Happy New Year!!

Since Christmas Dinner, we’ve all pretty much just been in wait for Ice Stock. The bands have been doing their final rehearsals, and Todd, our Culinary Manager, stepped out of his office to take the lead on the New Year’s Day brunch prep, roasting off tons of pork shoulder for bbq pork that he’ll stuff into the roasted whole pigs. I was pretty psyched, since I’d off New Year’s Day and thus get to enjoy the brunch leisurely. If I even decided to get up before 1300hrs.

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I recently realized just how lucky I’ve been with my days off this season: because my regular day off was arbitrarily assigned to be Wednesday, and Christmas Day fell on Wednesday, that meant I HAD to work, but I was given the next day off. And since New Year’s Day brunch isn’t quite as big a deal as Christmas Dinner, I get today off like I normally would. The extra day off I’m due as my New Year’s holiday I’ve asked to take on the Sunday of the marathon. Our Exec Chef was happy to give it to me but I’m having a harder and harder time believing I’m going to be able to run with the way my foot has been hurting. I finally caved and went to Medical one morning to talk with someone and the doctor there said it sounded like plantar fasciitis, for which the only cure is rest. Given that on an average work day, I will cover about 5 miles of walking just moving around the kitchen (I have actually used a pedometer to measure it), I’m not sure how much rest I can get even if I stop running. So since I’m meant to be tapering this week anyway, I’m going to make sure my days off work are days off running as well and see if that helps a lot (along with icing, of course).

Also in the lead up to New Year’s, Brandon and I took Jesse (one of our baker) and his girlfriend Renee up Ob Hill since they hadn’t been yet… Renee dislocated her shoulder shortly after arriving and so had been taking it very easy. Brandon thought if I came, she would be less nervous about the hike (really she was just scared of falling and dislocating it again, and I don’t blame her).

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Jesse also recently revealed that he is capable of producing a loaf of sourdough that is as close to Tartine’s as I could imagine without actually being back in San Francisco. It’s a shame he feels he can only make it on our Bakery Supervisor’s day off… the Bakery Supervisor, Brian, seems to waver on how he feels about Jesse, who is easily the most talented baker we’ve ever had down here, in my humble opinion and I wouldn’t be surprised if Brian was a little jealous of Jesse’s natural talent. Anyway, he seemed pleased at how appreciative I was of the bread and is going to make me a loaf whenever he makes it again. Yay!

New Year’s Eve was a bit tricky in terms of timing because we all wanted to get out of there as close to 1930 as we could. Eventually Julie and I decided we’d be the ones that stayed late, we’d cut everyone else loose once dinner started. Julie and I would “maintain” as we called it, making sure we didn’t run out of anything, and we would take turns running back to our dorms to shower and change during that time so that once we had all the food put away, we could head directly to Ice Stock. Well, it didn’t exactly work out that way – we really weren’t expecting many people to come to dinner because there was the annual chili cookoff and Todd had Max set up a hot dog/sausage stand but we got hit pretty hard on our baked potato bar in the galley – so hard that Julie and I found ourselves having to cook more potatoes halfway through the night which is NOT something you can do quickly. Finally, around 7pm, I told her to go home and get cleaned up, I’d take care of the rest. She did, after double and triple checking that I really didn’t mind. Since we had cleaned the kitchen for the night already, it really wasn’t a big deal and I was out of there by 1935.

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The bands were a little different this year, which is to be expected – they change as people deploy or take a year off or if someone in a band wintered they wouldn’t necessarily be back the following summer, etc. But Wastie Kate still had a band that included Scott on the guitar – one of my favorite people, he’s an electrician and married to this summer’s galley office admin, Mandy – as well as the Fire Chief on the keyboard. They did some awesome songs, including Macklemore’s Thrift Shop, and I danced like crazy, enjoying the awesome event that is Ice Stock where you can drink and dance and laugh with your friends and not worry about the usual details that plague a New Year’s Eve Party.

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I want Kate to be my best friend.

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Scott – an incredible guitarist and a Bellinghamster!

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Max had to pee, so I jumped in to help on the grill…

 

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Me and Brandon

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Zak and Julie

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Two of the most badass cooks I know…and Brandon.

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Blake and I had fun in the mini mosh pit.

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Chicks being chicks…

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The boys were totally hammered by this point.

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Seriously, I don’t know what I’m going to do next year when I actually have to plan my own activity for New Year’s…. Nothing can beat Ice Stock.

This morning, I got up leisurely, had a snack in my room, and then rolled over and went back to bed. I finally headed to the galley right around the time brunch was winding down and had a waffle. I was going to go to the Coffee House but the problem with having today off is that the rest of the station is off today too – this means super slow internet and not too many available cables. So I wrote all this in my room and will hopefully be able to snag a LAN cable later on, when everyone’s at dinner.

Happy 2014!! I’m so excited this is the year I get to the South Pole and I hope everyone else has wonderful adventures in store for the year as well!

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