Sunday, January 01, 2006

A Very OC New Year

Paradise Harbor, Antarctica

Back in Thailand, Jarah and I threw around some ideas for our Antarctic New Year. Jarah suggested that a beach party was the least probable and therefore most desirable theme. I put a brief fight in favor of black tie, but Jarah easily won out. We had some supplies delivered to Jarah's parents in Connecticut for him to pick up at Christmas and haul down to Ushuaia by plane. The goods arrived as planned and we took delivery of 50 silk flower lais, 3 Hawaiian shirts, and a big box of cocktail umbrellas.

The festivities kicked off in the afternoon during our second landing on Antarctica. We got some good photos of Jarah and I in our Hawaiian get-up and had a spirited snowman building contest with the expedition staff. Our experimental design (complete with snow dog) was the clear winner against the more conventional offering cobbled together by the opposition. Rolling snow into balls is harder than it looks. So as to leave the natural environment undisturbed, we were asked to destroy our creation. The resultant video is a hoot.

For reasons that are obscure, I decided that it was very important to win the hat contest being held at the party that evening. Jarah and I worked out a plan. I would nab a big piece of ice and hew it into the shape of a hat. Jarah would make a model of the Titantic. The resultant iceberg vs. Titanic battle could not possibly lose. We spent the better part of the hours before the party taping and scraping things into shape. Our attempt at naval architecture was not a good one, but we cleared things up for the inevitably confused observer by writing "Titanic" all over Jarah's chapeau.

Dinner that evening was a very tasty barbecue on the back deck. We attended in full tropical costume. Jarah and Jason proved resistant to the windy conditions. I was freezing my little tookus off. Afterward there was a slightly drunken zodiac cruise among the icebergs of Paradise Harbor, then it was back to the boat for the party proper. Jason handed out flower lais while I distributed cocktail umbrellas far and wide. We cracked open the long-suffering bottle of tequila from Jason's Dad and enjoyed some of its 60-year-old goodness. I also started in on the last bottle of pisco from our distillery tour in Chile and the bottles of vodka and whiskey that we bought in Argentina. The hat contest was easily won by public acclamation and the victory secured us one voucher for a bottle of sparkling wine and the status of minor celebrities. Booze was definitely in long supply.

Just before midnight, the staff again ushered us out onto the back deck for a countdown, glasses of champagne, and Cuban cigars among the icy Antarctic scenery. It started snowing just as I finished an extended round of hugs, toasts, and best wishes. We gradually moved back inside to rejoin the party, but all that remained of the once-promising group was a few college-aged kids slobbering over the one girl in attendance, several drunken and mostly elderly Europeans shaking their groove thang on the largely vacant dance floor, and us.

Word on the street was that there was a separate party for the boat's Russian crew and the expedition staff going on. Circumstance compelled us to find it. Jason and I armed ourselves with all remaining alcohol and set out below. Somehow we managed to leave Jarah behind. Sorry J, It was a confusing time for us all. Several "authorized personnel only" doors and a brief conversation with some sailors in broken Russian later, we found what we were looking for. The crew were putting on a very well choreographed play to the enthusiastic delight of the assembled onlookers. Afterward, there was saucy dancing. Jason managed to find himself a very attractive boogie partner. I busied myself chatting it up crazy-style with any poor soul that presented himself.

Eventually, somebody came around and politely asked Jason and I to split, explaining that the party was for crew only. I was disappointed. We had heard that there was to be some sort of strip show later on. Naked womens would have been just the icing on my New Year cake, but we relented. There was no sense in ending an otherwise lovely New Year with a solid beating by some drunken Russian sailors. Instead, I decided to end it up on the bow with the bottles of whiskey and tequila. On my way back, I took a mighty slip and landed ass-first on the deck - much to the delight of the bridge crew. Anything else that may have gone down is forever lost in alcohol fog. I suspect it ain't much. I woke up the next day with a nasty bump on my elbow and a monster hangover.

All told, it was a good New Year, but far from the best. In the end, an adventurous and memorable location is no substitute for the company of family and old friends. A big OC hug and kiss (tongue optional) out to the masses.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

On New Year's I got drunk, flirted, and later introduced myself to a strange girl. Stupid Ben swooped in and "saved" me. Goddamnit! I quickly bitched and moaned to Christina.

I came to the conclusion that Christina's friend Jen (not the first girl, and not Harris) is a 15 on the hotness scale of 1 to 10. I pulled Christina aside and asked if being smoking hot is a job requirement at Mi Piace.

1/11/2006 3:30 AM gmt

Blogger Mik3 said...

Saved? From what?

As for Jen - isn't she 16? You filthy man, you.

I was just saying to Jason...

Ten years from now when I am looking at the archived content from this site, it will be nice to have a complete record of Juan's emotional state.

1/13/2006 4:04 PM gmt

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Making a fool out of myself, I guess. Offending her delicate sensibilities. I was too drunk to care, and I can certainly learn from my own mistakes.

Not Jen Harris I said. Christina has 10 friends names Jen. This was the hot one. If she's out there serving drinks, she can't be younger than 21, can she?

Pffft. These comments are nothing. I poured my heart and soul into my old blogs. That are now deleted.

I have a technical interview with Google in 3 hours. Wish me luck!

1/13/2006 7:59 PM gmt

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And for the record, the first woman is Veronica. Just some random stranger I made eye contact with. Eye contact! Man, I was working it. This Jen girl was someone else. I was too intimidated by her sultry hotness to even say hi. I did eventually, though.

1/13/2006 8:01 PM gmt

Blogger jason said...

Goddamn those half-japanese girls.

1/16/2006 1:35 PM gmt

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who the fuck is half-Japanese? I said it WAS NOT Jen Harris.

Before heading home tonight, I read the Wikipeda article on Japanese etiquette. And I started missing Japan pretty hard core.

In other news, fake French accents are fucking hilarious.

1/19/2006 6:12 AM gmt


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