11 October 2008

mini break.

Just a quick note. I'm in Florida this weekend! Gary invited a couple of us back to hang out at his place for the weekend, and to head out overnight on his boat. Unspeakable joy is my basic sentiment at this point, not to be spending another weekend in Morgan City.

I was remembering a story instructor Geoff told us once about how, when he was working offshore, he would come back from a long hitch and treat his girlfriend to a weekend in Florida. One of the guys in the class, a California native, queried how a weekend in FL could be much of a treat. Geoff, in his infinite wisdom, responded that, after living in Louisiana, FL was definitely a treat.

At this point, I would have to agree.

05 October 2008

highest common denominator.

Here are some good things about being in Morgan City:

1. Oceaneering: is an amazing company that really, really takes care of its employees.

2. Gary & Will Ferrell (real name, Christopher): are 2 amazing guys in my class. Gary is ex-Air Force, originally from Michigan, lives in Ft. Walton Beach with his wife and son. We go to the gym weekday mornings at 6. Chris is ex-Navy (but only sort of), originally from somewhere in the Mojave Desert, more recently of San Antonio. He is the class clown, and looks like a young Will Ferrell. I think most of our class doesn't even remember his name because we only call him Will Ferrell.

3. The gym: is one of the few places I venture to outside of work and the hotel (other places are the grocery store and the laundromat). Since I have little else to do, I typically spend at least 45 minutes here before work, and at least an hour both days of the weekend. This is another perk of working for Oceaneering, as the company covers membership costs for employees.

4. Close proximity to FL: is nice because Gary has invited Will Ferrell and me out for a weekend on his boat! Plus, we'll get to meet his wife and 11-month old son, plus other friends. Need I say this will be a heavenly respite?

5. Time: is on my side, yes it is. And it's kind of awesome. I do get a bit stir crazy on the weekends, but it's nice to have so few distractions. It's been a bit of an adjustment to get back to a 5-day a week, 8-5 type schedule, but it's also nice to have some stability for a while. I'm continuing to feed myself a daily dose (or 2, or 3) of personal development/ motivational materials, and it's helping to keep my motivation high, and to keep my brain focused.

03 October 2008


I've become a complete recluse, but in the best possible way.

I arrived safely in Morgan City, just over 2 weeks ago. The drive from MN took a bit longer than I had anticipated, but I arrived in plenty of time. My first stop in LA was to empty out my storage unit in Robert, where everything was dry and untouched by Gustav and Ike. Everything I own here fits nicely in the bed of my baby truck, so I packed up, hit the road, and headed south. Though it wasn't as easy as that sounds. There was a moment, several of them, in fact, after my truck was loaded and everything covered and bungeed down, where the rover in me (and the part of me who, prior to my departure from MN, was struck dumb and scared at the thought of not only returning to Louisiana, but to Morgan City, no less) couldn't help thinking about getting back in the truck and keep driving... out of Louisiana... But, in the end, I couldn't think of anywhere to go (except to Chicago, of course), so toward Morgan City I headed.

As you may know, Louisiana recently weathered a few bad storms. After the water rises during flooding, it obviously returns to more normal levels at some point, and what's left behind is real, real smelly. So on that day, when I was already one foot back out of the state (or, colloquially here, "one foot out the state"), driving my little truck with the windows open because my air-con doesn't work, and it's still blazing hot and humid here, I kept smelling some very. bad. smelling. funk. and the smell lasted for most of the 2.5 hour drive. The best part was that, through only some fault of my own (I'd explain, but it would take much too long), I ran out of gas along the spillway, which is the smelliest of smelly. So then I had to wait for close to 2 hours, in the heat and the smell to wait for AAA to arrive.

Anyhoo, eventually I arrived, unpacked, and spent the following day getting to know my classmates in the various waiting rooms of the Occupational Medicine clinic where we took physicals and drug tests. Online training modules began the following day at the training facility, and last week we were occupied with safety/ certification classes.