Sunday, August 31, 2008

Snorkel Pictures.

I was finally able to get our snorkeling pictures developed. Unfortunately, I had them developed at a little place in Bermuda and they didn't do a very good job of developing them.

I'm going to buy a better camera and get some better photos, but here are the ones from the last snorkel trip:

This is Snorkel Park. As far as Bermuda beaches go, it's probably a 5 on the scale of 1 to 10. It does have nice attributes. It's very close to where the boat docks...and...there are a lot of places to see fish. The fish are small, but the coral reef are nice.
This is part of the beach area. It's located inside one of the old British Forts.
Here's Jeannie and our friend April. April is a singer for the Jean Ann Ryan Dancers. She lives a couple doors down from us. In four weeks she's moving to Chicago. Be nice to her!
Fish. Fish. Fish.
Look closely and you'll see there are about 25 fish in the photo below. They're difficult to see so Jeannie never realizes they're swimming around her.
There's one fish in this one. Can you see it?
There's about 300 fish in this one. I swam with them for awhile and they looped in and around me for 15 minutes. They accepted me as one of their own.
Jeannie hates all the little fish that are around this coral. She's terrified they're going to swim into her bathing suit.
This coral is everywhere.I was very proud with how long Jeannie stayed in the water. She was in for almost 90 minutes!
This was the best photo that was developed. I was much closer to much cooler fish, but the pictures didn't come out at all.
We'll be headed back to Bermuda in 4 weeks. At that time I'll have a better underwater camera and my sister Melissa will be with me. She wants to go scuba diving everyday so I'm sure we'll get better pictures then.

Meanwhile, I can't tell you how excited I am for the next 4 weeks!

I love Halifax. I love Bar Harbor. I love Boston.

Also, we'll only have one sea day. Aside from Monday, we'll be at port 6 out of 7 days. You just can't beat that.

Every Sunday as we pass the Statue of Liberty I say "Goodbye America. See you in 7 days." This week, I'll be back in America in 3 short days.

Awesome!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Goodbyes...

Goodbye Bermuda... Hopefully you'll have better internet and cheaper prices for everything when we come back in 4 weeks.Goodbye Cardinals... I thought you were going to outlast the Brewers, but it looks like you've chocked.

Goodbye Jay Marriotti... You were an awful sports writer and apparently a terrible human being. Such an awful person that good guys like Neil Steinberg and Roger Ebert are writing articles declaring that you were much despised and hated at the Chicago Sun Times. I hated every article you wrote and you deserve to fade away into obscurity, never to be heard from again.

Goodbye Summer... Although I'll be spending all year in a summer-like climate, it's always sad to see Labor Day come around.

Goodbye Bears Superbowl dreams... I am not at all optimistic about this season.

Goodbye Dan Antonucci... Dan was one of my favorite team mates on Deep Schwa. He's moving to LA and will be greatly missed. By the way, Deep Schwa is one of the greatest, funniest and classiest teams in improv. They have been performing at ImprovOlympic for over 12 years. The all-star cast of the team is Kevin Fleming, Meagan Flanigan, Craig Uhlir, Brett Lyons, Michael Lehrer, Dan Antonucci, Jeff Griggs, Rob Janas, Tim Mason, Joe Canale, Brian Jack and Colleen Murray.They're my friends and I very much miss performing with them.

Goodbye Democratic National Convention... You supplied me with some interesting TV this week. Lots of drama. Lots of excitement. Lots of hope. It'll be interesting to see what the Republican Convention will give give us this week.

Goodbye Brett Lyons' Blog.... Apparently he and his blog died a couple weeks ago.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bermuda...

This is our last week in Bermuda for 4 weeks.Next week we go from New York to Halifax, St. John, Bar Harbor, Boston and Providence, RI.

It'll be nice to see something new, but I'll miss our overnight visits to Bermuda.

We'll be back in Bermuda all through the month of October.This all means that summer is pretty much over. My brother went back to school on Tuesday. He's playing football for the freshmen team at Argenta-Oreana High School.

His first game is on Saturday.

My parents have promised that my sister will video tape all of his games and send them to me. That's good because I need to see every minute of those games.

I'm so excited and proud of him.I used to love to go to my sisters softball and basketball games. They were such good little players and I always felt like a proud brother watching them.

Monday, August 25, 2008

On the Atlantic sea...

A couple of things about this weeks cruise.

It's our last trip to Bermuda for awhile.

There are 600 passengers under the age of 18 on the boat this week. 600!!!

Next week there will only be 22 under the age of 18 on the boat.

Also...

Bears haven't lost a regular season game this season.

Cubs are 30 games above .500.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Chinatown and Little Italy...

I’ve been thinking that we really haven’t been taking advantage of our time in New York. We pretty much always stay in the same 12 block radius.

So, we got up early this morning and got off the boat with a mission. We were going to venture South of 38th street.


We got on the Subway and headed South on the B Train. We got off a few stops later and wandered around SoHo for a bit.


Then we walked down to Chinatown.

It was great. We stopped and had Dim Sum at one of the restaurants on Mott Street.


I didn’t like it. I got a little confused and ordered the wrong dish. Turned out it was a whole chicken chopped up in soup with wontons and noodles. By whole chicken, I mean whole chicken. All the parts were in there.

I did get some delicious Dim Sum though. It was a sticky pork bun.


I also got a nice custard bun too.

Afterward we walked around and soaked in the area. Chinatown is a great, cool place.

Jeannie got a little scared when she saw the chickens and pigs hanging in the windows of all the restaurants.

We then crossed Canal Street and spent some time in Little Italy. To my amazement…...I did not buy a slice of pizza. It was the first time in my life that I turned down buying a slice a pizza.

However, I was full from the custard bun and knew a gigantic slice of pizza combined with the whole chicken shanghai noodles wouldn’t sit well.


I did get a good scoop of mixed berry Italian sorbet.

We then stopped off and each bought a sweatshirt in SoHo. It’s been a little chilly at night lately and neither of us brought anything warm.


When we were finished shopping we got back on the Subway and headed back to Bryant Park.


It was a good, long day. We can’t be accused of wasting our New York City time this week.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

St. George...

On Wednesday Jeannie and I took a ferry to the other side of the island to visit the city of St. George.

We had put off going to St. George because all of our castmates had said it was boring.

Well, Jeannie and I must be extremely boring people because St. George has been our favorite place in Bermuda so far.

It was great.

It's actually much more what I imagined Bermuda to be. It's a quaint little city with something to see around every corner.

After having a bit of lunch and drinking gray smoothies (I'm not sure why the smoothies were gray. They were supposed to be mixed berry flavor. Wouldn't you think a mixed berry smoothie would be red or pink or purple?) we got on the bus and headed to Fantasy and Crystal Caves.

Bermuda has some 200 caves beneath it and the Fantasy and Crystal Caves are the most famous.

The Caves were discovered in 1904 by two boys who lost their cricket ball down a hole. The next day one of the boys' fathers lowered him into the cave with a rope and bicycle lamp and the boy discovered the 30 million year old cave.

It's full of stalactites and stalagmites with surrounding clear lakes that are 55 feet deep.

A year later, the boy and his father built lights and pontoon bridges through the cave and opened it up for tourists. One of the first visitors inside was Mark Twain. The caves are also the inspiration for Fraggle Rock.

I don't know if this is interesting or not, but the only other caves that I've ever visited were the caves in Hannibal, Missouri. Those caves, of course were featured in "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and "Huck Finn", written by Mark Twain.

I'm not sure why I wasn't smiling in any of the pictures. We had a great, great time!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Halfway point...

We have reached the half-way point of our original contract here on the Norwegian Dawn.

That means, we've been on the ship for 9 weeks.

9 more weeks and we'll...

...well...

...it means we'll be finished with our first contract and will begin working on our second tour of duty.

We have signed on to do another 4 month stint here on the ship.

We originally were going to be finished October 19th. We will now be finished February 14th.

That means that it's even more imperative for you to come and visit us.

Becca?
Curt?
Molly?
Anne?
Tom and Janie?
Joyce, Dale and Jacob?
Mike and Melissa?
Schmeeds?
Ella?
Guillermo?
Brian?
Mel?
Anyone who has ever been my friend?

Will you please come and visit us?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Scooby Doo...

A very odd thing has taken place over the last few months.

On May 28th of last year I wrote a blog entry about Brett, Curt Foxworth and I going to the race track on family day. At the end of the article I included a little tidbit of information that Curt passed along to me about how the cast of Scooby Doo were created to represent the 5 colleges of Western Massachusetts. I also included a photo of the Scooby Doo cast.

***Photo deleted because I am not getting several thousand weird hits to my blog.***


Well, that little bit of information and that photo have launched my blog into being one of Google's Top 5 most visited sites for Scooby Doo enthusiasts.

I noticed a couple months ago that my site stats had gone up dramatically and I began investigating to see what was going on. Yesterday I finally received my answer from Google. Apparently, within the past few months Scooby Doo fans began linking to this blog for that photo and that bit of trivia.

A few hundred fans have been connecting to my site daily to look at that photo and find out what schools the cast members represent.

Strange.

If you go to Google Images and type in Scooby Doo. You'll see that photo with the listing for my blog underneath.

I guess now I should start liking Scooby Doo.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Snorkel Park...

We went snorkeling again yesterday. I do not have pictures because I'm waiting for them to be developed.

I bought an underwater camera so I could take photos of the fish and wildlife that we see.

Jeannie's getting much better at snorkeling. She only screamed once and stayed in the water snorkeling for a full hour. That's a world record for her.

I stayed in the water for 3 hours which was fun and cool, but also painful. Being face down in the water for 3 hours allowed my sunscreen to wash off and I once again have a killer sunburn on my back and legs. Unfortunately, my front side has no color at all.

I look ridiculous...

...again.

Also, my feet and ankles are burnt as well. I'm not sure how that happened. I blame my stupid flip-flops.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

DVD Player...

While we were running around Sunday we stopped in one of those crazy electronic stores on Times Square and bought a new compact DVD player.

The one in our room supplied by the Crew Welfare Dept. has been broken for the past 3 weeks. They told us that they were going to be getting new DVD players for the crew, but they weren’t sure how long it would be before they arrived. It could take months.


Well, we didn’t want to wait any longer so we bought our own.


Also, the remote for the old one didn’t work so once we put a DVD in we couldn’t fast forward, reverse, select chapters, pause or do any of the functions.


We REALLY missed watching DVD’s.


Along with the DVD player we also bought some new DVD’s. The Virgin store is having a $10 DVD sale so I bought “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” and “Dirty Harry”, two movies I’d never seen.


Jeannie bought a British series called “Little Britain”.


My friend Lisa Kueng had shown me some parts of “Little Britain”, but I hadn’t seen the show within it’s full context.

The show is great!


It’s gross, it’s filthy, it’s disturbing, it’s hilarious.


The two main guys are brilliant, subtle actors, which is unusual because the subject material is so broad.

Please watch Little Britain.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

What a nice day...

We arrived in New York and were able to get off the ship a little earlier than usual. We disembarked a little after 9am.


The city was still very much asleep.


We walked down to 46th and 12th and Jeannie got a bagel from H & H Bagels. We were actually at one of the bagel factories so all she was able to get was a bagel and cream cheese, but she was very happy with that.


Apparently H & H Bagels is very popular in New York. There was a cool article in the factory about how Jerry Seinfeld proclaimed it as the only true bagel in New York City.


After that we walked down the road so I could get a Jamba Juice on Broadway. Along the way we ran into the Naked Cowboy.

We see him every week.


We ventured a little further North and made our way past Carnagie Hall toward the Apple Store on 57th and 5th.


We played around with all the gadgets and tried to resist the urge to buy an iPhone or iTouch. We successfully avoided the temptation and went back outside so we could walk around a bit in Central Park.

Jeannie hasn’t ever been to Central Park so she was excited to see the different landmarks.

We walked back toward Times Square and walked by Letterman’s studio.

Eventually we arrived back at 42nd Street and were super excited to meet up with our visiting friends Molly, Mel and Kara.

They were in town for the Del Close Marathon and we had been looking forward to seeing them for quite some time.


Jeannie attempted to convince them to eat at her favorite “New York” restaurant, but they were in the mood for something that had a little more of a Big Apple flavor to it.


So, we walked all the way back up to 55th Street to eat at the world famous Carnagie Deli.

I ordered the Woody Allen Sandwich. It was a little bit bigger than I had expected.

Seriously, I was only able to eat a tenth of it.

After a nice long lunch we reluctantly said goodbye to our friends and headed back to the ship. Jeannie has a pedometer on her phone and it registered that we had walked 7 miles since we had stepped off the boat.


As soon as we dropped our things off in our cabin we headed to Deck 7 and made our Sunday afternoon phone calls.


Sunday is the only day we have normal Cellular service so all over the boat you can see all the crew members calling their family and friends.
That lasts until shortly after the ship passes by the Statue of Liberty. That’s usually when our phones switch to “Cellular at Sea” mode.


We then made our way back to the cabin so I could watch the Cubs play the Cardinals on ESPN. It was an excellent game as the Cubs beat the Redbirds 6-2.


After that, Jeannie and I walked back up to Deck 7 and watched an amazing lightening storm occurring thirty miles West of us.


All in all, it was a very delightful day.

Friday, August 8, 2008

It's football season?...

I can't believe football season is starting already.

Usually at this time of year I'm amped for football to begin. That's usually because the Cubs are playing awful and I just want baseball to be over with. With the Cubs playing so well I'm not as excited.

Don't get me wrong, I'm excited that football is starting up. I'm just not as excited as usual.

I also think that the prospect of spending another season dealing with Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton have worn on me a bit.

Bermuda is blazing hot today. It's normally pretty nice, but today it's downright uncomfortable.

I found a park with crazy fast internet. It's a beautiful little place.I've downloaded Project Runway for this week plus two other shows. Now, on Sunday I won't have to carry my laptop around.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Moving People...

Here are a few things you should know before you come to visit me on the boat. (And, you all should come and visit. Maybe I can even get you a deal if you come!)

There are lots of very fun shows to see. Second City has 3 great shows for you to see.

All the dancers are very tall. The girls are taller than the guys. None of them are shorter than 6'2".

There may or may not be a weekly poker game. The game is just for fun and no money is exchanged. However, the buy in is $10.00.

Sodas in the Crew Bar are $1.00. That's a better price than you can get at Jewel Osco! I don't drink alcohol, but I hear wine is $.75 a glass and Corona's are $1.50.

It's easy to sleep on the boat. As the ship rocks back and forth it's like you're in a baby cradle and sometimes it's hard to wake up in the morning. If you are used to sleeping 7 or 8 hours a night, on the boat you'll sleep 10. It's kind of dangerous. I've opened our port hole at night so the sun shines in in the morning. I've finally gotten back to a regular routine of sleeping 7 hours.

I'm running 3.1 miles 5-6 days a week.

The spa is great. I haven't been there yet, but Jeannie and Tim rave about it.There are some really nice restaurants on the ship. Cagney's and Salsa are my favorites.

If you come to watch one of my shows, be prepared to concentrate....hard.

That's not because the shows are complex, but because there are distractions...constant distractions!!!! It's like performing in front of a bee's nest. People are constantly moving. The Stardust show begins promptly at 9:00pm. The show usually ends at 9:50. Up until 9:45 the audience is still continuing to arrive to the theater.

If someone finds unclaimed seats, they will yell across the theater to the rest of their party that they have procured the seats. The rest of the party will proceed across the front of the stage to get their newly acquired seats. This may (WILL) happen while the show is going on. The music playing or the dialogue being spoken will not drown out the yelling as the people will always raise their volume to ensure they are being heard.

Also, there apparently aren't rules against saving seats. I saw one person saving 18 seats the other night. They had brought shirts, jackets and shoes from their cabin and placed them on each seat to reserve it.

There are packs of teenagers EVERYWHERE. It's the summertime so there are lots of families on board. The teenagers make friends on the first day and then they travel together in packs of 6 to 10 people. They aren't harmful. They're just bloody annoying. They're loud, they're obnoxious and their hormones are out of control.

If you come to visit me Tim Paul will assume you came to visit him and will instantly become your best friend. I probably will not see much of you because you'll be spending all your time with him.

Finally, please bring shoes with you. Apparently, most people on the cruise do not bring shoes on their vacation because they walk around barefoot everywhere. In the Garden Cafe, at they gym, in the Stardust Theater, in the bars, in the Casino, in the Cinema....everywhere!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Back to Bermuda...

Last week was a little different from most weeks in Bermuda.

First off, it rained. It never seems to rain in Bermuda. Rain is interesting in Bermuda. Rain is the only source for fresh water on the island. Because of that, all the homes collect water from their roof's and it goes into a tank built into the homes. That's why all the roof's all over the island look like this:
Also, the entire island was completely shut down Thursday and Friday because of the Bermuda Cub Match. The Cup Match is a Cricket Match between St. George Parish and Sommerset Parish. The two days are also official holidays in honor of the Emancipation of Bermuda Slaves in 1833.

So, for those two days nothing is open.

Because of that, we didn't get off the ship.

***

The Cubs are on ESPN tonight.

I'll be spending all day waiting for the game. It's like a holiday every time I get to see a full game.

On the ship we don't have very many channels. We have ESPN, CNN, FOX News, TNT and the Cartoon Network. Sometimes we have TCM, but that's not very often.

We have 2 movie channels that show movies for the passengers. The movies on those channels have been running for the last 6 weeks so I'm pretty sick of them. Here are the some of the movies that they show:

The Bank Job
Charlie Wilson's War
The Bucket List
Chronicles of Narnia
Penelope
Definitely, Maybe
Pirates of the Caribbean
Freedom Writers
Catch and Release

Those movies play everyday!!!

We also have 4 crew channels where they play movies for us in crew quarters. They mix those up a little more often. The other day I watched "The Messenger" for the first time. Last night before I went to bed they showed "Protocol" starring Goldie Hawn.
Never heard of it. That's because it was released in 1984.

Oh, also, yesterday we watched "Love's Enduring Promise" starring Katherine Heigel.Oh brother, it was bad, bad, bad. But, I watched the whole stupid thing because I was so starved to watch something new.