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Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Okay, we kind of didn't go to Portofino. It required a tender through what looked like a tidal bore. We had been on two shore excursions in a row, and had one scheduled for Pisa, after which we had to disembark in Rome. So we took a little break and called it a day at sea.

Here's some of what we could see from the ship.

Here's some of what we did instead of going ashore:

We also had our hot stone and bamboo oil (or whatever) massage that day, and I would definitely do that again.

That night was Suede's performance. Most people who know me know I really hate listening to a vocalist. I can do it myself, for one thing, and for another, it sounds like cats fucking. Shows like American Idol baffle me. But because Joyce likes some vocalists and I wanted to be a good sport and a good spouse, I had agreed to go. Suede also plays trumpet and piano and is almost bearable, because she chooses the right songs for our age range. So imagine my surprise when she said she'd rather go to bed early and read for a while! Hallelujah!

The previous night's "entertainment" after the barbecue we skipped in favor of escargot, had been the deck party, I guess. As usual, the DJ was in the lounge at 10 PM, our signal to disappear, so I got out of yet another night of not very entertaining headliners. I love the comics. I like when the combos play music we can dance to before dinner. I don't even mind if the vocalist sings some of the songs we're dancing to. But to just listen to someone howl is not my idea of a good time. I realize I'm in a tiny minority here, but some sounds, especially high-pitched ones (like The View) really get on my nerves.

The other entertainer we enjoyed was Michele Balan, who does standup and this time covered being Jewish, lesbian and aging. She was great. But we did make a mistake on the night out of St Tropez by going to the "Oldy/ Newlyweds Game." This is always about sex, but that's not the problem. The questions are always the same. What sound does she make? Where's the most bizarre place? What's the biggest lie you ever told her? and so on. The problem comes with who they pick to play. They audition couples in the right anniversary ranges and get two couples married less than five years, and two married at least 20 years.

Now on this ship, almost everyone was over forty, but who cares? You can be on a second or subsequent marriage in that age range and so still be a newlywed. But no, they had to screw up and find a truly, really young, shy couple who were on their honeymoon, and who weren't sophisticated enough yet to either stand up to the MC or play along. They just sat there and the MC wasted what seemed like hours trying to drag outrageous answers out of them, when there were none to be had. It was such an awful bore, and so just like the last five iterations we saw of the game. I was just kicking myself halfway through that I hadn't remembered this is what always happens. Of course the longest-married and most senior couple (55 years) won, and we were glad, but I'd rather watch a dentist work without anaesthesia than see that again.

The next night, after Pisa, was Karen WIlliams, who did aging, lesbian and black jokes. We don't like her; she's cranky, but her material is good and topical and very honest. I guess I can see why she would BE cranky as an aging Black lesbian. I'm cranky and just a whitemeat fat person myself. But I know this about myself and just take extra Prozac (authorized by my doctor) if I have to deal with the public. So, a word to the wise: St John's Wort if you don't already take anti-depressants.

So now maybe I can get away with just one blog about Pisa! We'll see. Anyway, here's some more ship art.

Joyce took the first one. The others are scattered around the ship.

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