Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Last Word?

Well we’re back in Maine. We got home last Thursday and spent the weekend cleaning the house. I wanted to be done cleaning the house by Monday but honestly we left the house super clean ( I have no memory of doing this so maybe it was crazy cleaning aliens) so there’s not much of that to do. I still washed every surface in the kitchen including what I will now refer to as the mouse drawer. We have had a mouse attack one drawer over and over again. Everytime I remove everything bleach it all, bleach the drawer, bleach get the picture...but the mouse comes back. My mom suggested that “brick up the drawer” I think the mouse would just chew through the brick. Anyway there’s no more sign of Mr. Mouse so we’re good on that front.

So instead of cleaning we have our least favorite task at hand - organizing, sorting, deciding where stuff goes - boo! I’m a stacker by nature. A stacker is someone who organizes there lives in ever chaging fluxating stacks of paper. I need to change this but I must admit I love stacks. What looks better, more industrious than a table full of stacks? Oh, sure a neat file cabinet, well labeled and logically organized. I can’t do it and I married someone who also can’t do it. We’re going to try again...try to organize. Since we’re a month away from opening ImprovAcadia and having all the actors in our home we can’t just put our stuff wherever-we have to place it with the future in mind. I’m not mentally ready. I have Boat Brain.

Boat Brain was first brought to my attention by Andy. He told me that he stays up late even when he has to get up early. That he can’t make himself work. Now, this could be a case of Boat Brain mixed with Baby Brain but we’ll never know because Science doesn’t care!!! Here we suffer with Boat Brain. What is it? The urge to make breakfast last 3 hours, to take a nap even though you had 8 hours of sleep, to stare out the window while you blow on a cup of herbal tea, to watch a movie/tv show/public access show you’d never watch normally, to snorkel, to drink exotic and bizarre sodas, to lay around until you have to do something (which never really materializes). That’s Boat Brain some would call it denial but I call it Boat Brain.
We act like we have all the time in the world when we have a month. I think we have a minor case but still butts must be put in gear...4 wheel butt drive.

So the ship - we really liked living on a cruise ship despite the whole cruise ship thing. Even though the ship was gaudy and strange, there was always the beauty of the ocean. I never got tired of looking out my porthole or walking deck 7 or staring off the deck at the Great Outdoors. It just never got old.

I never got over my fear of a giant shark (as big as the ship) appearing and eating me but it didn’t stop me from getting in that water. I loved it. Even though I was scared of how small and relatively out of control I was in the water that was part of what I liked too. The fish were so fast, graceful, placid, toothy and here I was moderately tanned, somewhat toned and basically naked....a tiny beige speck with flippers and a mask and a tube to the was like I was floating in a salty marinade....but luckily none of them ate me. They did stare, follow and at times get alarmingly close but I was grateful to get a chance to really look at them even as I thought about taking flight back to the shore.

I think the same could be said of the passengers. I felt a bit out of my element on the ship but they were all happy as sea cucumbers. Or pick another sea creature...whatever. Again they stared, followed, pointed, at times pushed and when things got real strange they would glare or fawn depending on their dispositon and level of alcohol consumption. But they didn’t bite me even though I was floating in a giant hot pink/teal/orange marinade almost naked....but I was grateful to get a chance to really look at them even as I thought about taking flight back to the shore.

As many of you know, we’re going back onto an NCL ship in November. Next time we’ll be on the Jewel....sister to the Pearl. No bowling alley but private karoke rooms are available.
So we’ll be back to Maine in March which is great. Returning in March means we’ll be able to hold auditions and see our friends back in Maine before we all get into the Season. It also means we’ll get to snorkel more and more and more. I think I’m going to try “Discover Scuba”. Basically they let you try Scuba in a highly safe and moderated atmosphere and see if you want to pursue it...

So we have plans for our next cruising experience. We plan to find some sea turtles and get real with them. We demand to see a school of dolphins from the ship; followed by a White Shark leaping out of the water to eat a bunch of tourists; followed by a whale ballet; followed by a buffet of bread products.

If none of that happens, I think we’ll be happy with a bit of snorkeling, seeing some wildlife, drinking a few tropical drinkies and having a lot of free time. So we’ll look forward to our next adventure with The Second City and NCL.

I think I’m going to keep posting to this blog about our season at ImprovAcadia so keep checking back. I guess I’ll have to change the title...anyway I’m not sure if everyone knows what it’s like here in the Summer so I’ll show and tell you.


Sunday, April 8, 2007

Five Days and Counting on My Fingers!

Well, we just finished our last nine day cruise of this contract. We have five more days to go....well, really six if you count our sign-off day...but I don’t so, 5.

This last cruise set an NCL record for most passengers ever on an NCL ship. There were 2,900 passengers, 800 of which were kids. The ship was soooo crowded. We were all banned from restaurants and only allowed in the Garden Cafe at non peak times. That was okay because if you wanted to go to a restaurant you either had to go at 5pm or 9pm. So we spent the week eating quick meals in the Garden Cafe.

Our shows were well attended and overall the passengers were friendly and complimentary. We did a workshop for the 10-12 year olds at the Kid’s Club. The kids were pretty great and the Youth Counselors were grateful for the break. We divided the kids into three groups and taught each group an improv game that they performed for one another. The older girls were a bit frustrating as they were very concerned with putting their hair over their faces and allowing the boys to walk all over them. I was like, you need to listen to some Helen Reddy - Hear me Roar!

Larrance and I were both fighting off a cold this week so we didn’t do much in Dominica which was a shame but it was more important to rest.

In Barbados, we went to the Malibu distillery and toured the site and then hung out on the beach. Then we ate Bajan fish fritters with spicy mustard sauce! We also drank coke with Malibu rum- oh, it was delicious. The beach was lovely and the tour was extra fun because we got to wear hard hats!

All of us in Hard Hats


Malibu beach

View of Pearl from Malibu

A Bird...trying to steal our lunch!

We went to Anse Chastanet again. It’d been raining for five days straight in St. Lucia so the water was a bit murkier than the last time. We saw several small jellyfish which we think were washed in from the rain. Still, the snorkeling was great..a little scary at'd look up or down and there was a jellyfish floating by. They looked dreamy. I also saw an black and yellow striped fish that was the size of my pinky nail and it kept swimming towards me. Infact all the black and yellow striped fish kept swimming very close to us. We also saw these enormous blue on top, white/silver on the bottom Gar like fish. They stared and followed. I think they want to sample my goods!!!
We took an underwater camera and we’lll have those photos developed when we get off the ship. We had lunch there and tried, for the first time, Banana ketchup. It was delicious. If you’re ever on St. Lucia, try it.
We also tried Sorrel Shandys - try those too.

Martin in the van to Anse Chastanet

The view from my beach towel


Sorrel Shandy cover shot by yours truly

Antigua was an easy day. We walked around and ate some pizza. We did discover that our debit cards have stopped working. Mine had expired in the middle of March but I’d called the bank and asked them to extend the expirationn date. They said that was no problem. Well, I went to use it and it wouldn’t work. So I called the bank and they said, “No, we can’t do that and we never could’ve done that and you’re totally screwed. Hah, ha, ha.” Okay, they didn’t say that, but very close. So we couldn’t buy any more hot sauce - we were planning to buy 4 more bottles. This turns out to be a good thing since half of one of our suitcases is hot sauce. No, I’m not kidding.

It was Good Friday when we were on Tortola so almost everything was closed. We went out to lunch and wandered around Tortola. We chatted with a gentleman who was about to leave on a week long trip on a small yacht. He was very friendly and we both hoped he would kidnap us but no such luck.

We returned to the ship for our last day and a half of sea time. I’ve never minded Sea Days but lately I’ve been so very antsy. I’m no longer charmed by hours and hours of free time. I’m ready to get off of this ship. Nothing really relieves this feeling - working out, seeing a show, reading, watching a movie - nothing. I’m lucky because I didn’t really feel this way until now. This has been a great experience for both of us. The other night we were having coffee and discussing all the things we want to do when we come back. Oh, that’s right, you might know....we’re going to be on the NCL Jewel in November.
We’ll sign-on around Nov. 8/9th and get off in March around the same date. I think it will be a great thing to do right after our season. Our itinerary will be similar to this one. We’ll go to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Tortola, Samana, St. Lucia, St. Thomas, and Barbados. Yay!

After we sign-off the ship, we’re going to Baltimore to visit Larrance’s family. Then we’ll stop and see Sinclair and Sue and then home! When we get home we’ll have five weeks before we open for season four. I’m almost finished with the schedule - I have one slot to fill, one to confirm, and one that’s almost confirmed. It’s taken a long time and been difficult to do from the ship. Next year we’ll be able to hold auditions in March so I won’t have to do any of this from the ship....

A while ago I’d promised a photo tour of the ship and I took the photos but uploading all of them would take a long time. So I’ll post that when we get to Balitmore and I have access to free and unlimited high speed internet. Look for that next week...

Well I’ll write again when we’re all done and off the ship....