Sunday, March 30, 2008

Blowing in the Wind

When I booked the cruise, I forgot that you have to choose your dinner seating for the main dining room. There are so many people on the ship that they have to split them up into main seating and second seating (and this is three levels of dining room, to boot). By the time I remembered you have to do that, main seating was filled, so we were relegated to second seating, which means supper isn't until eight o'clock in the evening. Unless you specifically request your own table, you are seated with six or eight other people at a larger table. On our family cruise, we had some rather odd table mates; on another that I took with my sister, we were seated with a young married couple and a retired couple, he from the FBI, so the table talk was lively and interesting.

We were a little concerned about who we might end up supping with, as you can imagine. They turned out to be two ladies, about my age, friends who had their children, a nephew and a son's girlfriend, all from the Oklahoma City area. We got along famously the entire week. Even if they had been mutant face stuffers from hell, we still would have muddled through.

It was very windy out of Galveston, and the ship was doing some weird kind of roll-y things. Not nausea making so much, just, as one of our dinner mates pointed out, "It's really annoying." Nothing I had encountered on previous cruises.

I have been pushing my workouts, trying to lose some weight and get in shape for our backpacking/canoe trip to the Boundary Waters canoe area in July (more about that in upcoming months). I was determined not to be one of those people who gain 7-10 pounds during their cruise vacation. Yes, there is a lot of food, but that also means that at least half of it is healthy food. Thank God I like healthy food.

The ship has a large fitness center, and also offers yoga classes, pilates, stretching, and so forth. My favorite way to exercise on the ship, however, is just to walk around the deck. My daily walks are four miles, so that was my goal. That and taking the stairs up and down the 12 decks, rather than using the elevator. Getting lost repeatedly while trying to find our cabin probably added many miles, in addition.

So, on the deck, five laps is one mile. Cool, twenty laps around the deck. I started out. Nice, wind behind me, sunny, this is . . . wait, what just happened? I turned the corner and . . . I can't stand up! After a few moments to adjust, I carried on, although I have to say, it wasn't easy. I managed to make it around the end of the ship, so that the wind was at my back again, but each time I turned at the other end, I was face into it. I had seen on the ship news on the television in our cabin that the wind was blowing 27.9 knots. I didn't know what that meant. But I live in Oklahoma, how bad can a few knots be? But then, I remembered that the ship was going 26.9 knots straight into the 27.9 knot wind. I'm neither nautically nor mathematically inclined, but it felt like about 50-60 mph winds that I was walking into head on. It was tough, but I did it.

Of course, even in near gale force winds, you can't bitch and moan too much when you are walking on the deck of a ship looking at the most amazingly beautiful blue water all around you. Made even more stunning by the accents of the whitecaps. Whitecaps. You know, because of the stupid wind.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


When we (finally) arrived in Galveston and checked into our hotel, Jess was antsy to get down to the beach, which was only a block away. It's been six years since she's seen the ocean, and she was eager to get her feet wet.

A few hours later, the crazy "call me" boys from Texas stopped by the hotel room to say hello. They turned out to be three college kids from Dallas, who were just wrapping up their spring break. Very nice, polite and respectable young men.

The next morning, we headed for the pier, and Jess watched the luggage while I went to long term parking for the van, which cost about half what it cost to book the cruise. Okay, that's an exaggeration. Of course, they had to take a picture of us as we 'embarked' on our journey.

I feel ridiculously short. Anyway, we headed straight for the buffet, because we were ravenous, and our cabin wasn't ready yet. First face stuffing of the cruise. After we got into our room and got settled, we headed to the deck for a little pink drink with an umbrella and watched as we sailed away. We were really looking forward to this being our home for the next seven days.

Tomorrow: uh, define 'gale force' for me again.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


So I was on the computer this morning, checking e-mails and news stories, and I saw the following: "Miley Cyrus Seen Stuffing Her Face." I'm thinking, what fresh hell is this? I clicked on it and got the picture. Now, I just spent seven days on a cruise ship, and I think I know what stuffing your face looks like. And this ain't it. When you get to Popeater, go to Features on the left side, and click on Photo of the Day.

This is a teenage girl politely eating a french fry. I'm just saying.

Cruise posts begin tomorrow . . .

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Road Trip

Jess and I got up five-thirty to sixish this morning, picked up some lattes, and headed for Galveston. It was pretty much an ordinary road trip, changing radio stations when the static got too bad, okay traffic except for Dallas. Stopped for lunch a little late (because I wanted to get through Dallas) so we were starving and stuffed ourselves.

About two and a half hours north of Houston, we were in pretty heavy traffic, admiring a cute little irridescent purple bug, when Jess said, "Oh my gosh, look!" A big, black pickup truck had just passed us. Inside were three young cowboys, who were holding up a sign that said "Call me" with a phone number. We couldn't read it, so I sped up a little until we were side by side and Jessica put the number in her phone. Then she dialed it and 'Matt' answered. They introduced themselves, had a nice little conversation. She told him we were going to Galveston to go on a cruise, he told her they were going to a wedding in Houston and then on to Galveston later tonight. I was cracking up the whole time.

After she got off the phone, she texted her dad and told him about the phone number in the window. He texted back: "Did you moon them? It's spring break, after all." (I don't know what HE used to do, but I never mooned anyone on spring break.) She texted back: "Moon them? Hell no, I called them." Except when she sent it, it didn't go to her dad, it went to Matt, which she quickly realized. "Oh, NO!" By this time I am laughing so hard tears are running down my face. I think maybe we'd been in the car a little too long.

Anyway, Matt and his peeps are en route to Galveston and are going to stop by the hotel and say howdy. I guess you can never have too many crazy friends.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sailing Away

So, tomorrow morning, Jess and I are heading south to Galveston for an overnight stay before boarding a cruise ship Sunday morning. We are going to Grand Cayman, Montego Bay and Cozumel. Needless to say, we are pretty excited. I'd be more excited if I looked better in my bathing suit, but oh well.

I am hoping to get onto the computer while asea, but Royal Caribbean's version of nominal internet fee may quite well be vastly different than mine. So I may post once or twice this week, or I may wait until we get back, on Easter Sunday.

Having said that, here is the big news. Our son, Curtis, and the lovely Christina, are engaged. So now we have a future daughter-in-law/fiancee, who already feels like our daughter. We couldn't be happier!

Friday, March 07, 2008

All Tied Up

While writing my last post, I had one eye on the television, watching Rick Mitchell, who was telling me that a tornado was pretty much headed straight towards us. Fortunately, it met up with a cold front, which effectively murdered it before it arrived at our doorstep. I was completely distracted from the looming tornado, however, by Rick's necktie. It was striped, sort of Easter colors, very pretty, very long.

Now, I have had a theory about neckties for quite some time, so I Googled the history of them. They've been around a long time, since the early 1600s. Here are some necktie facts I found interesting.

1. The Windsor knot was named for the Duke of Windsor, although he didn't invent it or use it. He liked big, fat knots, but the way he got them was to use thicker fabric. My guess is that he never figured out how to tie a Windsor knot.

2. A necktie can be seen as a sign of membership, i.e. belonging to a certain school, or the military. Or the I Wish I Could Breathe Club.

3. In many hospitals, ties are thought to aid and abet the spread of disease, apparently since they are cleaned less than other articles of clothing. Doctors routinely lean across patients and their ties may brush them, pick up some nasty thing, and carry it to the next unsuspecting and trusting fool. I'm glad my doctor is a woman.

4. People in Iran do not wear ties because they believe them to be a decadent symbol of Western oppression. Really? That makes about as much sense as some of the other things they believe.

Okay, my theory is that they are part of the male mating ritual, designed to draw attention to certain parts of the anatomy. Think about it. They aren't comfortable, but they continue to be an important accessory in the average man's wardrobe. Because basically, they are one giant arrow pointing to . . . well, you get the picture. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Whose Side Are You On?

About half a dozen people have pointed out that I have been neglecting the blog. So, while I am keeping an eye on the television, waiting to see whether a tornado is going to materialize, I will remedy the situation.

The title of this post does not refer to the upcoming election. It has to do with a much deeper and more serious question. Which side of the bed is yours, and, is it necessary to even have a side?

Hubby doesn't think people need to have a side that they always sleep on. A chiropractor that we had in Wichita vindicated him by telling us that he made his wife switch sides every three months. To which I replied that his wife is nicer than I am. I also had a conversation with my current chiropractor, whose wife isn't a fan of sides. He, however, is of the opinion that not having a side is sheer insanity. Like hubby, his wife would have a difficult time prying his fingers from the sheets on HIS SIDE of the bed.

Having said that, we have mitigating circumstances. Hubby has something of a snoring problem some nights. What bothers me about it is that he stops breathing and I know that isn't good for him. What I used to do is to gently roll him over onto his side and he would stop. Apparently, I wasn't rolling as gently as I thought, or else he just plain didn't like it. Because one night, after I did it, a very digruntled voice pierced the darkness. And it said, "I could be in my coffin and you'd be rolling me onto my side!" Gee, Honey, why don't you say what you really mean?

So, the next time he was holding his breath, I got out of bed, went over to his side and got in. Which caused him to turn on his side so he could snuggle. Which turned out to be a better solution. I can never stay on his side of the bed for long. We have adjustable mattresses, and, after while on his, my ribs start to hurt and I have to go back to the sane side of the bed where the firmness of the mattress is adjusted correctly.

So, we seem to have made peace with our sides of the bed and what to do with a snoring spouse. Which is good, because our last resort is a bedroom like Lucy and Ricky had. Nobody wants that.