Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Praise Spirit Bear

So you know what happens when one finds one’s self totally and utterly bored with life? Well I’ll tell ya. One day you are at the library, pissed off at your job, skimming the multitudes of other lame job postings on Craigslist, when you come across a position for crew onboard a boat in Alaska. Your mind begins to wander as you imagine yourself as a boat person, bobbing along like a cork atop ocean swells, filling your lungs with briny air, eating seaweed, fish, and coconuts! Romanticizing about selling off all of your worldly possessions, sans a few good books, loading up the dogs and drifting off into the sunset with the wind at your back! Ah! To live a life at sea! And then you hear your trusty inner voice chiming in, screaming “HEY! You love adventure! You love boats! You apparently love trading your cozy little sunlight filled house for a bunk in the hull of a boat which has not seen the light of day since it was built in 1976! Why not throw away your chances of getting a tan this summer and experience all of the above in the mystical land of Alaska?! Come ON! Let’s shake things up a bit eh?!” And before you know it, your pinky finger is hitting send on an email with your resume attached. Okay Craigslist job listing! I’M IN!

Fast forward 14 days later, and off I go towards my bright new future, just as any responsible adult would, bravely battling the worst hangover known to man. With barely enough energy to stand up, let alone throw my belongings into a pack and carry it to the awaiting car, I cursed the names of a few so called “friends” who ever so graciously bid me adieu with words of encouragement and far too many IPA’s the night before.

Pfffh….Some friends.... more like assholes.

With brow furrowed, palms sweating uncontrollably, and my saliva glands working overtime packing my esophagus with spit in an attempt to keep anything from coming back up, I concentrated, taking deep controlled breathes as I silently prayed to anyone that might be listening. I didn’t matter who it was; God, Allah, sweet baby Jesus, or the almighty Spirit Bear, I just needed a miracle. I pleaded with each of them separately and then again together, as a super-spirit-power.

“Please, just get me through this. I’ll do anything…anything.”

And yep, I said it, it’s shameful I know, but I said it….

“I Promise oh Super–Spirit-Power, if you get me through this….I will never drink again.”

And somehow, despite knowing that this was definitely an empty promise, the almighty sprit conglomerate sent forth an answer. They told me that the only way I was to survive this horrid mess that those assholes, Hot Tom, J-Rad, Jake, and Jules, had gotten me into was to set a few small goals. Like a pack of angels, they spoke to me and said “Okay, you can do this B. Just don’t puke on your new boss’s shoes when she comes to pick you up.”


“Simply refrained from spackling the interior of her car with vomit.”

Barely, but check!

“Now just get yourself through the airport security gates without heaving up stomach bile for the 5th time this morning.”

Damn. Probably could have had that one if I hadn’t been forced to drink the contents of my open water bottle before going through the goddamn x-rays.

“It’s OK, setbacks happen. Now get yourself comfortably buckled into the middle seat of the middle row which is exactly equidistant from both the forward and aft restrooms.”


“Make yourself aware of the location of the barf bag and accept that you may actually have to use it….in front of people.”


“Now eat a peanut and drink some ginger ale. Try to get some rest. You look like hell and there are 8 people sitting on a boat in Sitka waiting to judge you.”


Somewhere over the Inside Passage, the alcohol saturated fog that surrounded my brain began to lift and the ever so timid rays of Alaskan sunshine dancing in through the cabin windows started to feel less like sharp little ice picks stabbing the back of my skull. The plane landed without incident, and as I wrestling my oversized pack out of the overhead compartment, I sheepishly glanced around at my fellow passengers and felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and pride knowing that super-power-hangover-strength had been bestowed upon me, allowing me to overcome horrible suffering and physical agony, narrowly saving them all from inadvertently partaking in the worst hangover known to man. As I disembarked the plane, I paused, beaming with bride, and cast the most genuine smile I could muster up, I gazed at the nice old man standing behind me and whispered “you’re welcome.”

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


For those of you who are dilegently checking, I have to apologize for the lack of blogging....it will happen I promise...but I am working 14 hour days 18 days at a time, so during my off time I am SLEEPING!!! I am having an amazing time and the crew is fabulous to work with! Oh, and sorry for the "Adventures of a restless Bunghole" title earlier....one of the many perks of having a brother who 1) loves to pick on me, 2) thinks he's funny, and 3) is a professional hacker. ;-) Thanks Bri! You got me good and believe me, I'm plotting revenge you BUNGHOLE!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Into the Wild

As many of you know, it has been over 2 years since I vividly documented the summer I spent digging in the dirt, dodging venomous snakes, hosting an ameba, and having the time of my life getting paid to live at a remote research station amidst the sweltering jungles of Costa Rica. Returning home to my "normal life" after spending a summer getting paid to live a life less ordinary left me feeling a little hollow, a bit depressed, and totally and utterly bored. I tried to be content here, and at times I was, but always in the back of my mind I could hear my personal mantra on repeat. Quietly but constantly whispering "we only have one go at this thing called life, so why are you not making it totally f*&king awesome?!!!" But despite my best efforts to be content and convince myself that maybe this is as good as it gets, I have come to realize that I am wasting precious days merely existing in one of the biggest, stickiest armpits on the West Coast.

So here I am, Brenda Jean Campbell, staring down the barrel of 30, feeling that all to familiar restlessness churning in my soul again, declaring to you that the time has come to do something totally f*%ing awesome! (I have omitted the middle two letters of my favorite adjective as to not deeply offend anyone.) It is time to recharge my batteries, hit the proverbial road, see what life has to offer, and walk through some of those open doors. I am headed back into the wild, but am trading the southern route for a northern one, deadly snakes for grizzly bears, toucans for bald eagles, and gut wrenching ameba induced illnesses for sea sickness! WOOOHOOOO! And yes, you guessed it! I will be resurrecting my blog where you can be sure that every little detail of my Alaska adventure will be confessed!