Currently.

 
This photo doesn't have anything to do with I'm currently doing but, I loved it.  This was taken on my last inbound transit.  Seriously folks, nothing beats going under the Golden Gate.

This photo doesn't have anything to do with I'm currently doing but, I loved it.  This was taken on my last inbound transit.  Seriously folks, nothing beats going under the Golden Gate.

Consolidating and sorting my clothes.  I now have the beginnings of a functioning capsule wardrobe.  I have to admit I'm feeling pretty proud of myself.  As it turns out my favorite items of clothing are all grey, white and navy blue.  Weird.

Reading Yes Please by Amy Poehler.  I'd heartily recommend this one.  (Typing that here makes me really miss Nautie Books!) 

Working on my day planner.  I had this grand plan that I was going to make a planner that also functioned as a memory keeper.  I had no idea how much work this would entail but, the bottom line is that I'm on to something cool.

Listening to any podcast I can get my hands on.  Send those recommendations my way, Friends!  This week I really enjoyed This American Life's Burroughs 101.  (Note:  this podcast would not be safe for work)  If you're like me, then you really don't know anything about William Burroughs but constantly see his work referenced.  This episode was a crazy glimpse into his life and was incredibly well narrated by Iggy Pop.

Packing my sea bags.  I'm getting ready for my next departure.  I got some new polo shirts and I was a little surprised by how excited I was!

Watching Ellen. I was over the moon to see Vidal and Mrs. Lopez with the creator of HONY.  You can check out their indigogo fundraiser here (they've raised about 1.2 million since January 22nd - the world truly is an amazing place) read more about these amazing humans here.  

Feeling like a responsible mother.  I sent Big Bertha to the camera store to get a proper cleaning!  She's been such a trooper that I figure I should reward all her hard work and you know...actually take care of her.    

 

What are you all currently up to?

 

#puppylove

It's my last day of being in charge of these little bunnies.  I think I need to admit that I'm gonna miss them scratching at the backs of my legs while I mix up their din-din.

Aloha Friday v9

Last week we went super classic and this week we're going super modern.  

In Aloha Friday v3 I shared a favorite song by Anuhea.  She is one of my absolute favorites.  

Kimie Miner is of the same echelon.  She's a totally classy chick from Hawaii.  What's not to love about that?!    

Of course this video isn't the best quality but, it still provides a great listen.

I think this is my new theme song.

Stability & New Opportunities

lifes

Are you wondering why I'm ashore?

I'm in the application / hiring process for a new job!  

I've applied to work for an individual company vice a union.  I will still be working on ships, and I'll have to take a drop down in rank to get started but, I'll have a lot more stability on the job front.

In the reader survey one reader wanted to know the back story on why I make some of the choices I make.  I had never really thought about the fact that I share my changes but, I rarely share the why.  

In this case, I started looking for a new venue for one reason:

I need some stability.

I haven't had an actual schedule in over a year and to be a little more accurate, in over 2.5 years.  When I was sailing Chief Mate I was on a tramp vessel with a world wide schedule - the last time we pulled into port we were almost 40 days past our due off dates.  When I joined my last ship I went into the union hall and had no clue a) how long it was going to take me to find a ship and b) how long the rotation would be for.  

This would be fine and dandy if I was 22 but I'm almost 32.

I have a mortgage, a car payment and financial goals.

I also have friends and family I'd like to visit, trips I'd like to plan and time I'd like to allocate.

I need some stability.

I worked really hard in my younger years to advance my license and diversify my resume - and did a good job.  What I'm looking for now is career advancement.  Where can I go from here?  This is the question I ask myself when I'm looking at new opportunities.

When I think about my career I imagine a jungle gym instead of a ladder.  I want to be able to move side to side as well as up and down.  

Does this company have shoreside opportunities available?  Does this position give me a skill set that is in demand in any other sector of the maritime industry?  Will I be in a position to learn?  Is the pay high enough that I can cover all my expenses and plan for the future?  Does this company have regional ties to the places I'd consider living long term?

If the answer is yes then I'm really, really interested.

In this specific case this opportunity provides something I'm really looking for:  stability.

Stability, it seems, is much more important than I gave it credit for being.  It's essentially the foundation of my shipping life.  Corny metaphor aside, it's the anchor in the storm.

When bags are packed, and ships are joined the knowing is what makes it all feel manageable.  The comings and goings, the challenges, the ups and downs - they're manageable, fun even - when you know there is a beginning and an end.  When the daily challenge becomes not knowing a whole new set of challenges arise because, there is nothing fun about any of it and, it's really hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I went out looking for some knowing, some stability, some light for my tunnel - and found some.

Here's to new opportunities!  

Podcast RoundUp

I've done a lot of driving in the last 12 months.  When I was getting ready to drive from Houston to The Bay Area by myself I reached out on social media asking, 'what are your favorite podcasts?!' - I got TONS of recommendations!  From those initial recommendations I fell down a slippery slope into Podcast Land. 

I'm one of those Humans who can't watch TV and be productive.  Enter the Podcast.  They're perfect for multi-tasking and are especially perfect when you need to escape top 40 pop in the car.  I have also found that I really enjoy exercising to them.  A walk / jog to an interesting podcast flies by!  

Serial put Podcasts on the tip of everyone's tongue but, there is so much goodness out there past Serial - although I will admit that Sarah Koenig must be a hypnotist because I was hooked.  

I've compiled a sampling of my go to podcasts - click on the picture to link through to more information.

Favorite Podcasts

This was the Podcast that launched me from casual podcast listener to rabid podcast downloader.  I listened to this episode about food and then I think I howled, 'MOOOAAAAR!!!'.  I was alone in the car when I began to binge listen to TED Radio Hour hosted by Guy Raz.  I haven't missed an episode since.

Everyone enjoys listening to TED Talks but what makes this podcast so special is that one topic is chosen and a couple TED Talks pertaining to that subject are referenced - Guy Raz also interviews the presenter.  What we're left with is a really seamless but well rounded discussion that is thought provoking, educational and lots of times completely inspiring.

99% Invisible talks about design - or rather design that we don't notice in our daily lives.  That is an incredibly simple statement to describe something almost indescribable.  I love how diverse this podcast is.  I've learned about the design of high heels, the longest burning lightbulb and the origin of the octothorpe (or hashtag as we know it).  Again, a podcast I don't like to miss an episode of.

99% Invisible was a founding member of Radiotopia.  They're essentially a network of podcasts.  Recently they had an incredibly successful kickstarted campaign (which I would like to proudly say I contributed to!) and were able to add some new shows.

I love Radiotopia for a slew of reasons.  The obvious reason being that they are incredibly well produced.  I also love that they have an equal number of male and female hosted shows.  


All of these shows are in the Radiotopia network....and they're all really good.  One favorite pick would be Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything.  He recently did a series about the Internet called the Dislike Club.  It was an eye opener.


Continuing on this Radiotopia love fest we have Strangers.  Strangers is brought to us by Lea Thau.  Lea Thau is a peabody award winning producer and was the former director of The Moth.  Along with Sarah Koenig she is also a hypnotist.  I could listen to her talk for hours.  She shares with us the stories of people - and they're captivating.  She recently did a series on love...particularly on why she's still single.  I loved it.    

I think Fugitive Waves is so cool.  They take old bits of recordings and lace them into grade A story telling.  This one called Shirley Temple had me riveted so did this one about cigar factories of the 1930s.

Then we have Criminal.  True stories about crime.  This episode about breaking the internet was great.  If you're a Serial fan you'll love this.  

I'm done gushing about Radiotopia now...

Uhh Yeah Dude (UYD) is hil.ar.i.ous.  I geniunely laugh out loud when I listen to these two 'American-Americans'.  They've been doing this together for a long time which means their banter is smooth...and funny.  I guess this is obvious but should be mentioned - UYD is a comedy podcast.  Warning:  lots of bad words...not safe for work....and all that jazz.

Song Exploder takes a song and dissects it.  It's brilliant.  The musician shares what was added, how it was added and maybe even why it was added.  Where ideas for songs come from, how they're elaborated upon, where inspiration was found.  Besides getting a brand new view on the music making process you get to discover new music.  Did I mention it's brilliant?

StartUp is the brain child of Alex Blumberg.  Alex was a producer I've been listening to for along time on This American Life and Planet Money (these are both available as Podcasts - and I listen to both as often as I can).  

StartUp is the accounting of starting a business - Gimlet Media - and all that it entails when you really know nothing about starting a business.  Alex Blumberg is the perfect person to follow on this journey because he's just so relatable...and likable.  

Gimlet Media is an actual media corporation and they have their first podcast out - Reply All.  

All of these are great:  This American Life, Planet Money, StartUp and Reply All.

Remember way back when we read the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed (you can read about it here and here.)?  Wild was my introduction to Cheryl Strayed and from there I quickly dove into Tiny Beautiful Things a collection of advice from her column Dear Sugar on The Rumpus.  Please meet Dear Sugar Radio.  Sugar is back and she's giving advice over the airwaves.  The first episode aired just before the new year.  It's new but I don't see what's not to like.  

Death, Sex & Money talks to people about things that aren't necessarily easy to talk about.  Namely:  Death, Sex & Money.  It's more than that though.  It's an audible looking glass into humanity.  Give it a listen.

I am always looking for new music - Stones Throw is a musical adventure.  Stones Throw musicians and DJs make mixes and sometimes they're crazy cool.  Like this one here.  

I hope you've found something to listen to here!  Happy listening!

This is just the beginning of what I've been listening to.  I know that a lot of these podcasts can be found right at the top of the iTunes chart - this is not a groundbreaking list - but, I hope if you're new to podcasts or even just in a podcast rut there was something here for you.

My new goal is to begin reviewing podcasts as I discover new ones.  If you have a recommendation for me I'd love to hear it! Drop me a line:  nautiemermate@gmail.com

Reader Survey Success!

Thank you for taking the time to respond to the Reader Survey - quite a few of you took the time and it really meant a lot.  

This blog is a strange little niche of wonderful in my life however; there are a couple of unfortunate realities.  Real Talk.  This blog costs me a fair amount of money every year.  I pay to keep my domain name, I pay to host with Squarespace (which I don't regret) and at times I've paid to have a custom designed blog.  Secondly, this blog takes up more time than I care to admit.  If I was working a traditional job, had children or sheesh, even more of a social life, I'd struggle to find the time.

Second dose of Real Talk:  considering the financial output and the amount of time I spend on the blog I'm sometimes really disappointed in myself for not working on growing my audience.  This is an issue that I'm personally divided right down the middle on.  This blog doesn't help me sell anything, market anything or support any part of a business.  This blog doesn't inherently appeal to a large group of people.  This blog is casual - there is no posting schedule, no content geared toward SEO (search engine optimization), no carefully curated Pinterest boards designed to generate traffic - you get the idea.  If I wanted to increase my readership I'd need to do these things.  When I really think about what I personally love about this blog it is the fact that it's organic.  I write what feels good when it feels good.  I try not to worry about it when I get overly busy or preoccupied.  There you have it...the right down the middle...work on growing or just let it be.

The Reader Survey was really interesting so I thought I'd share my findings!  I had 18 Survey takers.  I'll admit I wished I got more takers but, those who took it were a super diverse bunch!  

Question One confirmed what I already knew.  Most of you have been reading for a long time.  I love that you've all seen the ups and the downs.  You've also seen five different vessels!  It also confirmed that I could try a little harder to spread the Nautie word.  

You are a loyal bunch!  I can't tell you how many blogs I read that I don't bother with for every post.  If I get behind sometimes I just 'mark them all as read' and start fresh.  Thanks for taking the time to keep up!  Smooches.

This told me something I didn't know.  A fair amount of you are using Facebook.  I'll try harder to update Facebook more frequently when blog posting might be a little slower.  

Many of you took the time to drop me a note letting me know you do comment!  I have to confess I'm a big blog reader but am not a big commenter.  Most times I don't comment because I don't feel I have anything relevant to say.  This question was part of a survey that I modeled mine after. I thought it was a good one because, ideally, commenting helps build a community.  I love the idea of community in the interwebz.  So many of us spend a fair amount of time surfing the web.  If we are going to preserve the concept of interpersonal relationships community building is essential.  

The responses to this question blew my mind.  I thought 'raw, real and personal' was gonna get the cold shoulder.  It was the winner!  I am usually mortified when I hit publish on posts where I talk about crying at the bar, meowing, or not being able to find a job.  I whim and wah and general question myself when I put it all out there - apparently you guys really like that - good to know.  The answers to this question also told me that there's is a little something for everyone here.  The answers were pretty well divided.

Thank you for spending time with me here in this lovely little corner of the Internet!

 

To the owner of Jasper, you will soon get a little somethin' somethin' in your mailbox!

The Reader Survey is now closed.  Thank you all for participating!