31st in the Dome, How Much is That in Martian Years?

So I won’t actually make you do any math to figure this out, I’m not high school after all, but today I officially turned 31 for the first and only time. This is less “oh god I’m inching closer to the cold hand of the reaper!” than you might think, because I’m on simulated Mars remember? According to my calculations, on the current planet I reside I’ve actually only turned 16.47 years old, which means…I get a new car! Space car? I’m old enough to drive on Mars now, which sounds a lot better than being solidly in my 30’s.

I know I know, it’s not that old, and I am merely playing. I also got my hair cut yesterday and magically looked far too young to be on this mission in the first place, you’d be amazed at what losing an inch of your hair can do to your image! But I mostly want to talk about my birthday to acknowledge how awesome the rest of the crew is and boast about their abilities to everyone.

While I haven’t written about it, and by no means consider myself a fantastic artist, I was co-opted to give the crew drawing lessons. So I can at least claim that I’ve got more drawing experience than all 5 other people here. We had a grand time having me blather about the basics of drawing and how to start to set up a composition. Basic geometry, broad light strokes, all that jazz. The crew then used these new skills (and by crew I mean our Commander) to hand draw me a birthday card, featuring a Marmot since that’s my call sign on this particular voyage. I swear, you go on a six day hike with people and spend the whole time trying to communicate to another species that happens to be really cute and steal your food, and you’re labeled for life. Or a year. I’m a marmot apparently, but at least we managed to get a crew pet right? I get all the belly rubs.

The second thing Carmel ever drew, and it actually looks like a marmot! There's also a family of marmots in the back left, and in the back right, very tiny, are six little hikers. It's us from NOLS, yay!
The second thing Carmel ever drew, and it actually looks like a marmot! There’s also a family of marmots in the back left, and in the back right, very tiny, are six little hikers. It’s us from NOLS, yay! You might also notice the plethora of Aperture Science Laboratories gear. I’m…a huge nerd. 
Birthday wishes for me! Even if I'm not really turning 16.5, ah well, it's the thought that counts!
Birthday wishes for me! Even if I’m not really turning 16.5, ah well, it’s the thought that counts!

With the help of the rest of the crew, and my own absolute focus on the computer which kept me blithely unaware of what was going on ten feet behind me, Commander Carmel also managed to work a kitchen miracle and somehow create coffee ice cream. Seriously, people were shouting about ice cream, coffee, running blenders, and I didn’t notice even once. If we have an earthquake up here and I’m busy doing work I’m going to be in trouble! Still can’t believe I didn’t notice it….oh and I wish I could include a picture of the amazing success that occurred with this particular gastronomic delight, but sadly (unavoidably) we ate it all and then spent a good ten minutes giggling and running all over the habitat to try and burn off the caffeine before bed. That stuff was made with espresso, huzzah!

As if all that wasn’t fun enough, our astrobiologist, Cyprien, managed to buy chocolates while he was last in Paris, from one of the places that is, frankly, far better than most American chocolate. I’m looking at you Nestle. Even the box they came in is all fancy, covered in French which assures a fine chocolate, and has assorted milk chocolates to choose from. And before all of you go “Ah but dark chocolate is better, bien sur!” you should know that of course I know that, but if I had a box of dark chocolate from Paris by my desk do you think that I would get any, or that the girls would eat it all in the night before I even had a shot at it? Exactly. Milk chocolate ensures that I will get at least three pieces of the 25 known to exist.

Only delicious things can exist in a box that has had so much effort put into the calligraphy!
Only delicious things can exist in a box that has had so much effort put into the calligraphy!
Told you so, om nom nom, en francais!
Told you so, om nom nom, en francais!

So I had a grand birthday, even if my imaginary space parents didn’t get me the 2074 Mars themed Jeep that I wanted for my sweet Martian 16. I’d have been thrilled to just get the Cosmic Enfield Comet, another vehicle I just made up, but those motorbikes are so classy…ah someday…someday. Despite a tiny dome and 400 million miles to the nearest family, I had a fantastic birthday on Mars. I will admit to feeling guilty about getting all this attention though and doing my best to help with the dishes.

Aside from all those shenanigans, I got to be on the Habcom radio for over two hours and spent the whole time drawing and catching up on the procrastination I’d been meaning to not do. Was a good, relaxing day, and now I have it immediately followed by a lazy saturday morning full of leftover cookies (oh yeah, Cyprien and I made cookies!) and general lounging about. Even space pioneers need a day off and time to do nothing.

I don't really have an excuse for this one, I'm just immensely pleased that I have a plush TARDIS hanging on my door. When you squeeze it it goes "Vwoorp vwoorp vwoorp!" and fades into another time and space. Or just the noises.
I don’t really have an excuse for this one, I’m just immensely pleased that I have a plush TARDIS hanging on my door. When you squeeze it it goes “Vwoorp vwoorp vwoorp!” and fades into another time and space. Or just the noises.
Oh also, I made Shepards Pie! A favorite comfort food of mine, due to ancient supposed Welsh heritage or some such. Spicy potatoes, sweet corn, rehydrated chicken...it was legit!
Oh also, I made Shepards Pie! A favorite comfort food of mine, due to ancient supposed Welsh heritage or some such. Spicy potatoes, sweet corn, rehydrated chicken…it was legit!

There were family related birthday things as well, many goofy videos and people singing, but it’s both too large to add to this blog and the last thing I need is for everyone to know how insanely dorky my dad is. All in all, a very nice birthday, and I am looking forward to spending most of my 31st year in a dome with a bunch of very odd people whom I get along with quite fantastically. I shall also hopefully bring you a new art piece soon! I’ve been working on this one for ages, and it’s inches from completion! I’ve only got the one art focused entry so far, that’s just not good enough! I’ll see you in a couple days everybody!

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