to the chase and the last day of the year, I spent a better part of it religiously downloading the hourly infra-red satellite images that the Australian Governtment's Bureau of Meteorology provide. In this case paying special attention to the remarkable buildup of a possible cyclone to the North West, that will see us bring in this new year by high-tailing it out of the prospect area :).Hope the new year brings many joys to you. Enough at least to outnumber, outshine and outweigh any sorrows. And that you get to look back upon it with more of contentment than regret :). Happy New Year!

Feeling: content enough :)
Listening to: Jon Brion - Strings that tie to you (OST - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)

Saturday, 30 December 2006

A little something. . .

After aborted attempts over the last few days, I finally managed a peek at a sunrise today!! (Sunrises seen from the back-deck no longer count :|.) It's all the WA Government's fault! They went and got this stupid daylight saving thing done, moving an hour ahead!! So sunrise these days is around 7 instead of around 6, i.e. outside my breakfast hour. It took me a while to finally narrow it down to just before quarter to 7 :P.
Life's getting all exciting on board :D. We have just about gotten into the rather long and active cyclone season around these parts. And today we had our first proper tropical storm warning in the season!! Looks like there's this huge low building up a little south of Bali, Indonesia, and is supposed to gather up a bit of the vaporised ocean around itself and come spinning down towards Exmouth, WA. To the not so geographycally inclined, (and if you don't know where the vessel is, which would probably be everyone :P), this scheme of things puts us smack in the path of a growing cyclone :D. So today I saw a 'Cyclone Meeting' for the first time onboard! Not that that was much by itself, but there's stuff like 'evasive action' and 'tracking the cyclone' on everyone's lips now :D.

I am obviously completely trusting these people to make sure that we are absolutely nowhere near the centre of the cyclone! Or even around the outskirts of it for that matter!! I've heard too many horror stories about last year when the other swing got too close to one /:).

X-( And now Blogger won't let me upload a pic!!!

Currently: frustrated!!!!! X-(((
Listening to: Pearl Jam - I am mine
--
Looks like that's been fixed :).

Wednesday, 27 December 2006

Vortex

What I am about to describe is not a vortex :). See, when a boat with a pointed bow and keel (that is a front end that actually cuts through the water instead of skimming over it) is travelling at speed, there are these sheets of water furling out on either side, curving up out of the sea and sailing by someone sitting by the boat's side, curling back into the sea. To such a person the water would seem impeccably smooth, blue-white, and speckled with fine sparkling gold dust. It is very very tempting to stretch out your fingers and dabble in it. So I did.

There is a rather fragile boundary between the clear blue and the foaming white. As the fingers touch the blue, the flow erupts! White spray spurting through in between. The blinding sun overhead dissolves in the tiny droplets. It makes me forget for a while, but not for long enough. The sinking feeling. Inexorably drawn down to my knees. The moment when I lost... There were other things, a combination of factors. But small boat trips will never be the same again :-<.

Currently: thoughtful
Listening to: Third Eye Blind - Semi-charmed life

Tuesday, 26 December 2006

A little green top spinning on my palm. . .

This Christmas wasn't so bad after all :). Thanks mainly to the best spread I've ever seen on the boat :D. The galley folk had totally outdone themselves. In fact, my cam lay forgotten as I figured I'd much rather be eating the food than waste time taking pictures of it :P.

Small joys and a big smile, that's the way to live life! Finally managed to get back to reading Eldest, first time since coming onboard and I was so glad to let myself get completely immersed in the magic and fantasy. There's too little by way of magic in our reality :(. And the only thing that is, more often than not ends up in disaster....

Oh and I just found the entire four seasons of Coupling onboard!!! This is going to be so much fun :D.

Currently: not feeling drop dead tired anymore, finally!
Listening to: Graham Massey - Moonlight sonata

Sunday, 24 December 2006

It's Christmas Eve, for Christ's sake!!!

Oh God!!! How is it that every time I end up so completely stunned by exactly how much work there is when we end up out on the back deck?!! It's depressing!! It's like realising that your answer to the question "what have you learnt from past experiences" is basically absolutely nothing!!! :( Thankfully it usually gets over just about when I'm stretched to the limit. Or maybe it's the expectation of it all getting over that stretches me to the limit :). But really, just when we are done with an excrutiating week on the back deck, the worst system f***-up I have ever seen has to happen. On my shift :-<. So while people all over the place enjoy their Christmas Eve in whatever way they will, I'll be fast asleep, lucky if I can actually wake up at 11:30... or maybe I can get away with 50.... :P.

So Merry Christmas to everyone who's celebrating, or not :).

Feeling: dead :-<
Listening to: Annie Lennox - Don't let it bring you down

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Pros and cons. . .

... of wearing my cap to the helideck. You don't have the massive overflow of brightness turning you completely blind all the time! But given the 15-20 knot wind, I was really worried about losing it! And it's not like I can just go fetch it afterwards /:).

--
It's uncanny. I was trying to explain to some friends of mine over the break how I almost never, seem to get enough sleep on the boat. (And not just because I keep having to wake up at the latest possible moment to still be able to get to work on time, well, sort of :P.) It's just that I always have something or other I'd rather be doing than sleep. It's probably a good thing. It would be so sad no, to try and sleep 'cos you have nothing else to do!!! The uncanny bit is that this trip I have been seriously sleep deprived for every single day yet :|.

Feeling: sleeeeeeeepy!!!!!
Listening to: Radiohead - Planet Telex

Monday, 18 December 2006

Hop, skip and splash! (I wish :-<)

I almost had my bag lost by the airline, but the rest of crew change went awesomely well :D. Despite the hour and fifteen minute delay, I still had a good hour to catch up with Udit. Not enough after a year and a half one might say, but I'm happy under the circumstances :).Watched Miami Vice on the flight to Perth. For all the hype, the only high point in the movie for me was when I discovered One of These Mornings (Moby) was part of the soundtrack :P. The the rather early Christmas dinner wasn't too bad, except that it left me with too little time to catch up with my crazy Perth flatmate (:P) :(. (And also ditch impromptu Casino Royale late-night show plan :|.)

And of course, it was off to the back deck pretty much as soon as we stepped off the choppers. I was looking forward to getting back to the ship, and some peace and quiet. What on earth was I thinking?!!!!!!!

Feeling: tired, bruised etc.. you know the routine :-<
Listening to: Everclear - Santa Monica

Friday, 15 December 2006

Oh dear!

Flying through Mumbai as usual, and this time I'd once again planned to meet people. I should just stop doing that. My flight has been delayed. It still leaves me enough time to slip in a quick chat, but I'm wondering if this is all :|. At least I'm sure that my flight out of Singapore has been confirmed (yes I was almost flying out with a chance of getting stranded in Changi :P).

Feeling: apprehensive :-S
Listning to: Moby - In my heart

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

After the storm. . .

I should quit complaining about things piling up. It's about to get a whole lot worse :). Barely a week at home is hardly a lot. Add to that nagging illnesses and a massive amount of driving in Kolkata traffic. Hardly makes for the most relaxed of times /:). So now I'm left with a day and a half of relative peace and quiet before I'm off again. As if to emphasise the fact, there's a state-wide bandh tomorrow :D.Short as it was, the memories I carry of this trip back are heavily loaded with joy from my few days in campus :). It's probably not a good sign that I'm beginning to reminisce about my measly couple of weeks off the way I used to think about my time on the ship about a year back, as a break from the regular scheme of things. I think I actually told someone the other day that I was looking forward to getting back to the ship, and some peace and quiet =)). In my defence, I had a bad cold and a headache at the time :P.
--

...the dust is beginning to settle finally. He looks on, one eyelid tipped half open. The last passing gusts make the faint brown clouds swirl. A pretty girl pirouetting in a sandy frock... He twitches his nose as a fly buzzes too close. He's getting old. Why does everyone think they have to keep the whole world's secrets locked down in their little minds, he wonders. Not like they can. Everything slips out eventually, like grains of sand from a tight fist.

Feeling: tired, mostly...
Listening to: Suzanne Vega - Bad wisdom

Monday, 11 December 2006

Moving on

I seem to be running into a lot of people these days who are troubled, scared and confused. On the phone, via emails, through instant messaging... and ocassionally in person. The idea that the world all around is not quite as it had seemed in the not too distant past, seems to be gaining popularity. In the midst of all this, I find myself troubled as well. Not by confusion, but rather, by the ominous lack of it. It's not like everything is crystal clear in a 10 year radius around me, or even one. But, finding myself (suprisingly) unperturbed by the now usual uncertainty staring me in the face, I'm wondering if I should be looking out for something worse. Maybe something sneaking up beind my back? As it seems to have on others...
--

Finished reading Eragon today, in record time almost! Just goes to show what a little change of scenery can achieve! After starving over the enforced diet of conspiracies and Cabbalists and Rosicrucians and Templars and the Pendulum, even the slightly childishly written Inheritance books come as a huge respite!! It's got all the makings of a fun read: the Map (:D I love maps), the hero, the evil guys (who are suitably menacing and fear invoking et cetera), the pretty lady (in this case, elf), lots of travelling and fighting, magic!! And of course the dragon. Good thing I have the second book with me! Otherwise I'd have agonised over what-happens-next for the entire upcoming trip :P.

Currently: wondering...
Listening to: Thom Yorke - Atoms for peace

Saturday, 9 December 2006

And they lived. . .

... happily ever after!!! So the first of my batchmates has finally gone and gotten married!! Took me a long twelve hours to actually get to Ajmer from Mumbai, and it was just in time for the evening's festivities. And it was quite an experience, being the first Marwari wedding I've attended. It helped of course that a whole bunch of people I hadn't seen in over a year and a half had landed up in Ajmer for the wedding!!
With some time at hand the next day, we went out to do some sight-seeing :). Ended up going to Pushkar. It wasn't quite time for the famous fair, but we saw the lake, the temple, and were quite frankly shocked to see signs all over the place advertising a "Pink Floyd Cafe & Hotel"!! Following a maze of narrow lanes and dusty roads we finally ended up at this dark doorway at the end of a narrow alley :|. Inside however, it was quite... interesting :). The music was right, as was the decor, only the chai we ordered wasn't quite like anything I'd ever tasted (or want to taste again for that matter :-&).On the way back we were supposed to visit the 'beginning of the Thar Desert'. Unfortunately that turned out to be a single mound of sand :(. But soon after we saw a group of camels, and thanks to one particularly over-enthusiastic member of our party, all of us were soon having a blast!! All except one :D. Ghora was living a nightmare!! =)) It was completely priceless!!! I guess it did not help that this other camel kept nosing him :D.
PJ, Ghora and the camel :D
The second evening saw the beginning of the wedding festivities with the baraat. I must say the groom handled the whole thing rather well, even when the mare started trotting around in circles, much to his alarm!! :DIt was rather late in the night when the actual marriage ceremony began, and barely halfway through it we had to leave, with an 8 am flight to catch from Jaipur :(.It was quite an awesome trip in the end, my first to Rajasthan. I hope it's not my last :).

Currently: home again \:D/
Listening to: Massive Attack - Teardrop

More Pushkar pics here.

Sunday, 3 December 2006

Shopping!!

So I've realised I should not be left in a book shop all by myself for too long :|. I'd been given Eragon by a friend who was sure she'd 'never ever read it again' and given the sucker that I am for fantasy, I had no trouble taking it off her :D. However, there was that other pain that goes by the name of a book, Foucault's Pendulum, that I have finally given up on ever finishing :(. And this was precipitated by the cool trailer for Eragon that I saw on tv the other day. I figured I'd finish reading the book before seeing the movie for once, and I must say I'm glad I did, such a relief after plodding through four fifths of Foucault!!!

And today I landed up at a Crossword with a friend and couldn't resist buying the second in that series, Eldest :D. That was the beginning. Later on, I was supposed to meet some friends to buy wedding presents for day after, and I ended up getting there an hour early :(. Me, alone in a Shopper's Stop outlet :-S. Thankfully, I found a little Crossword store tucked into a corner! There I found this really cool looking hard bound with short stories by this chap called Stephen Leacock! The name struck a chord somewhere, and flipping through I came across this amazing short story we'd read in some English literature class in school called My Financial Career! Ended up buying it :|. And while I was at it ended up buying the first Game World book as well. I have the second one, and am planning to read it all again in time for the next and final release :).

And somehow or other I also managed to end up with a pearl in my pocket, but that's a long story. But I am very proud of myself for having managed to get very pretty looking presents for my first batchmates' wedding :D.
--

It has been such a totally whirlwind trip to campus!! In the three days that I have been here, the two remaining wingmates that I care about have landed jobs! I've met more people than I could ever have imagined! And tomorrow I'm off to meet tons more!
--

Oh, and it's actually warmer here in Mumbai in 'winter' than it was in Perth in summer!!!

Feeling: still in heaven :)
Listening to: Moby - Summer

Saturday, 2 December 2006

Bliss!!

It is so good to be back!!!!!! :) After a fair while I'm back in campus, and I'm absolutely loving it!!
The flights were long as usual, and a wee bit tiring, but the view of Serangoon Harbour just before dipping into Singapore was quite a treat!

Since I've been back here though, it's been such a flurry of news - old news, breaking news, scandalous revelations, sad breakups... plain old gossip :D. And people of course! Friends landing up out of nowhere, instant plans, a visit down to VT, a walk down the waterfront to the Gateway, Mondy's lunch, Churchill's desserts.... aaah!!! I had almost forgotten how much fun this used to be!!!! Only, there are so many to miss. :-<

Currently: loving it!!
Listening to: Alanis Morissette - Crazy

Wednesday, 29 November 2006

Commuter me

I'm off again.I know that I love my life largely because of the whole 'travelling around, never at the same place for too long' nature of it. I know it, but there are times when part of me refuses to accept it. Times like the other night when the rain came crashing out of nowhere drumming on the slanting wooden roof. And this morning when the sun came out after more showers and made everything look shiny and happy...

Had the best time in Perth yet. It's amazing what a huge difference there is between one and none :). But tomorrow I'll be back in Bombay!! And not for a two hour and 10 minute flight transfer, for the better part of a week! So it's back to campus for the weekend! Then there's the wedding. The first of my department batchmates getting married! Married!!! Damn! One of those things that remind you that all of a sudden life's passing you by way quicker that you expected. Which does not mean of course that I'm not terribly excited about the wedding!!! :D First one I'll be attending in like six years or something!! (Counting only weddings that were worth getting excited about that is :|.)

And in two weeks and a half, I'll be back on the ship.

Feeling: excited... :|
Listening to: Pearl Jam - Wishlist

Sunday, 26 November 2006

Pearl Jam!

Set 1 Go, Animal, Do The Evolution, Comatose, Corduroy, Severed Hand, Given To Fly, Marker In The Sand, Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, World Wide Suicide, In Hiding, Even Flow, Daughter/(Mother), U, Insignificance, Jeremy, Big Wave, Lukin, Rearviewmirror
Encore 1 Throw Your Arms Around Me, Last Kiss, Better Man/(Save it for Later), State Of Love And Trust, Black, Alive
Encore 2 Wasted Reprise, Why Go, I Got You, Blood, Rockin' In The Free World

My first rock concert. The best Saturday night of my entire life! And I still can't believe I was actually there! Singing along, not with a video, but the real thing :D. Two hours and a half of pure euphoria :-<. It was everything I could have ever imagined, and more :).

Currently: in heaven
Listening to: Pearl Jam - Elderly woman behind the counter in a small town

Thursday, 23 November 2006

Choices

Choice of meat (or salad, though how they can sell salad kebabs and get away with it, I don't know), choice of sauce, choice of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, choice of extra cheese, olives, eggs blah blah blah, choice of.... You get the idea. They might as well just let me do it myself! In fact, right across the seating area there's MYO, "make your own, away from home". Trouble is, there the choices are so much more intricate and therefore more intimidating, frustrating and eventually irritating, that I usually just resign myself to an unending series of nods till I manage to lay hand on my lunch /:).

And it's still not over! "Drink?!" (How these people manage the voice with an overdose of enthusiasm coming from a face without the slightest hint of it is quite a mystery to me.) Anyway, you'd think apple juice would be a pretty simple choice? Apparently not. "We're fresh out of apple, something else?" "Apple and black currant....?" (That's what they had the last time they ran out of apple.) "Umm, out of that as well, something else?" X-(((. "That bottle right there." "Excellent, it's apple and cranberries. Enjoy your meal!!"

Currently: tired and bored :-<
Listening to: Joni Mitchell - Refuge of the roads

Monday, 20 November 2006

Blue Heaven

Ever noticed how a really good weekend makes the rest of the week look so totally miserable? It doesn't help when the bright sunny weekend ends with getting caught in a Monday morning drizzle. Ah well, one can't have everything I suppose. But I did have a fun weekend. A quiet Friday evening in probably the only Subiaco restaurant that wasn't bursting with people. And one with breezy open-air seating and a hilariously forgetful waitress. (But she was cute!) A fruitless whale sighting trip on Saturday led to an afternoon strolling around in Freo looking for anything other than a seafood grill :|. Not before getting my feet wet and my floaters laden with sand of course. It's finally summer in these parts, so floaters and shorts rule :D.Watched The Prestige and got totally tangled up the twisted web of.. whatever it was a twisted web of, 'cos a twisted web it definitely was! I really don't mean that in a bad way though :P. It was quite interesting.But Sunday took the cake! There was this air race over the Swan river that had been publicized all over, and it was predicted to attract over a quarter of a million people! I figured I'll get there early, just in case. The good thing with an air race is there aren't any seats. But the way the banks of the river started filling up, I was quite amazed! I'd never have guessed there were so many people in Perth!! But three hours later I was really feeling sorry for them. If this is as exciting as it gets, life had to be pretty sad :P. The best part of it all was when a Quantas aircraft took off from the neighbouring Perth airport and started looping around crazily over the river before heading back to the airport! Now I don't think it was a part of the show, but if there were any passengers in that one, I don't think they'll ever fly Quantas again :D.

In case anyone's wondering about the title, that's the flavour of the vaguest milkshake I've ever had /:). Totally reminiscent of the iffy looking 'blue ruin' from Eternal Sunshine... :|.

Currently: I hate Mondays :(
Listening to: Pearl Jam - Black

More weekend pics.

Thursday, 16 November 2006

>:)

I have tickets!!!!! :D :D To next weekend's Pearl Jam concert here in Perth!! This is SO AWESOME!!! I've known about the precise date and location of the concert for so long!! But with changing schedules and rotations and all of that I'd kinda given up on actually being here at the right time! Moreover, all tickets sold out like over a month back! At the time of course I was on the boat, and an express mailing address or a 'pick-up point near you' weren't very realistic options :|. But they re-released some tickets sometime this week itself I think! And I have tickets on the floor area smack bang in front of centre-stage :D. And I have company \:D/! A couple of guys from office who'd forgotten all about it (imagine that!!!! :O) and then given up on getting tickets this late :D. YAYYYYYY!!! :D:D Yes I'm totally totally hyper right now :).

Feeling: ECSTATIC!!!!! duh /:)
Listening to: Dido - Do you have a little time

Monday, 13 November 2006

Crew change scare!

I was listed on the first chopper, as usual. The least important people get off the ship quickest ;). The chopper landed, the other swing got off from it, the usual long faces, and all of us with huge big grins :D. They took of their life jackets and handed it to us. But suddenly I realised that I was the only one left without a lifejacket, and there were none left!! :O Someone had become so attached to his/her lifejacket apparently that they'd worn it into accomodations!! The chances of getting a spare were disappearing fast, and eventually there I was, staring through the port hole as the rest of the guys boarded the chopper and happily flew off :((.I did manage to get on to the next one thankfully, but from the next time I will make sure I'm not the last one to grab a life jacket! What made it worse was how close we were to land! In fact there had been some marginal weather conditions all through the night and we were actually considering the possibility of swimming across, it was just 7 kms to shore! :P Anyway, I was very relieved to see the Trident disappearing into the blue eventually :).
And since crew-change was on Saturday I had no office the very next day!! Spent the afternoon appreciating land :P. And the whole of Sunday sleeping :D.

Current avatar: office goer :-<
Listening to: Sheryl Crow - Kiss the girl

Thursday, 9 November 2006

I won!!!

Something :P. Well, all details are not out yet, but I've been informed that for my entries to the WesternGeco Photo Competition I've got myself a t-shirt and 250 bucks! Okay, so did like hajaar other people, but who cares?!!! :D
This is the one that got the shirt. No idea what the shirt looks like yet, by the way :P. We've been asked to e-mail shirt sizes and they'll send it over from Houston it seems /:). Why can't they ever do things simply?!

Oh yes! Other awesome thing that happened today, I now own a Leatherman Wave!!!! \:D/ It is totally awesome!!! I mean, I know I'll probably never use most of the plethora of stuff they've managed to pack into it! But it's so cool!!! :D Got it for these points that we can build up onboard for doing a bunch of things and claim back with goodies!

I needed this! Stuff to cheer me up that is. Been out on the back deck forever :(. And will be till crew-change, which is just one more day, and a wake up now! I am so dying to get to Perth on Saturday and just sleep through the whole of Sunday :-<.

Currently:
the usual side-effects: bruised, battered, hopelessly tired...
Listening to: Alanis Morissette - Thank you

Sunday, 5 November 2006

Reprieve!

I could have very well been writing an obit here! Devastated at having lost one of the most precious things in my life right now. And that, solely due to my own stupidity! It's terrible when you do something dumb and the consequence truly hurts! There's that thick dark cloud of 'What if?'s hanging over your head like a bunch of persistent stinging mosquitoes. And of course you know the answer to the only one that matters. What if I had not been so **cking stupid?!!

Went out in what was probably the last small boat outing this trip. And took my cam along. Shouldn't have, I know, but I did. Should have heeded the sign from above when I'd tried this the last time and the whole trip was aborted :|. But no, I had to go do it all over again, right down to shoving the cam in the pocket under my life jacket. Only, that put it right under the CO2 cylinder in the jacket, the pressure denting the camera's metal jacket enough to make the lens cover jam. Meaning? I couldn't do anything that required the lens /:). I tell you, the trip back to the ship was the longest ever :((. Even the other chaps were looking sombre...
the regular bunch these days: Vic, Javier, Skippy
I did get a few clicks earlier in the boat, and there's Skip in all his glory at the helm :). Anyway, once back onboard, I couldn't just let it be. So I found a screw-driver and got to work. It's actually pretty simple to open up a digicam. Eight tiny cross-headed screws, a bit of gingerly prying and pushing, and the casing's off to reveal all the secrets of capturing the moment forever. Not like I wasn't shitting myself all the while, but I managed to put it all back together eventually. Including the wispy 4-pin laminated bus-type thing that looked really really fragile, and significant :-S. Okay, so it worked, and while things are not exactly as smooth as they had been or should be, I can take pictures with it again!!! Almost missed lunch in the bargain. Even if I had, it would have been a very very small price :).
What if this had been the last sunset/sunrise pic I'd ever take with my little blue L1?!!! Upsetting beyond words. Not like I wasn't planning to retire it after another few hundred clicks or so anyway... the 3x optical is a bit on the short side. But not to be able to take the occasional blazing sunset from my window in Kolkata... that would have been truly unfortunate.

Feeling: extremely relieved!!
Listening to: The Waifs - Sunflower man

Friday, 3 November 2006

Sepia tones

A warning sign
I missed the good part then I realized
I started looking and the bubble burst
I started looking for excuses
...
A warning sign
You came back to haunt me and I realized
That you were an island and I passed you by
And you were an island to discover

Come on in
I’ve gotta tell you what a state I’m in
I’ve gotta tell you in my loudest tones
That I started looking for a warning sign
...
An old favourite. Before The Scientist and Yellow. And long before Fix You. Those only too well remembered opening chords took me by surprise. Transported to another time and place, I was once again trapped into longing for things that I have left far behind. Or is it the other way round. . .

Currently: missing a lot of... things :-<
Listening to: Coldplay - Warning sign

Thursday, 2 November 2006

Abort!!

Had the shortest boat trip ever! Well, almost had one rather :P. The boat was swung out from the ship's side, we put the gear into it. Before that we put on our raincoats and all of that. Skip went a step further and donned a wet-suit! I at least went out into the boat to put in the gear, poor Skip hadn't even stepped into it when there were frantic signals from the bridge! Abort the trip! Weather's too rough! Normally in such a situation I'd be the most depressed person around, and I was! I'd finally managed to bite the bullet and packed my cam into a zip-loc bag and into my pocket, guarded under the life jacket! I'd even made the smart choice of picking up a pair of Wellingtons instead of my regular boots which take like forever to dry up after each trip. But today there was Skipster looking so gutted that I couldn't possibly complain :).
--

Something has landed me straight back to one of my first trip habits. I religiously go watch the sunrise everyday (one has to adapt :P). And given that we have travelled northwards, the fact that I have to be back at my station before 6 am does not mean that I'll miss the sunrise by millimetres almost!! Anyways, so the shutter's been blinking often enough again.I couldn't help being reminded of the tungsten electrodes from spectroscopy lab by today's sunrise though :D.

Feeling: chirpy!
Listening to: Jack Johnson - Better together

Monday, 30 October 2006

Pretty images flitting by

So I finally did it. No, nothing radical or earth shattering. Just managed to watch two movies in their entirety and in the proper order. Yep, having watched Before Sunrise not too long back, watched Before Sunset yesterday, this time the whole thing. I shouldn't try to say anything about it :P. But I am definitely going to get them two movies for myself :).Still waiting for the final results on that photo competition :-<. Trouble is, two of mine actually made it to the final 30 :|. Otherwise it would all have been happily over a full ten days back. Well, okay not happily :P, but over!

Feeling:
all mixed up
Listening to: Dido - Sand in my shoes

Note to self: desperately need to get me that song from Excess Baggage... it goes, "it's all mixed up" :).

Saturday, 28 October 2006

Holier than thou

Lord of War. I'd thought Syriana was scary. I was wrong. This one shows you Bad. And then tells you that this shit's real. You and I are travelling on a one way ticket to hell, gathering speed.

Current mood: unsettled
Listening to: Jet - Cold hard bitch

Friday, 27 October 2006

Turncoat

The night is pitch black, the moon's in hiding, a couple of spotlight beams trying to find their targets like two roving fingers. Suddenly the light seems to spread out beyond those fingers. Only half the world is black now, till the horizon. Above, there are faint tinges of colour.

Look to the east. That's the way the ship's heading and I'm peeping out from a large 'window' in the side, right at the stern. The waves buffet the bow every now and then and in between I can see the bit of sky I know will reveal the sun. The clouds are in attendance in just the right numbers: not too many, not too few. Looks like it'll be the usual glorious sunrise, all bright and golden.

Something in the water catches my eye. Only, it's not quite in the water. The star makes a premature entrance and ruins everything. Now all the clouds are a dull grey and there's only a little cracked, drunken-eye-red disc, almost drowning in the broken slate seas. Looks more like the mother of all hangovers than a sunrise. I turn my back to it in disgust. Seems like this end of the sky's putting up a better show anyway, I see a brightly coloured crown on that nimbus.

Hold on! That didn't add up... I rush back to my vantage point! :D. The gold and the cotton candy pink, the bright cloud with the brighter edge, the infinite lances streaking out, firing up one bit of the sky after another till it's all up in flames! There you go then, that's another good morning, winks the setting moon.

Currently: tallying the day's damages
Listening to: Moby - Sunday (the day before my birthday)

Thursday, 26 October 2006

Cribbing is good for health.

On the back-deck again :). (That's a rueful smile by the way :|). Anyway, the way the weather's shaping up, it's better than working in the boats! Now don't misunderstand me, it's great weather to go out in! One must be prepared to get soaked to the skin (and have a change of clothes handy to avoid getting pneumonia working the remainder of the shift, obviously). But it's still fun. The crazy, surfing in rock infested 10 meter wave spawning beaches kind of fun. Or snowboarding in a blizzard kind of fun I guess. (Definitely the Skippy kind of fun.) But when it comes to working under those conditions, especially with barnacle infested streamers jumping around like runaway fire hoses, I must draw the line. Okay, bad example, but it's downright scary :|.
--
This I noticed the other day while lazing out on the helideck in the afternoon. If you look straight up so you can't see anything but the clouds in the sky, after a while you'd be tempted to believe that it's the clouds doing the jig, not the ship you're on :D.
--

I hate weights X-(. The gym kind. Doing supply transfers on a small-boat is no fun. When the chap handing you the small carton is suddenly heaved up on a passing wave so that the load does a good metre or two in the air before it lands on your tired complaining arms, it doesn't help at all when you hear him shout "Heavy!!" way too late :(. It also doesn't help when the next day you see them boxes in the gym with dumb-bells spilling out of them /:). (I was there for strictly row/cycle/run purposes!) I mean, c'mon!! Here we are busting our asses to deliver 'desperately needed' provisions, how would you like it if you found out that someone's afternoon excercise had sneaked in as well :|. And a giantic blue drum. No one seems to know what that's for though.

Currently: indulging in a healthy activity O:-)
Listening to: The Waifs - Nothing new

NB: to 'crib' is to complain pointlessly, loudly, continuously... basically annoyingly

Sunday, 22 October 2006

Arbit blues

I was watching this movie the other day and I loved it! I'll give the name a miss 'cos people who recognize it might start judging me :). But anyway, so I thanked the friend of mine who'd asked me to watch it in the first place. Ended up facing the question, "So who did you think you were in the movie?!!" I thought about it, and came up with probably the answer almost everyone would come up with. "Maybe it will work out like that for you too, you know", (s)he said.

What did I think? Well, what I always think :). Life isn't a movie! But oh God do I wish it were :)). Thing is, and I have actually noticed this, whatever it is that I want and however many possibilities I foresee, it always ends up happening differently from how I saw it run in my head.

Well, almost always I should say! Sometimes, not often (but not never), things run just the way I saw it run the first time: the time when everything was perfect :).(Yea yea, I'm in total pontificative mode today :P.)

Current mood: (there are a few halos doing the rounds :D)
Listening to: Jack Johnson - Sitting, waiting, wishing

Friday, 20 October 2006

Sold!

I can't believe this! They are selling the moon. Piece by piece, one acre at a time.

When he was six he believed that the moon overhead followed him.
At nine he had deciphered the illusion, trading magic for fact, no tradebacks.
So this is what it's like to be an adult. If he only knew now what he knew then.


Feeling: just sad
Listening to: Jack Johnson - Breakdown

Thursday, 19 October 2006

Kaleidoscope through drops

Speak of the devil. Was out in the workboat for a solid five hours :|. The weather was maybe a teeny bit better than the last time I was out, but it was definitely a lot better than yesterday. We were still splashing around enough to have a couple of loyal mini rainbows following us around all the time. But the biggest difference today was that I was prepared! Skippy was the coxwain again, I wanted to stand on the bow. For sane human beings who value their lives, the above two do not go together. BUT, I had a rain coat today!! \:D/\:D/ :D. This had to be my most enjoyed trip ever for the simple reason that there was an almost continuous shower of spray landing on me and I wasn't getting wet, well at least part of me wasn't :D. Skippy, expectedly, was seen shaking his head now and then :P.

I listened extremely contentedly to the drops hammering down on the other side of the fabric and tried to remember when it was that I'd last worn a proper rain coat. Surprisingly enough, it's way back in school it seems. Don't remember having worn anything but rather useless jackets and wind breakers all through college :D. Even in the Mumbai rains on my rusty bicycle to class, or to Lonavla in the monsoons on bikes, or on a night trek to nowhere in particular in August... Come to think of it, I used to love getting drenched in the rain when I was a kid. Before mobile phones or wallets or cameras or the associated worries et al.I have also never before seen quite as many flying fish choose to break the surface within a couple of metres of me! Up close you see the amazing variety of colours, undersides white black grey, upper bodies bright blue, shimmering green, streaks of sudden crimson... Somehow reminds me of eye colours. I've always thought blues look the most beautiful! Always find it extremely funny how many people with brown eyes think they have black eyes :). I've never actually seen eyes completely black! Naturally black that is, not caused by contact with a (in?)conveniently located fist or something /:).

Ah well, I didn't take my camera along. I've started treating it with a little more respect these days. Sony's actually stopped making them, sadly enough. And after almost 3000 clicks, mine's beginning to look a wee bit worn :(. Then again, the loveliest snapshots on these small boat trips are the blink-and-you-miss-it kind, so no point risking it anyway.
--

One of these mornings
Won't be very long
You will look for me
And I'll be gone


I wish.

Feeling: jaded
Listening to: Alms For Shanti - Kho gaya hai mera sapna

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

Heavy weather

I'm really surprised how I managed to take a picture like this on a day like today! Really, the nice blue sky and what looks like nice little ripples on the ocean isn't even close to the truth! Which is, that those little ripples are about four metres high. Sitting in the instrument room it doesn't feel like much, but standing out on the bow when you see the waves crash against the ship's side making it shudder, it's pretty cool :D. The water seems seriously close! Of course I knew that there was no way the water could actually splash on your face, so to speak. 40 feet, I told myself, that's a long long way :).

Then later in the day I was up on the bridge chatting with the second mate and I asked him about the weather down in Bass Strait. That's the bit between Australia and Tasmania in the south, and sometime in the not so distant future we're supposed to be heading that way. So he shows me the windscreen wipers on the full-length windows all around the bridge and says, "Those aren't there just for the rain mate!" Waves forty meters high. That's not all, we're just into the cyclone season up here, and if, God forbid, we end up in the middle of one, it'll probably be a lot worse! I just can't wait :D. Only, I wouldn't exactly be my usual enthusiastic self when it comes to small boat operations :P.

Current mood: hyper >:)
Listening to: Nickelback - How you remind me

Monday, 16 October 2006

The break up

I've been on the ship for over a week and haven't taken a single photograph :(. Totally disastrous this is. It's because of this shift! I'm now separated from the main subject of my interest, the sunset :(. And as for sunrises, I haven't made it out of the instrument room since the stint at the back-deck, when of course I was way too busy. Running shifts practically solo for 6 hrs straight can make responsibility sound like a dirty word :-<.

Must say this about this shift though, despite the inconvenience of having my life turned upside down, I feel strangely optimistic every day! It's like I'd gotten so used to getting on shift at midday, that towards the end of shift I get the awesomely gleeful feeling that I'm getting off work 12 hours too early :D. It might be that I'm still too fast asleep when I land up for work to notice the effect of midnight, which might otherwise totally negate the aforesaid feeling /:). Then there's table-tennis, and long conversations. And there's always the just-pre-dawn walk on the deck on my breakfast break. You can't not feel refreshed, and then there's just 6 more hours to go :).

In case I'd forgotten to mention this before, I'm now the very prowd owner of a pair of almost fluorescent green Sennheiser OMX sport headphones for my iPod! They're those over the ear thingies, and there's no way in hell these can fall off while I'm running, like the regular pod ones so often do \:D/. And I absolutely love them :D.

Feeling: cold :-<
Listening to: Elliott Smith - Independance Day

Wednesday, 11 October 2006

Drip - drip

First shift not on the back-deck, and I'm off in the boat. I know, I know, I should be ecstatic and all that. And I was, for a while! Even managed an enthusiastic "Yep!" when I was asked if I wanted to go. Worst weather I've been out in since Sakhalin, Russia :(. Without the freezing cold, but that meant without those thick water-proof work-suits as well /:). The fact that the last time I was out in a boat it was in Kristiansund in flat calm waters didn't help. And by the time we were done and I'd spent enough time near the exhaust, for the first time ever I felt like I was about to be sick. Yep, sea-sick.

I wasn't eventually, but I figured out pretty quick that thinking about what you had for breakfast doesn't help :P. Thinking about the prospect of lunch does!! I was thinking about dessert of course, not what passes for the main course /:). It was either that, or poking my head out into the fresh air, but I was soon enjoying the ride like I usually do :D. Unfortulately we had Skippy driving, now imagine the worst speed-crazy driver you know, now double, no, triple that, in a boat, and you have Skip. As soon as I was out on the bow of the boat, he proceeded to dive straight into two metre waves and in very short order I was soaked :|. I get this strong feeling he did it on purpose :|. I'm sure I saw him grinning through the streaming window, from the dry confines of his wheelhouse.

Oh haan!! Played table tennis on the ship :D. It's awesome fun!!! I could blame all my terrible shots on the ship's rolling :P.

Anyway, so I'm finally sending off my entries for the company photo competition. I know I won't win the 2.5 grand (USD) first, but I might just make it to a consolation prize :P.

Currently: waiting for the massive attachment to load :-<
Listening to: Tommy Lee - Good times

Sunday, 8 October 2006

Ouch!!

Banged the door on my fingers while running out for lunch :(. Yes lunch, after four straight trips of midday - midnight shifts, when I regularly woke up too close to start of shift to even think about lunch, I've finally been moved around. It's terribly disconcerting!! It's midday, the sun is about as hot as it's going to get, and I'm going off shift!!!! It's good fun to see the sunrise for a change. Though I get this feeling that I'll grow less enthusiastic about this in some time :D. Oh and the view of the sunrise was because we've been on the back-deck from the moment we've stepped onboard :(. And my now ex-boss Richie's gone off to another ship half way around the world, so I'm having to get used to things all over again.

As for my trip here, I must mention the mammoth surprise I got at Mumbai airport! They've actually gone and done sumething useful!! No, not kidding at all!! There's now this shuttle bus service for transit passengers from the domestic to the international terminal through the aiport property, instead of through the traffic congested city roads \:D/. I did have to wait like a couple of hours (not really, but felt like it) for the bus, and then again as people made their way agonisingly slowly to the bus with their luggage and as the porters took forever to stow it all away. And the bus did roll along so slowly that I was sure I could walk faster. But hey, it's a step in the right direction! In maybe another million years the service will actually become swift and reliable.
the shadow flies
Had a nice evening in Perth before heading off. Exmouth was terrible. The building looked like an oversized nursery classroom. And photography was prohibited 'cos the air force uses it to stow trashed tires or something :|.

The worst thing about this shift is how difficult going to sleep is X-(. It's afternoon! I never sleep in the afternoon! Unless I've slept through the morning before that is...

Currently: tired but can't sleep :-<
Listening to: Moby - One of these mornings

Thursday, 5 October 2006

Slingshot

Flinging myself off again, pulling hard, stretched taut. Aiming high. After all I must cross an ocean!

Flying via Mumbai again. No one's supposed to meet me this time, and hopefully there'll be no more surprises. Three months ago too many innocents had needlessly lost their lives in that city :(.

Currently: all packed up
Listening to: Moby - In my heart

Tuesday, 3 October 2006

Before Sunrise

. . . was totally awesome!!!! It makes you laugh, makes you think, makes you wish your life could be this totally crazily wonderful. Well it did that to me anyway. And Julie Delpy's so pretty :-<.I do wish they'd gone to see the play with the cow that thought it was a dog though. And I must admit I'd never have guessed dating for a woman, or anyone, could feel like being the general of an army :D. But then it was a movie . . .

Currently: sitting on that cloud I see floating above the TV tower
Listening to: Matchbox Twenty - 3 am

Quote: "I have never been anywhere that I haven't been. . . I think that's why so many people hate themselves. Seriously, it's just that they are sick to death of being around themselves." - Jesse, Before Sunrise

Monday, 2 October 2006

Pit stop

Home for two days before shooting off again :-<. Two weeks off is short. Any shorter and I'd end up feeling like I never got any time off at all!! But I guess Durga Puja falling smack in the middle of this tiny window was pretty lucky :).This time, instead of roaming around, I chose to stay in with family. For the two days in Shantiniketan, this was pretty much enforced by the almost continuous and fairly heavy rain that left everything dripping...In Asansol, the rain didn't play spoilsport. It threatened to, but changed it's mind eventually :). So I chose to hang around the Pujo I've attended for as long as I can remember (there have been gaps in between, of course). Met up with some old school friends I hadn't seen for a good five years or more! Surprised (and on occasion scared :|) a lot of acquaintances with the beard and haircut /:). Hogged on awesome food :D. And yes, watched Schumacher win at Shanghai to finally catch up with Alonso!!
--
Life's getting a wee bit routine when it comes to crew changes. It's back to Perth, again :|. Oh but instead of flying via Barrow Island, we'll be flying via Exmouth!! Yay! The approximate population for the place within a 7 km radius is 37. No, there's no hundred, thousand or any other multiple involved /:).

Right, so now that I've heard a suitably large number of groups carry their Maa Durgas for the final immersion, I guess it's a good time to wish everyone Shubho Bijoya :).

Feeling: like I've been travelling forever :-<
Listening to: Matchbox Twenty - Disease

Tuesday, 26 September 2006

If only.

On days like this I wonder, do we make choices, or do choices make us?Oh, I quite liked the movie by that name, by the way. Not something I can say about too many Jennifer L Hewitt movies :). Saw it on an aeroplane to somewhere I think. That's another thing that's becoming like a bad habit, ending up watching movies on flights instead of theatres :-<.

Feeling: foolish
Listening to: Joni Mitchell - Both sides now

Sunday, 24 September 2006

Glorious!!

Wasn't I saying at some point that it doesn't rain hard enough these days?! Well, the way it's been raining for the last few days, I should be feeling ecstatic. And I am, as a matter of fact! I love watching the sheets of rain pelting down in the middle of the night. When you actually have to wait for the lightning to give body to the incessant roar of the water hitting the nearby roofs. Not that I have had to wait too long between bolts.Unfortunately, not everyone's happy around these parts. It's Durga Puja time again, and the festive marketing has been dealt severe blows. Especially given that in the central marketing region around College Street the police actually had to deploy dinghies and inflatable rafts with outboard motors. On the roads. In some parts of the state of course the rain has claimed more serious casualties, Maa Gurga idols as well as pandals have been damaged, and in some cases completely washed away :(. Closer home, my cousin was stuck here 'cos trains services from Howrah were disrupted with water on the tracks. Though we did have a fun time trying to get the ticket refunded, wading through water, getting thouroughly wet etc. We had umbrellas to satisfy my mum. But seriously, umbrellas? In the near horizontal rain? :D I was actually rather disheartened neither of them turned inside out.

The weather isn't the only good thing (personally speaking that is) this time. This has to be the first time ever that I'm on my time off without having to worry about any visas!! And spectacularly surprisingly, my agents actually changed a paper ticket to an e-ticket so that I don't have to run around to collect it from some airline city office!! Is this great or what?! If only my local ISP guy wouldn't get scared and shut off the internet everytime the lightning strikes somewhere closeby. Ah well, one can't have everything :-<.

Currently: chilling at home :D
Listening to: Moby - Summer

Thursday, 21 September 2006

Kristiansund

Finally here's the delayed post with pics from my week in Norway! Kristiansund is this, not exactly tiny, but rather sparsely populated group of four fairly large islands, along with a large number of tiny bits of rock sticking their heads above the water. The sheer number of distinct land masses separated by water means that a network of roads connecting all of them is absolutely impossible. No wonder that the only legal requirement to drive a boat is that you have to be 16 yrs old. Even that rule they break, by as much as 10 years /:).Anyway, so most of the week I woke up at 6:45 in the morning and then spent about eight hours of the day out in the fjord. It was tougher than I thought it would be, and I couldn't but wonder what it would be like to be living on an island, hemmed in by forests, a lone house on the hillside...In the end, three of us were left with one day free, so I started poring over a map :). The place that caught my attention was called Varden - an old lookout post that provides a fairly spectacular 360-degree view of the town, the shipping fairways, the nearby mountains and fjords of Nordmore.It's also almost the only point from where you can get a clear view of Grip. This happens to be a tiny bit of land 14 km out to sea. (The tiny lighthouse you can almost see out at sea in the pic below. I know, 3x optical is just not enough :(.) It used to be an old fishing community, and all the houses are intact and well maintained. This is despite the fact that the last permanent residents left way back in 1964!! Apparently the descendants of those residents use it as a summer retreat. I found the idea of an entire settlement with houses, furniture and everything intact, completely devoid of life for the better part of the year pretty fascinating :).Anyway, so I realized that maps can be fairly deceptive. Take for example the map of Perth I have. You look at places on the map and think, hey that doesn't look like it's too far away! And you end up walking for an hour and a half to get there. Then there's the map of Kristiansund, by the look of it, the walk to Varden should have taken a better part of the afternoon, instead, we were there in 20 minutes!! (Before you start sniggering and all that, city tourist maps at hotels never have a scale :|.) The 8 pm sundown left us with over 5 hours of fairly bright daylight, so off we went down some lovely looking overgrown paths.The views of the fjord and Kristiansund, laid out all around the blue in the bright sunshine was altogether too much :). But it got better!! You see, the paths we took went winding around the highlands, with little offshoots every now and then to the top of particularly steep drop, hence the views.But I was beginning to wish there'd be some way to convince the other chaps to actually go climbing to the very top!! Precisely on cue, a trail appears, heading off towards the top :D. And ends up at this house sort of thing, loose rough hewn rocks on the outside, and smooth concrete-like walls on the inside!!Eventually we headed back down and out towards the sea. There's something to be said about rocky beaches. In this case it was Klubba, a fairly popular crab fishing location. Huge boulders lay everywhere that the water came and smashed itself to a million drops on. And then it seeped back down into the sea, flowing throught the cracks, the gurgling surprisingly loud in the surrounding silence.Then we headed back up the other hill in sight. This time we were rewarded with a clear view of the stone 'building' we'd stumbled upon! In the end we figured the best thing to do would be to just head off down the hill-side instead of trying to find a proper way back :D.
There were of course other things, like the sunset through the clouds, and the abandoned campsite in the middle of nowhere, and the huge graveyard hidden away in the trees with it's black marble tombstones, and the white peacock... but this post is already too long, and I think I'll just put up the pics on my photoblog :).

Currently: watching the rain
Listening to: Moby - In my heart

Wednesday, 20 September 2006

The long way home

Even now, over a full day afterwards, I'm still trying to shake off the zombie that seems to have taken up residence inside of me. Right, so here goes. Take off from Kristiansund is perfect. The skies are clear and I get these brilliant views of the mountain tops that were totally white last time in winter and now only the highest reaches are scattered with white. Soon I was in Oslo, which wasn't too bad. Dusseldorf was nice. Quick, hassle-free, another airport distinguishable by absolutely nothing. And that's where the good ended.Eight solid hours in Dubai. Though the 'quiet lounge' was nice, especially since the previous night I hadn't had any sleep on the flight as usual. I watched at least 4 flights leave for Mumbai in that time, and then mine got delayed. I missed my connection home. There was no way I was going to stay in a hotel in Bombay!! So had to call up people, only to find my cellphone left with 1 Re. 31 p. The PCO refuses to let me call local, pointing to the long row of coin operated phones. Trouble is, all I can find on me are 2 two rupee coins :((. I could not believe what I had to go through to get change for a two rupee coin!! I mean, what's this world coming to?!!!!

Ah well, from there it was relatively okay, except that the throttle wire broke on the first rick I took. Spent the night happily cacking with some old friends from school who happen to work there now. In the process thoroughly pissing off everyone who cares at all about me in campus I'm sure :(. But I really had no time, I was off again at 5 am.

Currently: jet-lagged /:)
Listening to: Morcheeba - Big calm

Saturday, 16 September 2006

Yeah babey!!

Done with course. Passed. Wrote the longest non objective type paper since "The Study of a Major Indian Writer in English" - HS 8something. I think. And that was just 17 months ago. Feels like a lifetime. And then a bit. Going home tomorrow. Not too thrilled with the 5 flight, 30 hour ordeal that entails. But, going home. Had the best afternoon in slightly over 3 months. Details shall follow in later post(s) - need to put up pics. Also, took over 60 pics in 3 hours after a long long time. Went hill-climbing, sliding down mossy slopes looking for nonexistant paths, peering into damp dark caves, listening to water gurgling under rocks by the seaside... that kind of stuff. And took a couple of guys with me. They were nice, they said they were having fun too.
:D
Feeling: tired, relieved, happy, sad... full (finished a large vanilla milkshake too quickly)
Listening to: Sixpence None The Richer - Kiss me (Japanese version) and the Norwegian rock concert from across the water

Thursday, 14 September 2006

Wha...

Just caught the last hour (till before end credits) of what I can only assume was Before Sunset. It's got Ethan Hawke and that woman from Before Sunrise, which I haven't seen except for one scene with the two of them.. and feels completely like the sequel to a movie about a one night 'thing' as she refers to so many times in that waltz she sings him..... There's a good reason I avoided those two movies. I think. That conversation in the car after the boatride had almost convinced me I'd done the right thing. I hate (read: am scared of) movies where people splatter their hearts out all over your gaping, completely engrossed face with a kind of realistic heartbroken-ness and intensity that grabs me by the throat....
Anyway, now I have resolved to watch both movies, in the proper order, sometime. Yes, I'm the kind that turns to the last page of a book, just 'cos I couldn't take the tension any more. Well, I used to be, lately I seem to have grown a spine..
Right, wasn't planning on writing about any of the above, but instead, about my current addiction to milkshake. Nevermind. This has to be the first time since.. well, since probably the last workoat course when I've felt genuinely tired in an 'I've gotto sleep or I'll start snoring while walking' sort of way. Having woken up less that 15 hours ago that is. No nightouts or nothing involved. Oh, and it was actually hot today!! It's September, in Norway, and I'm happily walking down the quayside in shorts, a tee and my floaters. What is the world coming to /:)?
Currently: 'drop dead' tired
Listening to: Oasis - Little by little

Tuesday, 12 September 2006

Drops of almost forgotten memories

The skies have been uniformly grey, been drizzling all day. It was already light at 6:30 when I woke up and it's only just getting dark at 9 in the night. And for most of the time, you couldn't possibly tell what time it was. All uniformly semi-dark, and wet.
Absolutely inexplicably, therefore, I found myself feeling totally at peace with the weather. It's nowhere near as cold as it was the last time I was here, so I wasn't shivering nearly as much out in the fjord today. Just drops seeping through my eyebrows, trickling down my nose... The slanted roofs in pastel colours scattered across the slanting hillsides look perfect through the drizzle. Like it should be. Like some elusive fragment hiding behind so many other nothings. Excrutiatingly familiar, just can't put my finger to it.
Breaks my heart to not be able to post pics. Not that I took any. Then again, why destroy the feeling with a depressing looking picture that's completely at odds with it?
Feeling: blessed
Listening to: Train - Drops of Jupiter

Monday, 11 September 2006

Out of time!!

Is what I almost was today! Twice! As I struggled to get past bungling transfer desk officials, their stupid xerox machines and a zillion queues for secirity checks and what not :(. No, I didn't miss my flights, not the first one, or the subsequent three transfers :. But it was close. Eventually 30+ hours of driving/flying/running has made for a very long day! Yes, it's called time zones.
Still, I aught to be thankful for one rather important thing. Shifting hemispheres means it's now the end of summer, instead of the middle of winter! And although it is actually colder here, the difference isn't significant enough for me to miss my jacket :).
Feeling: murderous, thanks to this stupid Norwegian keyboard X-(
Listening to: Maroon 5 - This love

Friday, 8 September 2006

Ah well...

Here goes nothing! I've been listening to this song way too often these last few days :D. The song is of course A Little Less Conversation and it is weirdly funny!! Right, not the reaction one would expect over the King's last great 'hit' I suppose. But that's what it is!

I was trying to explain to B the other day exactly why that is. Now you see, the version of the song I have is JXL's remix, that's right, the one that plays in Ocean's Eleven while Frank C (Bernie Mac) rides along the Vegas strip, smiling evilly. Yes, another movie I've seen too many times :|. Anyway, so the song's accompanied by an RJ's enthusiastic commentary. Woman sounds almost exactly like Minnie Driver! You know, from Good Will Hunting? With that distinctively thick British drawl type thing going on. And she launches into this horrendous Elvis impression, fails miserably and finishes off with "..anyone can do an Elvis impression, it's very simple..." /:). My point? I've been finding this insanely hilarious without fail for a week now :P.

As someone said, I need better means of entertainment :|. But hey, I'm allowed a little bit of pointless levity, this is my last day in office in almost 3 months!! \:D/!!!

Currently: highly amused :P
Listening to: Elvis vs JXL - A little less conversation

Thursday, 7 September 2006

News

The upside (?) of having the telly switched on for at least 6-7 hours a day is that you manage to catch a bit of the goings on around the country, world etc. Well, I do, thanks mainly to the absence of a dedicated movie channel. But TV or not, there is probably no way you can be anywhere in Australia and escape the news of Steve Irwin's shocking demise at the hands (or should I say tail) of a stingray in the vicinity of the Great Barrier Reef. For those who don't recognise the name, Steve Irwin was the famous 'Crocodile Hunter' from numerous National Geographic documentaries.

The bad thing though is the media's obsession with anything even remotely newsworthy! Why should the entire nation, thanks to SMSs, and the entire world thanks to the internet, be allowed to voice their opinion on whether the video that captured Irwin's very last moments in gruesome detail be made public?!! Especially when those close to the family firmly say it will not! And why should anyone care?!! What possible good could come out of watching a harmless wildlife video capture gone horribly wrong?!!

The good thing though, is the remarkable accuracy of the weather reports :|. The 'sunshine n rain' lady expected Perth to have a sunny Tuesday, a windy Wednesday, a cloudy Thursday and thunder showers on Friday. And we had a sunny Tuesday, a windy Wednesday, a cloudy Thursday and I'm sure there'll be thunder and rain tomorrow :(. And she'd expected all this last Sunday!

Ah well, at least I finally have my Norwegian visa! When two out of your four visa applications in the last 6 months have been rejected on completely ridiculous grounds, you tend to feel just a little paranoid :|.

Feeling: perky enough for a nice long walk
Listening to: Maroon 5 - Sunday morning

Monday, 4 September 2006

Closure

In beginning to understand my consistent pain with office rotations, I've made some breakthrough this weekend. For office rotations I always go back to places. Back to KL, back to Perth... And then I'm torn between acting like a tourist and trying to act like a resident. Totally irrelevant in almost every sane perspective one might hold I'm sure, except mine. Of course, I'm not absolutely sure if I can be considered entirely sane, but I'd like to think so.Without going into the deeper ramifications of this (somewhat confusing?) declaration, let me just stick to my primary grouse. I hate the fact that once you go back to a place, the possibilities of getting satisfying pictures get drastically limited. The ocean is a completely different domain. It looks eactly the same each day. In so far as all you can see in every possible direction is water. But the possibilities are truly quite endless. Unlike waves, however, a city skyline is somewhat less likely to change on a day to day basis :|.So I've stopped going for walks to King's Park with my camera in my pocket these days. But I still go there, it's really cool, except that I've already taken pics from almost every available angle during my last stay here /:). Thankfully, Perth's rather big :D, so this weekend I decided to go exploring some of the farther parts. In a way only possible in Aussieland, I came upon two 'natural reserves' just by aimlessly walking along the Swan river! These people simply have too much space I tell you! Even in the heart of the city. All they need to do is fence off a bit of space no one seems to be too bothered about, and put up a couple of wooden boards on either side that say "Natural Reserve - Observe, don't disturb" 8-|.
Unlike my last stay, much to my disappointment, none of the theatres around here are showing anything even faintly interesting. No, I don't think Snakes on a Plane counts as interesting in any positive sense :|. So I'm re-discovering the world of weekend movies on the telly :D. So far, with About a Boy, Spy Games, Pay it Forward, Bridget Jones's Diary and a sizeable number of European movies, long and short, in local languages with rather dubious English subtitles, whose titles I've either missed, or don't remember, I haven't done too badly.. I think :P. Some of the non-Hollywood stuff has been geniunely intriguing actually!

Right, so that's about it. Except, I did manage some nice pics over the weekend. Bought myself my first two music CDs. And had tons of ice-cream in keeping with a time honoured tradition, despite the chilly, late-winter ei brishti elo bole weather. :)

There’s still a little bit of your taste in my mouth
There’s still a little bit of you laced with my doubt

It’s still a little hard to say what's going on

There’s still a little bit of your ghost your witness
There’s still a little bit of your face I haven't kissed

You step a little closer each day

So close that I can’t say what's going on


Stones taught me to fly

Love taught me to lie

Life, it taught me to die

So it's not hard to fall

When you float like a cannonball


There’s still a little bit of your song in my ear

There’s still a little bit of your words I long to hear

You step a little closer to me

So close that I can't see what's going on


Stones taught me to fly

Love, it taught me to lie

Life taught me to die

So it's not hard to fall

When you float like a cannon..

Stones taught me to fly

And love taught me to cry

So come on courage

Teach me to be shy

'cause it's not hard to fall

And i don't wanna scare her

It's not hard to fall

And I don't wanna lose

It's not hard to grow

When you know that you just don't know


Feeling: content enough...
Listening to: Damien Rice - Cannonball