Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lady GaGa - Happy Birthday GaGa/Poker Face [Piano] - Live in Ottawa - March 27, 2009

This is for Christian and Brian at TWSS podcast. Enjoy!

The Biggest Man Boob Contest part 2

This is a Sorry Ricky waiting to happen...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ashton Kutcher Gets His Chest Waxed

From a chat on Twitter, we discover this...

Ciara ft Justin Timberlake- Love Sex Magic Official Video HQ

It's addictive and I'm lovin' it!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

American Idol - Motown Week

Paula wants surprises. Kara was shocked by the ouster last week of Alexis. Randy said it was hard. Simon did too. American Idol is ready to go to Motown and give us some fantastic performances or some train wrecks. Here's how it went with Berry Gordy and Smokie Robinson in the audience.

Matt Giraud - " Let's Get it On"
Very natural. I loved it! Worried only by the "shum on" he added in the middle. He is one of the men I think could be in the finale.

Kris Allen - "How Sweet it Is"
He's kinda fun to watch. He did a good job with the song and made it kinda cool.

Scott MacIntyre - "You Can't Hurry Love"
Thought he might have a little trouble with it. He's kinda bland.

Megan Joy - "For Once in My Life"
Passable. Awkward, but it was very much loungy.

Anoop Desai - "Ooh Baby Baby"
Didn't do it justice. Kinda pedestrian.

Michael Sarver - "Ain't Too Proud to Beg"
I wanted to like it, but he's not sounding like a champ here. Poor song choice.

Lil Rounds - "Heatwave"
Good, but only criticism was it started on high and stayed there...never had any light and shade.
She'll get by, but this was a gimme week.

Adam Lambert - "The Tracks of My Tears"
Amazing! I loved it. No theatrics. No over-the-topness. It was gentle and lovely and...a moment.

Danny Gokey - "Get Ready"
Very natural. Almost doesn't need Idol. Effortless.

Allison Iraheta - "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone"
She's "blazin' hot!" Another effortless performance and she reminds them that she is in this to win.

Top 3
Adam, Matt, Allison

Bottom 3
Scott, Megan, and Michael

Megan will prolly be leaving us tomorrow.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Because someone at The Onion wants Hugh Jackman



Photos of a supposedly new inflatable toy by comic book and film giant Marvel made the rounds this morning -- a blow-up Wolverine doll with a strategically placed inflation tube right on his crotch.
But further digging confirms the toy is a hoax hatched by the clever folks over at The Onion's affiliate website ChristWire.org.
ChristWire purported to respond to Marvel's alleged inflatable toy in a spoof article excerpted here -- "We might as well line our children up and burn them ourselves! If we make these types of devil-pleasing acts OK, they will all be burning in the fire lakes anyways... What’s next? The Wonder Woman lollipop?"

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

American Idol - Country Week

Billed as the most difficult week for the contestants, Country Week on Idol was kinda underwhelming. The Idol favorites kinda faultered and an embattled Idol rose like a phoenix. Paula was vapid, but coherent. Simon spent the night calling her stupid. Randy and Kara worked to make the show better than Romper Room.

1. Michael Sarver - "Ain't Goin' Down Til The Sun Comes Up"
This was his week to screw up, and he didn't. Serviceable job and entertaining.

2. Allison Iraheta - "Blame It on Your Heart"
Mature and very good. I love the smoky quality of her voice.

3. Kris *sigh* Allen "To Make You Feel My Love"
He's gorgeous and the performance was simple and wonderful.

4. Lil Rounds - "Independence Day"
Good job, but not my favorite. She'll get by, but it really wasn't her best.

5. Adam Lambert - "Ring of Fire"
Right, wrong, or indifferent it was the most memorable performance of the night.
Personally, I thought it was greatness. Everything the judges ask for: great vocals, made the song his own, interesting...

6. Scott MacIntyre - "Wild Angels"
I can't watch him sing. Boring and the judges finally challanged him to step up his game. Right now, I'm failing to see why he is in the Top 12.

7. Alexis Grace - "Jolene"
You know when you hear a potentially great performance that goes horribly wrong because the singer tried to do too much...this was like that. From beginning to end, she tried to change the song and the reimagining was more like a nightmare.

8. Danny Gokey - "Jesus Take the Wheel"
*Howl of frustration* The first half of the song was a HOT MESS, then all of a sudden he pulls it all together and makes the song magical. If he'd put the front half together as well as the 2nd half, he would have had a moment.

9. Anoop Desai - "You Were Always On My Mind"
Okay...he gets his place on Idol back. Very good.

10. Meghan Joy Corkcrey - "Walkin' After Midnight"
How many times can we look at her and call her performances quirky? It was...okay. I like the old school feel of her voice, but she's gonna have to show me why they loved her voice besides the fact that she sounds like Duffy/Adele/Amy Winehouse.

11. Matt Giraud - "So Small"
Very good vocal. Very good. He took a great song and was able to change it just enough to suit his voice and maintain the quality that made it a great song.

Top 3
Adam, Anoop, and Kris

Bottom 3
Alexis, Scott, Meghan

Homeward bound: Alexis
Meghan sounded okay and Scott has a sympathy vote, so Alexis may go home.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

American Idol - Michael Jackson Week - Quick Version

Posting late so here's my rundown of Michael jackson Week (a week that could've been a trainwreck, but wasn't)

Lil Rounds - The Way You Make me Feel - Sang it well. No shock. No surprise.
Scott MacIntyre - Keep the Faith - With Siedah Garrett in the audience, sang it like an Osmand
Danny Gokey - PYT - Set the bar for all contenders. The one to beat.
Michael Sarver - You are Not Alone - Surprisingly good. Safe, but good.
Jasmine Murray - I'll Be There - Judges were really hard on her, but she sounded really good.
Kris Allen - Remember the Time - A wonderful surprise. Cute, fun, and can sing.
Allison Iraheta - Give In to Me - Lovely little rock gem. Singers fighting their butts off.
Anoop Desai - Beat It - Lackluster. Not as aggressive as it needed to be.
Jorge Nunez - Never Can Say Goodbye - Passable. Not greatness, but not bad.
Megan Joy Corkcrey - Rockin' Robin - Cute and worked well with her voice.
Adam Lambert - Black or White - Judges raved. I want him to bring it down just a hair.
Matt Giraud - Human Nature - Beautifully done.
Alexis Grace - Dirty Diana - Good and gritty, but kinda backed off at the end.

Bottom three - Anoop, Jorge, Jasmine
Homeward bound - Anoop

Thursday, March 5, 2009

CHIMP ATTACK 911 PHONE CALL !!! WARNING GRAPHIC!!!!!! NEW!

Why you don't keep wild animals for a pet.
The woman lost her hands, her nose, her ears, and is still is in critical condition.

And isn't it interesting that she went from pet owner to "SHOOT HIM! SHOOT HIM!"

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Pussycat Dolls - Bottle Pop

In another life I'm as bad as Nicole.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Royal Caribbean 2008

This is a video another traveler took on our ship. It was amazing!

Caribbean Cruise 2008 - leaving Galveston, Texas

This is pretty much the view we had leaving Galveston this week.

Day 7

Sleepy. Tired. And finding it really difficult to get out of bed in a room that's black as a tomb (no windows, just darkness).

Woke at 11:30a.

Showered and dressed for lunch.

Lunch.

Decided to visit the art auction onboard. Last art auction, purchased 4 works of art, framed and matted. This auction...zip. When your auctioneer says something like "This next piece of work is in everyone's price range...selling for $16,000 in the gallery, we have it starting bid at $6,000..." I find myself going hysterically deaf. Humor of the afternoon: the auctioneer had a heckler. Who did it turn out to be? Paul, Alpha Gay #1. He's sweet-ish, but wow...obnoxious.

Lunch #2 with small talk with Paul after the auction.

Walk around the ship.

Read. Get sleepy.

Discover how thin the walls are in our stateroom.

Nap.

Dinner. Drama! (Apparently, one of the guests at dinner had a heart attack or died at dinner...at the table...during the entrees. I mean, stretcher was called and everything. And ironically, that wasn't the first such issue this cruise. According to gossip and eyewitness accounts at our table, one other guest passed away 2 nights prior and had to be taken off the ship by a stretcher in the wee hours of the morning so as not to alarm the other guests. I stayed away from the fish. Just sayin'.) In addition, we found out that 2 women were left behind on Costa Maya. They didn't feel like they needed to abide by the Onboard time, so they continued to shop and figured they would be missed and the ship held until they arrived. As they walked to the ship, the ship was pulling away.

Sad goodbyes all around. We say that we meet good people on every cruise, and this one was no different. Everyone at our table we enjoyed (for one reason or another), so leaving the people we met was a bit sadsies.

Decided to take a walk around the ship one final time, take pictures and see areas of the ship we'd missed. Played one final match of ping-pong (Booman won!) More pictures.

Crap. Time to pack. Check the shells. Kill the remaining spiders. (Ew.) Store the jewelry and vanilla. Then crawl into bed. Early rise for drive back to Dallas.

Day Six: Cozumel

No one should wake up at 6am on their vacation. For any reason. Especially if that reason involves having fun. We had to be up, dressed, fed, and at the end of the pier by 7:15am to get on a bus for the Jungle Hike of Cozumel. Well, at about 6:30am we woke up and managed to find the Windjammer for breakfast before we ran down for the tour. Boo had a rough night of slumber because he had a bit too much sun in Costa Maya and even the tops of his feet hurt. As I watch him dozing beside me now, he’s finally getting a little rest (or he’s worn out from the day we had).

Our guide drove us out to a working ranch 20 minutes into Cozumel, where he explained some of the history of the island, told us about his bad English (coral and corn snake sound an awful lot alike in a thick Spanglish accent), and directed us to fill out a waiver so that in the event one of us is bitten by one of the aforementioned snakes, falls down a well, or has a heart attack on the 4 mi. hike, his company is free and clear.

We arrived at the ranch with the ATV Jungle Tour people who rode on 4-wheel ATVs through the same area. We originally planned to take that tour, but had a MUCH better time than they did, I think…but about that later. The guides gave us water, a granola bar, and a compass in a backpack for two and we trudged off along a trail where he showed us Mayan ruins and gave us some of the history of the Mayan culture as it related to history, science, and their encounter with explorers from the Old World. Plus, he showed us some of the vegetation and how it was used in the Mayan culture. The seba tree is a tree that can grow for over 1000 years, but to ensure that it grows to that ripe old age, it grows thorns at the base of the tree to prevent critters from climbing up it to do damage. After it reaches 1000 years of age, the thorns disappear as it is a much stronger tree, with roots growing DEEP into the soil and down into the underground rivers flowing beneath the island. See? A vacation can be about learning and junk.

As we hiked, our guide proved to us that the grounds we were on were part of a working ranch by showing us that the trail we were walking on was being shared by the cows on the ranch. Guess what he used as evidence? Let’s just say, the size and the smell of it all said we must’ve followed a very regular herd. Gag. That gets me back to the ATV tour. The ATVs often rode on the same trail that we did. You know what happens to mud and stuff when you ride a bike in the rain? How your pretty white shirt isn’t so white in the back? Imagine riding an ATV with 4 wheels riding through fresh cowpatties. You can do the math. The girls that got all cute for the ride in short shorts and a baby tee could NOT have been happy afterward. Just sayin’.

We finished our hike a couple of hours later and headed back to town. The bus lets us off, of course, right at the souvenir shops of the pier, so we did some quick looking before heading up to the ship and having lunch and a shower. After seeing the beautiful blue waters of Cozumel, Booman had to at least dip his toes in it, so we went back down to see if he could wade in the water a bit and shop a bit. Wading was a no go (who wants to swim in an area where no one else is swimming?), but shopping was ON! I’d forgotten that people come down to Mexico for cheap medicine and some questionable pharmaceuticals. As a shopper yelled across the store for the cost of Viagra and Ambien (taken in which order, I don’t know), we were quickly brought back up to speed. Boo got some cinnamon TicTacs (which for some reason we can’t find in the city of Dallas to save our lives, and I picked up a ghetto Red Bull.) We looked around and after being prepped by shoppng in Costa Maya, managed to haggle for some good prices on the stuff we picked up.

Retail/Tourist Tip number 1: When shopping in a foreign country, don’t play the part of the “Ugly American.” We were ushered into a shop to look at the various crack pipes and cunnilingus decorated Corona bottles next to the onyx carved penises and chess set, when we hear from the back of the store the drunken slur of a 30-something American, shall we say, trailer denizen. Hair in island braids and can of Dos Equus in hand, she’s yelling at her momma to “tell ‘im MAS CHEAPER, Momma! We’re AMERICANS!” I looked over my shoulder to make sure Noah from PNS Explosion wasn’t in the room, because she was doing a perfect version of his drunk Jenna Bush. We left the store so as to not be confused with her as a countryman.

The evening’s entertainment was a musical revue by the ship’s singers and dancers. (*Puts on his black tee shirt like Simon Cowell*) The show was okay…it was a musical revue of great movie songs. They began with vaudeville, then jumped around from period to period. Moulin Rouge to Carmen to A Star is Born (both versions) to The Pink Panther, it was a mash-up of great movie songs. Unfortunately, I now understand what Simon means when he says “it all sounds so cruise shipy.” The show was led by two male and two female singers, one Black and one White. The expectations for each of them were pretty basic: sing the songs at least as well the original, or make a decent attempt. The lead White guy came off very cheesy, with the point and wink at the audience when he sang. The high point for him was his lead on the love song from The Return of the King. He made me cringe, tho, when he sang a Southern blues version of a Ray Charles classic and kept sounding like Greg Brady singing a Blues song. He knew he was miscast for the song, but the show must go on. The lead Black guy had a pretty voice, but was being forced to sing songs that were WAY above him. He, again, sounded like Steve Urkel, not Stephan, trying to sing “Georgia.” He had a little soul, but no grit. The two divas shined, I thought. They had some incredible pipes to mimic (Judy, Barbara, Celine, Julie, etc.) and they did a wonderful job, both emoting, and even when miscast, giving a helluva vocal performance. “Le Jazz Hot” was fun and Mimi, the Black diva sang the hell out of Carmen’s English version of the Men are Dogs song. Boo, ever the critical one regarding Barbara, didn’t enjoy “Look Closely Now” as much as he liked Daphne, the White diva’s “The Man that Got Away.” I wanted to love the show. I did. I love a great singer, but when a really good singer phones it in, or doesn’t give the song enough balls (for lack of a better term), it just sucks the life out of the show.

After the show, we headed out to dinner and ran into Paul and Greg in the lobby, talking to 2 other men. Ever have a feeling that the people you just met smelled a fart and it was you? Yeah…that was lovely. Our interaction lasted less than 5 minutes, where we critiqued the performance of the show that our tablemates had JUST WALKED OUT OF, and it looked like we’d just stabbed their baby in the heart in front of them. From that point on, it seemed like the new couple had no use for us and was judging us wanting. Blow me.

Dinner was lovely, our last formal night together, so we spent the evening taking pictures and guilting our head waiter into giving us more mixed berry bowls, as they looked much better than our choices each evening of desserts. (Who wouldn’t love a chilled bowl of strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries covered in fresh whipped cream. Yum!

Tomorrow is another day at sea before we land back in Galveston. Vacation is almost over (BOOOOO!!!!! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!).

Day Five: Costa Maya, Mexico

We woke up at about 6:30am to get fed and ready for the Jungle Beach Tour on the coast of Costa Maya, Mexico. Costa Maya seems like a sad reflection of what it may have been in the past, but at every turn the natives tell you that the country is in the midst of rebuilding after Hurricane Dean ravaged the city. As you look into the city from the level of cars and such, you don’t notice destruction, so much as dead trees and dry grass. Coming from Dallas, this time of year the grasses and trees looks mostly like that anyway, so it took a look from the upper deck of the ship to truly appreciate how far reaching and complete the devastation was.

A half hour ride brought us to a resort deep in Costa Maya, where the private beach area has been reclaimed and they offered parasailing, scuba diving, kayaking, Sea Dooing, and more, plus an open bar, a restaurant, and a gift shop. Boo and I parked under a palm, spread out and got some sun for a bit before deciding to walk the beach. My Boo loves to walk and given the opportunity, he woulda walked around the complete perimeter of the beach area, but we stopped when we couldn’t see the resort anymore and we feared dead things would pop up from the sand.

The beach area near the resort was raked constantly by the groundskeepers, but past the property, seaweed and trash washed up onto shore until the piles formed a seawall of its own. We started to walk barefoot down the beach, then realized that the hostess wasn’t joking about the possibility of syringes and broken glass along the beach, so we put on our flip flops and moseyed on down the beach. We started collecting shells and coral, then noticed larger shells further up on the beach, so we would walk up and down the beach gathering these gorgeous shells from inland. What was sad was seeing the sheer amounts of crap washed away by the hurricane that had suddenly been rejected by the sea. Baby shoes, sandals, hair product, medicine bottles, tvs, all kinds of crap… We returned to the oohs and ahhs of a couple of ladies who were sunning near us and admiring the haul of seashells and coral we’d made. Soon, they were off on their own hike and returned later with some giant shells of their own. We decided to get some sun and read, so we parked on our beach chairs and tried to read, but mistakenly made eye contact with the people selling parasailing tours. Okay…$100 per couple for 15 minutes of sailing was a bit steep anyway, but their inability to hear “No” made it less and less likely that we weren’t going to go. It kinda became a game then to hear how low they were willing to go to get us onboard. By the end of the day, the sailing was down 25% and the time up an extra 5-10 minutes. I don’t begrudge them the selling of their services in a tough economic environment, but don’t harass me. No sooner than I’d get done with one and start reading again, the other one would wander over “just to check on us “ like suddenly we’d discovered a few more dollars that had magically appeared in our pockets. If money just magically appeared in my pockets, I’d certainly not spend it on parasailing with the not so cute Italian sailor with the cigarette breath.

We dove into the warmish water and swam a bit before walking the other end of the beach. Here we hit the motherlode. Photo ops, fun sandbars, and more importantly, HUGE conch shells in all sorts of colors, just lying around on the beach. What we decided was that the storm either washed all these shells up onto the shore, or it changed the shape of the island and where we were standing might have been underwater over a year ago. Whatever the case, like crackheads in an abandoned crack lab, we ran around picking up the best of the best of the shells. We took what we found to the sea to rinse them out and knock out or drown whatever might have been living inside of it currently (which, in hindsight, we didn’t do NEARLY well enough) and dragged them all back to our towel o’ treasures. Satisfied that we’d done good and had been productive, we went to the restaurant to eat, partake of the free beverages (Pina colada, YUM! Sex on the beach…not so much…) and get ready to leave.

Maria, our hostess, loaded us on the next shuttle back to the pier, where we had the pleasure of riding with the “party group.” Let me just say, I don’t do well with the drunkie former sorority girl whoopin’ and hollerin’ in an enclosed space. Especially if she’s like within arm’s length. She boarded the bus, all ponytail and temporary tatts at volume 11, with her husband, her friend, and her husband’s friend Mike. We know Mike’s name because when they couldn’t sit beside one another on the bus, she hollered his name repeatedly and talked about him the ENTIRE bus trip back. (Which, in retrospect, was done because Mike and his wife must’ve seen the trouble signs ahead… they found a nice pair of seats in the middle of the bus, surrounded by other guests so that, we’ll call her Amber, and her husband, were forced to sit WAY in the back away from them). I shit you not, Amber talked, and talked, and talked and talked for 30 minutes straight about how she could hear Mike up ahead and he was STILL talking… I tried to sleep, but like a freakin’ Tourette’s attack, she’d yell Mike’s name and when he’d ignore her, she’d go back to bitching about Mike and his inability to shut the hell up. Hmmmmm….We finally arrived at the pier and got to get her final bit of sorority girl pride when she, draped across the shoulder of her husband, started yelling “Boomer Sooner, Baby! You UT boys never shut the hell up!” at Mike when he stood up to get off the ship. The knowing looks on the faces of the people seated around us said we’d all give our last dollar and a kidney just for a muzzle.

We dropped off the shells in our room, showered, then went to grab a bit o’ food. The pier was full of some great shops (and I LOVE to shop), so we went back down and picked up some souveniers for friends and family. (Mental note for next cruise to Mexico: bargain! First, we coulda got a better deal on most of the stuff we picked up: vanilla, jewelry, tee shirts, etc. if we’d just bargained. I forget I’m not in America and they expect you to bargain. A couple of shopkeepers got a couple of high payin’ suckers on the first round of shopping, but I’ll remember next time. What we got was beautiful and we had fun, so that’s all that mattered.)

We make it back to our room and decide we need to clean the shells with the high powered sprayer of the showerhead. As we open up the towel, we realize, to our horror, that ummm…we had passengers that we’d smuggled aboard. By passengers, I mean 2 or more huge, Peter-Brady-in-the-Hawaiian-episode-of-the-Brady-Bunch spiders. Luckily, I saw them and Boo didn’t. If he’d seen them when he opened the towel the first time, only the dogs on the pier would have heard the scream. I took the heel of my Via Spiga to them (their dress shoes have like Doc Marten heels…huge, blockish, and heavy as hell). I never saw them again, because I kept the towel wrapped around them and wadded it up in the floor of the bathroom for the Save our Oceans program person to pick up when he did his next laundry run for our room. God bless his soul when he flips that towel open again.

That particular hazard avoided, I cranked the hot water in the shower and sprayed the hell out of the shells that might’ve been the home to any additional critters. We still managed to flush out another pair of smaller spiders that had been hiding and waiting to kill us in the night. Bastards. Luckily, we didn’t decide to give the shells away as a gift to our tablemates. The scene in my mind of the carnage following a spider landing in a lap of any of our dining companions is both funny and horrific at the same time.

Dinner was Italian and wanted to be truly delicious, but I think that we’re a little too coached in the ways of critiquing food in the manner of Top Chef/Gordon Ramsey. My plates were done well and the presentation impeccable. Boo’s lamb was overcooked and the sauce ladled on with too heavy a hand. Desserts were just lovely, and our waitstaff sang “O Solo Mio” to us mid-dinner.

Afterward, we hit the casino for some gambling, or as I like to call it, “feeding the machine some money so someone else can go home richer.” Jack and I started out ahead and managed to parley that into utter defeat on both fronts. So, we strolled back to our room for blogging and slumber, because Friday was an early morning wake-up in Cozumel!

Day Four: Roatan Honduras

We got up early-ish for our first land day of the cruise. Roatan, Honduras is a beautiful island in the Caribbean all of 1-2 miles across and 43 miles long. We had a day of Kayaking and snorkeling planned, so we loaded up our plates and then met our tour group on the pier. After a short bus ride, we arrived at the West End of the island for our workout of a day.

Snorkeling happened after we arrived at the Sea Breeze hotel. Owner Keith drove us up the mountain and explained some of the politics of living as an American on an island in the Caribbean (daughter trilingual and going to school here, and in the States, and mother is Dutch…foreigners want to keep dirt roads filled with potholes, while natives would LOVE to be able to have paved roads…) We had 3 snorkeling/kayaking guides who got us loaded up and walked across to the crystal blue waters lapping up on the beach. While waiting, I noticed my Baby staring at this Honduran guy standing off to the side. As he was not AT ALL his type (read: ugly and looking mostly like he was reeree and stemming on the feeling of his finger up his nose), I wondered out loud what he was looking at.

“You didn’t see that?” he asked.
“No…he cruisin’ you? Looking for a bit o’ the White meat?”
“No…he kept holding his thumb to his nose, then putting his fingers together like he was smoking something. I think he was trying to sell me drgs right here on the beach.”
“Typical. You get that a lot when we’re on vacation. Druggie.”
Sadly, that is the case with us when we are in the nations that traffick heavily in drugs. In Cancun alone, within a few blocks, Baby was offered crack, pot, a whore (the dealers’ sister) and a one-legged whore (his brother, once he got the gist that we were gay.

So we slip on our gear and climb into the water with the beginners’ group (I’m prone to foot cramps and slow swimming, so Babyman thought it prudent.) We saw turtles, spiny lobster, and clownfish, plus a long blue Jack. About an hour later we swam back to the beach and headed to the hotel for lunch. The house parrot greeted us, while the house Lab pretty much wandered around getting petted and scratched behind his ears. The house rat stayed in his/her/its cage and just ate while we waited for lunch. Yes…pet rat. About 10 pounds, huge brown, and kinda creepy, they had him perched in a cage near the patio lounge where patrons ate.

Kayaking began after lunch, and we rowed from our beach about a mile down to a stopping point, where we rested and strolled around the beach area for a bit. I’m in decent shape, but I do not kayak every day, so my shoulders ached after a bit. Mostly because I was trying to keep the ship righted and my Boo was, I assume, doing the same thing. Whatever the case may have been, there was way too much work involved and we still had to paddle back. Ouch.

The paddle back was easier, as we stayed a little closer to the shore, but I will pay for it in suffering for the next few days. When we returned, we had about an hour to kill before we returned to the ship, so we walked around the little city and shopped a bit and took pictures of the plants and vegetation. We returned just in time to board the bus and ride back to the ship, with freshly minted copies of “Twilight” and “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” on DVD. Who knew Honduras got DVD’s before the rest of the world?

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. Lunch, ping pong, miniature golf, nap, dinner, then walking around the ship awhile before bed. The evening was lovely and the weather near-perfect, so we set sail through the night for the next location: Costa Maya.

Day Three of the Cruise

My ass hurts…and not in a good way. Just sayin’… Frankly, after dodgeball and the number of flights of stairs we climbed “to prove you can get some exercise and enjoy the cruise…” my ass is a rock-hard work of art. Kiss that, Buns of Steel!

Day Three was another cruise day at sea because one of our engines wasn’t working, so we had to reroute our trip and sail on to Honduras first. Day three was kinda fun. Nothing at all like relaxing all day…we didn’t do that, of course, but there is nothing in the world like it. I believe we got up at about 10:30am, because the bed felt sooooooooooooo good. After ambling upstairs for what was left of breakfast, we found ourselves up on the deck, and as the sun had decided to join us on the vacation that day, we decided to lay out. Happily, the cruise ship we are on is made up mostly of the older cruise traveler and the out-of-shape cruise traveler, so bearing my 38 y.o. body on the deck was usually not a major issue. I’m still in shape-ish and despite my recent additional carry-on luggage, waistside, I still look okay in a swimsuit…at least I thought so until the Gay Tour Group hit the decks. Nothing like judgment and the Gay Onceover to make you feel a little more subconscious about your body. And, might I add…bitch better look like Mario Lopez in a thong before you give me the G.O. and add a tsk tsk. Just sayin’. Unfortunately, in addition to the short, squat Gays, the bear/otter Gays, and the February/December Gay couples onboard, there were the occasional youngish I-am-or-once-was-a-male-swimsuit-model-and-only-have-2% bodyfat Gays in their tiny Speedos and party cowboy hats on deck lounging with their slightly older BFs. I envy, and hate only because I envy. Believe me, that couple didn’t get a tsk tsk from Chubby Haterstein.

We chatted with a couple of our tablemates, Paul and Greg, about the dodgeball tournament that afternoon. Paul had wanted to play, so I thought we’d go up and support him. Paul and Greg, we originally believed to be a couple, turned out to be just good Gay friends who travel well together. Paul, a 40ish Asian engineer is single and seems to have a laizee-faire attitude about the cruise. Been there, done that. Greg, late 30s, White, and partnered, seemed to just be enjoying the cruise and the vacation (ed. note: WHO WOULDN’T?!?) We ate a quick lunch, then ventured off to watch the dodgeball game. I did not warn either Paul or Keith (one of our other tablemates) about how taxing the game actually was. (Ed. note: I’m still sore from the game…) We watched and took photos and then somehow got conned into a game of ping pong. Filed under “Little things you learn about your partner after 12 years of togetherness…” my Baby loves him some ping pong. He would love to play for hours, until he either got good at it or he actually beat me. I have a strong feeling that if he ever actually beat me, he’d be okay with setting his paddle down and not playing me again, but he’d still find someone else to want to play with. What he doesn’t know (and I have no intention of actually admitting to him) is that my formative years were spent in a youth center, honing my skills at ping pong, pool, bumper pool, and air hockey. I don’t play and let him get points, but he’d have so little fun if I actually tried to kick his ass, so each day the game plays until 20 and I’m undefeated.

We had a Broadway stage show and listened to some wonderful singers perform hits from Evita, Cats, Starlight Express, Dreamgirls, Chicago and more. Awkward moment of the show: colorblind casting is interesting to watch when you have a young chubby White woman singing “One Night Only – The Disco Version” with her two Supremes, then follow it up with another Black diva singing “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.” All in all, the show was really well done.

Dinner was casual in the dining room, so we headed straight from the show to dinner with our full table, Will and Denise, Paul and Greg, and Keith and Beverly. It gave us an opportunity to get to know each of them better. Denise is a hoot. She really is just fun, lively, bubbly and just a warm person. She keeps our head waiter, Romeo, in line and on his toes all night. She’s married to Will (32 years), an Air Force guy, and they have 12 children (5 special needs). Amazing people. Keith and Beverly have been together about 12 years, but aren’t married. Keith is an engineer of sorts, for a bridge-building firm and Beverly is in accounting.

Dinner and conversation finished, we headed to the Promenade level for the ship’s Mardi Gras festivities. They cordoned off both sides of the walkway, then had their own Mardi Gras parade, complete with beads and streamers and costumes. It was the PG version of Bourbon Street, so no boobies were flashed for beads (thank GOD). We hung out with Greg and Paul and watched the hotties from the cruise ship’s productions parade down the main runway dressed like escapees from a revival of the Village People. (I started to say a Gay revival, but that woulda been redundant…)

After the Mardi Gras parade, we decided to go to bed and get some rest because the next day we were actually going to have to do something, so we headed back to our room, ordered room service, then crawled into bed. Next day: Roatan, Honduras!

Day Two of the Cruise

We are some sleep-deprived people. This realization struck me when my Baby decided to try to dunn me for sleeping too late in the morning. I’d set the phone system to wake us up at 7:15am. Baby’s a.m. rant started at 9a.m.. What’s funny is that he really did want to go back to sleep, but breakfast was ending, so we had to get up. We hit the Windjammer and had buffet breakfast (which I love because I can’t begin to tell you how happy it makes me to eat in peace and not have to spend the entire time talking and getting to know people). That led to a walk on deck and then a cruise thru the promenade to shop at the overpriced shops.

We headed back in and had lunch with 2 lovely couples at the formal dining room. Small talk is always difficult for me in a forced eating setting, but it was okay. Get two or three Southern ladies over the age of 30 together and they can carry a conversation for HOURS if you let them. Jack is truly in his element there, especially when he gets to talk to older ladies. She offered us two tickets to the Ice Capades onboard, so we had a plan for the afternoon.

After lunch, we decided to try out the sundeck and read and get a little sun. The pool area was hosting a Men’s Sexy Legs contest that quickly devolved into geriatric men and men old enough to know better, gyrating in the faces of the poor women who’d volunteered to judge. The ship is awash in hotties, but apparently they were too busy working on their tans and lounging in their squarecuts to want to compete in the Sexy Legs contest. We found two beach chairs, pulled up to the edge, and lounged for hours, even managing to fall asleep. I’d decided to play in the dodgeball tournament, which, in hindsight, might have been better played after stretching and a drink. I had fun, while the hubby decided to sit and watch, which may have been the best decision he’s made in his life. I’m still sore, and I have snorkeling and hiking and kayaking to do this week. Ugh.

The ice show was next and featured a guest appearance by Annette, one of our lunchtime tablemates. Photos from the show are available. We had a beverage of the day (Uhhh…I can’t remember what it was called, but it did have mango rum in it, so it was remotely yum). We finished the show and came back to the room to rest for dinner (YES I SAID REST FOR DINNER…Shut up.) Woke up for dinner at 7:30 and made it to our table on time. Now…we’ve had wonderful experiences with table mates at the dinners. We’ve had some horrific experiences. After getting booted from our table by a homophobic group, we’re kinda gunshy about dinner. We were pleasantly surprised to find we weren’t the only gay couple onboard, and we weren’t the only gay couple at our table. Greg and Paul are Dallasites, Beverly and Keith are from I don’t know, and Denise and Will are from TX. Everyone was lovely. Jack even had difficulty holding court at the table, as Paul appears to be just a little more Alpha Gay, at the moment. I anticipate that that will change. I’ll keep you posted.

Okay…I love the karaoke, and the plan for the evening was to compete in the ship’s karaoke tournament. Let’s just say that the competition was either dreadful or ridiculously good. No real in between. Singers on holiday or wives singing to their husbands in the key of off. Plus, on a ship full of Texans, I could sense the tide turning toward Karaoke Country Idol. Even the one country song I’m fairly comfortable with was sung by a lady onboard, so that killed it for me that night. I may try my hand at it another night, but for now…I’ll let the future Garths and Waylons have the stage.

We headed off to bed and room service (SHUT UP!!! Sunbathing and walking the length of the ship makes you hungry.) We had another day at sea to look forward to, so we would need the rest.

Day One of the Cruise to the Caribbean

Lazy, sleepy and kinda tired from packing (yes TIRED…it is ridiculous how tiring it is to put outfits together and then edit, edit, edit…) we got up for the drive from Dallas to Galveston. The ship departed from Galveston at 5pm, so we figured we needed to be up and running to give us some additional time, by 8ish. The 5 hour drive could be done kinda casually, and worst case scenario, we hit traffic somewhere and we have a little coosh time to make it up.

I’m gonna say this with just a skosh of anger…
I FREAKIN’ HATE HOUSTON, TX. There, I said it. Our drive was going along really pretty smoothly. Actually, it was going so smoothly, I was falling asleep at the wheel. (Told you I was tired…I got 5 hours of sleep and couldn’t nap while we drove like some people.) Then we got just outside of the sh!thole that is Houston Texas and started to see the red lights. Not traffic signals, but brake lights. Apparently, the brilliant men and women of TxDoT decided to repair a bridge on THE ONLY MAJOR THOROUGHFARE TO HOUSTON on Sunday. Fine, I like the city actually putting our tax dollars to work to repair roads and stuff, because I sure don’t want bridge parts falling down on my car. But here is where Houston became a wasteland of the village idiots…we see construction signs and realize that the leftmost of 5 lanes was being closed. Fine…we move over as the traffic allows, then sit. And sit. And creep. Then sit. We’re thinking…maybe there was an accident. Maybe a car broke down waiting for traffic to open up. We are the state of the brokedown hooptie, so anything is possible. We crest the first hill and see more freakin’ lights. Next hill, 15 minutes later, and another lane seems to be closed.

Now the time is just after 3pm. We are getting increasingly worried and more and more irritated. We crest an additional hill (now 45 minutes into this adventure) and see that instead of just closing a lane or two, they have COMPLETELY SHUT DOWN THE ROAD, diverting traffic to the access road after
s l o o o o o o o o o o o o o o w l y teasing us with a lane closure or two! Fuckers. We, of course, want the road crews to be safe and not get randed over, but 45 IS THE ONLY ROUTE AROUND HOUSTON!!!!!! Chantal (or sassy GPS) was not about to have it and when we pulled of onto the access road, we got the silent treatment from our obviously pissed off sista of a GPS like “Ummmmhmmmm…you better be glad I can’t tell you where the hell to go, but you better know I’mma cuss you when I get a chance…”
As we passed the workcrew, 6 guys standing around on the bridge while 2 guys actually worked, I wondered if they actually could read the minds of the thousands of people silently hating them for their part in the traffic delays.

Okay, so we finally made it around the clusterf-ck that is Houston and start making time to our ship. We finally make it to Galveston and the ship after breaking a few land speed records to the repeated refrains of the Babyman nervously saying “Don’t get a ticket! Don’t get a ticket!” Late boarding kinda rocked (if it weren’t for the stress of the drive). We walked in, walked up to the desks of every stop involved, with almost no delay. In fact, we even made it just in time to do the ship drill, then head right off to explore the ship.

The Voyager of the Seas is AMAZING!!! It’s a huge gay ship. Major rooms are named after operas Carmen, La Boheme, The Magic Flute…Pictures will be posted, so you can enjoy the many wonders that is the Voyager of the Seas. We waited awhile for the luggage to arrive at our room, so we had to skip the 1st formal dinner. Downside: no gorging on steaks in front of the new people. Upside: we got to watch the Oscars kinda live!!!! We watched it on TNT on the Spanish language version (Ed. note: Wes, if you’re reading this, your show opener is the music for GA.Ma styling products out of Italy and every time we saw the commercial, I smiled a little.)

The show was wonderful, and whether you agree or not with the winners (screw you, but Heath Ledger did deserve the win), I thought the show was the best it’s been in ages and I loved the way the acting nominees were presented (and honored).

Tomorrow is a day at sea, so we plan to explore the ship and read a lot. *yawn*