Sunday, May 28, 2006

A major costume malfunction, an expensive present, and the best-est birthday ever! - May 28, 2006

Presenting.......... a three-fold post.

~ ~ ~
A major costume malfunction...
~ ~ ~
I just got put into the Billy Joel number "Only the Good Die Young," a fast and furious dance with us in sparkly tops and huge and heavy golden skirts.

The piece is fun and technically challanging at times, so it's really enjoyable. Well, I had a little too much fun that night, apparently.

The whole piece was going well. I was hitting my turns and blocking nicely, for the second time I've done it, ever, when, near the VERY end, I do a tour (to-ur, verb: a turning jump in the air) and I circle my arms around, and clip the front button on that heavy, gold skirt. (Oh yes, did I mention that some brilliant costume designer decided to keep these skirts on with BUTTONS? Yeah. Great)

thrrrrrrip!!!!!! My skirt whirrled off of me in one fell swoop.

And ironically, my two best friend on board, Ryan and Anglea, were RIGHT in front of me to see it all.

(I'll never live THAT down...)

But they said I ran off stage gracefully, at least. I don't quite remember what I did, to be honest. I just bolted.

Matt, my partner, ran off stage after me. He found me doubled over laughing in the wings. "Aren't you gonna put it back on?" He asked, breathlessly.

No. Way.

But the show must go on, so I changed into the next section's costume (Stevie Wonder) and danced like nothing had happened.

~ ~ ~
An expensive present
~ ~ ~
I've never been one to buy myself birthday present. Daddy always does that. He buys himself that radial saw he's always wanted, wraps it, and addresses it to himself, from us.


So, this year, I took a few pages from his book.

I found this BEAUTIFUL antique necklace at an antique store in Galveston that made my heart stop. An original, from the 30's or 40's my friend at the store said. I had to think about it for a week, but I said if it was there next Sunday, it was meant to be mine.

And what did you know? It sure was.

I didn't wear it until the 26th, though, so that was good of me...

But what I did next wasn't.

I will NOT under ANY circumstances reveal the price of this, my most expensive birthday present... but let's just say it made Levi speechless for a moment...

I finally got myself a digital underwater camera.


Ok, here's my logic. I live ON THE OCEAN. I'm in the water EVERY WEEK. And I'll be diving FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

That being said, it's an amazing camera.

8 megapixels, complete manual control of shutter speed, apature, exposure, etc... and you can take it out of the casing (which is HUGE since it's designed to go to 120 ft!) and it's a tiny little thing when it's out.

Anyway, it's my largest semi-impulse buy (if you can count something I've wanted for 2 years now an impulse...) and I couldn't be happier.

My bank account on the other hand is hurtin' to say the least....

~ ~ ~
The best-est birthday ever (The only thing missing was all of YOU Orlando people! THEN it would have been the most perfect-est birthday ever!)
~ ~ ~
It started innocently enough. I put my birthday plans up on my now-infamous whiteboard. (I'm like the Excursions Desk for the Dancers. I plan all of our little outings now. Fun with a capital F!)

Playa Mia during the day (a beach in Cozumel) then the Windjammer for dinner (a passenger area restraunt) and then Viking Crown at night (the disco on board).

To be honest, I kinda just expected the dancers to come. I invited everyone from the Captain down to come, but you know, they all say "Yeah, we'll be there!" and then don't show up.

Well, that didn't happen.

Most everyone I invited came to one of those three events.

So. Much. Fun.

The morning was great, people jumping on me, running into my room screaming birthday wishes. Chris, my shopping guide boss, got both Judy and I (her bithday was the 23rd) bubble blowers, which we made great use of at the beach.

Playa Mia was goregous. We went snorkling, played volleyball, ate great Mexican food, and a real-live mariachi band sang Happy Birthday to me! Then, we tackled the ice berg.

Now, you wouldn't think Mexico would be famous for ice bergs, but these are legendary.

They're inflatable.

And way too much fun.

But ANYWAY, we all piled on top of this one and took hilarious pictures. I even got a ride into the beach from the rescue boat! (How I talked him into that I'll never remember... but it was funny at the time)

After the beach, we all took disco naps (what my sister calls it when you sleep before you go out. -Again, in our cases) and then dragged ourselves out of bed to the Windjammer. The WHOLE cast was there (except Franchesco, who slept... he was on the bad list for a little bit...) and we took some great pictures. Ryan even arranged for the kitchen to make me a cake! (A feat which took him most of the morning to accomplish!!) Then everyone sang to me again and we feasted on the beautiful, and delicious, cake!

Then, another quick disco nap, before the main event... the Viking Crown! This was where everyone who was working during the day ended up showing up. SO many people were there, and we had SO much fun taking hilarous pictures and dancing the night away to 80's music. Drew, our cruse director (and kinda my boss) even came and took me to the Solarium for pizza! (Usually a big no-no, but with Drew, everything's A-OK!)

Eventually, I made it back to bed for the longest disco nap ever...

And recovered for most of the next day.


Who knew turning 23 could be so tiring?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Pictures, finally.... (Thanks Angelo!) - May 21, 2006

Alrighty, there has been a demand for pictures, so here you go...

This is my "home" for the next few months... pretty, no?

This is my cast! We're in costume for our Finale in Piano Man. We dance to "City Rhythm," a Barry Manilo song.

This is from the first time we ate in the Windjammer, a passenger cafe. Usually we're not allowed to eat there unless we get special permission, but when we have a show while the Crew Mess (that's where we eat and yes, it is as bad as it sounds...) is closed. So Piano Man days, we get to eat there. This was back when we were all excited about that. Now, I rarely go because you have to be in uniform, wear a nametag, and look nice for food that's not that much better than the Crew Mess anyway.

These pictures go back in time a little bit. This was our first day departing from Galveston. We were all really excited and happy to be on board.

This is a composite I made of my goregous friend Gareth. We had a little mini photoshoot one day for our bios that run before each show, and Gareth and Kristen and I stayed after for our own little photoshoot. (I love photography, and all my friends here are just so beautiful, it would be a waste not to take pictures of them!

This is Kristen's composite. These are just mock-ups of what a real composite would look like. In a real composite, however, the inset pictures would be different "looks," like casual, fashion, glam, etc. This was just for fun. I showed the cast, though, and now everyone wants one!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

A date with myself - May 20, 2006

So, in between dancing (also known as "work." haha, riiiight) and having a generally good time, Saturdays strike.

And they stink.

Saturday is the last day of the cruise. It's a sea day, 'cause we're hauling tail from Cozumel to Galveston, and therefore there's NOTHING to do.

I kid you not.

Laundry looks FUN on a Saturday.

Nathan and I were discussing canceling all Saturdays all together... but we decided we like them when we're not on board, and it would generally mess with the entire world order as we know it (calendar companies would go under, the economy would fail, etc. etc.) so we decided against it.

But anyway, on top of such a boring day, I got some bad news last night. Levi can't come visit on Tuesday when we're in Key West. It's Judy's birthday that day, and my birthday is three days after that (the 26th), AND Levi and my one year anniversary is the day after THAT (the 27th).

And I won't get to see him.

And I don't know when I will again, since we only go to Key West every other week.

In reality, I probably won't see him until August.


So I was really sad, and cried a bit last night and this morning (Pride and Prejudice was on, which didn't help. Darn romantic movies...) so after languishing in bed for a bit in my own little pity party, I got up and asked myself out on a date.

I do this every once in a while. I go to a place alone and do whatever would make me happy. Once I took myself to the beach and photographed all of the jellyfish that had washed up on the shore, then treated myself to ice cream. (My dates usually involve sweets and photography... two things that make me very happy)

Anyway, I went to Deck 5 where it's open to the sea and pulled up a chair. It was a beautiful blue day and the sea was rolling by quite happily. I read my book, (Excellent book, by the way. Daddy sent it to me. It's about evolutionary psychology, which is basically evolution applied to psychology. ..... Yeah, you can say it. I'm a nerd.) wrote in my journal, and took pictures of the ship and the sapphire blue water around me.

Oh, and I treated myself to Ben and Jerry's, of course. =)

So, feeling much better, I decided to look at my situation a little differently. Instead of being super sad about Levi not coming (which I still am a little) I saw it as an opportunity to hang out with my very good ship-friends, especially Judy, the birthday girl, and have a great time in Key West with all of them, because in ten weeks, this life that I've really become accustomed to (and actually sort of love?!?!) is going to come to an end, whether I'm ready for it or not...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Dunn River Falls: DONE! - May 18, 2006

Oh boy.

Where do I even begin???

Well, at first, we all hated Jamaica. It's sketchy, to say the least. There's people with no legs or arms (not at the same time, of course) begging for change, there's children tugging at your sleeves for quarters, there's apparently hookers and drug dealers, but they didn't talk to me. (They bothered the boys instead... fruitless, naturally, since all my guy friends on board are gay.)

Last time we were there two weeks ago we walked around and quickly got back on board. But we heard that it's more fun if you plan an excursion, so, being the little Student Government girl that I am, I wrote on my whiteboard outside my room (now known as Selena's Excursions) that we were going, and a group of 10 congregated in our hallway later that day.

We headed to Dunn River falls, Catherine, Matt, Kelly, Franchesco, Stacey, Mike, Matt (another one!) Jerry, Xavier and I, and had a great cab driver named Wilson, a true Jamaican. Every time we asked him to take e a picture of us, he would say every stereotypical Jamaican thing in the book. "Arie, ya mon, no problem, Jamaica, Cheeseburger in Paradise!" We cracked up every time.

The falls were AMAZING! We held hands in a long chain and navigated our way up slippery rocks and cascading water, and only fell a couple of times! We got tired of staying in line with older, slower people, so we moved into the middle of the falls and goofed off most of the time, screaming "Rhapsody of the Seas!" and "Reblock of the Seas!" (The dancers loving nickname for the ship, at this point) over and over. We were that obligatory loud, fun, young crowd that everyone else in the group laughs at but secretly hates. haha.

The best part was, we got it all on DVD! They had a cameraman with our group the whole time and filmed every funny moment, from Franchesco putting his leg in a hole, to us posing for the camera, to the biggest waterfight of all time- we have it all! We all chipped in and got one to copy for everyone and watched it that night. Hilarious.

After the excitement of the falls, we went to Margaritaville, which once we were inside, made me forget I was in Jamaica and think I was in Key West! There was a school field trip (yes, school field trip... in a bar...) of 5th or 6th graders, and the DJ put on a little dancing contest for them and let me tell you- I've never seen children move like this! (And I'm not sure I ever want to again!) They were doing things adults wouldn't' do in clubs! I guess it's part of the culture here, but it was entertaining, which I guess was the point.

Then, after a lovely meal and wonderful Margarita, Mike, Catherine, and eventually Matt found the slide and the pool that was contained within Margaritaville (yes, the slide went OVER the bar!) and went down the twisty waterslide in every way possible. We felt like we were 12, but it was so fun. We went face first, head first, feet first in a train, backwards in a train, and then Mike and Matt would go first, stop somewhere in the tube, and then Catherine and I would come barreling down and slam in to them, then try to climb back up the tube, only to slip and slide back down in whatever position we ended up in, ending up in the pool in one big pile of singers and dancers at the end. Again, hilarious. (As I'm sure it was for everyone watching us too.)

So, now we like Jamaica. At least the falls and the Margaritaville part of it...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Great Address Exchange of Ought Six - May 16, 2006

So, as we all know....
I'm in the middle of the ocean.

Things get a little boring around here once in a while.

And my birthday is in 10 days.

Therefore, everyone's been asking for my address, so here it is.

Selena Moshell
2109 Post Office St. #025
Galveston, Tx. 77550

Send me random stuff and I'll send you some stuff too.

'Cause there's really not much else to do out here....

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Phillipino Mafia - May 15, 2006

Funny things happen to me every day.

But the rate of hilarity seems to speed up when Nathan's around.

Case in point: The Phillipino Mafia.

Phillipinos make up the majority of the crew on board. Therefore, the joke is that they run the ship.

(And the real joke is that it's not a joke at all. They really do.)

Anyway, the Phillipinos on board, like to speculate as to whether I am Chinese, Phillipino, Japanese, Thai... the list goes on and on. They like to believe I'm Phillipino somehow, and sometimes send me interesting Phillipino dishes while we're all eating dinner. (Once they sent over some shiny chicken legs... and even though I tried to explain my vegetarian tendancies, they insisted I take it. So I did. And handed them out to my friends.)

At any rate, I'm kind of a big deal around here. (Haha, just kidding. Anchorman was on TV last week. Hilarious)

So I'm kind of the mystery girl- is she Phillipino, is she Chinese, but she's American, right?

And as a result, I get stared at. A lot.

This is compounded by the fact that I'm a girl.

And this usually angers any guy I'm walking with. (And rightfully so!)

Ryan has taken to walking behind me when guys stop in the hall to watch me walk by.
Matt mutters under his breath about how he'd like to get his hands on those guys one day and.... well, you get the idea.

And Nathan, well, Nathan takes it to the next level.

"WHAT are you STARING at?" He shouted at them one night. "It's RUDE!" He laid it out for them.

I ran away embarassed, but cracking up.

Other times, he's suggested to them: "Take a PICTURE! It'll last longer!" and that I should just hand out my headshots as I walk down the I-95. (The main hallway on the ship.)

I don't think that would be the best idea.

At any rate, Nathan is hilarous when he defends me. (And he's hilarious generally all the time as well.)

I know all the staring and questioning is just in good fun. And so is Nathan. (Most of the time...)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Gossip - May 15, 2006

Gossip around this place spreads like wildfire.

Except to you, I guess. Since you're not here if you're reading this with interest.

Gossip point (or GP) 1: Michelle, my roomate and Girl 2 singer, left to go home. She had personal reasons that she didn't want to share. She said she'd be back in one week.

GP 2: Our manager said tonight that she won't be back due to the fact that she didn't ask permission in the 'right way' to leave.

GP 3: I now have my own room.

GP 4: I'd rather have her back than a room of my own.

GP 4.5: We're all really sad about this turn of events, if it turns out to be true.

GP 5: On a brighter note, I bought myself a beautiful 1930's vintage necklace for my birthday. (Making it the most expensive piece I own... so far...)

GP 6: My birthday is in 11 days, Judy's is in 8, and Levi and my One Year Anniversary is in 12.

Of course, not all of these gossip points are pertinant or interesting to the rest of the ship... but they are to me, and all I've been talking about for the last few days.

So now, you're all in the loop.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Favorite quote of yesterday- "Yeaaa! This is so fun!" -May 10, 2006

Alright, I have a confession to make.

I've lived in Florida for 20 years. I've been to Disney, I've seen Gatorland, yes, I've done it all.

Or so I thought.

In all those years, I have never, ever....

ridden on a jetski.

*collective gasp!*

So, yesterday, a SLEW of people (led by Broadcast Bart, our video guy, and followed my Wildke, Matt, Kelly, Mike, Ryan, Angela, Shannon, and random members of Judy's family who are visiting from Michigan) went jetskiing.

And I've never had so much fun being so scared.

Throughout the entire time, Catherine and I kept saying "Yeaaa! This is so fun!" About EVERYTHING. We got to sign some papers. That was fun. We got to get lifevests. Again, fun. We got to get on our jetskii. Look at how much fun we were having. And when we took off, well, I don't need to tell you that we were freaking out.

We just kept screaming the whole time, and yelling "This is so much fun!"


Ryan came late from a surprise man overboard drill (he's a deck cadet and has to do a lot of stupid things like practicing Oscar drills -man overboard- Like that ever really happens, right? haha) and had to ride with Mike, so Catherine and I felt bad for them having to ride with another boy (although I'm sure Mike didn't mind.. haha) so we switched and I rode with Ryan.

Big mistake.

Ryan is from Newfoundland and not only does he ride snowmobiles, but he owns one. (With a matching jumpsuit, naturally. hahaa) And he was hell-bent on scaring the daylights out of me. (Whatever that means) He kept doing donuts and turning really fast to splash me. But he wasn't half as bad as Mike was to Catherine.

We took off shortly after switching and we got to do some freestyling. Mike took that to heart, and whipped around so fast Catherine flew off the back! Ryan and I stopped to help, and she was bobbing in the water lamenting the loss of her new $20 sunglasses.

Truly a priceless moment.

Apparently, Kelly got thrown off by Matt three times! (Ryan KNEW better than to try that with me)

I even got to try my hand at driving the thing, and let me tell you what, it's addictive. Bart goes EVERY SINGLE Key West. He's obsessed.

Anyway, if you haven't tried it yet, I HIGHLY reccomend it. Especially if you're in Florida, 'cause you know every other person seems to own one at home.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

And the worst part of this job is.... - May 6, 2006

Well, another week has passed on the Rhapsody of the Seas.... Let's tune in and see what's been going on this week!

I've been spending lots of time with my newly formed "Post It Club." (Ahhh, high school all over again...) It is comprised of Anglea (Art Auctioneer from South Africa) and Ryan (Bridge Cadet from Newfoundland.) We leave post-it notes on each other's doors whenever we want to see one another, which I pretty much every day.

We went to the beach again in Cozumel and saw two more stingrays and a brittle star. (Oh, our friend Xavier (Musician, El Paso, Tx.) came too, but he's not in the post it club... yet...) Whenever I go snorkling now people follow me about, waiting for me to stick my hand under yet another rock and reveal yet another little animal for them. (I should start charging...) It's like Selena's Snorkling Tours, LLD. (Whatever that means) I've gotten a few more people addicted to snorking too. (Ahhh, my plan for world domination beginning with snorkling fans has begun!!!!!!) *ahem* nevermind.

We laid out for a while too, and Ryan and Xavier were joking around about the 'worst' parts about this job, such as the fact that we were getting paid to lay around on a beach and drink margaritas, snorkel and see stingrays, and check the dancer (that's me) to make sure she doesn't have tan lines. (It's in my contract- NO TANLINES. An impossibility for me, but my friends watch my back -literally!- for me anyway.) Yeah, it's a rough life, right? haha.

Oh, and the Rhapsody started to go to Jamaica for the first time this week. (We go every other week now, alternating with Key West. It was, well.... Jamaica. Not as pretty and nice as other places, but it has it's moments. We taught Franchesco (Dancer, Rome, Italy) how to play blackjack and roulette at Treasure Island, a casino near the port, and he won $30! *beginners luck...*

Not much else is going on. I guess we'll proceed to Monday of our tour of what ship life is like. (When we last left off on our tour, it was Sunday night and we had just finished our Welcome Aboard show. (See "Week One: Done" for the complete entry about our Sundays)

~ ~ ~
Well, now that we're alternating between Jamaica and Key West, it's a little different, but I'll do a Key West week, for an example.

Well, Monday, around noon, I usually have flying rehearsal with Dee and Miles. (Our dance captain and vocal captain) I get to fly around in my halo harness for 30-45 minutes and it's so so so so SO fun.

After that, I grab a quick bite and then sometimes have to go to teach Swing class to the guests. I taught a class for the first time today and it was SO fun! The guests come in a really good mood, ready to learn, and we teach them really basic stuff that they can usually pick up. (Although some don't... and get into little tiffs with each other. It's kinda cute.)

After class, we have a few hours off until tech run for Piano Man. A tech run is like a dress rehearsal for the technical crew. (Sound, lighting, sets, etc.) We dancers don't have to wear our costumes unless it's our first time in the piece (so this week I had to wear all my costumes to rehearse my quick changes) and we dont' dance 'full out' (which means we don't do all the moves with the energy we would that night. It's called 'marking' it.)

Then we go eat dinner, and sometimes have to do Captain's Cocktail. (Which hopefully we won't have to do for much longer....) It's just when we get dressed up in formal-wear and welcome people to a cocktail party where the Captain comes down and greets the guests. (Read: boooring. Although last week we thought of a hilarous game where the four of us stand on either side of the door, two by two, and then say "Hi!" in a circle as fast as we can when guests come in. It confuses the guests a little, and it's funny to us. Once we each said one word in the sentence "Hi" "How" "Are" "You?" It was like surround sound. Haha!)

Then, we have "call" at 8 pm for the 9 pm show. ('Call' is when we have to get to the theater to warm up. We have to be in make up and wig caps already, so we can stretch and warm up our bodies for a full hour) Then, we dance our little hearts out for about an hour, take a 40 minute break, then do the show all over again.

But that's not all. No, our night isn't complete until we go to the Viking Crown Disco (the top deck of the ship) and perform Abba. This performance is what we call a 'theme night.' It's a 70's disco party for the guests that we have to get started by performing a cheezy Abba medley.

Then, and ONLY then, can we peel off our fake eyelashes and go to bed.


And that's our Mondays, generally. Definatly our busiest day of the week...