Cross Dressing and Playing in the Snow – July part 2

And continuing on with the month of July….

Okay, my cohorts in crime (fellow dispatchers – The Lovely Thurmanns) and I, have kind of adopted each other.  It works for us.  It’s a good thing.

One fun night in July, Marsha signed up to host Bingo.  Well, on the Week in Recreation list, it showed that Bingo was being hosted by The Thurmanns.  We didn’t want to correct this error (because that would be too easy), but something needed to be done since Wes was scheduled to work on the night in question.

Logical fix!  I would dress up as Wes.

*Side note – Wes is a thin man with a beard and long grey hair.  He frequently wears a KISS hat, or a KISS shirt (or jersey)

**Tori is a round, non bearded female

Did this stop me from dressing as Wes?

Nope.

Great fun was had.  I look like a homeless bum, but Marsha and I were a hit!

Also, after almost a year here, I finally went outside and played in the snow.

That’s right, I drug Rick out with me to find a hill to slide down.  We played for a good 45 minutes, and IT WAS AWESOME!  I am totally moving somewhere that it snows.

Enjoy.

Lighter sky = July!

Moving right on along…

July!  With July we started getting lighter skies.  No, silly, not the evil day star (see “sun” if you’re checking out a dictionary for THAT definition), just a lighter hue off on the horizon during different times of the day.  But before I saw light, I saw some of the most amazing auroras above town.  Pictures will be posted below.

So, during July, and I’m regretting not blogging when the things first happened, but during July, some cool things happened.

Like, various bouts of T3.  Winter over syndrome.  Fun stuff.   From Wikipedia.com –

The winter-over syndrome is observed in inhabitants of research stations in Antarctica who “winter-over” throughout the Antarctic winter. It consists of a variety of behavioral and medical disturbances, including irritabilitydepressioninsomnia and cognitive impairment.[1]

Possible contributing causes of winter-over syndrome include stresssocial isolationsubsyndromal seasonal affective disorder and polar T3 syndrome.[2][1

It also makes you do fun things like:

  • Forgetting to put on a shirt underneath your Big Red before heading to work
  • Confusing your toothbrush and your hairbrush (including after putting toothpaste on your hairbrush)
  • Standing outside of the bar that had been closed all season wondering how on earth that much snow had accumulated in front of the door in one day
  • Laughing like a maniac for absolutely no reason

Yeah, T3 is interesting.  And it varies for everyone.  Some people aren’t affected while others stare off into the distance while sitting in the galley and you begin to wonder if there has been a zombie invasion…  yep.  Fun stuff.

Also during the beginning part of July, I went on another tour of Scott’s Discovery Hut.  I’ve never been more cold than I was that day.  It was cool though, because Matt Nelson, the tour guide, had recently found/discovered some new and interesting stuff in the Hut.  There were initials carved into the walls and different things written on the walls with names and dates.  He has started doing research on the potential people that the initials match up to by comparing initials and dates with ship logs.  So Rick and I spent about an hour with Matt as he pointed out different things and gave us the information that he knew.  My feet started to get cold since I didn’t plan on spending an hour in the hut, and so I told Matt that I’d have to go back to the van to start warming up and Rick stated he was cold as well.  The three of us shuffled back to the van, the wind battering us all the way there.

I was so cold.  So dreadfully cold.  Miserable.  I couldn’t feel my fingertips.  I got into the van and I was crying due to my hands being in so much pain.  I ripped off both pairs of gloves and my hand warmers and thrust my hands into my armpits trying to warm them quickly.  I think I worried both Matt and Rick.  By the time we got back to the Firehouse to drop off the key to the Hut I was starting to get feeling back in my fingers.  By the time I got back into my room in 155, all feeling hand returned to my hands.  That was the most relieved I have ever been.

That evening, Rick and I hung out in the hot tub room so I could completely thaw out.  We also started talking about plans for once we leave here, and that was when the brilliant idea of traveling to Scotland and England really took hold.  More on that later.  First, here are some pictures!

 

Midwinter Dinner

Holy moly.  I didn’t realize that the last time I posted anything was in June.  Eegads.  Mid-winter and the Polar Plunge seem so far away.  Yet it also feels like yesterday.

I realize I didn’t post anything about Mid-Winter Dinner!

So, after the Polar Plunge (AKA the craziest and singularly best thing I’ve done in my life up through this point) I came back to help get things ready for Mid-Winter Dinner.  The amazing Devon Strauss and I were in charge of the photo booth so we spent a couple of hours deliberating how to set up things for everyone in their fancy-wear to get pictures in front of.  We ended up with a very simple set up and collected a fair number of props from Gear Issue for people to take fun photos with.  Then I was off to get cleaned up and dressed for the evening.

Normally dressing up isn’t *that* big of a deal for me, but since it was my first time wearing a dress in months (and I originally planned on wearing heels…however that ended up being a catastrophe that I was intent on avoiding since I was tired and it’d been quite some time since I’d worn them… I wore my hot pink pseudo ballet slippers), I decided I needed plenty of time to primp and get “all dolled up” since I was planning on dining and dancing.

When I was walking around the halls of the dorm, I encountered a moment that made me giggle, chuckle, and perhaps snort a bit.

Here (there?) I was, a gazillion miles away from any person that lived in the same town that I live in, wearing a dress that I bought in New Zealand, and what happened?  I ran smack dab into someone wearing the EXACT.SAME.DRESS…  Turns out, we both bought it on R&R.  Unfortunately, there are no pictures of Melanie and I together in our matching frocks.  I figured we’d be pretty safe though, no one would notice a thing since she had on a camisole under hers and I was wearing a pashmina most of the evening with mine.

I headed downstairs and was slightly taken back by the decorations that were set up.  The place was beautiful.  I have to admit, I had been a bit skeptical of how it would all turn out, but I was quite pleased with the results.

I wandered around, taking pictures of people and decor, and then met up with the fire guys (because, well, they’re MY boys) and found where Rick had placed our name cards.

Then it was time to eat.

Okay, the wonderful galley folk did an amazing job all winter with the supplies they had to fix meal that were tasty, but they truly outdid themselves at MWD.  Personally, I zeroed in on the duck.  My family knows that duck, well prepared duck, is my kryptonite.  Julie did an amazing job on the duck.  Such a phenomenal job with it, that the duck is pretty much the only thing (along with the bacon and beer flavored marshmallows) that I recall about that evening.

So, after eating a marvelous meal and socializing for a bit, I headed upstairs to switch out camera lenses and that was it for me.

Yep, no dancing.

No partying late into the night on what is generally the BIGGEST celebration of the season here.

I sat down on the couch and woke up 7 hours later still in my fancy dress and hot pink ballet slippers.

Still in my make up that I painstakingly applied so I’d have perfectly smoky eyes.

I couldn’t believe it.  I was so disappointed that I missed out on what, I’m sure, was an excellent time for most people.*

I say that it was an excellent time for most people, but in the midst of the revelry, tragic news was delivered to one of my dearest friends here.  Her mother passed away.  I only wish that I had been part of the immediate outpour of community support and sympathy for her.  I found out the next morning and she and I cried together the next morning in the middle of the galley.

The day of Midwinter Dinner and the Polar Plunge, I realized how important it is to take risks, celebrate life and no matter where you are, you ALWAYS need friends.

18 days…

Whoa.

18 days left in Antarctica.

Am I ready to leave?  Am I ready to rejoin the hustle and bustle of every day life?

Yes and No.  To both questions.

I’ve seen/done some amazing things over the past 384 days and have gotten to know some incredible people. 

And since I’m a serious blogging slacker, I need to post several posts tonight, recapping what all has gone on since my last post.

So sit back, relax, grab a cup of tea or coffee and get ready to get caught up on what has been going on in my little world.