Monthly Archives: April 2018

I’ve Got the Music In Me?

We brought our personal shower speaker with us on this trip because I cannot stand taking a shower without singing, and, for some reason, I cannot remember lyrics when I sing a capella. So I’m singing along to the “Jesus Christ Superstar: Live in Concert” Soundtrack, and I realize that I want to sing. With an audience. I didn’t go to Crazy Karaoke last night because the suggestion was met with an excitement somewhere between the “you need to get a vasectomy” conversation and “I think a musical based on the books of Anne Rice sounds like a great idea” scale. Not wanting to bring someone along unwillingly to watch me, most likely, embarrass myself, I went back to the stateroom, read more chapters in a row than I have in a long time, and fell asleep 10 minutes into episode 9 of season 1 of “Smash.”

Now read that paragraph backwards. It will make more sense.

I’m sitting in the D lounge, alone, waiting for “Family Karaoke.” I know. I spent a fair amount of time explaining why I do not like family karaoke in my last blog/rant/random gathering of words. But I feel like singing. And my new hairstyle, wet, is really cute and deserves to be seen by people who won’t realize that they appreciate it until they’re going over their head in their day later and say, “Hey, remember that one fat chick with the really good hair who tried to sing ‘Part of Your World’ earlier? Why did her shirt smell like teriyaki?”

There are two 12 year olds doing karaoke on the “dance floor.” They just moved chairs out of the way to make room for a handspring. I resisted the urge to go all mom/teacher on them. I was kind of curious what would happen if an unsupervised child broke a wrist on a Disney cruise. The child did a bad cartwheel and said it was a handspring.

I am the only adult in here without children. I think someone is going to call guest services and report me. A waitress just asked me if I’d like something to drink. I asked for water, though my brain screamed “YOU NEED A SHOT OR TWO OF TEQUILA, YOU IDIOT.”

Just went through the book of songs for my standards. Found far fewer than I expected. Of course, my karaoke career was back when singing a Deniece Williams song was avant garde.

Ended up singing “New York State of Mind.” I enjoyed myself, but quickly remembered the best part about going to karaoke, particularly “family” karaoke- watching some kid be ridiculously amazing. This 12 year old got up there and sang “How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana.” I had goosebumps the entire time. Of course, I was also conducting the entire song, because I cannot resist an Alex Lacaimore orchestration connected with a Lin-Manuel Miranda lyric.

Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious. Sorry. McKayla just told me some story about how they had to give a password to the captain or the ship would explode if we dropped below 50 knots per hour or something like that. She insisted that she spelled it right. She showed me her spelling. It was hideously wrong. I can’t spell out loud, but I can in writing, so I had to do that. Just pointing out that my iPad knows the made up word from Mary Poppins is spelled right, but doesn’t know the Tony and Grammy Award winning orchestrator. (Edit over a year later- I’m the one who spelled it wrong. Dammit. Spellcheck does, however, now know the word. Gotta love progress).

I’d rather be sailing

I’m sitting in the Crown & Fin Pub aboard the Disney Wonder as our ship waits its turn to go through the last locky thingie of the Panama Canal.

Yes, that is an image on a tv screen. The view from the outside is of one side of the ship or the other, so it’s mostly of buildings with Spanish labels on them that I’m proud of my ability to translate (“Casita de trabajadores,” I decided is “Worker Shack,” which I then immediately sang as if I was a washed up B-52). It’s dinner time, and I decided to forego the fancy restaurant tonight for tortilla chips and chicken wings, as well as the chance to reserve a booth for “TV Tunes Trivia” which starts in an hour and a half. We also have had an unusually long bout with reliable cell service, and, after downloading four new books and reading all of the Facebook, I’m just about running out of things to do. I almost started writing curriculum, so I decided it was time to blog.

The waiter just came up to me, called me by name, and asked me to sign for the margarita I apparently didn’t pay for 2 hours ago. I don’t know whether to be flattered that he remembered me or embarrassed that he remembered me.

While I’m loving today’s connectedness, I have to say that the complete unplug was not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. The first day, I practically had the shakes, so Aaron let me get my 50 mb of free WiFi. I went through it in 14 minutes. That was enough to show me that I didn’t need it. Facebook, like Heaven, could wait. I have many books, full unwatched seasons of two shows and partial seasons of three others. I know there was supposed to be punctuation in there somewhere, but I’m on vacation. I’m also distracted by the people at the bar (the only other people in the pub) loudly complaining that they can’t smoke, have sour cream or hear the song “Panama” until 6 pm. Which is in one minute. Antici-

Loving the fact that my children are still young enough to enjoy many of the magical moments, but not demand to stand in line for every character meet and greet. Not sure how we got out of the Captain America meet yesterday, though Delaney has been spending most of her cruise with a younger man…

Is it really blogging if there really isn’t a theme and it’s pretty much stream of consciousness babbling? I don’t know the rules (which I literally almost spelled “rools,” and I am very much sober). I started reading the blog of the woman whose book I am reading- Jenny something- I’m afraid to click out of this app for fear I will lose everything. Google Docs has spoiled me. The book is “Let’s Pretend this Never Happened.” I mentioned to Aaron that there was a chapter he needed to read because I’m pretty sure that someone was spying on us and just wrote down a conversation that we had had. When I told him the author, he said that he had heard of her and was going to recommend her blog/another book to me, as he had heard about her on NPR a while ago. He checked his reminders on his phone. He was right. It was there. From THREE YEARS AGO. I shook my head so vigorously it almost messed up my newly adorable hair. Almost. See, whenever I ask him to do something that requires more than 4 feet of movement, he asks Siri to set a reminder for him. 90% of the time, he then instantly forgets the reminder and Siri, who wants me dead, but will settle for happy and unfulfilled, does not do anything to help him remember. There was a kind of satisfaction seeing three years of incomplete reminders. I didn’t look too closely, afraid I would see things like “Verify cockroach exterminators” and “divorce other wife” on there.

I have my glasses off so that I can see my iPad screen. Therefore, I cannot see anything more than four feet away with any clarity. From what I can guess: The view out the porthole in front of me makes it look like we’re on an airport runway. As I said that, a car drove by us. Like, right by us. Maybe 10 feet away. I am going to go take a picture now. And maybe get a nacho or 10.

Yeah, so the picture doesn’t do it justice, but that is a road right next to us, and we’re about 10-12 feet below it. It’s really kind of cool.

The people at the table next to me just said, “And he told us he’d be happy just being a swing in the ensemble.” My ears perked up and I almost said “HEY, theatre folk! I’m one of you,” but I’ve already frightened too many people on this ship with that kind of behavior. At the very first day of trivia, there was a woman sitting across the room wearing a “Hamilton” shirt. I bounced over and sat next to her and said “My people!” She instantly had fear in her eyes. I explained that I was theatre folk, etc. She asked if I had seen “Hamilton,” and I naturally told her that we’d seen it four times, with 2 being in San Francisco. She mentioned that she had seen it there, too, and that she was from San Jose. I may have gotten a little too excited when I said “ME TOO,” and she then said that she was actually from Santa Clara. She mentioned that her 11 year old daughter, who was on the cruise with her, loved “Hamilton” too. See previous sentence about the “ME TOO” excitement level. I told her to come check out our stateroom door and leave her chat number so that we could hook her daughter up with McKayla. I never heard from her again.

Waiter just brought me ice water. What is he trying to say?

We just moved through the skinny part of the channel thingie. It was really fast and really cool and I totally missed it, though I jumped up and ran to the porthole.

So now we’re sitting in this James Cameron sized pool looking thingie and the thing in front of us does not look like it moves. At all. I think this was all a ruse and they’ve just kidnapped thousands of Disney fans just to get us out of the parks for summer. It’s brilliant, frankly. But apparently I’m wrong, as the top half of the thing (how many times can I say thing in just this section?) is moving and is already halfway gone. This is some serious Indiana Jones crap. (Answer: three).

Oh, and there were no nachos. Just tortilla chips, salsa and sour cream. No fake, melty cheese, though two of the “pub grub” menu items are advertised as having “beer cheese” and “nacho cheese.” Why do I care? I don’t, really. I’m just pissy because of the severe lack of snacking chocolate on this ship. I almost paid 9 dollars in Cartagena for a box of what was, basically, 3 Twix bars. I put them back just because it was a million degrees and I knew they would melt.

75 year old drunken woman at the bar said that there is karaoke after dinner. I have not done karaoke yet in the 6 nights we’ve been aboard for two reasons: 1) I really don’t like doing karaoke with little kids because everyone thinks they’re adorable even when they completely suck, and their parents get kind of pissy when you steal their stage time, 1b) my own children, though having beautiful voices, refuse to do karaoke. They will sing onstage in front of hundreds of people at home (and at times wearing a pleather bra), but not here. 2) I often suck at karaoke and the parents of the small people are rarely drunk enough to “woohoo” me through a song, choosing instead to look at me with a mixture of pity, “good try,” and “now get off the stage so Kierstie can sing ‘Let it Go.’ Again.” But tonight is “Crazy Karaoke” and is billed as 18+. So there will be alcohol. And possibly voter registration. I’m hoping it’s one of those “ninja karaoke” things where either the DJ picks your song or you just say a completely random number and you have to sing whatever comes up. Then it’s likely that everyone will suck equally.

If I was to do a for real, like daily/weekly/periodic blog which I could, someday, turn into a book deal that would eventually be picked up by Sony Pictures, which I would insist star Joan Cusack as me (though I’d probably push for Audra McDonald or Laurie Metcalf when it gets inevitably adapted for Broadway), what would be my overarching theme be? What could I specialize in? What audience would I be looking for? I’ve been thinking about what topics I could be considered an expert, or an authority, or at least not a total fraud on. I’ve narrowed it down to: parenting, parenting with a mental illness, parenting kids with mental illnesses, teaching, teaching with a mental illness, teaching kids with mental illnesses (you see a theme here?) There’s also things like my obsession with contemporary musical theatre, weight loss like an obstinate 12-year-old and the humor of the word spleen. And some of these blogs that I’m looking at are like a sentence long. Sometimes they have a link to something that the author wrote before they were cool enough to have a published blog, sometimes a link to another site, or sometimes just a sentence. And how do I know if people just don’t care what I have to say? And what if I don’t care if people care about what I have to say?

Still sitting in the James Cameron pool thingie. No DiCaprio in sight, but lots of cool lighting and the fancy people on the front deck are dressed better now, and everyone has finally stopped going the “King of the World” pose.

People are walking into the pub saying things like, “Yay, baseball! Finally! They’ve had every other sport- basketball, soccer.” I’m sorry, but did they have figure skating and archery and I missed it?

I turned my head away from the window and it is suddenly dark. I tried very hard for a “Little Shop of Horrors” joke there, but just couldn’t get to it. I’m on vacation.

How long can I make this and expect people to actually read this? I know people are going to pretend that they read it, and will comment on the first couple of paragraphs or the pictures. I feel like I should put a quiz question at the end. I also feel that I should end this soon so that I can post it. The cellular connection has been spotty, and the other road looking thingie is opening now, and we’ll be on through to the other side soon. Who knows how communication works there?

How many words does Dumbo speak?

The family, including our adopted family from Seattle (who we met on Facebook before the cruise, but is clearly secretly related to us..see photographic evidence below) should be here any minute. The dessert menu didn’t look great tonight. Oh, no photographic evidence maybe. All pics are on phone and I can’t get them over to the ipad on which I am writing. Maybe later.

I must to post now. I hope.