Pirate Band

When I grow up, I want to be a pirate. Not a modern, machine gun toting pirate, but a Captain Hook, a Dread Pirate Roberts, Goonies kind of pirate. I’ll do away with the peg leg, but probably keep a old earring, lots of tattoos, a parrot or two, and as much pirate language as I can invent. I’ll never wake up early to go to a meeting, or wear formal work attire besides traditional pirate gear.

I’ll be a fearsome pirate, one that will send sailors jumping out of fear, but I’ll grant acts of mercy in private. I’ll sprinkle my speech with “arrr” and “aye, matey,” and try to mention booty whenever possible. I’ll be a goofy and loud pirate, with plenty of weird wardrobe choices. I’ll have a big ship with sails, a poop deck, and a plank for special occasions.

I’ll have a large and jovial band of pirates that will torture our foes with terrible jokes and a fondness for pranks. We’ll know what a foc’sal is, and we’ll toss nautical terms around with ease.

We’ll be equal opportunity pirates, encouraging small people and those of us with glasses to join our merry band. We might rob the rich for the poor, but we won’t feel constrained by it. We might traffic drugs, but only to spike the food of pompous asses, particularly university presidents and corporate teambuilders. No one will be allowed to mention Foucault or the French at all. If you are into wearing black and discussing the role of nihilism only to undermine what suffering and torment you endure in your middle class life, we’ll make you walk the plank, perhaps off the coast of South Africa.

We might sit on deck after dark sharing our deepest secrets, but we’ll never let the outside world know.

We’ll have lots of books hidden in the hold, under our booty of gold, silk and rubies. There’ll be no television, but at every port, we’ll have a favorite movie theater that would save all the great films and have recorded our favorite television shows without commercials. We’ll show the good British ads before our movies, but never the crazy Dutch ones unless they have pirates in them.

If we want to adopt an accent, we’ll yell enthusiastically and heartily smack each other’s backs, particularly if the accent is Indian or Australian. There will be a short wave radio on board, with its antenna strung in the masts, and we’ll listen to stations across the world to practice our accents.

We’ll dance, but only with much vigor and silliness. If anyone wants to dance slowly and romantically, they’ll have to dance behind the poop deck. If we catch them, they’ll have to do the troll dance.

We’ll have a telescope or two on board, preferably with some sapphires stuck on it for the gaudy pirate look. At least one pirate will know which stars are which, and will tell the rest of us if we want to know. We’ll sail to where we might see the Northern Lights, taking photos that will be reproduced in National Geographic or Science Magazine.

If you get married or have a kid, you’ll have to leave the ship, but we’ll let you back on board once the kids leave home or join their own pirate ship. We’ll never worry about cholesterol or heart disease, and always eat ice cream for breakfast and brownies for snacks. We’ll have a pirate masseuse, and raid luxury yachts to use their hot tubs.

You could be a vegetarian, but we have to eat with our hands, and spit when we’re talking excitedly. We would look with admiration on those who eat insects or lick slugs, but frown upon crossing our legs or ironing clothes. In fact, the iron would only exist for making grilled cheese sandwiches or melting things.

We’d do away with the death penalty, making those who break our codes walk the plank in shallow waters off New Jersey or Los Angeles.

When I grow up, I’m going to be a pirate. I’ll terrify my enemies with my vulgar tongue, and overwhelm my admirers with my dashing good looks. I’ll sail around the world demanding booty and investigating anything and everything. I’ll be the happiest and most pirate-y of all the pirates, and you can always join my pirate company.

A review of "Master and Commander"

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
2003, directed by Peter Weir

I must admit, although I’ve been repeatedly told I would enjoy enjoy them, that I have not read the Patrick O’Brian novels about Capt. Aubrey and Dr. Maturin sailing around on very large ships. This may have helped with my thorough enjoyment of Master and Commander, but I am also feeling inspired to start reading the books sometime this spring. I also like sailing and ships in a very layman/landlubber fashion, which gave me a disposition to enjoy Master and Commander.

But as for the movie — a fun and gripping trip with a British ship chasing the bad French around South America in the 1800s (starting in the Atlantic and ending in the Pacific). But are the French actually chasing them? Ehahaha (as the French say). The plot was fairly well crafted for an action film, and some nice twists kept me interested. I assumed there were several holes left open for sequels, including the subtle possibility of an onboard spy and something going very awry just after the conclusion of this film.

Perhaps some of the geopolitical details are a bit off, but the sailing and the battles are great fun, and there are some nice relationship points between the Capt. and Dr., as well as within the crew. I was prompted to some intriguing thoughts about ages of young officers in training on these tall ships, and briefly left feeling like a real weanie of a 26-year-old since I’ve never crewed a ship let alone commanded one. On the other hand, I’m a girl, so they probably wouldn’t have let me.

The fine and entertaining portrayal of 19th century medicine also helped me get over not sailing around on a tall ship. Several different moments left me both amazed and queasy.

Although the acting, particularly by Paul Bettany as Dr. Maturin, was quite good and the visuals were amazing, I was personally most appreciative of all the sound in Master and Commander. I could watch this movie again with my eyes closed to get an even better sense of the creaking and cracking on a wooden sailing ship working through storm and calm, as well as around the southern tip of South America.

As a final note, the Galapagos Island bits were great for those of us who have not managed to visit — look for the not too difficult to spot allusions to evolution and Darwin.

A solid and fun film, particularly if you enjoy ships and action. Some gore and tense moments, but what you could realistically expect from sailing ships faced with wild storms and large balls of metal being hurled through their hulls.

Rants from 2005

November 2005

School is hard. I had forgotten, and I must admit thought unkind thoughts about those who complained. But now that I am required to work well with others, listen to lecture, and read dense theory, I remember why college wasn’t just a party full of pirates and fart noises. Oh well. The whole learning thing is good, though.

Going upside in yoga is scary. I have decided to ignore this aspect, and stay a beginner for good deal longer. This reminds me vaguely of doing martial arts and enjoying the first little bit and then getting real antsy about the more advanced levels. Perhaps this has something to do with my lack of inclination to compete or do things are hard. I will be a lazy, mostly staying right-side up yoga person. I do work hard at my downward facing dog position. That’s hard work and not too scary!

Wahhhh! I want to go skiing! What’s with this whole working and going to school thing? How boring!

June 2005

I am not a parade watcher, so I regularly miss the Rose Festival
parades. I have no particularly strong reaction to blocking off
sections of the sidewalk for watching the parade, but…why can’t
they pull up the tape they use to block off their section? It’s
frickin’ ridiculous. Now I walk along MLK Blvd, examining half balled-up
bundles of tape and whole areas still marked off for “Row”
or “Dale” or “Royale Pain.” Pick it up!

My cell phone company was ATT Wireless and is now
Cingular (through no action on my part). They suck. Their billing
is confusing. Basic questions, like how many minutes are on my plan,
are not answered. Their website is confusing and unhelpful. Waiting
to talk to someone is long and slow, and when I get a different
answer every time I call. And I have never seen any of these “rollover”
minutes they are so proud of. But I guess I don’t have to have a
landline with Qwest (dumb name, although I’m sort of used to it
now), so that counts for something.

May 2005

Well, I would love to say that April passed entirely without a rant,
but of course that wouldn’t be true. The poor rants just did not
get translated to here. But May looks to be good, strong, healthy
month for rants.

1) Tax cuts for very wealthy (billions and billions) and program
cuts for the very poor (gotta balance the budget even though the
cuts aren’t going to come close to paying for the tax cuts). Guess
who loses?

2) Groups of motorcyclists sitting outside Santa Fe or Starbucks
on NW 23rd and making not nice comments. Damn them and their Japanese
motorcycles! I would take a group of older guys on their harleys
any day.

3) What exactly is the point of leaf blowers? Most of them are stinky,
noisy, and not really picking up any leaves — just blowing them
into someone else’s area.

4) Dog poop and self-righteous dog owners.

March 2005

Dude. Here I am, finally returning to my dear Blue Hooded Sweatshirt,
and my layout is all screwy! And my dearest website support guy
is on another continent. Hmmm…and why is bHs looking different
in Firefox and in Microsoft Internet Explorer? This is most aggravating.
Perhaps I should take a cue from the below rant and just walk away
for a bit. Yes. That’s what I’m going to do. So, enjoy the new,
creative layout. A chance to reflect on the random nature of the
web and technology and beauty.

Damn the web and its nefarious tendancy to suck hours
away from my life! I thought that not having access to television
would lead me to think deep thought and generally improve as a person.
Instead, I incessantly scan various online news sources, as if I
can singlehandedly track the details of the world, and as if it
matters that I track the details of the world. Well, I cannot. I
don’t want to. I want my time back. But I can’t manage to stop,
and what if something really important happens? I want to be the
first to know!

Do I like or dislike it when the radio folks are also
in the advertisements? I can’t decide. Initially, I thought it was
a bit odd, but then I realized NPR essentially does that all the
time. And then I started to rather like it — sort of like cable
access tv, but on the radio. So, kudos to Gustav and his wife on
94.7 and their quest for enough money to pay for the new kid. I
hope they are paying you well!