Wednesday, November 15, 2006

If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me...?

...for I must be traveling on now, there's too many places I gotta see...

So... back in Dubai again, but leaving tomorrow. Just wrapped up a mid to four sea watch... we've been here four days now, two day watches (counting our arrival day) and two mid watches. Went out the first night we were here, after I got off the day watch; the watch officer had told me about a rock and roll cover band he enjoyed, a group called the Rock Spiders. Turns out they were all Filipino - yeah, a Filipino cover band in Dubai, how good can they be?

Abso-fucking-lutely awesome. One of the best live shows I've seen, bar none - and while I admittedly haven't seen too many live shows, I think I know my music enough to say 'wow.' Great band, the vocals were a little odd sometimes but their accents didn't get in the way half as much as I would have feared - they rocked out with my two favorite Pink Floyd songs ("Comfortably Numb" and "Wish You Were Here"), lots of old-school Guns 'n Roses, a little bit of Metallica and Iron Maiden, and closed up with "Freebird" and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" - all of which were excellent (especially the GNR and Iron Maiden). So, if some by some godawful chance you find yourself in the UAE - look up the Rock Spiders, playing pretty much every night from 10 'till 2, at the Music Room next to the Majestic hotel. You'll not be disappointed.

Stood the day watch the next day, barely managing to drag myself along after rolling back to the ship at four in the morning; crashed after watch, rousted out again for the mid to eight watch, caught a bus into town about ten that day to do some shopping. Hit the Dubai Harley Davidson to get some t-shirts for my dad, then wandered around one of the two (or three) ginormous malls in the city for a bit... hit Starbucks, a couple bookstores, a Woolworths (!) and a department store, gathering the necessities, then went back to the ship after lunch - slept a bit, dragged myself through watch again, then slept all day yesterday... roused up again about sevenish.

Got a bit more writing done for my NaNovel, though I am still horrendously behind - just a tad over 15K as of last counting, with hopefully more to come. Despite the great start I had, I'm falling further and further behind, and can't seem to get my head in the right place - barely five thousand words in nine days. But - whinewhinewhine, I can't get my wordcount high enough, it's NaNoWriMo, same old song. If I can't finish this beast by the 30th, I'm going to hate myself the rest of the year... so here's hoping I get my arse in gear soon.

Sorrowfell continues on nicely; not a lot more to say about that, other than that the pace seems to have sped up a bit and yet is still too slow for my tastes. I keep finding myself checking back on it almost religiously, the same way I look for e-mails from home - hoping that someone else will have posted, so that I can jump in with something new. I swear, I'm like one of Pavlov's dogs...

But I guess that's about it. Over to another berth in a few hours, then I believe out of here tonight... back to sea. Still not much new in the way of news on our homecoming, I heard some scuttlebutt that we'll be shifting down to Norfolk after offloading our ammo in Jersey, but the old hands are skeptical - thinking it'll take much, much longer than a week to get everything off here. :( This makes J der sad bunny, because it's beginning to look more and more like my chances of getting this Christmas at home are hosed. Eh, that's what I get for being a sailor, hey?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Show me the river, that leads to my home - back to the one I love... me the wind that constantly blows , and I will fly away, fly away home...

I love eastmountainsouth.

So, it's been a rather mild week and a half or so since last I wrote; NaNoWriMo is in full swing, and although I had a great start (4K the first day!) I'm moderately behind on my word count as we roll into day 8 - barely 10,000 words to my credit, more shame to me. Still, those people graceful enough to read the work in progress have given me high praise - which probably defeats the point of the exercise, as then I worry about whether or not I'll be able to maintain that standard - but on the other hand, I'm a flattery junkie, however modest I may try to be. I just love being told how pretty I am, even though I strongly suspect the motivations and sincerity of anyone giving me a compliment.

Yeah, I'm just a giant bundle of neuroses and contradictions. It's a feature!

Life on the ship continues much as before, with the addition of NaNo thrown in for fun and excitement; I've been doing the majority of my writing during rover rounds on watch or immediately after (which probably explains my slow pace, to be honest - I really need to strap my ass into the chair and just work on pushing through the damned thing), with my free time spent on various other pursuits - ah, NaNoWriMo, the one month out of the year that writers everywhere come together to celebrate procrastination. I love it so.

I've restarted (or, at least, made the attempt to restart) my long-running, oft-delayed D&D PBP, Sorrowfell - it's a creative outlet at a time when my creative energies should be posted elsewhere, but it's actually given me some ideas for Searching for Avalon, my NaNovel - part of it's similar themes, and part of it, I guess, is I just need something else to blow off steam.

...I'm the only person I know who needs a hobby to distract him from his hobbies.

Good news on the home front, my parents took Molly (yes, I named my iPod - aren't I cute/pathetic? I name all my electronic gidgets) into the local Apple store, and the techs were able to fix her - at the predictable cost of all my music, damn the luck. A lot of the songs on there were garnered from friends, meaning they're irreplaceable, or damn close to it; the majority I have on CD, but the mp3 files were lost with my last external harddrive, meaning they are replaceable, but it's going to be a right pain in the ass putting all the music back on.

On the other hand, it's a damn sight better than having to buy a new iPod and do all that anyway, so I might as well quit bitching.

Speaking of new iPods, I like the concept of the 80-gig video iPod a lot better than I like the reality. I find the older Photo 'pods more aesthetically pleasing, since they don't have the 'cut off' look to provide the flat screen; I'm a tad irritated that the new generation iPods can't use the accessories from the old ones (so, for example, had Molly not been restored to me and I'd been forced to garner her replacement, I would have had to get a new FM transmitter - a vital necessity for the car, especially given the state of radio in Hampton Roads - and wireless headphones), and I think watching video of any length on a screen the size of even the largest iPod is a silly idea. Talk about iStrain.

...teehee. Yes, I thought of that myself. Please direct your death threats to the little comment link at the bottom of the entry, folks.

Which... pretty much wraps it up for now, I guess. It's five AM here, with an unrep due in an hour - not one, thank god, that I have to deal with, as I was up fairly late (for me, anyway) with an unrep this afternoon. This should be a bright, sparkly paycheck coming up; this pay period has had two unreps thus far for my team, a holiday on the eleventh, and it turns out the day we were restricted to the ship for fueling counts as penalty time - almost 11 dollars an hour for about sixteen hours, just because they wouldn't let us go out in town - which in other times, might have irritated me, but last time we were in port (and possibly this next time, as well), I had no interest in going out.

I am going to have to venture out into Dubai at some point, though, as my dad's asked for a Harley shirt from overseas for this year's Christmas present - his present last year was two shirts from Cadiz, Spain, and I guess I've started a tradition. Makes me wonder just what I'm supposed to do on a deployment where we don't visit new ports - I can see myself buying multiple shirts from different ports and squirreling them away, just to have a present source for the future.

Heh. Guess that's all for now.