Thursday, October 29, 2009

i'm tired of waiting to upload photos.

so here is the last batch for now... I hope they come through okay. This is Brisbane, land of the cranes that didn't get published before...

The top pic is Cable Beach in Broome.

Ants. and an Uncle.

So these things in the trees are ant houses. They look like the tent worms in NC, only they are teeming with these bright green-butted ants. I was watching on TV, and they said that if you squeeze these ant houses, you get a green liquid from them, which you can drink and it tastes like lemonade. I didn't try it. But i thought, "Hey, if I get stranded in the outback, I know what I can drink!" If I could just get past the ant heads and legs in my lemonade.

more pics, I hope.

The internet connection is so spazzy. It takes forever to upload photos, and even then, when I go to publish them, they don't come through. Go figure. Technology.


This is part of Port Douglas. We ate lunch at a place called Soul-n-Pepper. I had amazing fish spring rolls.

An original piece of artwork I saw in a store. Gorgeous.

The witches' Broome!!

Broome is amazing! Beautiful. Went to Cable Beach, hung out with James and Ben, and had a close encounter with a blue bottle jellyfish... yes, this is one of the deadly ones. Not to worry, mom... I just got close to it, but not close enough to touch it. Okay, I lie. I touched it, but not the stinging part. I'll even post a pic of it, because believe it or not, it was quite beautiful. The water temperature was probably in the high 80's, and felt like bath water, no kidding. I went swimming for the first time in ages, and it was well worth the effort, not to mention the hot lifeguards. The rest of the gang went camel riding down the beach, but I passed on it, trying to save money. No regrets, though. I am saving my money to go skydiving with the gang in New Zealand. How many people can you honestly say you know who have done that? It will be my Christmas present to myself. It's really amazing how quickly money goes here. Everything is really crazy expensive. A pizza at the restaurant we went to today was over 20 bucks. I ended up having french fries, and that alone was 6. Yucky on the money deal.

Came back to the ship, had dinner in the Horizon. Had orange roughy and some veggies. It was good, but the apple pie for dessert was atrocious. What i wouldn't give for a good old fashioned piece of apple or cherry pie!

Have yet to eat in the dining room... not sure why I haven't yet. Maybe because I have to get all dressed up to be seen outside my cabin, and I really don't want to get all gussied up just to go possibly spill cold soup on myself. Oh, the dilemma of living on a cruise ship!

The new girl is great. She has a great personality, and is a decent dancer as well. She evens out the American to Brit ratio... she's from Missouri. We open with our new cast day after tomorrow.

Tomorrow is the Halloween party that the dancers are hosting. I have no idea what we are doing for decorations, as no one yet again seems to know what the heck is going on. Communication is something to be desired here. I was originally going to go to our party as Jonah from Summer Heights High, an hysterical sitcom/mockumentary on Aussie TV here. It is absolutely a kick in the pants funny show. Paul and the gang would absolutely love it, as one of the characters is a high school drama teacher. Very funny. I bought the DVD set while I was in Sydney last, and just laugh until i cry watching it. Check it out on youtube...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Princess Cruise Lines...

where the left and right meet and no one has any idea what the hell is going on.

Darwin today. The cast is hosting the Halloween party (that not many Aussies celebrate) and so it was my duty to get off the ship today and go buy candy and supplies. The rest of the cast had a Coast Guard Drill, so I was the only one who could get off the ship, as I have passenger status...or do I?

I went to get off the ship, the coast guard drill hadn't yet happened, so I thought all was well. I go to the gangway, and am immediately stopped by the security guy who tells me I can't get off the ship. I tried to explain that I am a guest entertainer and that I don't have any crew drill duties, and that I have passenger status. Well, of course, this isn't good enough, so he has to make a phone call to someone "in the know". Wait. Wait. Wait. The page is returned. In foreign language I hear "Ping pong, ping pong, dabba dabba ping pong ramalamading dong passenger status, guest entertainer, ping pong ping pong, you get the idea. Hangs up. No, I can't get off yet. That person has to check with another person. Wait. Wait. Wait. This happens four times. FOUR TIMES! Oy holy mother of god! Finally, I am allowed to get off the ship. Forty five minute trip to downtown Darwin. I find the Woolworth's. Spend way too much on party supplies, most of it candy... not to worry, Dad, I get reimbursed. Mission accomplished. Forgot my camera, so no pics of Darwin.

So how do I explain Darwin... what's the word? Um. Flat.

Flat, dry, with ant hills the size of my niece. I crap you negative. These suckers are huge! I can only imagine the size of the ants that live in them.

And that's the story, folks. Darwin is... flat. Flat and dry. But very wet during the rainy season, apparently. Up to three meters of rain. That's aussie talk for about 9 feet. Damn, that's a lotta rain.

More later, as my internet card is about to expire. More pics coming. Miss you all.

Oh... I finished the play! I even managed to get it sent off to the powers that be. And I made my deadline. I even submitted it early! By four days!

Happy Halloween, everyone. I'll try to write again soon.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

If you aren't late, you're Airlie!

In Airlie Beach today. Had a ten am rehearsal for the Country show, which we do tomorrow... can you say matinees suck? It went better than I thought it would, though. My voice is a little ragged from the Piano Man shows over the past few days, but hopefully by tomorrow things will be back to normal.

So, Airlie Beach was awesomely beautiful. You know, I could definitely come back and do Australia again, this time for longer. A few short hours in town is way too short. Airlie Beach is a beach town (!) but because we are in killer jellyfish season, no one swims in the ocean! They all go to the man made lagoon, which is kind of a bionic wading pool for adults and tots. It reminded me of the resorts the you find in Mexico, with pools covered with walking bridges, and tons of people. I didn't swim, as I don't have a swimsuit, but I sat and watched the pretty (and not os pretty) boys and girls frolic in the water. Walked around a bit, ate at McDonalds, you know gotta try the local fare. It was delish! Some of the best french fries I have ever had... save Cancun, Mexico.

Finally got online, but for some reason, none of my photos want to be posting. I will try again soon. I took some great pics from the last couple of ports and I want to share them with everyone, but the wireless internet aboard is so sketchy.

So. Things are going well. Better, anyway. I made up with my company manager who wasn't speaking to me because of our little disagreement, but things are patched over and back to normal. She's great, and I didn't realize she was in so much stress, as am I. Ah well.

Gotta get to work on the play. Only ten days until the due date. UGH! I hope it comes together.

My love to all, and please keep thinking about me! Wish I could send postcards to everyone, but time and money doesn't allow for it. Besides, I never know if they get there anyway. Port Douglas in a couple days, to see all 968 residents! Wow. Maybe I will go kite surfing. Maybe I will get eaten by a giant box jellyfish. Maybe I will get sunburned to a crispy potato chip-like texture and have to be medically disembarked and fed to the sharks.

Love you guys!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009 of the cranes.

Here are some of the pics of Brisbane. Land here only starts out at 4 million dollars... imagine that! Did i mention that one of our tenders got stuck in the mud? It was kinda funny. I don't remember where we were, but I had had a dream that the ship ran aground... little did I know it was the tenders instead. Too many people who ate too many desserts,I guess.

New Cruise... Newcastle and Brisbane

I don't know what happened to the old castle, but the new one is beautiful. Newcastle is really very pretty. We got in on Sunday, and there was a huge street fair. Ben, Ross, and I got caught up in a parade of some sort... there were people marching behind a school band, so we thought we would join right in. Turned out to be a march for the People with Retardation. We felt honored to be part of it.

The street fair was fun. Ben got some authentic Aussie licorice and a hat. I got a "best burger in town" which consisted of a hamburger smothered in onions and cheese. And yes, Michael, I tried it. Ended up scraping the onions off, but I did try it. Also got some fresh cut chips (fries) and it reminded me of the days in Prince Edward Island with Buds Spuds truck... they were awesome. Ate them out of a wrapped piece of newspaper. Amazing.

We also got saluted by an antique gun mount on the top of some hill in Newcastle. As we pulled out of port, the gun fired on us three times. It missed. Oh yeah, they were shooting blanks. Hate it when that happens. I got some video of it, so i will try to post that as well... the internet works sometimes on here, but not always. Never know when it will or won't.

I got new shoes!!! In Sydney. My old converse high tops finally wore out. I had seen a pair when we first got into Sydney, but the shop was closed by the time I found them. I made my way alone back to the store, and they were no longer in the window. I was disappointed. So, I went inside, and there they were like the shining beacon of shoe-dom. I got them. They cost too much, but I like them. They better last longer than the converse high tops. I will post a picture of them.

In other news, we got our ratings from the first cruise. 84.something. Not very good if you ask me. I am used to getting over 90. I was also in major conflict with our line captain who told me I was not doing a good enough job. Of course, she told me this right before a show, so I was a nervous wreck during the show that followed. It was the first time in over 30 years of performing that my artistic integrity was attacked.

So. Things I have learned so far on this cruise:
1. There is a difference between learning words and learning rhythms.
2. Sunshine on my forehead does not make me happy.
3. Gossip is still evil. Especially when it comes from women.
4. I still don't like onions.

Sea day tomorrow. We are doing a reblock of Country because Nicole was sent home. Her ankle never got well enough to put her back in the show, so she was medically disembarked. It really sucks. They waited to do an x-ray until the day before she got off. WTF is that all about? Shouldn't that be the FIRST thing you do when you have an ankle injury so you know what you are treating?

Remind me never to twist my ankle on a ship.

Brisbane is gorgeous. One of the cleanest cities I have ever seen. It is set on either side of the Brisbane River, and you take a water taxi to get to and from town. Amazing. The weather was perfect, though I did get sunburned on my forehead and nose...but the day was incredible. I was supposed to go frolick with the koalas, but Ben and I missed the bus. We were on the water taxi coming from town, with plenty of time to spare, mind you, and then they decided to disembark everyone from the taxi (one stop away, mind you) and then re-embark everyone so the taxi could refuel. It was the re-embarking that made us late. As we ran toward the parking lot where the buses were, ours was just pulling away. Ah well. Live and learn, I guess.

So we ate at a Portuguese place called Nando's... it was incredible! i had this amazingly tender chicken breast, smothered in a lemon and herb sauce, but not too much... with just the right amount of spice to make it tingle in your mouth. Just yummy. Can't wait to have it again. Okay, time for pictures... enjoy.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

More from Samoa... American.

Just take a look at these pics, and when you think your life is bad, remember how it can be taken away in the blink of an eye. Very sobering today. My heart goes out to all who are suffering from the tsunami. It was an amazing thing to see, and I was filled with so many different emotions. The locals, though in mourning, were so grateful for our being there. They were so friendly and nice.

Friday, October 9, 2009

May I please have Samoa?

Five sea days. Yuck. But, another show down, and only one more to go! Managed to learn all the words to yet another show... sorta. What I didn't know, I sure made up quickly. Tribute is not my favorite of the shows. It is the one with Vogue in it... outdated, boring, and overall a waste of money in my opinion.

We were in Samoa today. Headed to Pago Pago tomorrow. Not much happening in Samoa. I got off the ship around 3:30, and walked to town, only to find that everything was closed due to the huge memorial service being held for the southern part of the island hit by the tsunami. The ship took ashore tons of clothes from the crew and passengers, and so it felt good to be part of their rebuilding. The memorial service took place on the entire island, and there was a procession of hundreds of cars and trucks (I think they were carrying coffins, I didn't watch it) down the main street. All the flags are at half mast, and it is a sad little island. Beautiful, but sad.

Tomorrow we take production photos at 11am. We had to rewrite our bios because someone in the home office lost the other ones, so that was an inconvenience. I don't know why we even have them if they are trying to conserve paper, why do they bother to print programs?

Speaking of conservation, the ship is on water restrictions, as we did not top off our tanks in Samoa or any of the rest of the ports we will be visiting. Makes for an interesting cruise. Conserving water... and they ran out of catsup! What's up with that? French fries just don't work with cocktail sauce, let me tell you. Ugh. Note to self... buy a bottle of Heintz in Sydney.

Very homesick these last few days. There have been a lot of "pairings up" happening, and it makes me feel kind of alone out here. But I have my books, my computer, and the script I am writing... which is not cooperating with me at the moment. I can't find the direction I want to go. It's like I can see where I want it to go, but getting there is a tough challenge. There are way too many loose ends to be tied up. Trying to do this and the shows at the same time has also been a challenge. But it will come. I mean, I have a deadline of November 1st to get the script in, so it has to get done.

Missing you all... sending postcards tomorrow via "tin can mail" whatever that is. Gaby, that is something for you to look up and do some research on.

Love ya!

Monday, October 5, 2009

What Do You Do With A Drunken Sailor?

Well, I don't know either... but there are plenty of them out tonight. We had our second night of Shimmy, and afterward there was a crew party on deck 14 aft... the Sundowners Bar, I think it is called. I had my coca cola and sat and watched everyone else have a good time and see how when alcohol is added to the mix of homesick folk and beer goggles, how even those already taken seem to let that slide and go ahead with their flirting. Odd. I don't know... glad I wasn't drinking, but there is a part of me that wishes I could let my hair down like that and just have a good time. In the long run, it is better that I don't.

The show went well last night, and tonight also. I don't think I like doing the shows four times, because the house is almost always empty the second night of shows. Maybe if we only did one show the second night it would be better attended. I'm not in charge, so I can only offer the suggestion.

Our next show is day after tomorrow, and it is the one that I am having the most difficulty with learning the words. There are three songs that are tough in particular... Little Deuce Coupe, One For My Baby, and Birth of the Blues...okay, add Once In My Lifetime to that as well. I guess I just don't really see myself as the Sammy Davis Jr. type. Go figure. Maybe if I had a glass eye it would make things better.

We have the crossing of the equator ceremony again tomorrow. Should be fun. Wonder who I will get to spill chocolate sauce over this time. Last time it was several of the cadets on board, and several passengers as well. I don't recommend it as you end up smelling like chocolate sauce and whipped cream and jello for days afterward. All in fun, though.

Nicole is healing. It will be good to have her back in the shows. She is optimistic about getting better. The doctor on board who is something of a Nazi, gave her ten days to get better. Yesterday it was a week, but apparently Nicole is healing quickly, so they are giving her to the end of the cruise it seems.

I wish they had better movies on board. Last night it was Saw V of all films. Talk about shlock. That and Transformers 2 (sorry, Curt). Hmm.... maybe we will get some new ones on in Sydney in a couple weeks. I am hoping to buy a new pair of shoes in Sydney, not that anyone really cares about my buying new shoes at all, but I saw a pair in a store window that was really cool, and I want to go get them when I am there next. If I do, you know where the pictures will be posted. They are really cool, and the store was closed when I was there last, so I was unable to get them then.

Have not been getting much done on my new script for RLT... I have been trying to learn the words to every freaking verse of Little Deuce Coupe... yuck.

I will post more later. I miss you all at home, and please know that I am thinking about everyone. Homesick sailor here.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Dancer down!!!

So our first day without the creative team down our necks, and already we have an injury. We were doing another dress rehearsal of Shimmy, which we open tomorrow, and Nicole, one of our dancers twisted her ankle while trying to maneuver offstage in a blackout. It was honestly next to impossible. The stage is on four levels, and there is glowtape, but you can't tell where one level starts and the next one begins, or how steep the steps are. Needless to say, she is out of the show tomorrow and for at least a week. If she is not on her feet again within a week, she will be put off the ship.

In other news, I have finally gotten some inspiration for my new play that I am writing! It took forever, but it is finally going to have some shape that not only will please the commissioning party, but will be fun for me to write as well. It is still based on the original idea that my staged reading had, but now it has a more universal appeal, I think. I like it, anyway. We will see. If I can write at least 10 pages per day, it will be done in a little over a week.

So we are heading toward Samoa. The captain told us earlier that we were still planning on stopping, as the port was not damaged too much. There is more damage on the Southern side of the island. We are going to the Northern side, I guess. We will see. I think it is cruel and somewhat tacky for both the islanders and the cruise ship patrons to stop there at all, but I am not the big corporation who runs off the money of the wealthy and want to be rich.

It like "Hey, let's go see the poverty and the destruction as a tourist spot!" Just doesn't work for me. I am heartbroken by the devastation we are seeing on the TV, and I only hope and pray that all those missing are somewhere better than here on earth.

I have some other pictures to post, and I hope you enjoy them. They are of Hawaii.