CruiseTrek Day 6
I came to an interesting realization while I was in Portland: since I published Dancing Barefoot, my life is happier, more fulfilling, and busier than in the last several years. I think I've got a cranial cron job that runs about once a minute that rotates the logs in /dev/brain/
The sad part of this is, I forget to do things, like finish the freakin' CruiseTrek stories, even though it's been sitting here on my iBook for three weeks.
Sorry. My bad.
Here's is what happened on Day 6: Fanning Island, and my class.
CruiseTrek -- Day 6 to
Thursday, 04 June, 2003
In the interest of full disclosure, I must tell you that I am writing this from our family physical therapist's office. Ryan severely hurt his shoulder and arm while we were gone (his coach left him in a baseball game too long while he was pitching, I guess) and he's getting worked on right now.
The last two days of the cruise presented a couple of choices to me: sit inside and blog, or hang out with my wife and new friends, and enjoy the sun and sea. To be honest, it really wasn't that difficult of a choice.
So this is all written from the banality of a grey-carpeted waiting room, beneath a wall covered with autographed pictures of famous sports figures our doctor works on Vlade Divac, Oscar de la Hoya, Magic Johnson, The New York Yankees), while "smooth jazz" assaults me from a radio on the receptionist's desk.
When I last wrote from the cruise, -- oh god. the DJ just informed me that there's a "block of Kenny G coming right up."
When I last wrote from the cruise, we were at Fanning Island, in the Republic of Kiribati. The cruise line visits Fanning Island because, as a foreign built ship, they are required by law to visit a foreign port before returning to a US port. So we travelled 1200 miles southwest from Hilo to Fanning.
Fanning Island is absolutely beautiful, and mostly untouched. It is just 220 miles North of the equator.
Because our ship blew out an engine, we arrived at Fanning almost three hours (maybe it was two, I can't recall) late, so we were only there for a short time. But during our time there, Anne and I walked along a long stretch of totally deserted beach (picking up all sorts of trash left by previous passengers), floated in the lagoon, took tons of pictures, and enjoyed the unspoiled beauty of the island. About 40 minutes before the last tender left for the ship, we noticed that most of the other cruise passengers had already left. The area where we were was silent, and we stood in the ankle-deep water of the lagoon, listening to the water wash around our feet, while unseen birds sang in the jungle behind us. The solitude was unforgettable.
When we returned to the ship, I parked myself on our veranda and went over my notes for the class I was teaching on building, maintaining, and grokking a weblog. I've never taught a class like that before, and I was terrified that I was going to suck.
The class ended up going very well. There were only four real students, but Tom and Dori joined us, along with Randal and Andy. Sitting there at my iBook, surrounded by REALLY smart people, who are also accomplished writers and webloggers, I really felt like a total piker, and I was really happy when they would toss in their experiences and offer suggestions. I don't know if the students realized what a great bunch of minds were in that room . . . but I sure did! I think the guys who showed up learned something, though, and they got blogs up and running at blogger before we finished. If any of you guys are reading this, send me an e-mail, and I'll link ya.
When the class was finished, I attended another CruiseTrek event, another actor's panel, this time with all of us: Chase, Manu, George, and Vaughn. I was asked something about Hollywood, and I quickly expressed how much I hate the entertainment industry, and how hard it's been for me to find success like I had when I was a kid. I talked about how lousy casting people have treated me, and how I don't understand why The Powers That Be have been so incredibly terrible to me since I left the show when I was 18. In retrospect, I felt like I totally brought the place down, but it's what was on my mind when the question was asked. I told them all how much happier I am now, focusing my creative energy on writing, and how surprised and touched I am by the reaction to my book. When I was finished, a few people told me that they were glad I said the things I did, but if I could do it again, I'd keep my big mouth shut.
Anne and I spent the rest of the afternoon goofing off on the ship, enjoying the incredibly beautiful Pacific Ocean. At one point, we were looking out at the horizon, and I said to her, "This ship is so huge . . . but when we compare it to the ocean we're sitting on . . . it is -- we are -- so insignificant. I kind of like that."
NEXT: Maui and Kauai