19 June 2008

bad moon rising.

It's been a weird couple of days out here on the DB16.

We're getting close to the end, so the momentum has increased a bit, and we've been working a ton. We've had a few 18-hour days, to expedite what remains to be done, but also because, due to equipment failure, the divers aren't diving, and we're trying to make up for work they would normally be doing. The days of work aren't terribly strenuous so much as just plain long. They also have a terrible habit of waking us up around 6am, which doesn't particularly suit me, but it's the only way when we're a 2-person crew.

It will be good to finish with this job. There hasn't been a ton of opportunity for training out here, and even less in the office, to the effect that, after 3 months with the company, I don't know a ton about our ROVs (though everyone tells me there isn't much to learn). Hopefully the next job I'm assigned to will offer more hands-on time flying the 'bots. Until then, we're slowly inching our way forward til we're de-mob'd and back on the beach.

13 June 2008

friday the 13th.

I'm back out on the DB16, after a lovely break. I went back to Santa Barbara for a visit, and to mail some packages I'd left when I moved. It was good to be back, good to be in a place so beautiful again. Chris and I went for a good hike on Sunday. On the way back down from an amazing vista, I kept slipping and sliding on the scree on the path. I was laughing at myself, and remembering how Molly Zins loved to tease me about my clumsiness. Chris bet me that I couldn't get back to the car (about a mile downhill) without slipping fewer than 10 times. Needless to say, I nearly lost the bet (in reality, I did lose, but he was good enough to pretend he didn't hear me slide a few times). My old roomies threw a bbq for me and per usual at those gatherings, I drank a bit too much plum wine, and had a blast. It was great to see everyone, good to ease back into some old routines, like coffee at Red's, and Sunday breakfast + LA times at the Cajun Kitchen (which, it was pointed out, was kind of silly, considering where I now live!).

I spent the rest of the break at the bunkhouse, working in the office. I went out on a quick one-day job at a paper mill, a place which smells worse than your most horrific nightmare (though, I suppose I've never really smelled anything in my dreams?), a bit like rancid sulphur. We were subcontracted by an inland diving company just down the road from our office, because they sometimes dive in the bubbling, smelly pulp pond at the plant. We were hired to crawl a little ROV down one of the pipes that connects the pulp pond to the extraction reservoir, to look for an obstruction in that pipe. They backflushed the pipe though, and then the obstruction was gone. Not soon enough though, we were at that plant, inhaling that putrid smell for around 7 hours. The scent burned its memory into my nostrils too, and the ghost of sulfur dioxide haunted me for hours afterward. Blech.

But now back to work offshore for a few weeks. This job is supposed to be finishing up pretty soon, so I'm hoping to stay out til the end, hopefully a few more weeks before heading back to the beach. It's good to be back out here, and back to work. We aren't doing too many dives with the ROV, but I feel comfortable out here, where I don't have to make too many decisions, and the days are simple and mostly pretty easy.

We're working on one of the last jackets, and today, instead of using a cutting apparatus like we have been... DYNO-MITE! They decided to blow up the jacket legs instead. It was pretty cool.

03 June 2008


I was going to name this post something to do with patterns, or maybe just simply, "patterns," because patterns have been on my mind these past weeks, specifically my own patterns, drawn out and perfected in these 32 years. The idea that no matter where you go, there you are. The word patina came to mind though, and it sounds so much lovelier to my ears, that I decided on it instead, not really even knowing what the definition of patina was. I wasn't too far off:


\pə-ˈtē-nə, ˈpa-tə-nə\
1 a: a usually green film formed naturally on copper and bronze by long exposure or artificially (as by acids) and often valued aesthetically for its color b: a surface appearance of something grown beautiful especially with age or use
: an appearance or aura that is derived from association, habit, or established character
3: a superficial covering or exterior

I haven't written in a few weeks, obviously. Not a ton to say. I've arrived at that inevitable point in the journey wherein the newness and novelty I seem endlessly to crave has worn down, and I realize I'm where I've found myself so many times before: far and away, somewhat isolated, starting over, wondering what the hell I'm doing, questioning whether I've made the right decisions. I suppose we all wander into this little corner of hell from time to time, no matter where we are, or what we're doing, regardless of where we are on life's wondrous little path. The circumstances may vary, but we wind up at the same crossroads, over and over. It reminds me of a recurring dream: the theme is always the same, and you feel the same panic when you're in the dream, the same relief and confusion when it's through, and even though there's some little synapse in your brain, or phobia deep within your psyche that keeps bringing that theme to the forefront, it's such an out-of-control feeling, you'd swear that you, yourself, have nothing to do with that dream.

I feel that way now, like I keep finding myself at the same point, the same crossroads, asking myself the same questions, even though the path is always different (and in my case, sometimes whole continents away from the previous path). Don't get me wrong, I'm not in crisis mode or anything. I suppose I'm just finally at a point where I'm so damn tired of myself, and my patterns, and wanting to shirk the responsibility for this spot where I've always landed, that I'm assessing the best way to sidestep this little rabbit hole in the future. Maybe the problem is that, instead of embracing that I keep f*cking up in the same ways, I swear to myself that this is the last time I'll end up here, that next time I'll make better decisions, I'll think things through more thoroughly, and then I push it all out of my mind, never having learned a damn thing from my mistakes. I mean, isn't there a process of learning from one's mistakes? Because I think that's probably the kernel of wisdom here, figuring out how to live with less of the repressing of the badness, and more of the what can be gained from the badness.

Still so much to learn...