Tuesday, October 31, 2006

first word from the high seas

Attention from the high seas!

So this is the first test of my new portable keyboard. Out on the airy deserted deck 4 (teak wood decks but plastic lawn chairs), Lucy and I have found a secluded place to lounge. Here we may have a dream setup for writing or sleeping or staring at the ocean. And I may have found an ideal work setup: a ThinkOutside keyboard and a Treo 650 and a $700 million cruise ship.. I'm willing to give it a try.

Okay, let’s have a look at this cruise thing: First, the bad. Carnival ain't Holland-America (my only other cruise experience), despite being owned, I believe by the same parent company. There's fat, there’s plastic, there’s “for the masses,” it seems like to me. HA had teakwood furniture, more peaceful settings (at least I remember them that way) and less of a rock and roll mentality. there are a lot of people on this boat. A LOT. I Don’t know how many, but I'm guessing over 2000. i try to find sort of forgotten corners (right now I’m watching a lady walk and walk and walk down the breezeway, maybe looking for the same thing as me; and and and.... there—she got to the end and turned around. I was kind of hoping that she would have disappeared around some hidden corner. I'm looking for hidden corners. Still, our vantage point today is one of tucked-away-edness. The ocean rolls by, there's no Jamaica-mon music or extremely aggressive drink servers trying quite as hard to hand you an umbrella drink as a Hari Krishna tries to hand you a daisy (the Hare Krishna doesn’t want 8.50 charged to you room though). Now some of the good stuff: It’s pretty damned relaxing by any human measure. The room, like a kind of cocoon, has no windows and that's just fine. Aside from not knowing even remotely what time of day it is or what the weather is like, it's a dream dream dream land of quietude and calm. Of course, it's not advised to stay in the cabin the duration of a cruise, I guess. What else—they have this egg thing that I've got to get into. I mean literally, get into. It's in the spa area. (I will not—I repeat, not—be getting on a treadmill or doing any sort of exercise based on this one rule: If there are exercise shoes involved, I will not do it. Simple enough, right? In other words, if sandals are involved, it's okay. I guess I'm really talking about yoga here. I'll do yoga, but only if I can decide to get up at 8am. And why exactly would I do that? I'm trying to underachieve here. Thus, writing may seem like a contradiction, but the way it's laid out, i just have a keyboard in my lap and I just type. A sort of stream of consciousness. maybe you could call it a typing meditation. Live update: Just now, Lucy and I have taken notice of a guy that I first called "Tai Chi Man," who is down the breezeway about 50 yards and is doing some exercises in his street clothes. He's Asian, so I decide that it's Tai Chi, but I don't really know that. I've never actually done Tai Chi before, but I sometimes pretend to do it. This fellow has gone into this one routine that might be called "the Tai Chi ritualistic smoothing of the hair.” I don't think there's any vanity involved; it might be more of meditative scalp massage, I think. repeatedly running both hands through the hair from front to back, over and over. Now that's my kid of exercise. I think it's about time for an umbrella drink. Today’s special looked milky and delicious and deeply steeped in alcohol. Kind of a Strawberry Quik with booze. Also, more than likely, there’s a nap in my near future. Really that’s a basic truth of the cruise experience. There see this writing has reminded me of what I already knew to be important: napping, drinking and, um, what was the third thing?

Pictures are coming. Captions are unlikely, due to some technical limitations...

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