Slow Week

Reflection in the metal globe on the Ceremonial Pole

Realizing that it’s been a while since I’ve written. Not that nothing has been happening, just that nothing has risen above the threshold for “this is worth blogging about.” So today’s a posting of little things.

A couple of days ago, Eric-from-the-10-meter-telescope and I went out to the Pole for a photo shoot. A month ago we’d crossed paths in the galley and noticed that I was wearing my Rocky Mountain Roller Girls (yay!) shirt while he was wearing a t-shirt from the rival Windy City Rollers. We knew immediately that we’d have to stage and photograph a brawl defending the honor of our respective teams. Hannah, Charlotte – I’ll be sending you the full-res versions by email, and if anyone asks, yes, I sent Eric packing. There was only enough room at the Pole for one roller derby team, uh, fan. (Okay, in the spirit of full disclosure, Eric was already scheduled to depart Pole that morning, and if he hadn’t been so good-natured, he could have torn me into Happy-Meal-sized bits and distributed me to schoolchildren to feed to the animals in the Christchurch Zoo.)

Rocky Mountain Roller Girls vs Windy City Rollers –
This Time it’s Polar

We’re friends again at the geographic pole
But Eric sneaks in a sucker punch

The Greenhouse, aka “Growth Chamber”. Is starting to look green again. A few days ago we transplanted the seedlings we’d started a couple of weeks earlier into the hydroponic slots. Sunflowers, basil, kale, strawberries, lettuce and tons and tons of tomatoes. I suggested to Lane that perhaps he let someone else transplant the eggplant lest it meet an unfortunate “accident”. I’m sure someone among the winter-overs probably likes eggplant.

Dwarf sunflowers – boy are
they going to be confused.
Basil!
Aaron’s solo effort

We’re coming up on the weekend of the snow sculpture contest. We hope. Shortly the roughly 6×6 foot blocks were dumped in front of the station last month, one of them was carved into a form deemed, um, inappropriate, by some, and station management had to bulldoze it to preserve the peace (“It’ a rocketship!” “No, it’s a mushroom!”, “Uh, guys?”). The showdown seemed to take the steam out of the contest, and as of this time last week, no one else has started in on a carving. The deadline was pushed out another week, and finally folks have started in on artwork. Efforts vary from teams of UTs using full power tools – chainsaws and Sawzalls – to single-man efforts like Aaron’s, chipping away with a carpenters hammer.

There’s a surprisingly strong urge to create art down here, often out of the most unexpected quarters, and using the most unexpected materials. Maybe it’s because, as Beth has observed, this place strips everything else away, and we’re left with the raw sensory experience of existence. And out of that comes loneliness, and crazy giddy dancing, and inappropriate relationships. And art.

I think this one was named “Betty”

Case in point: a couple of weeks ago, visitors to Summer Camp lounge were greeted by an assembly of inflated “condom people” that had been crafted during the night by a, um, spirited group of folks informally referred to as “Team Testosterone”. Ah, yes. I’d wondered who was using all those supplies…

The next official opportunity for creative outlet is at the end of the month, with the screening of SPIFF – the South Pole International Film Festival. The SPIFF retrospective last month featured a couple of hours of short films made by Polies in previous years. Most based on you-wouldn’t-get-it-if-you-didn’t-live-here memes, and a large proportion highly awkward for “all ages” audiences. I have no doubts that this year’s crew will be up to the task in terms of volume, quality, and most importantly, level of inappropriateness. I cringe in anticipation. (But yes, I’ll be bringing home copies, if anyone wants to understand what I’m talking about).

Okay – what else? I guess that’s it for now.

Logistics Arch always makes me think of “Raiders
of the Lost Ark”

5 responses to “Slow Week

  1. David, I think this is just clever photo editing…I KNOW Eric-from-the-10-meter-telescope brought a Chicago style fight to you! ;)This is so amazing to see derby at the farthest "corners" of the earth! Thanks for spreading the love far and wide!And, might I add, Logistics Arch is the perfect size for hosting a bout…another WCR v RMRG contest? Arctic Anarchy! I'm in!

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  2. @Eamon & Varla – thanks for the kind words! Eric's an awesome dude, you folks have good fans. There are a *surprising* number of roller derby fans down here; I'm guessing it has something to do with folks who are used to living on the edge.Looking forward to the rematch – will ask the Logistics folks if we can use their crib. :)

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