The Bond is Bomb, The Band is a Bonus

I’m halfway through a dirty martini and I skipped lunch which means I’m halfway to feelingstown, and I’m dragging you all down with me. I have been thinking about writing this blog for about a month. But the words wouldn’t come because they’re too real. And I have a hard time with things below the surface. Even as I write that disclaimer, I get a little misty-eyed. Because Blockheads have held me DOWN this year. Brace yourselves. This is going to be an epic journey through my psyche.

Born in 1984, I came out of the womb with a love for NKOTB. In fact, I fully believe my early idolization of this beautiful boyband shaped my adult sexuality. As confusing and contradictory as it may be. Boybands in general became my love language. A soft masculinity. Palatable to teen girls and adult women who perhaps suffered trauma in early years and have a hard time with loud, overt, definitive masculinity. But that’s just a theory. A theory I fully intend to explore in a future book project, but a theory nonetheless. The fandom would go on to define me for my entire life, taking shape as ironic, nostalgic, quirky and earnest along the way. And I have absolutely played it off as a joke in the past. Because, when someone says they’re a New Kids on the Block fan, it is often met with amusement, or questions about nostalgia, but now, with absolutely no iota of irony, I am here to say that it is an identity. Because it takes a special kind of person, with special kinds of reasons, to hold on to a piece of pop culture so fiercely that it results in the collective fandom literally creating the modern iteration of that very band. And we Blockheads have done that.

The band itself is the common denominator, obviously. But they are beside the point, at this point. We have found each other. In factions. In cliques. In Facebook groups full of inside jokes and likeminded fucking people who live on opposite sides of the world. In venues far from home and on cruise ship decks slick with Gulf rain. We have maintained friendships across state and country lines, with Facebook as the string between our cup phones. Because what is this fandom if not a perpetual 90s sleepover that we all desperately and continuously need? We found each other when our real lives fell short. And we showed the fuck up.

I live alone. I work in a closed-door office by myself. I’m perpetually single (likely due to my aforementioned reasons of confused sexuality and issues with authoritative masculinity, but that’s a story for another day.) and when I’m not holding a microphone I get lonely. Hopelessly, desperately lonely. At 34 I have done a good job convincing myself and those around me that this is the life I choose, which to some extent it is. But when I’m at my most lonely, and everyone around me is smiling in their coupled lives, I know I can always turn to the cheesy Facebook groups that hold my far away friends. The friends who I’ve maybe met once, if at all. Who will throw heart-reacts at me in a matter of minutes and make me feel like a person again. (Legit, I’m doing deep breathing exercises to keep the tears in my eyeballs while I’m in a public space…)

Blockheads have shown me such inexplicable kindness that it forced me to write about my feelings. And like, that’s bad. I don’t do that. I haven’t been funny ONCE in this blog. Look what you’ve done to me! Blockheads have literally wiped away my tears, and given me the All Access pass from between their OWN BOOBS. Blockheads have sent me homemade scarves because I live in a cold weather state and they wanted to make sure I was warm. Blockheads have sent me very personalized and SPOT ON care packages that made me sob, pantsless in my bed, wondering what I have done in this life to deserve such consideration. Blockheads have donated money to my family’s cause, while in the middle of their own family tragedies. Blockheads have gifted me concert tickets. AMAZING seats that resulted in EPIC pics with me and my dude, Donnie. Another Blockhead has offered to gift me a barstool seat in Hollywood in May for the Mixtape Tour. The only Christmas cards I received were from Blockheads. Blockheads have been unwaveringly supportive of my fledgling comedy career. Blockheads have merely sent me a message, imploring me to keep posting on Facebook, because my posts brought them joy. And that is the kind of positive reinforcement I didn’t even realize I was missing. I sincerely hope that this paragraph hasn’t come off as, “I like you if you give me stuff”. Because, obviously yes, I do. I love getting stuff. I’m poor as fuck. But it’s so much more than that. It’s literally the thought that counts. Because in my life, it doesn’t occur to me that people think of me. And for that, I am thankful.

Blockheads, you have taught me so much about myself and so much about you. I for real love you, even if I don’t for real know you. Unless you’re weird. Or like…aggressive. Then we’ll have to talk about it.

This is a real leap of faith. I’m sure I’ll obsessively check social media for backlash because again, I do NOT write from the heart. This feels like the scariest thing I’ve ever done. Thanks for listening. And thanks for being there.



NKOTB Cruise X – The End (Part 10)

If you’re not caught up, you can read parts 1-9 here (scroll to the bottom).

Part of me was hoping you’d all forget about this blog series so I wouldn’t have to figure out how to wrap it up in a nice thousand word package. But of course, you didn’t. And then I opened my big Twitter-mouth and brought the Donnie into it. So here we are. At the end. It feels like the real end. Not just of the blogs but of the cruise, too. This was my way of keeping the spirit of that damn ship alive. I’m feeling dramatic because I’m drinking a dirty martini on an empty stomach, so this might come out a little funereal. It’s for sure going to be long, rambling and a little sentimental. Let’s all hold hands and dive in.

And so it shall be done.

I last wrote about the photo-op, and couldn’t remember details due to a severe hangover and the fact that it’s been over a month since it happened, so I just roasted the guys one-by-one, instead. It was my favorite thing. I remember Sunday’s deck party with greater detail because there were a few things that had me in peak butt-hurt mode. And I like to sulk. Megan and I wandered down to the piano bar after the photo-op, and found Christina, Kala and crew posted up on a series of couches. They informed us that Joe would be doing a show there, and I thought it was a great opportunity for Megan to find out about how the guys actually do sing and stuff. We had skipped the concert, remember? Her only frame of reference for these guys thus far had been them bopping around on the lido stage, sometimes singing over the DJ, but mostly just riding their security guards around like beefcake prize ponies. (Sorry, Cory. You’re not a prize pony. You’re a shining beacon of white man in a sea of…well…white men.) Megan was still hurting big time from her drunken antics the night (morning) before and I was delighting in showing everyone that picture of her asleep on the toilet. Because I’m an asshole and I take my vindication where I can get it.

Whispered conversations about who had said there would be a Joe show, and if it was really happening were swirling all around us, and frankly, making me a bit nauseous. As it turned out, Joe was in the middle of a massage when it was announced that he’d be playing a piano-bar show, a la his eyeball namesake, Frank Sinatra. So it was a rumor after all. Andrea Barber was also disappointed. She didn’t say that, but her face did. Megan and I were standing right by her at that point, so we decided we should probably take a group pic with Kimmy Gibbler. She is so chill. I aspire to that level of chill, honestly. She was even chill when Megan offered her some prescription drugs in response to Andrea mentioning how tired she was. She politely declined, like any responsible celebrity might when offered pills from a stranger. And I said, “Megan! That’s illegal.” so Andrea would think I was an upstanding citizen. Then I popped one when she wasn’t looking. I mean, it’s prescribed to Megan. It’s not like we bought it off the street. But anyway, way to go, Andrea. That was a test. You passed the family-friendly-netflix-show-star quiz.

Just say no.

Since nothing was happening for a few hours (absolutely unheard of on these cruises), Megan and I decided to head back up to the casino to do our new favorite thing. We sat at the quarter-push machines for literally two hours. At first we said we weren’t going to spend money. We were just going to wait for the ship to move and for nature to push sweet, sweet quarters our way. But uh…that took too long. So we got a bottle of wine, pushed quarters, talked to whoever walked near us, shouted upsetting things at Caleb, discussed the concept of “hygge” with our Danish pals Carina and Malene, and created an inside joke of “Ay-yo River!” with dear Angela. It was the most productive we’d been, honestly.

Finally, the time had come. The time for the LAST deck party of the trip. It was GPS night and Megan and I really phoned it in by wearing black pants (Spanx leggings for me) and our Funny Girls t-shirts. I mean. It did represent us. But it would be confusing to others. Which is basically my whole essence. At this point in the weekend, I was determined to salvage the cruise of my dreams. I had spent the past few days watching Megan be famous and dance on stage with the guys I’ve been fangirling over for my actual whole life, and I was salty about it. I honestly tried not to be. I had a good time. I promise. I was just jealous. This fandom is a big part of my life and my warped brain had felt like it was betraying me by loving Megan more. Which is just stupid. I realize that. But you can’t be rational when you’ve been awake for four days and living off vodka and potato salad. She IS delightful. I get it. It’s not your fault.

To combat a little of this “cast aside” feeling I had, I decided to wear my blue lipstick and really lean into the character I had created for myself. It was a new start. Anustart, for fans of Arrested Development. We had a decent spot to stand, once again thanks to Kala, Christina and company, and we just sort of jammed out for a while. I don’t remember many details because of the time lapse I let happen, but a few things stand out. Ready for some butthurtness? Great.

Pride and Joy.

Let’s talk about the conga line. Literal miles of fun. I saw it start, but then lost track of it as I turned in circles in what was my attempt at dancing. Apparently it had made its way around the stage and across lido, because soon I felt someone shove me, pretty hard, and I almost fell down. I looked behind me, venom in my eyeballs, and saw Donnie reaching past me to grab Megan so she could lead the line. I doubt he even saw me as he literally shoved me out of the way, in what was the physical manifestation of my “poor me” feelings of the weekend. I’m positive he didn’t mean to do it. But in the moment, my feelings were very hurt. I was drunk. I had bottled up feelings. Megan tried to grab me into the conga line to come with her, because she didn’t see the shove. But I was at my limit. I shouted, “No fucking way!” and stood there to try and will the tears not to come. It worked for a while, because I was pulled into the conga line about 30 people later. I reluctantly joined, and ended up huffing and puffing my way across the whole damn ship, up to VIP, through the All Access VIP area, and back down again, literally gasping for air as my fat ass struggled to keep up with the rest of the line. It was a lot of unexpected cardio. The conga line ended where it began, and I broke off back at the area I had been, just as I looked up and saw that Megan had once again been escorted to the stage.

I was by myself (in a sea of people), once again trying to intimidate tears into staying inside my face. But they didn’t listen. We can thank the vodka and my tendency to hoard feelings for that. So here I am. A grown ass woman, standing on lido deck on a giant cruise ship with a bunch of people having a blast, and crying like a little bitch. I made a beeline for the bathroom because I was embarrassed. But the lido bathroom is a disaster. So I composed myself as best as I could and walked out, running into Christina, Kala and Dan. They were rocking All Access passes, and Christina took one look at me, took her pass off, handed it to me and told Kala and Dan to “take me up there for a bit to decompress”. Bless them. It wasn’t so much the access to the forbidden area that cheered me up, but the absolute kindness and willingness to take care of me. I barely know these people. But it meant a lot. Obviously the feeling of superiority you get when you get into the All Access area was pretty great too. I’m not going to sit here and lie to you. It’s not necessarily better up there. But at the same time it is. You know. Because of exclusivity. If Gossip Girl taught us anything…

I composed myself up there, realized that Megan was probably wondering where the hell everyone was, and went back to our original spot on lido. When I arrived, a drunk chick I didn’t recognize grabbed my arm and shouted, “Aren’t you so sad because last year you were a celebrity but this year you brought Megan?” Like. I mean. Why would you say that?! Anyway, Meg was nowhere. Which wasn’t good. I tend to catastrophize things in my head when I’m not provided with accurate information immediately. So I assumed she was pissed at me. She was assuming the same thing. She went back to the cabin, which is where I found her. We had a brief discussion about the events of the lido conga line, decided we weren’t going to let that or anything else ruin our last night, and drank some more vodka. Then, Megan proved that she had been paying attention all weekend by successfully (finally) naming all the guys in NKOTB. Which was a BIG accomplishment. We were pretty pumped.

Once back on lido, we just sort of danced and shouted song lyrics and had a blast. I had repeatedly told Megan that this party would go until dawn, because historically it has. So we dug our heels in, and moved closer and closer to the stage as the crowd wound down. After a while, Jon wandered our way. Well, I shouldn’t say Jon. It was drunk Jon. Which is different. I expressed that I didn’t yet have a selfie with him and Megan suggested we get an I&I group pic. She stopped him, he swayed, she said, “Jon! Brother! Let’s get a group pic with my friend here.” He looked at me (through one eye, no doubt) and promptly asked me to hold his drink so he could get a pic with Megan. At this point in the night, it was nothing but funny. Because of course he asked me to hold his drink. Megan had to physically guide him into position to get a selfie with both of us, and I handed his drink back without incident. Only Jon would feel comfortable just placing his drink into the hands of a stranger/fan. Bold move, drunk Jon. Bold move.

“Hold this.”

I’m pretty sure Donnie made a moving speech, but at that point, I was in my own vodka-fueled world, motivated by dissociation from my feelings of inadequacy. And then suddenly it was done. Abruptly. And I was confused. I was so confused about why it ended early that I wouldn’t shut up about it. As it turns out, Miami has a history of noise complaints, which is why we had to lock it up early. Fuck Miami. I wouldn’t be stopped that easily, though. I marched my ass right onto the abandoned stage, and took about a million pictures of a pack of Brazilian ladies who were living their best life, before squatting uncomfortably and having Misty take a quintessential butthurt picture of me. It was iconic. But I immediately got yelled at to get down. I did get down, but not before shouting at Tim, the fireman, as he dejectedly headed toward his cabin, alone. “Tim! Don’t give up so soon! You can do it! Just go after the weak, the sick, the old!” I thought it was funny at the time. As I usually do.

Epic photo. Epic.


NKOTB Cruise X – The Photo-Op (Part 9)

When I left off, I had abandoned Megan on the bathroom floor in the cabin, pants around her ankles, to go to bed. And I didn’t feel bad. You can read about that (and everything else you may have missed) by scrolling to the bottom of this link’s page.

It was photo day. The simultaneously dreaded and revered day when a couple thousand women (and a handful of dutiful dudes) wait in line for hours to quickly file by a tired and irritated Danny, Donnie, Jordan, Joe and Jon (always in that order) before the split-second snap of a photo we won’t see for almost a month. It’s…nerve-wracking. This particular morning was rough because we were both pretty hungover. And, there was an awkward tension in the cabin since Megan knew she had blacked out, and since I was being oddly silent. I just didn’t really know what to say. I didn’t wake her up until we absolutely had to go find our photo group. I mean, until I thought we should probably go find them. Since our photo group had made zero plans to meet up, aside from After-Party-Melissa very drunkenly telling me to get up early and get in line to save a spot. I literally laughed in her face and said that I don’t hold spots. Because I am perpetually late for everything. Not because I’m too good. But kinda that, too.

Megan was being very agreeable and way too nice, to make up for her antics the night before. It was uncomfortable. We’re not typically overtly nice to each other. We like each other. We’re friends. But we’re not sugary sweet. She was wearing sunglasses indoors because she physically couldn’t be without them. I suspect that’s why Donnie is always wearing his. Bloodshot eyes are sexy in fluorescent lighting. We made our way up to deck 5, through the noise and lights of the casino and scanned the line for a cluster of white and denim, which had been deemed the wardrobe theme of our group. Megan’s answer to the theme was to look a lot like Justin Bieber. Well, like Kate McKinnon as Justin Bieber. Mine was to begrudgingly wear a t-shirt and jeans. Which is a little blue-collar for my taste. Because I’m blue-collar at my roots, and I’ve been fighting against it my whole life. By lying, mostly. Because I’m certainly still poor. But I prefer black so I can pretend my curves are more Kardashian than Michelin Man. We didn’t see anyone from our group anywhere, so we decided to sit down at the quarter-push machines in the casino, and watch the line snake by. To be honest, it was all we could handle at the moment.

He’s beautiful in his own way.

Meg went to buy some drinks, another thing she was doing in an effort to apologize. I kept telling her it wasn’t that bad, but I also wasn’t going to say no to drinks. I needed to get my bloodstream back to baseline, after all. She came back with mimosas, maybe. I honestly can’t remember. It was a month ago, basically. We did notice that when you sit down at the quarter-push machines, every once in awhile, the boat will rock, and knock quarters down so you can play for free. This was delightful news. And is exactly what we did for the next couple of hours as we waited for our group to materialize. We also poached two Danny girls from someone else’s group after hearing that ours had defected. (Shout out, ladies!) Once we found our group and got in line, we were almost at the entrance to the club. There wasn’t a ton of time to primp, which was fine because my face was a lost cause at that point, anyway. My hungover eye kept watering (just one) and I was pretty sure lipstick wasn’t allowed with that casual outfit, but I did it anyway. The other ladies in the group are tall, blonde and beautiful. Megan and I ruined their aesthetic. A lot.

So much denim.

I’m going to be honest and tell you that I have no idea what I said or did to any of the guys when we finally approached them for our photo. I blacked out. Not in a drunk way, but in a panic way. As you can probably tell by now, I’m very cool. But I lose that cool the second I’m faced with these fellas. I do remember saying, “At least you won’t be in the blog this year” to Q as I passed him, prompting him to nod, relieved. I mean, technically he is in it, now. But not in the same, supposedly slanderous way as last year. Since I don’t remember interacting with the guys, let’s play a fun game and roast them, instead. Sound good? Good.


Danny looked like he had just sold these two a non-refundable gym membership. He was standing so far away from the rest of the group, I’m pretty sure he was low-key promoting Solo Wood. Danny looked like if my actual dad went back in time and started lifting every weight. The only thing his outfit is missing is mid-calf black socks and a flat-bill hat. Danny looked like he had just slammed a protein smoothie and was mentally calculating how long he would be able to clench his butt cheeks to avoid squeaking out some noxious gas. Danny’s shins looked like he might have oiled up before the photo marathon. Might. Danny looked like black clothing only, floating on a green screen of hardwood floor. Get it? Callback to the hardwood floor joke!


Donnie looked like he had just been fired from that strip club all the Magic Mike guys are excited about opening in Miami. Donnie looked like his own security guard. He looked like the personification of waking up at 2pm in Vegas on a Tuesday. Donnie looked like those women’s Uncle Brett, who always touches them a little too far down on their backs when he hugs them. He looked like somewhere, hidden on his body, is a Monster Energy Drink tattoo and inner regret about never becoming a Motocross star. Donnie looked like there might be cocaine residue on his abs, but that he probably didn’t know how it got there.


Jordan looked like an actual murderer. Like a masseuse who offered up his services for free in a Hungarian hostel, but instead of massages, he just gave out stabbings. Jordan looked like he was just remembering something mean he said to a bully in 1978. He looked like a substitute teacher at the school all the kids from that movie Kids went to. Jordan looked like he slammed their two heads together 30 seconds after this picture was taken. He looked like he was actively pinching Amber and Melissa.

Joey Joe

Joe looked like his mom had Kohl’s Cash. He looked like the first day of 8th grade. Joe looked like his favorite song is anything by Ariana Grande. His hair looked like Dwight Schrute went through the Stephon Urkel transformation and became suddenly attractive. Joe looked like he might have just placed a Craigslist Casual Encounters ad for diaper play. He looked like a prom photo background. Joe looked like he would smell like Curve for Men and skating rinks.


Jon looked like a perfect angel who I would never roast because he’s too pure. But Megan looked like she was about to get arrested for throwing Faberge Eggs at someone’s house and driving 115 mph down Los Angeles streets.

I know you are all smart, my dear readers, and you know I love these men with all of my cold, dead heart. But I love roasting and I never get to do it so I thought I’d combine a few of my loves for your pleasure. But by all means, if you’re mad. Let me know. I love hate mail.




NKOTB Cruise X – After Party Ridiculousness (Part 8)

Ok. Many of you who bore witness to my array of annoyed facial expressions on Saturday night have been waiting for this blog. I’m not a mom, but I will need to try super hard to not let my “mom” come out in this writing. Not my actual mom. She’s lovely. She sees me tweet horrific things, and say even more horrific things into microphones all the time and she still manages to love me despite her relationship with the lord.

I was getting a little irritated with drunk Megan at the deck party, but was trying to just get on her level instead of being a wet blanket. It’s just that drunk Megan is all over the place. And I found myself, well, by myself a lot that night. I wanted us to remain near each other, because we together are a brand. And as Sonny & Cher, we looked hilarious. So yes, I was hoping Donnie would spot us and invite us up on stage. And guess what? He did. He made eye contact with me, pointed at me and mouthed, “you two, come on” while holding up two fingers. But where was Megan? She was about three people behind me, dancing in circles around Kala and Amanda, and not paying attention. So by the time I got her attention, Donnie threw his hands up and literally mouthed, “Ok, whatever!” Because we didn’t go. We had waited too long. And I was butthurt. I was butthurt about not getting on the main stage (ever) and Megan was butthurt literally because she had a hemorrhoid. And I guess those are painful when you’re dancing and sliding your butt cheeks around constantly.


I suggested we take a quick breather back in the cabin before we tore it up at the after-party. Because. This was the last after-party of the cruise and we had spent the other one calmly bopping near a bunch of cigarette smoke at the previous one. But Megan was working through some personal stuff, and her reaction to that was to drink through it. I can relate to that. Hard. That’s basically how I live my life. But I come by it honestly. Just ask most members of my family, and their livers. As a result of that, it’s extremely difficult for me to get to an unmanageable level of drunkenness. Unfortunately. Megan had changed out of her Sonny outfit about an hour after we arrived at the deck party, because she was worried she didn’t look hot as Sonny. I kept my Cher jumpsuit on, and my obscenely giant butt swinging around until the end of the deck party. I gave up on looking hot about ten years ago. That’s why I’m funny now. But we both changed before the after-party. We wanted to be fresh for dancing well into the early morning. Megan had since picked up some Preparation H for her butthole, so she was feeling a lot better. (Don’t worry, all you Megan-lovers, she gave me permission to talk about her butthole bump.)

We both got into our requisite all-black outfits, but I can’t remember what specifically I was wearing. I do know that I was determined to have some damn fun. We were fairly early, so there was actually visible space on the dance floor. We made a beeline for that space, and ended up directly in front of the tiny stage. I absolutely live for early 2000s rap music. And that is primarily what is played at the after parties. Stuff I heard at school dances and 18+ clubs when I was younger. So I revert back to this person who was fit and knew how to dance. But the thing is. I no longer possess those qualities. But tipsy Kaira believes she does. I was up front, dancing with Kala and crew and had no idea what happened to Megan on the walk there. Upon closer inspection, I realized she was making her way through the dance floor crowd, Donnie-style. As in, she was approaching clusters of women and dancing with/on them as if it was the answer to their prayers. Her facial expression told me that part. As you can imagine, some of these women had no clue who she was or what was happening. It was a lot. Once she finally made her way through the crowd, she made it to us. I was equal parts relieved and annoyed. It’s just that she’s not an actual Blockhead, and she doesn’t know the etiquette.

A lot of this.

When Donnie arrived, everyone commenced the usual stance. It’s basically just a whole performance of acting like you’re not DYING for him to come dance near you. He came right to the stage, because that’s what he does at the beginning of after-parties, and he once again made eye contact with me. But it was to tell me to get Megan for him. So. That was an ego blow. I grabbed her by physically turning her head from her adoring public, to face Donnie. And then he brought her up to the stage with him. They both motioned for me to come up, once Meg was situated, but there was only a three-inch triangle of space available and that just wasn’t going to physically happen. So I stayed down rather than embarrass myself by falling off the stage, into the giant pile of CRUMBS they threw me. I kid, I kid. At least they tried, right? But. She. Was. In. Her. Element. (I have the same element, and it’s taking everything I have to even sound this level of bitter instead of going full force crazy person). She was also wasted. She said something to him, then grabbed toward the bottle of whiskey he was holding, and he handed it over for her to swig out of. This prompted me to make eye contact with him and do a very “do not contribute to her delinquency” face at him. In retrospect, that certainly didn’t help my cool factor. I had gone full blown babysitter. Another thing that likely didn’t help my image was that I make a certain face when I dance. Well, when I go hard. And, according to Kala’s blurred memory, I was going HARD that night. I do remember glancing up and seeing Donnie downright laughing at me. Not in a mean way. In an amused way. Like, “Oh, that girl is silly.” Not sexy, but at least he saw me? Or…

So much of this.

After a while, Donnie got down to go make his rounds, but Megan stayed. She couldn’t very well leave when there was a literal line of women waiting to get a bit of her attention. I assume nobody has seen a masculine-presenting lesbian before. She was very diplomatic, dancing with each one for a moment before kissing them on the cheek and sending them on their way. I feel I should stress that everyone was so drunk, that we shouldn’t judge them for their actions. And I’m not gonna name drop here because nobody else gave me permission to air their dirty laundry like Megan did. But it was hilarious. I grabbed the leftovers, once they had been moved along from drunk Meg, or rather, they grabbed me. I didn’t have much choice in the matter.

Megan, still on the small stage, insisted that I go up with her, but also didn’t make any space. Moving past that, I hopped up to dance more of my delusional “this is cool, right?” dancing, and noticed she was unknowingly bumping into the ladies behind us, and basically just being in front of them too much, and I noticed it was starting to bother them. Or maybe I was just hardcore projecting. Probably that. But I asked the girl behind us if she’d like to dance in front for a while, and she did. So I spent a good five minutes trying to explain that to a performing Megan. It was a whole thing. At this point, she was having a hard time balancing while standing, and was beginning to stumble into the personal space of others quite a bit. But she was not ready to calm down. Not at all. I had to take a break from it, though, before I started to get verbally irritated, instead of just making exaggerated faces at anyone who would look at me. So I popped out for a bit and sat at the casino bar with Cedric, ordering another double-tall vodka with water that I didn’t really need or want.

After 20 minutes or so, I wandered back into the after-party, nervous about what I might find. I saw Lisa, asked her if she had seen Megan, because she wasn’t where I had left her, and grew even more nervous when she said she hadn’t. I did a lap, and thankfully found her slumped onto a barstool, at the bar, with a “blue drink” attached to her lips. I asked that nobody give her any more, since when people get past a certain point, their ability to say no becomes a bit bungled. But when I turned back around, someone else was handing her another drink. So I transitioned into mom-mode yet again and insisted it was time to go. Well, that was after a certain someone completely fell off of her bar stool. I’ll not say who. But it rhymes with Smegan. Since she couldn’t really hold herself up or walk a straight line, Kala and I each took an arm and carried her out of the club, past Cedric and co. in a zig zag pattern. I asked Kala to go grab a pizza, so I could get Megan to the room without distraction, and she was nice enough to oblige. That line gets long.

By the time I got Megan to the cabin, she was in a mood. She was pissed we left the party, but couldn’t even sit upright. She kept asking if she was getting pizza, I kept telling her that yes, Kala was getting her pizza, and she asked even more. She kept trying to leave, to wander the ship, but I had already taken my pants and bra off, so I was in no position to chase after her or haul her lifeless body back after she inevitably fell down or passed out. I did take a funny video of her, after assuring her I was not taking a video, of course. I needed proof of what I had been put through. I had left an after party before Donnie. That’s breaking the cardinal rule of after parties. You never leave before Donnie. She eventually went to the bathroom so I laid down, thinking she’d puke and go to bed. About 20 minutes later, I heard what sounded like a scraping from outside, so I got up to investigate. Instead of a strange scraping, what I found was a sound-asleep Megan. On the toilet. Folded in half. Snoring. I tried to help her up, and get her to put her vag away, but she fought me on it, laid down on the bathroom floor, pants still around her ankles, and that’s where I left her. But listen. We’ve all been there. Plus, I was being petty. She eventually made it to her bed, so don’t worry. I didn’t kill her.

You’re welcome.







NKOTB Cruise X – Not Nassau and 70s (Part 7)

(Catch up on this sequence and all things NKOTB here!)

When I left off, I was barely standing at the end of the Block-A-Versary party, because, I had been held hostage on the small stage for a thousand hours. But we hadn’t been to an after-party yet, (because Thursday’s was canceled mysteriously), so I was hell-bent on dancing the early morning away near dear Uncle (zaddy) Donnie. When we walked into the after-party, though, we were both in a weird mood, emotionally and physically exhausted and not trying to carve out space for ourselves in the jam-packed cesspool of the dance floor. So we did a few laps, said hi to people who seemed excited to see us and then settled in on two barstools, overlooking the floor.

Sitting on a barstool was pretty ideal, because we could still dance from the waist up and look semi-cool. However, it has been brought to my attention that when Megan and I are doing the same thing, in tandem, which is something we do to look cool, what I’m doing doesn’t necessarily look like what Megan’s doing. So. That was hard for me to wrap my mind around. But that’s what we did. We didn’t have a Donnie moment, because we chilled up out of the way and just took it all in. We did chat with Maria briefly, which I gather she doesn’t remember, and with a lot more people who had seen our show. There was a nice Australian woman who told me the name of a comedian she wanted me to check out, and I don’t remember what it was for the life of me. So, if you’re reading this, and maybe you’re not Australian, but just the comic was, who knows, but please leave me a message.

Finally getting to bed at around 6am is wild unless you’re on the NKOTB Cruise. Then it’s just what happens. Luckily, we were stopping in Nassau next, so we could sleep in and mosey off the boat whenever. Which is what we did. We moseyed off the ship, did a quick lap in Nassau and then noped our way right back into NKOTB-land. Nassau was sketch and dumb. Well, the port was. I’m sure Nassau in general is lovely. But the port had the same vibe as those kiosk-jockeys at the mall. And it’s like, no. I don’t want you to put lotion on my hand or straighten a lock of my hair, sir. I’ll take your word for it.

Photo taken by Joyce from across the pool. And motivation for me to move around a little every once in a while.

Since we had some hard-to-come-by down time, Megan and I decided to throw on our pretend bathing suits and chill with Misty at the lido pool. We brought some drinks and watched over Misty’s shoulder as she desperately tried to get enough wifi service to see if her daughter won a dance competition. And we were invested in the results. 2nd place, if I’m not mistaken. And if “Bring It On” taught us anything, 2nd place deserves a big “hell yeah!” from the Rancho Cucamonga Toros. Joyce was also lounging by the pool, but told us we were too cool to come sit by. In jest, obviously. Because she did come by and we had a talk that was deeper than the pool. A talk about life and aspirations and whether or not we were living up to our potential. Or maybe I just ascribe a lot of meaning to whatever Joyce says because I kind of want her to be my auntie.

Oh, Jon. (Photo courtesy of Pippa Ruben)

The Group B concert was that day, but a shower and a nap put us out of commission for that. Plus, we couldn’t see ANYTHING from our seats, anyway. I did want Megan to experience the wonder that is a NKOTB concert, but perhaps I’ll just have to drag her to the Mixtape Tour next year, instead. We needed the extra time to get into costume for 70s night, after all. Megan had a mustache to glue on, from hair that we trimmed from my head. You know, because nobody would notice. And I had to straighten said hair so it looked more like Cher. That’s right. Sonny & Cher. Or, Sonny & a lady who ate Cher. The Spanx I bought didn’t have any squeezy-inny fabric on the butt cheeks, so when I put my jumpsuit over it, I had just…too much booty. Kim Kardashian-West would have blushed and averted her eyes. Sorry, KKW. Get your husband in check, though. He needs a time out.

A time out is exactly what I felt Megan needed once we were an hour or so into the 70s night deck party, actually. She was having a “good time”. A good time in quotations means she was hitting the sauce hard. With the instigator, Amanda. We took pictures with a lot of people, and half-heartedly danced to the 70s tunes with which we weren’t very familiar, and then the skies opened up and rained on my painstakingly straightened hair. All seven thousand feet of it. And then it puffed up like the world’s longest triangle. The gold, platform Michael Kors sandals I was rocking were literally taped to my feet, because the water retention in my ankles wasn’t allowing the straps to do their job, but they didn’t last long. I ripped them off my feet, stashed them under a random table and continued living my best life barefoot. It was the 70s, after all.


The highlights of the night were definitely when Amber “Wocka-Wocka’d” all over the main stage, and gave me very real “same” vibes when she all but pleaded with every god in the universe to let her be unfamiliar with the next song so she could catch her breath. But she straight up killed it. No offense, little Reagan, but #AlcoholAmber (her hashtag, not mine) might have snatched your crown. Your mom is my second auntie. I’m making a list. The other highlight was clearly the huge, and aptly timed “Bohemian Rhapsody” singalong. Even though every time I try to show a friend a video of that phenom, I curse technology for not doing it justice. Mostly because you can just hear whoever is nearest the recording device. Shout out to all my tone deaf BH sisters out there. Because same. A friend once told me I wasn’t a bad singer, but I was always off key. So.

I don’t know who took this, but I stole it from Amber’s Facebook…so…half photo cred.

I’ve been asked to write about Jordan and Danny, because I haven’t mentioned them yet. Here’s a crumb. ALL of the guys looked hella sexy in their Village People getups. Jon was rocking Native American garb (and we collectively decided to ignore cultural appropriation in favor of period costume) with only boxer briefs underneath, Donnie was showing us some chicken thigh in cutoff jorts and a construction vest, Jordan was making me feel things in a very “wild west at the gay club” cowboy getup, Joe was Officer Zaddy and Danny was a bear of a biker. Only, I guess not a bear because of the whole “hardwood floors” thing. But you get it. It was all super homoerotic and I’m always very on board for that nonsense. Especially because Jon always, always, presents as the least gay. It’s my favorite thing (girl).

LOOK AT JORDAN. LOOK AT HIM. I’d shove dollars wherever he wanted.

The rest of the night involved me trying to catch up with Megan, alcohol-wise, and failing miserably because of my ironclad constitution (functional alcoholism and general girth). Then came the after party. Oh, the after party. But that’s a story for tomorrow. And trust me, you want it.

NKOTB Cruise X – Block-A-Versary, Baby! (Part 6)

(Take a peek at the first few installments here if you aren’t caught up.)

I can’t believe I’m already on part 6 of this recap series and this is only about the second night. Like. I need to take a lesson in being succinct. I apologize. Insincerely.

I want to say that we got dinner in the dining room after we made our way back on the boat after Half Moon Cay. I’m pretty sure we did because I have a vague memory of severely under cooked (raw) prime rib and overcooked creme brulee. I could have done without the bundle of disappointment that is the cruise dining room, but I thought Megan should experience it at least once. I’m mean like that. Her meal wasn’t that bad, she said. So I guess the joke’s on me. I have to be really careful with my tone for this one, because I have Sarah Silverman’s “I Love You, America” playing in the background and I tend to soak up affectation like a culture sponge. I’m still dropping Rs like Lizzie Borden and lilting syllables like Kala the southern belle.

It was Block-A-Versary night. Because it was an anniversary celebration of 30 years since the iconic Hangin’ Tough album (and VHS concert special that my sister, cousins and I WORE the FUCK OUT well into the 90s and early 2Ks) and 10 years since the inception of this crazy cruise. And I was here for it. 30 years ago, I was a plucky 3-year-old, belting “Whatcha Gonna Do About It” from atop our secondhand coffee table, so my memories of the first time around are unclear at best, and romanticized fictionalizations at worst. But I know that many of you were teens the first time around, and if my relationship with NSYNC and BSB in those days is any indication, it was your LIFE. I get it. I fake married Chris Kirkpatrick by making a marriage certificate in Microsoft Paint, so. (Yes, Chris. Don’t judge me. I was odd.)

Theme nights for me tend to be an opportunity to be funny, but I was at a loss for this one. Luckily, Christina reached out to me a few months ago and asked if Megan would be the Jon in their recreation of NKOTB from the Hangin’ Tough concert special, made up of “the husbands” (and Jessica as Danny). Megan was Jon, as you all know, Jonas was Donnie, Jeremiah was Jordan (but the wig made him look more like Gaston) and Dan/Faux Joe was obviously little pre-pubescent Joe. It was hilarious. Especially since actual Jon showed up in the SAME EXACT OUTFIT. We could not have planned it better. That unassuming orange button-up shirt ended up being everything. Since Megan was taken care of, costume-wise, I decided to just join in what the gals were wearing, and the lovely Christina slapped some decals on a piano-skirt for me, while Kala crafted a pretty light-up letter to attach to my shirt. It’s pretty nice just shipping things to other people from Amazon, and having them do all the work. Except for the fact that the skirt was a “one size fits all” monstrosity that I wasn’t going to be able to try on until I was on the boat. And let me tell you. It. Was. Close. My spanx saved me on that one and I still couldn’t breathe in too deep or sit down if I wanted it to remain intact. What I didn’t know was that there would be a headband with sparkly 30 and NKOTB trading card involved, and the whole thing was a lot more “cutesy” than is my usual aesthetic. In short, I was uncomfortable. But I was grateful, so I stuck it out and waved that little fangirl “Donnie” heart like I made it myself.

Nobody’s hair is as fake as Gaston!

The girls were all lined up on the second level, right at the railing, bouncing our glowing boobs before the party even got started. I had been promoted from a light-up music note to the letter B in the NKOTB sequence, so I was pretty sure I was contractually obligated to be perky. And I gave it my all. Eventually, the guys came out in all their glory, and Joe caught my eye in his sparkly Bieber pants. He caught my eye and my hormones because, damn. For some reason that fuckboi getup really got me going. I was into it. Is what I’m saying. It’s a curse of the Tinder age. Before I knew what was happening, though, I was being yanked from the railing and pulled toward the small stage at the back of lido. And I was a little concerned. Had we been asked to go up there? Would everyone hate us? I had no clue what was happening but I’ve been dying to get on stage since 2016 so I went with it. Even if it was the small stage. I was excited. All the piano-skirted girls and Megan made our way to the platform and white-girl-danced for all the Blockhead world to see. It was a teensy bit awko because so many other ladies were having their big moments on the big stage and it felt weird to dance in front of those moments. But we did.

My dreams coming true.

One of those moments was the original Cover Girl, Jennifer Cervantes, getting to relive her iconic moment from that immortal concert special, and I legit teared up. I remember watching that little Donnie dance in awe when I was barely not a toddler. And I was jealous of her. Then and now. But that was honestly the most pure and adorable moment I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen my sister give birth. Twice. After that, I started to feel weird about being on that stage for SO long. Even though it was becoming apparent that the stages on this year’s cruise were a lot like the Hotel California. You can check in but you don’t check out. For real, though. What was with leaving everyone in stage purgatory? Awkward. I was starting to panic about being rude and getting down, or whatever, when I was finally told that Donnie had in fact asked us to go up there. That would have saved me a lot of worry had I known that to begin with. Once I knew that I was free to dance like the big screen wasn’t watching. And boy, did I. It wasn’t long before Megan’s matching Jon outfit got her a ticket to the main stage. Which I desperately wanted to happen. But I mean, I wanted to go with her. Obviously. I’m not going to talk about that a ton, because that was her experience, and this blog is for mine. But you guys were there. You saw her doing every body roll on the planet, and earning the nickname, “Not Jon” for the duration of the cruise. You don’t need me to tell you.

My dreams coming true for Megan.

After about 5 hours of dancing non-stop in such a public area on stage, I was dying. Of dehydration and of being an out-of-shape 33-year-old whose spanx were strangling her organs, and whose strapless bra was pretty much around her waist from all the boob bouncing (the light-up letters looked really fun when they bounced). The power pack to my light-up letter kept malfunctioning because it was water-logged by all the sweat in my cleavage, and I had run out of dance moves three hours earlier, so when the party finally wrapped up, I was grateful. I hopped down, amazed that my legs didn’t collapse under me, and made a beeline for the closest water I could find. Then I got dressed for the after party, but that’s a story for another blog.

If you’re still with me, thank you. Please let me know that you want to keep reading these. It helps motivate me to write.


NKOTB Cruise X – Half Mooned Cay (Part 5)

(Missed the first four installments? Don’t worry! Just go here and scroll to the bottom. Or read everything, I’m not the boss of you.)

I had never been on a cruise that made two port stops before. I was curious about Half Moon Cay because it wasn’t an actual city, and I’m not really one to enjoy “fun in the sun”. Megan and I slept in as long as possible with the onslaught of overhead announcements about getting off the ship, and then sleepily moseyed to deck 3 (I think) to stand in line and grab our stickers for the ferry. Because. I thought there were a finite number of ferries. And I was slightly concerned. I popped into the line, and Megan popped over to the bar to get us some bloody mary power while we waited. But the line moved VERY quickly. So I panicked and hopped out, joining Megan at the bar where we found Jonas, and later Nina and Sonya, too. Christina and Kala assured us we had time to drink a couple bloodies, and that the ferries would be going back and forth all day. Whew. I was worried we’d be trapped on an island until 5. I uh…don’t like outside.

Fish out of water.

Once we got on the ferry, I felt very “Ellis Islandy” and wanted to do a monologue about arriving in the new world, or rap seven Hamilton songs, but kept my mouth shut and made odd faces instead. I did catch the eye of the two people sitting across from me, because we seemed to be irritated at the exact same things. Which is always a nice way to make friends. Shout out Ange and uh…not Ange? I forgot her name because she didn’t friend me on Facebook. I’ll not mention what was so irritating because I’m a nice person. Or I hate confrontation. Probably that one.

Arriving at Half Moon Cay and actually walking around was interesting because I was wearing what I’m calling a bathing suit. And I don’t do that. I had a very Selena-esque bra on, that I pretended was a bathing suit top, and high-waisted bottoms, but I also had a black, mesh t-shirt dress to cover all my lumpy bits (and the bikini area I literally haven’t even seen in a year. Let’s just say I was prepared for 70s night). In a word, I was uncomfortable. I felt exposed. So I drank to forget about that, and we made a beeline right for the food. The food on the island was better than anything I had eaten on the ship, and to make things interesting, we got to make eye contact with live, roaming chickens while we ate jerk chicken. Effectively making us the jerks, and not in fact, the chicken. If I’m being honest, the roaming chickens, especially the tinyfuzzychirpybabies, were the highlight of my trip. They were putting on a chicken parkour show and it was enchanting. It was so much of a show that I half expected someone to interrupt and shout, “Where’s Joe?!” (that’s a 2016 callback.)

No, YOU’RE a jerk chicken!

After we tore ourselves away from the chickens, we hopped back onto the maze of concrete sidewalks and attempted to walk toward the water. We eventually succeeded, and basically just walked into the ocean to put a stop to how em-effing hot it was outside. I don’t “lay out”. I don’t prance on a beach. I hid in the water. I did do a lot of booty dancing, because when you twerk in the ocean, it feels like you’re really good at it. I recommend it. There was a crowd forming near the roped off area, so Megan and I decided to float toward it, just in case something cool happened. What eventually happened was a boat full of New Kids gliding in, and Danny, Jon and Donnie taking a ton of beach selfies with sweaty, swimsuit-clad fans. There was a GIANT line forming to take selfies with Donnie, and I did not want to get out of the water and/or stand in it at all. So I didn’t. I was in shallow water when I realized I was right in front of Q the bodyguard (who you may know as “Z” from last year’s blogs), so I smiled at him and he gave me a side hug and a cheek smooch, which was very sweaty. But very nice. Because he’s basically a giant pile of muscles and swag. So.

I was standing awkwardly in thigh-deep water when I heard a bunch of people shouting my name. I tried to stay at least thigh deep because I hadn’t shaved my legs in several days, and those bitches grow a mean 5-o-clock shadow in a matter of hours. I was trying to protect the masses from the atrocity that is my nearly-nude body, you see. Because I’m a humanitarian. Anyway, people were shouting my name, and when I finally started wandering ashore to see what was happening, I realized Megan was standing with Donnie, and they were both waiting for me to come take a picture. Perfect. I’d never looked better. We did that, and then Donnie told us to go up to the pirate ship and hang out. When Donnie gives an instruction, you take it. Even though it seemed like a literal uphill battle to get there. We went, and we were stopped at the stairs because we did not possess the required “All Access” passes. But luckily, some dude had seen Donnie point and tell us to go there, so he mentioned that to the security bro, and we were let in. It was just the other side of the bar that we had already gone to for drinks. But it was the private side. So we felt cool.

There are arguably too many pairs of sunglasses in this pic.

Donnie came up shortly after we finished doing a samba with Billy from Philly, and embraced us into a very sweaty, very shirtless hug. It was low-key more skin on skin contact than I’ve had in an actual year. Don’t tell anyone that, though. It’ll be uncomfortable. I’m guessing I was feeling some type of way in the moment, because the resulting pictures that someone from across the bar apparently took were very offputting. I don’t give good face. He asked how we were enjoying the cruise so far, if we needed anything and then if we were sure we didn’t need anything. I couldn’t think of anything to even ask for. In retrospect, I should have asked if he could introduce us to Jenny. Kicking myself now. Then, he said he was heading upstairs and asked if we wanted to come. Obviously we did. I didn’t even know what else was upstairs, but again, if Donnie says, you do it.

My face. I just…I can’t.

We started to follow the entourage of Donnie, Cory and Q, but of course Donnie got sidetracked taking more selfies with fans who were outside the ship, like the beautiful angel from heaven he is. We awkwardly loitered behind them because we didn’t know where “upstairs” was or how to get there without Donnie. We didn’t want to actually follow him in his meandering selfie journey, because that would have been hella weird of us, so we just kind of hung back and watched, until we lost sight of him. By the time we saw him again, he was ducking up the stairs and all we could see were the backs of Q’s ankles as they disappeared into the unknown. We tried to follow, about 30 seconds behind. But the security guard at the bottom of the illustrious stairs didn’t know we were allowed up. So he said no. Megan tried to reason with him, assuring him we weren’t just “crazed fans, making up a story about permission”, which of course made us seem like crazed fans, making up a story about permission. I suggested we just forget it, and we argued right in front of that security guard. He refused to use the walky-talky hanging suggestively from his belt to check with Cory or Q to make sure we were allowed. So we just left, and headed back to the water.

The bummed-ness of missing out on the potential to hang out near Joe or have a delightfully awkward moment near Jordan didn’t last long, though. Because about 10 minutes later, all the guys were back on their little dingy, heading back to the big ship. Which is exactly what we did shortly after.

Keep following to read about my favorite of the theme nights, Block-a-versary!


NKOTB Cruise X – My Sweaty Valentine Girl (Part 4)

(Catch parts 1, 2 and 3 by clicking those numbers!)

On past cruises, I spent entirely too much time getting ready for theme parties and not enough time finding somewhere good to stand for theme parties, and I vowed to change that this year. This was my year, after all. Of course, I had to allow for last second outfit changes when costume ideas inevitably didn’t work out, or only looked good in theory. So we were a little late to the party on Valentine Girl night. We struggled to dress ourselves because my plan A was basically just to wear a red bathrobe and use liquid latex and synthetic blood to make it look like I had actually been impaled with an arrow. But then I realized I didn’t bring an arrow, and Megan didn’t want to wear her barely-there cupid costume, anyway. So I put on a black dress and tied the sash from my robe around my neck. And Megan put on an all-black waiters’ uniform and some red, heart-shaped sunglasses she stole from Kala. And of course I beat both of our faces with some fancy red eyeshadow accents and it all smacked of the exact thing that happened on “Purple Night” in 2016. Except, you know, with purple.

I rely heavily on makeup.

I was nervous and excited for Megan to experience her first NKOTB deck party. Because, it’s like nothing I had ever seen before (way back in 2016 when I was but a noob.) And I can imagine it would be a WHOLE thing for someone who isn’t even a fan of the dudes. Also, I just don’t know what young people think is fun these days, what with Tide Pods and fidget spinners and like…watching other people play video games on YouTube.

We were coming into this theme party without having had any face time with any of the guys yet, and without even making eye contact with our lord and savior, Donnie Wahlberg. When you walk onto Lido without having an established plan or group or last will and testament, you end up just sort of seeking out whatever semi-empty pocket you can see in the crowd. And that’s usually near one of the bars. So that’s exactly what we did. We high-tailed it to the red bar to grab a spot and take in the spectacle around us. That spectacle happened to include the firemen, who I swear were haunting me already at this point, causing me to side eye so often that I may have pulled a facial muscle. I saw them everywhere. Already. We are not each other’s favorite people. I don’t like misogyny and ickyness and I guess they don’t like when I write about them being misogynist and icky. Go figure. Lucky for us, I also ran into Sara and Starr, in almost the exact same spot I had met them for the first time in 2016. And they were having capital F Fun.

I have this disease that causes me to make a super dumb face whenever a camera is pointed at it.

Even our little out-of-the-way oasis was getting crowded by the time the guys graced us with their dapper selves, so when Misty and Amanda appeared out of nowhere and whisked us to the other side of the deck to find our unofficial crew in all their be-bowed glory, we were grateful. Christina, Kala and co. were situated just outside the blue bar, in a group big enough that it didn’t matter when we added our bodies to it. We continued to drink, take selfies and bop our way over there and over there is where we stayed for the duration of the night. And I’m glad we did, because in that very spot is where Captain Donnie first laid eyes on us, and where my knees melted into goo for the first time that cruise. But not the last. I really enjoy the new thing they’re doing, riding their security guards through the crowd. It’s slightly homoerotic and I’m here for it.

I usually maintain my composure when faced with one of the New Kids. To a fault, sometimes, actually. Because I try so hard to maintain my cool that I end up coming off as aloof and indifferent. Which of course I am not. I am internally losing my shit and mentally double checking everything I said and did for the next seven years. But my face says, “Oh, hey.” It’s a problem. Especially this year when every single one of the guys inexplicably looks a zillion times hotter than usual. Like. What happened? Did they all start eating keto or something? Six packs are back. Face scruff is on point. And as you can see if you watch the video all the way through, I uttered the word “zaddy” in reference to my dear fake Uncle Donnie. Because LOOK AT HIM. Zaddy until the day I die. Or until the day he dies. Which I suspect is never, since I’m subscribing to the theory that he steals his energy from fans and that’s why we all get sick when we get home from the cruise, but he seems to have boundless exuberance at nearly 50 years old. We’re on to you, D! But tbh, you can have it. Take all my energy, zaddy. Agh! Jesus. I can’t stop. Someone get me a glass of water because apparently I’m thirsty.

This blog is coming across rambly and strange, but I’m on so much cold medicine right now that I can’t fix it. So just take this ride with me. I was fueled by vodka and adrenaline and the awkwardness of how I probably held on to Donnie’s hand for way too long, and I was DANCING. I was dancing with a ferocity that would continue throughout the cruise, for some ungodly reason. I’m guessing the reason is that I was trying not to be upstaged by my 24-year-old partner in crime. Unsuccessfully. Megan likes to say, “We love to dance. We were both captains of our high school dance teams.” But like. I was on the dance team 16 years ago. (And it was JV. But shhh. Don’t tell her.) I barely even remember being able to do the splits. Megan can still do it.

The crew was lit.

I had awkwardly danced my way into an adrenaline bubble and I was absolutely psyched to be going to that night’s after party. I had never gotten into the Thursday night after party before. This was uncharted territory. When the deck party died, I reminded Megan that we had only just begun as I guided her to the elevators to hit the 5th floor and the entrance to the ever-coveted after party. As usual, there was already a line of hopeful BHs, waiting to get in if not enough people with wristbands were there. And honestly, I commend them for their patience. I do not possess that kind of smiling hopefulness. And it makes me feel a little bad about waltzing right past it with my shiny green wristband. But like, not bad enough to not do it. When we stepped into the club, however, it was like being hit by a wall of darkness and silence. There was a power issue. Only in the club.

We stood around for a bit, hoping they might fix it and shine the party on, but no. It was cancelled. Except, the thing is, we were all jacked up in preparation for this first big night. All of us. So we turned the casino into an impromptu after-party. Missing the main ingredient, of course. Because Donnie would have to be crazy to venture out into that mess. I’m sure he used the power issue as an opportunity to get some sleep, or to get weird with his hella hot wife. And who can blame him?


The fun isn’t over! That’s just the first night. Keep an eye on me for the rest of the recaps, coming soon!


NKOTB Cruise X – Games? Games? Games? Games? Games? (Part 3)

(Missed parts 1 and 2? No worries! Just click those numbers and read up!)

Megan was learning the non-stop ways of the cruise very quickly as I dragged her along to the next event after Sail Away. We did stop in our room to freshen up and make use of that $80 bottle of mediocre vodka I had purchased before heading up to the first theater event of the weekend, but there’s only so “fresh” I can get when I’m sweating constantly and aging by the minute. I mention the cost of that damn bottle of vodka every year because every year it annoys me. I need it. I can’t navigate a world where there’s no room to breathe and everyone is after the same thing without it. It helps my face be (moderately) friendly. But damn. $80 and it goes so fast when you don’t sleep. But I do it for all of us, really. You’re welcome.

We managed to find our way to the theater, and with all the excitement of getting on the boat, I hadn’t even looked at my bracelet to see where our seats were. I was pleased to see that they were on the floor, but not so pleased when I sat down in row N, the 2nd to last row that sits under the balcony overhang. But hey, you might be thinking, didn’t you have obstructed view last year? Surely this was better. Don’t worry, friends. There was once again a giant pole in between our legs. But like, too big to be fun. You know. Blocking our view, not sexing us up. No problem. No problem. We could just stand up with everyone else, and simply look around the pole. Easy. Except. When we stood up, all we saw were crotches and thighs and a whole lot of ceiling. Which wasn’t actually terrible when I pointed my eyes at Joe, because there he was without pants, again. I don’t know why and I won’t ask because Joe in his tighty whities was literally the saving grace of Game Show night.

Not a bad view from sitting down. Standing up would be all bulge. Which is probably exactly how Joe feels.

When I say Game Show night, I mean “Game Show” night because boy, was that term used loosely. The guys all looked mildly panicked, like they had just been asked to deliver a book report on something they hadn’t read. Or even heard of. And that book was called “Charades”. None of them seemed to know how charades worked or whether or not people from the crowd were supposed to play. It was a mess. Usually when New Kids things are a mess, they’re an adorable, charming mess. Like when Joe talked at length about his longing to blow a dude in 2016, or when Jon tries to do the YMCA. This just seemed wholly unplanned. Or maybe I just couldn’t see the planned parts. Maybe they had their shit together for Group A. Maybe somebody googled “charades”.

Megan bailed for most of this show, to wander and gather her thoughts or to sleep upside down like a bat or whatever it is she does when she’s not in front of my face, so I relied on the ladies behind me for entertainment and a snark two-way road. They kept saying to each other everything I was thinking to myself (and jotting down as notes for this blog). I don’t know their names, (but I do know that they are @dewswaterbottle on social media). One thing I will say, is that the guys seemed to know that what was happening was sad and cobbled together. At one point, Joe shouted, “You’re just cheering because I put my hands up and you saw my balls!” Which was funny, but questionable. I’ve never once cheered for balls. Dicks? Sure. As long as I asked to see said dick. But balls? Don’t think for one second that even Sexy McSexerson Joey McIntyre has cute balls. But like. I’d still look. I just wouldn’t cheer. I don’t mean to be a complainer, but there was so much not happening on stage that it was getting dangerously close to when Joe literally meditated silently for 5 minutes onstage last year. NOT AGAIN! There were several moments of clear self-awareness, however, which the guys are always good for. Joe mentioned how the show was on life support, and Donnie gave a sarcastic recap of the evening that out-snarked even me. But you guys. Joe is genuinely funny. Like. I am a comic. A stand-up. I hang out with comedians almost exclusively. And he’s fucking funny. I love/hate it because it makes me believe in fate. My 4-year-old self could sense a connection even in 1988. (I usually keep the thirst in check but he looked GOOD this year. Better than normal. Must be all the meditation and airing out of balls.)

Heeeey…snarky ladies!

Megan popped back in long enough to say, “Wow, Danny is completely hairless. He looks like hardwood floors.” which made me laugh out loud and probably spit out some precious, precious vodka. I did tell her that Donnie is also hairless, and wondered out loud if that made him hardwood floors as well, or more like a tasteful porcelain tile. I personally prefer a nice Berber carpet. Like Joe. Then we made our way out of there and got our hands on some After-Party bracelets. The kind that gets you in all weekend but looks a little like a hospital bracelet, which is actually appropriate considering I likely need medical attention after partying that hard for that long. How did we get them? Magic, probably.

Did we ever eat? I honestly couldn’t say. We may have eaten before the game show, but probably not. I just looked at the itinerary and there doesn’t seem to be time. I don’t see us eating before the lido party either, but we must have at some point. I’m a fat lady. I like eating. But I also like attention, so it stands to reason that we would just haul ass back to our cabin to get dressed for the Valentine Girls deck party. We had grand plans that involved gore makeup and a badass cupid costume that we quickly abandoned when faced with the reality of wearing those things in public, and ended up in our uniform of all black with a pop of red to fit the theme. Because we’re SO cool. But really because we’re so unprepared.

We are here.

I try to keep these at around a thousand words apiece for attention span reasons, so, this is it for now. Keep following to read about the first theme party and everything else that happened on this crazy cruise adventure. It only gets wilder.




NKOTB Cruise X – Sail Away Promises (Part 2)

(Missed part 1? Read it here!)

Most of our hotel-mates arose bright and early to go stand in line to hop on the boat, but as I’ve mentioned in great detail before, I hate standing in lines. And I hate being hot. (It’s a curse with this fantastic bod, I tell ya). That was a joke about being sexy. Just wanted to set the sarcastic tone a bit for first-time readers. Anyway, Megan and I slept in to avoid being actual corpses for the rest of the week, and then just sort of hung out at the resort until late afternoon, chatting with the resort employees and trying to practice speaking Spanish. Porque, solamente hablo español cuando estoy borracha.

We may have overdone the waiting around, though, because by the time we grabbed a Lyft, it was already pushing 1:45. And Megan needed sunglasses. We prepared to ask the Lyft driver to stop at a CVS on the way to port by having the resort staff teach us that phrase in Spanish. But when I said it out loud to the driver, he stared at me blankly. So I tried to piece together what little Spanish I knew and with the help of translating apps on each of our phones, we made it happen. Then he tried to drive us to the airport. After that was corrected and translated, we missed the exit for our port, and had to loop back around. At this point it was around 2:30 and I was panicking. I do like to waltz right onto the boat, but I definitely want to MAKE the boat. Instead of panicking, Megan was inexplicably spreading all of her stuff around the backseat of the Lyft, even putting the sunglasses she had just purchased in some strange cubby on the back of the center console, as if on a mission to leave them behind.

These pants were a risk, but not as big of a risk as our Lyft driver.

We screeched up to Terminal B, and I hopped out to ask the luggage dudes if it was for SURE the New Kids cruise, and they all shouted at me to hurry up because they were closing up luggage shop. So I in turn screamed to Megan to get out of the Lyft and get her luggage to these loud, angry men. We made it. Just as we stepped into the doorway of Terminal B, a brief and voracious downpour started, barely missing us and our Miami-frizzed hair. I took this as a sign of good luck that all of my compiled three years of cruise dreams were about to come true.

The process of getting on the boat seemed chaotic and ill-planned, even though we were the only people trying to get on. It seemed as if we had caught every Carnival employee on a break, and nobody wanted to tell us where the hell to go. We eventually found our way on, and hauled ass right to our cabin on deck 2 to attempt to get some door decorations up before Muster (or “mustard”, as Megan genuinely thought it was called. Because some people don’t like mustard. Logic!). We did not get any door decor up, but we did get a knock on the door and a visit from Miss Kelley, who I had only spoken to via Facebook. We were a little flustered and rushing and I’m sure Megan was a bit overwhelmed but before we knew it, it was time to go stand in the mustardy, moist heat for the safety drill. The drill that never ends. The drill that is led by the most attractive men and women I’ve ever seen all together outside of S Club 7. Do you think they pick overly attractive people just to taunt us while we sweat and whine? Last year Andrea Barber was standing in front of me, but this year there were no celebs for me to study in mundane circumstances, so I just paid attention like a jerk.

Ain’t no party like an S Club party. Except probably a New Kids party. Those are pretty lit.

After the sweet release, Megan and I took our Inaccurate & Inappropriate t-shirt-clad selves up to Lido deck for Megan’s first experience in true Blockhead culture. The sail away party. We had promised several people who purchased our t-shirts that we’d meet up with them for a group photo after, so we dutifully wore ours and kept an eye out for others as we tried to find a decent spot to stand where, let’s be honest, we’d be visible to the Donnie. Megan peeled off to grab drinks and I spotted the other parts of the former Trouble Trifecta, Rae and Jenn. We approached them with an enthusiasm that was not at all matched, so after a quick hello, I retreated from the sun with my wagging tail between my legs. Which, seems like it would feel kind of good. The Miami sun was beating us like it was in the NFL and we couldn’t take it. We took cover under the red bar and that’s where we stayed put until the last syllables of “Live it, live it, live it up” echoed in our ears. Side note: “Girl, I don’t cheat but I want to”? Terrible lyrics. Terrible. That song is like all of Taylor Swift. I hate it but I can’t stop grooving to it. We did not get near any of the bros on the block, but we did talk about how they manage to just get hotter as the years go on. Which is frankly, just rude to those of us who are barely past 30 and getting grosser every day. I mean, I’m almost 34 but I can barely remember the past three years so I’m not counting them. I briefly quizzed Megan on which New Kid was which, and she almost got it right, only mixing up Jordan and Joe. We were on our way to a helluva Blockhead weekend.

We had never made an actual time/location plan for taking our I&I group pic, so I posted a selfie to what I thought was the I&I Facebook page, reminding everyone to meet us after the guys left. As it turns out, I was paying too much attention to Donnie’s open shirt, and not enough attention to my phone because I posted it to my personal page, doing us no good. So. Megan and I decided to just sort of stand near the doors to the elevators and look available. Kind of like the strategy I used to employ at school dances. I did run into Cait, another lovely who I had only known from Facebook and who I creeped out by knowing her name, so that was nice. When it had been an embarrassingly long time and we still hadn’t seen anyone with our shirts on, we figured our flash in the pan was already over, shrugged and bounced down to our cabin to get acclimated and get those damn door decorations up.

This reminder to meet up for a group pic remains untouched on my Facebook.

We lacked planning for most aspects of this trip, and the door decorations were no different. What we ended up with, were a bunch of pictures of the two of us, some post-its and instructions for people to roast us. It became a very fun game to come back to the room and see what hilarious thing a fellow Blockhead had left on our door. Although, it did take a little prodding to get you hearts of gold to actually be mean.


(Look out for part 3 to hear about the “game show” and Valentine Girl night!)