Thursday, 31 May 2007

Bumpy ride

A change of plans is afoot. And hopefully, before too long, two more pages of my already almost exhausted passport will be filled up by nice shiny looking stamps marred by my mug. But one must not get too far ahead of oneself.

Heading home straight off the ship this time. The main reason being my paranoia of rejection of visa applications :|. I refuse to elaborate, it's all too complicated and stupid. It's not all bad though, in the bargain I've squeezed my way out of a potentially very bugging 9 hour stopover at Singapore /:). Anyway, so barring a continuation of current weather conditions (which are awesomely awful, but hardly conducive to helo ops) I'll be going home in another 9 days.
this is what I'm hoping for :)

On a different and significantly more upbeat note: The Unbawa Revelations. As the author mentions in the linked article on his blog (which he has shifted over to Wordpress btw) the third book of the Game World Trilogy, after Simoqin and Manticore, is due to be released in December! So I shall dutifully shelve plans for a Samit Basu back-to-back and get back to Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But only when I get back home, right now I'm too busy watching old movies and staring out of the bridge windows at the furious elements on my off time to start on a book :).

Currently: slightly worried :-<
Listening to: Sheryl Crow - A change would do you good

Sunday, 27 May 2007

The haunting

It lifts you, gives you wings. While the words speak of loss, the melody gathers you in its comforting folds. If you were wise you wouldn't have wondered if there could ever be joy in the midst of sorrow. You would have let go.
If there was nothing that I could say
Turned your back and you just walked away
Leaves me numb inside I think of you
Together is all I knew

We moved too fast but I had no sign
I would try to turn the hands of time
Then look to you for the reason why
The love we had passed me by

And as the sun would set you would rise
Fall from the sky into paradise
Is there no light in your heart for me?
You've closed your eyes, you no longer see

There were no lies between me and you
You said nothing of what you knew
But there was still something in your eyes
Left me helpless and paralyzed

You could give a million reasons change the world and change the times
Could not give me the secrets of your heart and of your mind
In the darkness that surrounds me now there is no peace of mind
Your careless words undo me leave the thought of us behind

You could give a million reasons change the world and change the times
Could not give me the secrets of your heart and of your mind
In the darkness that surrounds me now there is no peace of mind
Your careless words undo me leave the thought of us behind

A stray lancet of the prodigal sun leaves a splinter lodged in your mind. But you had! Hadn't you?

Feeling: mystified
Listening to: Chicane - No ordinary morning

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Oh NO!!!!!

Dammit!!!! May Pippo Inzaghi rot in the blackest pit in hell X-(. I was pretty sure Liverpool had lost the match even before the second goal. But then the Kuyt header brought back flashes from Istanbul. And then Inzaghi pulled that bloody outrageous stomach ache act!!! I mean COME ON!!! The guy is acting like he's having a seizure one minute, and is walking off the pitch calmly the next, with Kewell dying to get a go at the corner quickly!!! Talk about time wasting. I'll not even bother ripping apart the German ref for the blatant inconsistencies... Ah well, next time!

Currently: fuming!!! X-(
Listening to: Prodigy - Smack my bitch up

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Under construction

It's been a few days since I finished reading The Five People You Meet In Heaven. It's a nice book. Not quite light reading though, quite contrary to what the almost cheerily conversational tone might lull you into thinking. Well, I suppose it could be... but never mind. Thing is, it drew me into this immense but insubstantial gloom. Rather like what one might feel, having stumbled into a dense fog on a dark moonless night. The point being, you're in the middle of something that you don't like, that you can feel all around you, but can't see. You see, the book, through a surprisingly fresh point of view presents the vision of heaven we would most wish for! Well, those of us who believe in such things as heaven and an afterlife and all that jazz anyway.

But while tying up the threads in a fascinating, almost magical flourish, Albom inadvertently slipped a noose around my happy, winged, white robed ghost, skipping about in its future abode, and brought about its untimely demise :-<. If he were to be believed, we are all, even at this very moment, digging our graves building our heavens. Right, again, not all of us, but anyway, those of us who are, are paving the way to one and only one paradise. (One for each that is.) It's like the choices we make in life are visited upon us in heaven! Every step you take, you are making a choice, and by the time you die you've already picked your heaven, and it's not everything you've ever wanted, just one.

Now that might not necessarily be a bad thing, I know, but doesn't it reek too much of life? You can never have everything you want. Every day is a little give and a little get. You hope for a little better, and you take what you get. You cannot be in two places at the same time. You cannot be two things in one life. The main difference of course, is that in life, you might never get anything that you've ever wanted.Right, so having been put in such a fine mood, I was whisked out of it but a certain boat ride (read drive :D). And subsequently by the fantastic weather :P. (We're still getting battered by 40 knot winds and 5 metre seas, and are consequently out of production.) And I've made my peace with Albom :). Maybe I'll even buy Tuesdays With Morrie. But in the mean time I've not started on a book in a week. The longest break my somewhat battered bookmark has had in a couple of years I think!

Feeling: high
Listening to: Gorillaz - El Mañana

Saturday, 19 May 2007


It's a good thing I went out in the boat when I did. The weather's completely transformed today with a rapidity that can be considered positively scary! At 8 I was up on the helideck, a little late for sunrise, but I hadn't really missed much, and the sea, though not particularly flat, wasn't anything spectacular. But in another couple of hours, we were already suspending operations and heading away from land. (Inverse logic, I know, bad weather would usually have you heaving for land, but not with all the gear still deployed :|.)After shift I went out to the foc'sle deck, and I figured I wouldn't want to go near the bulkhead, and not even think about going out to the helideck! So I sat on this bench bolted down to the deck and conveniently covered from all the openings to the sea, and since the seat was still dry, I figured it was a safe spot :P. I have never heard the wind howl quite like this! It seriously sounds like screaming voices :-S. I figured I'll have a go at the bridge. Stayed there for close to an hour and a half! It's hypnotic, the way the bow is elevated on the crest of a passing wave, and then how it plummets to the void left by its passing! The higher the wave, the deeper the gorge! You've seen waves breaking on rocks? Here there be waves breaking on waves!And sometimes, the ship would dip so low, that the next wave would come snapping at the bow!! And sometimes the helideck would scoop up a mist on it's way up! Oh it was fantastic :D.

Eight hours later, we're still heading out to open sea :P.

Currently: weathered
Listening to: Goo Goo Dolls - Iris

Drink up me hearties! Yo, ho. . .

Friday, 18 May 2007

YAYY!!! ++

:D I hadn't been out in a small boat in such a long time that I'd sort of made an uneasy peace with the lack of these outings. So imagine my surprise when I was asked to go out today!! And then imagine, if you can, my absolute and utterly indescribable joy when told that I was to be coxswain!!! :D

Okay, this is not one of those 'small joys' of my life! This is like bloody huge!!!!! I've had my eyes on the driver's seat (figuratively speaking that is, there's no seat, you stand and drive) since the first day I got on this ship! Actually before I even set foot on this boat, 'cos my first ever crew change was by supply boat, and the only way to get from that boat to this one was via small boats! Well, it took me a year, nine months and five days, but I got there!! (I remember, 'cos that happens to be a friend's birthday, and I remember being rather worried when the supply boat got delayed, in case I couldn't call her in time :P.)

Perhaps not entirely unexpectedly I was more nervous than I've been in years :P. Till we got into the boat that is :). I decided though, that taking a camera along was a distraction I couldn't afford :-<. So my maiden trip as small boat coxswain (outside of Kristiansund :|) went without any recorded visual proof for posterity :D. But I really think it was a good idea. What with hacking humongous amounts of weed off the tail buoys and a supply run to the chase boat, and of course the driving, and steering by compass, and watching out for the gear, phew! And all the time the sea kept getting choppier, and the sky kept getting darker! I just couldn't get enough of it!!

Oh but the most fun was when at some point it so happened that we were headed straight at the sun! It's not much good for steering 'cos you can't see shit, but with the entire horizon broken only by rearing waves and a path of gold laid out ahead, I was well and truly on top of the world :).

Currently: :D .. \:D/ .. :D
Listening to: Moby - In my heart

Thursday, 17 May 2007

This and that

For a couple of days now mornings have been nice. Bright and cheerful. And on occasion I've even managed a quick glimpse of it. Okay, maybe not too quick :P. But the other day I was particularly thrilled to see a curious rainbow. Or rather, what looked like a tiny piece of a rainbow that had lost its way in the sky. It had no business hanging on that little beam of sunlight, but there it was.We've moved a bit, in these last couple of days. So instead of shooting seismic on one particular nook of the Bass Strait, we're now shooting seismic in another :). But it gets interesting! Here there's a marine national park nearby! Not that I've seen anything yet :(. They saw a school of dolphins yesterday which was so large that even the whale watcher says she's never seen one like it. And where was I? Asleep /:). Not fair I tell you!! Anyway, what I did get to see was the rather important looking town close by. (Note the tiny buildings sticking their heads up along the horizon.)
And then this morning everything turned so completely orange :). A good thing too, looks like there's another spate of bad weather headed this way, there go the sunrises :-<.
Currently: sleepy
Listening to: Pearl Jam - Alive

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Sunlight trapped in a fat raindrop

It's not like this was the first time, but it certainly was a most curious incident! Rain at sea that is. Usually on such occasions the sky's completely clouded over and the sun's gone into hiding. Yesterday, however, it was just beginning to look promising, the sun was out, most of the sky was a nice bright blue. And there was just this one dark cloud overhead. But as soon as I've made my way up to the helideck, I hear a rather unexpected crack of thunder :|. And even as I'm wondering whether I should seek cover, a big fat drop lands smack on top of my nose /:). Needless to say I had to vacate the deck in very short order. Even the rain water is extra chilly here :(. But the sun stayed out, even as the rain poured down with growing zest.I was quite lost in the brightly sparkling drops as they crashed into the ocean for as far as I could see, when I suddenly noticed the rainbow :).

Currently: dreaming
Listening to: The Hives - Hate to say I told you so

Saturday, 12 May 2007

On wisdom

Of late I seem to have developed a rather ambivalent view on the subject. On the one hand, collective common sense of an entire race would tend to hint at its existence, and thereby at its merits. On the other, there is the rather compelling argument that what we pass off as wisdom is merely a bitter extract of accumulated errors of judgement. I mean who would rather be wise than lucky eh?!! But then again, given that one is almost never quite lucky all the time, wisdom does seem to have its charm :).

So. In another ten, fifteen, maybe fifty years, would I find myself wise, or lucky? Now that's a question I'd give a fair bit to find an answer to :D.

Currently: bored, and hence thoughtful...
Listening to: Dido - Stoned

Wednesday, 9 May 2007


The elements conspire to thwart me, but I try anyway. No sunrise. I mean, I'm sure there was a sunrise, but the thick quilt of a cloud cover made sure I could see nothing of it. What I did get to see was a long low line of cliffs hanging precariously over the sea. We were passing quite close actually. Close enough to see the waves crashing on the rocks. No, not with binoculars :|. But with due respect to the waves, they were in fact gigantic :).
But that was still a good 10km away :). Also saw the moon break cover briefly, looking like a ghost of itself. Chasing wispy cloud phantoms in the gray-blue twilight.

Currently: cold
Listening to: Massive Attack - Dissolved girl

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Glub glub

You can actually hear underwater, did you know? Well, maybe not deep underwater, but with my head slowly sinking below the surface, I think I actually heard the water getting in my ear :). Fought the knee-jerk urge to get back up, and in a little while I could hear the music from the next room. Softly, but clearly enough.

That was back in the Melbourne hotel, there aren't any bathtubs on the Trident. Yeah, back on the boat again. Had a fairly pleasant couple of days when the weather was too rough to shoot :D. But now we've started back up. The sky's perpetually overcast. The ship's rolling to fairly crazy angles at times. Only the wind seems to be staying away. Fluttering almost benignly. And the cold is just beginning to bare it's frosty claws.

Dunno why, but I have this irresistible urge to just sink, to somewhere deep, quiet, dark. Rather like dropping under the radar or something like that...

Currently: freezing... thawing... freezing again...
Listening to: Vertical Horizon - Give you back

Friday, 4 May 2007

On a high!

This is becoming a habit on long night flights, these scribbled-on-paper posts :). It's quite addictive actually! I swear! :D

Anyway, so yeah, I'm on the last flight to Melbourne. Spent a good half hour looking for a spare battery for my IXUS in Singapore. But guess what? The only shop in Changi that stocks those had run out. Yay :|. So I ended up buying a not particularly necessary 2 Gig Sony MicroVault (very jealous of Perth flatmate since she got hers, it's got a retractable USB connector for crying out loud!!), a earphone jack splitter (so I can actually share music if I feel like it) and finally, a USB SD card reader (so I don't have to hook up my cam every time I want to download pics)! So there, at least there's something useful (well, sort of) I'm doing with those points that keep accumulating.

When we took off from Singapore, the city, stretched out in all it's glittering glory, was rather amazing! But the imitation of a starry night sky by the ships in Serangoon harbour was even more fantastic! What with the moon and the distant flashes of lightning and all...

The flight itself was the best I've had, yet! Got three seats on the side to myself and decided to make myself really comfortable :). Stretched out over all three seats, blanket, movie, book, a continuous supply of beverages through the night, the whole shebang :D. And one particularly concerned air-hostess first offered, then insisted that I have some Milo! Oh and with it came an assortment of cream biscuits!! How old did she think I was? Five?!!! Maybe it was the dark :P.

Oh and finished the Durrell too! I could so go on about how awesome the book is, but maybe another time. This was a copy borrowed from someone who'd bought it second-hand, and the margins were littered with rather cryptic observations, like 'family consentration' (sic), 'compromise' and scores of asterisks! I kinda gave up trying to figure it out after the first couple :).
It's getting a little light, no point trying to sleep I suppose. The cabin's slowly beginning to wake up. Maybe I'll go brush my teeth with that folding toothbrush and minuscule tube of toothpaste...

Feeling: very much awake!
Listening to: Coldplay - Fix you

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Floating strands

I hate it when it happens. But it seems almost inevitable. Fumbles and bungles and situations like a double edged sword. Do what you might, you'll always cut yourself :-<.

Finally got it, Mitch Albom's The Five People You Meet in Heaven :). I've been thinking of buying it since November, when I noticed it first, I really don't know what's been stopping me. Just bought it at one of those bright stores at Suvarnabhumi. I'd asked them for it last week and they said they were out of stock but it would be available in a week. I don't really think the chap actually expected me to turn up in a week though :).

Am speeding through another book right now though. Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals. It's brilliant! It's funny, it's interesting....

And my second flight of the day's just started boarding, so I better be off!!

Currently: rushing off!!
Listening to: Vertical Horizon - Finding you

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

I'm Jack's swollen eye

I can't even remember when was the last time I slept 12 hours straight. Before last night that is. It would have been a good thing too, if I hadn't woken up with my left eye feeling (and to some extent looking) like a rotten tomato :-<.

Oh well, I'm back from a quick visit to my Grandpa's over the weekend. And it's a good thing the eye didn't choose to do it's thing then. Driving with eyes closed would've proved a little more tricky than walking with eyes closed I think /:). Had a fun time catching up n stuff. And also finishing an entire season of Moto GP 2 in under 24 hours :D. Again, computer racing does not go very well back to back with actual driving :P. Oh and I chose to completely ignore a certain final that was in progress at the time. Not that the outcome was any different from what I'd expected /:).

Now it's one more day of hobbling around the house acting sick and then I'm off to Melbourne for crew change. At least it's nice while it lasts, this bumming around at home thing :).

Feeling: rotten
Listening to: Pearl Jam - I got shit