Long post’s journey into yikes!

Well, the week that was got off to a bit of an uneven start. Without getting into too many details, suffice it to say that I remain a strong proponent of the “Don’t shit where you eat” rule of dating. Of course, it’s harder to pull off when everyone in your world lives in the same place. (I realize that last sentence loses the metaphor, but I think to keep it, I would have had to say that we all live in the toilet, and given the context, I thought it best to avoid the dark imagery. Apologies to the metaphor. Oh, and as long as I’ve already got the brackets going, let me assure the gossip mills I was the only Second Cityer involved.)

As it turned out, not too big a deal, though I did indulge myself in a quick session of teen-style wallowing, only with more irony, with a soundtrack of Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks and The Decemberists’ Five Songs. It wasn’t until the second time hearing “Oceanside” that I realized the lyrics I was voicing were “Oh, if I could only coax you overboard…”, which, while normally beautifully poetic, becomes wickedly funny in the context of girl problems on a cruise ship. Having laughed at myself, I was back on the Road to Wellness, with fond memories of and anticipation for all the detours and roadside attractions on the way. (Satisfied, metaphor gods?)

In terms of cast of characters, there were cameos, some new additions, and a couple of exits. Mike had some guests, two fellas by the names of Danny and Sly. They were a lot of fun, charming fellows both, and they will be missed. For those potentially interested in visiting, Danny proved to us that those seasickness bracelets only have limited success in preventing seasickness (though who knows what would have come out of him without them), but are useful for pretending to be Spiderman. And for those interested in modern history and politics, Sly is going to be at Obama’s inauguration, so if you’re reading this, the most degrees of separation you are from that event is two. Pretty nifty, no?

Joining the entertainers onboard, we now have the Cat’s Pyjamas, a capella group extraordinaire. Very nice guys, but mostly I’m excited because I think I’m finally going to get the basketball game I’ve been hankering for. Man, am I going to get my ass kicked!

And in terms of goodbyes, we lost cruise director Rich to vacation this week. We gave him the royal sendoff, inviting him to play Hero Freeze with us in our last show. A pretty unsatisfying show for me all in all (the crowd too drunk and too dirty for my tastes – yes, I’m old), but everyone left happy, including Rich. Haven’t met the new cruise director yet, and don’t know if anything will change for us, but if it does, I’ll let you know.

Alright, on to funny interactions. We’ll open with a faux pas. So there’s a party, and one of the guests, a flamboyant young man in a pink vest, has been hitting on the male dancers all night. Later on, as I’m talking to his sister, I notice that he’s got Ashley cornered. Thinking of the irrepressible Pearce Visser, I ask her “Hey, does your brother get straighter when he drinks?” To which she replies “My brother’s straight.” Now, clearly she’s wrong, in denial, or in possession of an excellent deadpan, but either way, I backpedaled like a triathlete near the end of Superman. Awkward!

There was also an encounter with a passenger with great comedic timing, who deserves to be immortalized here. So I get onto an elevator, and this man’s wife was futzing with his hair, as he protested “It looked better before.” He then turns to me, and with perfect timing, says “Don’t you hate it when a woman messes with your…never mind.” Luckily, I was going to 13, and the only button pushed when I entered was 12, and the timing worked out so that just as he said that, the doors opened on 12, and I was able to deliver a perfectly calm “Get out.” Laughs all around, my one regret being that I was unable to tell him that he was awesome.

Wow, this post is long! But damn it, I’ve been keeping you up-to-date on my readings and watchings so far, and I’m not going to stop now. In terms of watching, I finally made a trip to Jewelbusters (the onboard DVD collection) and snagged the first season of Gilmore Girls. Yes, I’d be judging me too. But I was also scared of the girliness of Buffy and Veronica Mars, and was proven wrong there too. So far, Gilmore Girls isn’t quite at that level of superbness, but it’s definitely watchable. Seven seasons watchable? I’ll keep you posted.

In terms of reading, I finished The Man Who Mistook His Wife for A Hat. Interesting cases, but the writing was too academic for my tastes, i.e. it made me feel stupid. (Yes, yes, “there’s a difference between ignorance and stupidity.”) But hey, at least now I know (vaguely) what “proprioceptive” means. Though I’ll probably forget…it’s not like I’ve got hypermnesis! Then I spent a day reading Tom Stoppard’s The Invention of Love, which was good, but certainly no cure for feeling stupid. Next up, Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49. (That’s right. Pynchon. I’m going to have to read Twilight after this just to keep my brain cells from revolting!)

Also, a sad note in terms of my reading. I saw that Ron Asheton, guitarist for The Stooges, died just the other day, at age 60. He was one of my favorite “characters” in Please Kill Me, and I remember thinking as I was reading that I was glad he was one of the ones who survived. Gather ye rosebuds while you may, folks.

Which reminds me of a lovely moment I had at the internet café, as I was uploading those pictures. So I’m chatting with a friend from high school, a friend from Vancouver, and a friend from my return to Toronto, and visiting the wedding announcement site of a friend from McGill, and it dawned on me that every chapter from my adult life was represented. And while I’d never claim that life has all been puppies and whipped cream, it made me appreciate how lucky I’ve been to know the people I’ve known in my life. And if you’re reading this, chances are you’re one of them. Thanks for existing.

Of course, most of you probably stopped reading paragraphs ago. “Oooh, sorry, we have to shovel our walkways…” Fine, go look at the pictures again, they’re worth a thousand words anyway.


2 Responses to “Long post’s journey into yikes!”

  1. Dave Pearce says:

    I gather one of the young ladies in the photos you posted was the object of your affection?

    I know the Cat’s Pyjamas…great guys and they will ignore your advice about dating. Happily.

  2. Dan Hershfield says:

    No comment, Kreskin.

    And while I’m still not sold enough on the blogging concept to share details of anyone’s life but my own (a writer’s dilemma, to be sure), something about the phrase “object of your affection” left me unsettled. Not intended as such, I’m sure, but it made me worry I’d been cryptic enough to allow for the image of me wandering around the ship, muttering to a doll I’d made from her hair.

    So for the record, it was a couple of dates and various hangings-out, and my time as a drama queen was less the result of the discontinuation and more about some awkwardness at a party a few nights after the fact. No big deal, really, but enough of a spike in the relative emotional flatline to mention. (And things between us have been better since, as it turns out.)

    I will pass on a ‘Howdy’ to the Cat’s Pyjamas, and in closing, let me add that I hope to ignore my own advice again before this madcap adventure is over. Probably not quite as happily as the Cat’s Pyjamas will, but hey, they’re in a band!

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