Monthly Archives: November 2016

Adventures in My Colon: Extended Stay

As I was being wheeled out of the Cat Scan, I passed Taylor from high school in the hallway and gave him a sort of raised eyebrow “‘sup, bro?” look that I often default to when I panic. Luckily, that was the last I saw of him.

I spent quite a bit of time laying in that ER bed, soaking up saline and Tylenol to bring my fever down, waiting for a diagnosis. I was expecting to be sent home with a warning to remember to drink water and some Gas-X. Or maybe they’d do some sort of forced air-letting procedure that I didn’t know about. Or maybe it’d be like those scenes of mothers-to-be who think they’re in labor, but then they let out a surprise fart that ranks on the Richter scale and they’re all better. I was ready for any of those scenarios. I was not ready for a general surgery team to come stand around my bed with concerned looks on their faces, poke my belly one at a time and tell me I had Acute Diverticulitis that had caused a perforation in my colon and inflamed my appendix while it was at it. And that I would likely need emergency surgery. And that I had better get comfortable because I was staying for at least three days. But they’d have the Colorectal Surgical team come discuss that with me later. When they had a minute to free their forearms from inside someone’s intestines.

While I waited for an actual bed to open up, my sister ran home to get me things I’d need for an extended hospital stay. Like underwear and other pants that didn’t smell like a porta-potty. And I panicked. I had never been admitted to the hospital before. I didn’t even know where my health insurance card was. I had to tell the poor info-gatherer that I knew the name of it, but that was it. Unfortunately, the name of my insurance provider didn’t ring a bell with the person who collects names of insurance providers for a living. That was mildly alarming. She said she’d keep digging, but would put me down as a “self-pay” in the meantime. That sounds like the exact opposite of what you want to happen, but I was full of needles and tubes and foreign liquids and embarrassment so I just said “K” and tried to fall asleep.

As would become a theme, someone came in just as I was drifting into sleep to tell me that they had a room for me and we were going upstairs. They wheeled me on a stretcher, through the halls, into an elevator and into the “Bone Marrow Transplant” wing. Also mildly alarming. I had a moment of fear, thinking they had forgotten to tell me about the part where they’d be swapping the inside of my bones with someone else’s. But it turns out they just didn’t have space anywhere else. And the room was private. So I didn’t mind. And nobody tried to take the liquid from inside my bones. So that was nice. I was told I was not allowed to have any liquid or food until further notice, which was a sonofabitch since I hadn’t eaten anything in three full days already, and because as soon as someone tells me I can’t have something, that thing is all I want. Suddenly my mouth was the driest it had ever been and I felt an emergent need to guzzle a gallon of water. But alas, I could not. So instead I welcomed some intravenous Dilaudid and floated into a numb sleep for the hour it took to wear off.

I mentioned in the previous installment (and every day of my life) that I don’t particularly like being touched by strangers. As it turns out, when you are hospitalized, there is literally always somebody touching you. I had nurses come in to check my skin for bed sores, even though I had only been there for 6 hours. I had nurses checking to make sure I could push on their hands with my feet (gross) and I had someone taking my vitals every twenty minutes. It was probably every few hours, but it felt constant. I was rated as “independent” as far as mobility, which meant I was able to get up and use the bathroom by myself. Something to be said about small luxuries. What was a little less luxurious, however, was the fact that they wanted to measure my bodily output, so I had to pee (and poo) in little trays that were installed under the toilet seat. And the nurses always forgot to empty them because they didn’t necessarily know when I was using the bathroom. So I spent a lot of time thinking about my bodily waste just hanging out a few feet from the end of my bed. I didn’t have a lot else going on in between visitors. Of which there were many. Yes, I’m very popular when my colon has a hole in it. And there’s no situation that wants to see friends and loved ones more than when you’re at your worst, health and beauty-wise.

My finest hour.

My finest hour.

Hospitals are where sleep goes to die, and I guess where some people go to die, too. But I was mostly concerned with the sleep, since nobody had told me to prepare for the end of days or ask if I had an end of life plan or anything. My sister stayed with me the first night, and my bestie drove in from Detroit for the second night. After that, I was on my own. Except for the endless parade of nurses, assistants and restockers who seem to only need to do things to my body and my room in the middle of the night. They came to take my blood every single morning between 3am and 5am, for some reason. And it was a different person or team of people every time. And apparently I don’t have veins. At all. Well, I guess I had two, but they were already occupied by two separate IV lines that were installed by Taylor from high school. What happens when someone needs your blood but you don’t have veins, you might be asking yourself. As it turns out, they’ll stab the tip of your finger and literally milk it for enough blood to fill their vial. Twice. Picture an udder being worked real good. Now replace that with my middle finger and tell me it’s not oddly sexual. Exactly. I had that thought as it happened, and said it out loud to the tiny woman who was giving my finger a hand job. She did not think it was funny. She did turn red and leave immediately. Oops.

Between all the excitement of the constant poking, prodding and squeezing the life out of my arm to gauge my blood pressure, I was treated to a revolving door of surgeons and doctors, none of which seemed to have spoken to the others about my condition, and all who barely had time to look at my face before poking my belly, giving me information that conflicted with the doctor before him and high-tailing it out of there. One very small, old, angry man stood at the foot of my bed and told me I’d be unable to consume anything but clear liquids for several weeks, and then warned me that I’d have to eat fiber for the rest of my life as if he was telling me I’d have to eat literal grass. He did take the time to condescendingly mention that they make fiber cookies, so I might find it in my fat, fat heart to shove one in my face every once in a while. I filled in that last part for him, but if you were there, you’d have gotten the same vibe. I eat vegetables. I promise. I even like them. Dick.

I never did have surgery, but I did spend a lot of time crying and getting positive attention when I pooped or showered. It was like a vacation into early childhood that I never asked for. It was really strange. By day 5, I was finally allowed to eat soft foods, but they had stopped giving me pain medication, so it seemed like a wash. Day 5 was also the day that they had to change out my IVs. But if you remember, I have absolutely zero veins, so this was problematic. Several nurses came in to tie off my arms so tightly that now I’ll for sure never do heroin. They also slapped my arms, warmed them with heating pads, flicked them, rubbed lightly for some reason, and complained a lot about how I didn’t have veins. I was actually starting to feel guilty, like I had hidden them as a fun joke. “Haha, gotcha! I buried my veins and now you have to jack off my finger for blood!” Even the nurse who had a reputation for being able to stab veins and stab them good couldn’t find one. So they had to call in the big guns. The best in the biz. The “Hospital Supervisor”. He waltzed into my room with an assistant sometime after 8pm. I warned him that many had tried and failed before him, but he brushed it off and got down to business tying off my left arm and tapping it, brow furrowed. He was very attractive. That’s not important, but I feel like I need to give him hottie credit where credit is due. While he distracted me with conversation, he deftly penetrated the crook of my arm and inserted the IV tube (sick) without me even noticing. He was that good. One try. Mic drop. Done. As he got up to leave, I asked him if he’d like me to play some sort of theme music for him to strut down the hallway to. He said no. He didn’t need it. He was the hospital supervisor.

Even though I was told by different surgeons at different times that I would have to have surgery, that I’d be in the hospital for several more days, that I could only have clear liquids and fiber cookies for the rest of my life, etc, I was released into the wild the next morning with little to no fanfare. I still didn’t know what I was supposed to eat, having only been told “anything someone without teeth could eat”. But since I have teeth, it’s all suppositions. My discharge paperwork listed me as a smoker, even though I answered that question with a “no” each of the 47 times it was asked. They shoved two prescriptions into my hands, one for a huge antibiotic and one for a stool softener, that I am to take twice daily until they’re gone. I was told that I still had an infection, but they were hoping the oral antibiotics would kick it. And then they said to come in for another CT “around the 5th of December” to make sure. It was all very clear and helpful. But at least now I get to talk about my colon a lot. You’re welcome for that.

It’s been a week since I’ve been out, and I’m still not eating normally because I’m still not digesting and evicting normally. But at least I’m dropping some poundage. Some might say that losing 17 pounds in two weeks is unhealthy. Those people should see my new waistline. And then shut up.

If only Taylor from high school could see me now. Curvy and not leaking gel-like excrement.

Adventures in My Colon: The ER

I never go to the doctor. Like, never. I hate it. I hate people touching me, and I especially hate when those people are old men wearing rubber gloves and breathing heavily. That was a dig at my former general care provider, but I’m not worried about him reading this and getting his feelings hurt because he’s a literal mouth-breather and we all know mouth-breathers can’t read.

Actually believing I might die will get me into the Emergency Room, however, and that’s just where I found myself on a Wednesday evening. I had been suffering for a couple of days with what I thought was just really stubborn gas. I know, I’m very cute. My stomach was bloated. At least, I assume it was. When you’re a chub-monster, it’s hard to tell what’s bloat and what’s just been there all along. It hurt to sit upright, because it put pressure on my lower abdomen and my back door, which was quickly becoming a collective problem area. I spent two days just sort of lying flat on my back in bed and deflecting my cat’s repeated attempts to leap onto my very tender belly. I didn’t eat. I barely drank water, even though I did make a conscious effort to try. I just laid there and hoped the pain away. Until I was shivering, sweating and barely able to stand, that is. I decided that having my sister bring me to the ER was going to be better than dying and having my cats eat my face. You know, in the long run.

Brace yourselves, things are going to get pretty gross.

As I’m sure most of you are aware, stomach pains also tend to come with some interesting trips to the bathroom. In my case, my trips were mostly wishful pushing with no payout. At the worst of it, the payout happened when I didn’t know it was going to, which is a fun activity for when you’re too weak to do laundry or shower. I’m talking about poop. Just in case you weren’t coming with me on that. Well, not poop, per se. But a poop-adjacent substance that was coming from the same starting address. I did not smell very good. Like, as a person. By the time my sister picked me up to deliver me to the ER, I was a hot mess. Literally hot, with a fever of 103, and was barely able to hold myself upright in the wheelchair they situated underneath my collapsing body in the waiting room. In fact, I spent about fifteen minutes absolutely POSITIVE that I was going to die in the waiting room of the Spectrum ER, and all I could think about was that I wasn’t wearing underwear and my t-shirt was covered in cat hair.

The nurse who triaged me must have noticed the Grim Reaper standing behind me like Donald Trump at a presidential debate, because she fast-tracked me to a bed, citing my high fever, heart rate and severe dehydration. While I was being wheeled toward my awaiting bed, I saw a familiar face in scrubs. It was a hot guy from my high school. Of course it was. More serious than I’ve ever been about anything, I told the woman pushing me that under NO circumstances was that man allowed to provide me with medical care. NO CIRCUMSTANCES. I’d rather die. And with context clues, I think you can see that’s not hyperbole. I’d rather literally die than explain what was happening to my body to Taylor from 11th grade Journalism class.

Obviously, since I’m me and the universe hates my guts, it was Taylor from 11th grade Journalism class who parted the curtain and introduced himself to me before saying, “you look familiar”. I cringed, said, “we went to high school together and this is my worst nightmare” and then just sort of accepted that this was happening. He laughed, but then got right down to business, asking if I could be pregnant, what was bothering me, was I throwing up, when was my last period? Well, Taylor from high school, I stopped bleeding about two weeks ago and I feel like throwing up right now. Does that count? My sister sat at my bedside, grinning from ear to ear and enjoying the excruciating show. I think she even said, “this is amazing” out loud, like an asshole. I mean, from the perspective of anyone else, I’m sure it was very amusing. Me, explaining that some sort of gel-like excrement was leaking out of my body without notifying me first. Him, nodding earnestly and asking if the discharge was coming from my anus or my vagina. Me, dying a little inside and explaining that there was nothing wrong with my vagina. We could stop talking about my vagina any time, Taylor from high school.

While I tried my best to melt into the starchy sheets so I’d never have to look another person in the eye ever again, I was reminded that I needed to produce some testable urine so they could make sure my uterus was empty enough to administer drugs, do the required Cat Scan of my belly and pump me full of hydration through my veins. Only, I was severely dehydrated so there just wasn’t any urine. I tried telling them that the only way my uterus was chock full of fetus was if it was the Lord’s baby, but they apparently can’t take my word for it. Faced with the possibility of a catheter and having Taylor from high school insert a tube into my smallest hole, I somehow mustered up enough miracle pee to prove that I wasn’t pregnant, and got the sweet, sweet saline I had been promised. Taylor from high school rolled me down the hall to the CT room, said not to worry because he was bound by HIPAA laws, and that his shift was over, verbally ending my personal hell. I am not bound by HIPAA laws, clearly. You’re welcome and I’m sorry.


NKOTB Cruise 2016: An Attempted Recap (Final Installment)

(If you somehow missed them, here are parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7)

This is it. The last day. The last full day of my world revolving completely around the New Kids on the Block instead of multi-function copy machines, two clingy cats and all-female comedy.

I left off having gone back to bed after failing to get my life together long enough to play poker in Donnie’s tourney, and I’m still mostly ok with that decision. I lay uselessly in bed for most of the morning until Rachael’s productivity made me feel guilty enough to get up and shower. Then I laid back down because I’m a garbage person who isn’t used to moving around that much in a three-day period (or a six-month period, tbh). I needed to be like Rachael and pack my stuff. Everyone, even the virgins, know you’re supposed to pack everything up during the day on Sunday, because once night falls, all is lost in the last deck party that goes on into literal eternity. But I didn’t wanna. I wanted to pretend like it wasn’t ending, even though my body was screaming at me to just go home and lay down forever, maybe in a bathtub full of warmed lube.

Eventually I did make it onto my feet and managed to not only pack my things, but to get into my outfit for GPS Night as well. I was rocking the same tights and plus-size hoochie skirt I had worn for the photo-op, but with my comedy group’s T-shirt (That’s Funny Girls, if you don’t already know), a tastefully trendy vintage flannel tied around my waist and a flat-bill “GR” hat, along with my then-signature bright blue lipstick because DAMMIT JOE, WHY WON’T YOU NOTICE ME?! Ahem – sorry. Pent up feelings. Anyway, I was…pretty fly. For a white guy.

Look! I'm so hip and with it!

Look! I’m so hip and with it!

By the time we had packed, eaten, gotten dressed and beat our faces (that’s slang for putting on makeup, don’t call the police) it was coming up on 7:30, which was the official time of the official “Final Poker Table with THE Donnie Wahlberg”. You know, the one I could have maybe been at if I hadn’t been a walking piece of trash. We thought it sounded like a good opportunity to stare at Donnie from a comfortable distance, so we grabbed some drinks and headed down to the casino. The actual poker game wasn’t super entertaining, since we couldn’t see what was going on at all and poker doesn’t require a lot of banter. But the antics of Johnny trying to keep the small crowd entertained before Donnie arrived were pure delight. Also, I never realized how hot Johnny is. Like. I’ve seen him before, sure. But I must have been blinded by New Kids because DAMN! And I normally don’t like a white guy in a flat-bill. Despite the outfit I was wearing at the time. We stood around and watched the game for what felt like an eternity, then I got bored with the situation (my drink was gone) and decided I wanted to go freshen up and head to that evening’s theater show before it was too late. Rachael looked at me like I was insane (fair) but said she’d catch me later in line for the show.

Approximately ten minutes after I left, the game wrapped up and Donnie took selfies with everyone who was hanging around. Everyone. But not me! Because I was back in the room with my tongue hanging out of my face, trying to pour the last of the world’s most expensive shitty vodka into a water bottle holding grape-flavored water without spilling. My priorities are a mess.

As we walked into the “Trifecta” show (Danny, Jordan and Joe doing solo acts, respectively), Rachael explained to me that I really need to learn some patience as she told me about how her face is now on Donnie Wahlberg’s personal phone. I tried to shake it off, with the help of that vodka-water, and settled in to enjoy Danny’s show. It was pretty low-key, save for the infamous moment when a girl in the front yelled, “Where’s Joe?!” and Danny verbally hulked out on her. In the best possible way. Was I almost falling asleep because of the lull of the acoustic guitar? Maybe. Would I be so rude as to make someone onstage feel like they were wasting my time? Also maybe. But not a New Kid! I would never. That’s like giving the Pope a wet willy. Which sounds hilarious, in theory. But I bet he’d get pretty mad. But I digress. Danny made it offstage without kicking that girl in the ovaries (I still volunteer to do the dirty work) and Jordan hopped on to play us approximately two songs that did NOT include “Give it To You” and effectively broke my heart like it was 1999. I learned that dance, Jordan. I bought Darrin’s Dance Grooves on VHS for YOU.

Look at this photo of an innocent young man and then read the next paragraph.

Look at this photo of an innocent young man and then read the next paragraph.

Still reeling from that blow, I lost all hope that Joe would sing “Stay the Same” or even “I Love You Came Too Late”, and I was right. Because instead of sing, he did comedy. Which ended up being great. I’m normally a straight up yotch (that’s the last part of beotch) when faced with comedy I don’t already like. I’m critical. Because I do comedy. Into a microphone. And I see a LOT of bad comedy. Open mic nights are the devil’s…well…open mic night. Adam Ray was really funny, though. Even the stuff that seemed like it was ripped straight from the cackling faces of Chris D’Elia’s “Drunk Girls”. And of course, I can’t forget about what I’m calling the “Cocksucker Soliloquy”. The several uncomfortable minutes spent watching Joey outwardly confess his inward struggle to balance his heterosexuality with his apparent desire to put his mouth on a penis. And the moment we were all sure he was going to deep throat a banana. That got weird. But, alas, he didn’t deep throat a banana. He peeled it and gave it away. I think there’s a metaphor somewhere in there, but I’m too lazy to find it (that’s what he said – get it? Like a clitoris…).

Dazed and more sexually confused than normal, I left the theater to head immediately to the Lido Deck for that night’s final deck party while Rachael ran back to the room to get changed into her “this is where I’m from” outfit. We ended up in the same spot, stage right, as the night before and it worked out pretty well until the surging crowd, pitching ship and everyone who slowly left throughout the night left us directly in front of the enormous speakers. It’s almost two weeks later and my ears are still ringing. Well, the left one. We were determined to stay out there the whole night, until Donnie left. You don’t leave before Donnie leaves. That’s the RULE. Through repeated plays of “Shots”, “I Can’t Feel My Face” and even “Sweet Caroline”, we danced, swayed and took shots of tequila. And sweat. Lots of sweating. As Donnie appeared to run out of ways to keep us entertained and motivated, he pulled more and more people onstage and just sort of left them there for the better part of three hours. I started to feel bad for some of them because I know at least one of them had to pee, or pick a wedgie or something.

Faux Joe and his moment of fame.

Faux Joe and his moment of fame.

Highlights of the evening include Jon proving he does not know the “moves” to YMCA, even though it’s literally just spelling that with your arms, all of the husbands being forced into stripteases that ranged from cringe-worthy to downright impressive (I’m looking at you, Brandon and Roderick. Straight killed it!) and then finally, the universally beloved Reagan, who managed to pump out the lyrics to every song that played in between adorable sobs and giggles at being in such close proximity to Donnie. I spent most of my time in the crowd willing Jenny McCarthy to notice that the sticker on my hat said “Funny Girls” and to want to discuss that with me in depth somewhere quieter. Of course, I merely bopped until I couldn’t any longer. She never so much as looked my way. And I didn’t get the golden comedy ticket to my future of fame and sarcasm (yet).

Sort of looks like she might be noticing me. But she wasn't.

Sort of looks like she might be noticing me. But she wasn’t.

When the powers that be finally said they had to start tearing the equipment down, we all shuffled back to our cabins. I flopped into bed, fully sweaty (just salty at that point, really) and 89% actually dead, and Rachael kept packing. I slept on and off amidst the sounds of her zipping or unzipping approximately one million bags until the least popular voice I’ve ever heard came over the loudspeaker and told me it was time to get off the damn boat. And so we did. And we’ll never be the same.

I still look like this, almost two weeks later.

I still look like this, almost two weeks later.

NKOTB Cruise 2016: An Attempted Recap (Day 3.5 – The After-Party)

(Read parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 if you haven’t already!)

I last left you all with a mental image of “Mama’s Special Treat” and you’re welcome. One reader misread it as “Mama’s Special Threat” and I almost like that better. After all, Sex as a Weapon was the name of TLC’s fictional girl group in the seminal film, House Party III, and as we all know, TLC toured with NKOTB, so it all relates in the end. Six degrees of grasping at straws.

As you may remember, Rachael and I had wristbands to get into the VIP After-Party again that night, and we thought we’d be cool and take Jennifer with us. I was sure I’d be able to find Cory, nudge him playfully like best friends do, and get her a wristband to get in as well. But he was nowhere to be found when we walked in. And the door guy was NOT playing around. He said no when I asked if I could ask him a question. And then he guessed the question. So. It wasn’t his first overly-hormoned rodeo. Jennifer assured us she was grateful for the excuse to sleep, and we went back in to join the dance floor debauchery and pretend we weren’t walking zombies at that point, after like 16 hours of continuous drinking (for me).

Pics or it didn't happen

Pics or it didn’t happen

Donnie was actually on the mini-stage when we found our spots amid the dance floor chaos, and shortly after started moving through the crowd, pausing to dance with groups here and there. He got to us, danced jovially with Rachael for what felt like eternity, and I just sort of bopped cordially off to the side a bit. I may have patted him on the upper arm like, “Hey bud. Thanks for comin’ out.” But that’s it. I’m usually so full of confidence and false bravado. I have no idea what happens to me when faced with this particular brand of boyband (or their significant others). After I literally could NOT anymore with the girl who kept going back and forth between us, causing me to step back and make exaggerated hand gestures about once every 30 seconds, we thought we’d be coy and head back up to our special vantage point from the previous evening.

Except. They had gotten wise to our game and roped it off like a true VIP area. Rachael thought we should try to get Cory’s attention and make up some sign language that would spell out, “Hey! Remember us? We were there last night and were SO cool you barely even noticed us. Whaddya say?!” but I don’t know sign language and I have low self-esteem, so instead we just hovered near the stairs and got annoyed when it became apparent that they were letting everyone who waited in line into the club. It was over-crowded. I was tired. I was barely hanging on. Rachael had somehow found a renewed zest for life that probably comes with NOT drinking one’s weight in tequila continuously for two entire full-time work days. (That’s 16 hours…not sure if you came with me on that one.) We found ourselves directing people to bathrooms since we were standing near the entrance, and I responded to annoyance and fatigue with that super-hard dancing I explained in an earlier blog. It’s weird. I know. It just…comes out.

I only have one contact in, I lost my voice, my ears are ringing, my feet feel like they're being repeatedly hit with hammers, and I still have to go to the after party. Because when only 100 people are invited and you're one of them. You go.

“I only have one contact in, I lost my voice, my ears are ringing, my feet feel like they’re being repeatedly hit with hammers, and I still have to go to the after party. Because when only 100 people are invited and you’re one of them. You go.” – My Insta Caption

So, while Rachael sparked up a conversation with Carlos, another of those disproportionately good looking Rose Tours security staff who introduced himself as “Carlos with a C” (As opposed to…?), I danced awkwardly near them, trying to will myself to stay awake and alert, so as not to fall victim to FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Carlos complimented me on my gore makeup, and asked if I was a big NKOTB fan, and I simply displayed my NKOTB tattooed hand and kept awkwardly bopping. I’m very cool. I kept one eye on the door and my sweet, sweet release, and the other on a very drunk Jon, who was up in the coveted VIP couch area, sloppily hugging people and laughing. It looked like a great time. I was jealous. And I was still in my bathing suit/short robe combo, but my bathing suit bottoms had stretched to an unrecognizable crotch, and Mama’s Special Threat was pretty much hanging out for the world to admire. Maybe that’s why I was dancing. But the time had come. I was done. I could no longer stand upright. It was somewhere around 5:30am and I needed to put my feet above my head for blood-flow reasons.

I did manage to take the gore makeup off before flopping into bed, but left it on the bathroom counter to scare Rachael during an early morning pee. Nothing more invigorating than a mid-pee scare. My alarm went off promptly at 9, three hours after I put head to pillow. I was supposed to play in the Donnie Wahlberg poker tournament at 10am. And I had to. Because if I beat all 9 people at my table, I’d get to sit at Donnie’s table that evening and play with him. So. I had to force myself to get up. I couldn’t open my eyes enough to force contacts in, so I threw on my smudged glasses, barely wiped the makeup from hours ago off my face, and made my way to the elevators so I could struggle to push the right button for about 10 minutes.

That could have been me. But I don't play poker and I'm not hot.

That could have been me. But I don’t play poker and I’m not hot.

I was running late, and of course the elevators I chose didn’t even go to the area I needed. So I had to go back up, walk to the other end of the ship, figure out how to push buttons that corresponded with numbers AGAIN, and then act like walking into a casino at 10am, while my head felt like it was packed ear-to-ear with cotton, was a totally normal thing to do. I wandered over to the table, but I was seeing two of everything because I was violently hungover. I heard the Carnival liaison say that it was $30 in cash to join in the game, and I panicked. Literally everything else just goes on your Sign & Sail card. I didn’t have cash. So I just shrugged and decided that was fate’s way of telling me to go back to bed. Which is exactly what I did.

I threw away my chance to play poker with Donnie Wahlberg. But I sincerely doubt I’d have been able to figure out video poker in the state I was in. Again, I couldn’t even figure out the elevator. I stand by my decision.

NKOTB Cruise 2016: An Attempted Recap (Day 3 – The Concert)

Re-entering the ship on Saturday afternoon was the drunkest I had been yet. As evidenced by my 30-second romance in duty-free and the endless waterfall of words that was pouring out of my mouth. Rather than let the sleepies set in, Jennifer and I decided to drink through it and headed to the Lido Deck for some more tequila. Decision-making at its finest.

We weren’t the only ones with that idea. As I turned around after grabbing yet another margarita, I noticed the “Scots” of former Rock This Boat fame. I was primed to hate them, what with my rampant feminism and bloodstream full of tequila. My mission was clear. I marched up to the little one (you know how it is, can’t remember names but there’s a tall one and a small one. Don’t act like you don’t classify them the same way) with every intention to throw a “how dare you” in his face, but what came out was, “I have some questions for you.” He just laughed and said, “Well, ok!” I’m pretty sure I asked if his dick had fallen off yet, which is a really lovely way to open any conversation. But he took it in stride. In fact, he told me everything about their experience with Rock This Boat and slowly, begrudgingly, I began to find him charming. The tall one joined and seemed reluctant to speak with me after I mentioned I was a blogger (understandable, since here I am, blogging the entire conversation) but opened up after he realized I was approaching them as a bro and not as someone who either wanted to sleep with them, or who was angry they didn’t want to sleep with me. However, I definitely used my hot cruise-roomie as bait. Sorry, Rachael, but we play the hand we’re dealt. Some gems I learned from our conversation include that they’re not even Scottish, they’re British. *They embarked on a New Kids cruise after having been on a Backstreet Boys Cruise (why does this feel like a betrayal?) and really liking the whole vibe (I bet you did). While on the cruise one year, they met the suits from RTB and the rest is history. They thought the “bikini girls” were very nice, but would never chase women with such lame “dad joke” come-ons. Judging by the two blondes who never left their sides, I believe them. They don’t have to try that hard. They have British accents and they’re few of the only single men on the ship. They barely need to stand upright for women to come to them. But, everyone needs a villain, I guess. Now, the firemen on the other hand…

This photo does not do much to disprove their creepiness...

This photo does not do much to disprove their creepiness…

Now, on to the more important men on the boat, the hot-as-hell Rose Tours security staff. Am I right?! They were disproportionately hot (or strategically?) but of course I mean our fave five. Because Saturday evening was the evening of the Group A concert. And I was pretty pumped. I hadn’t seen the guys since The Main Event and I was itchin’ for some grown man choreography (and Jon). I was a teensy bit late coming into the show, since my Halloween makeup for that night’s theme had to set, but I figured I’d be fine since the cruise is generally on Donnie Time. Except that evening, apparently. Since they were well under way when I walked in and fumbled to my seat-space, that was, let’s face it, a little too small for my ass. Is it some kind of cruel joke to have bench seating for a group of women who tend to be on the heftier side? I’m not being mean, because I’m included in that group. It’s just like…I got to know the left ass cheek of the girl next to me REALLY well. Its name was Chester. Chester the Cheek. The concert was delightful and low-key. They cleverly took us on a trip through their albums and questionable fashion choices as a vehicle to wax nostalgic about certain songs and play all of our favorites. I loved it. I’d go to a tour that did the very same thing. Without the pyrotechnics and moving stage pieces, even.



After the concert was the deck party again, and we ended up standing off to the side, stage right. By the rum bar, I believe. Rachael was dressed as an adorably sexy Cat in the Hat and I was “Beauty is Pain” which was essentially just me in a short bathrobe with an eyelash brush shoved through my cheek. I was still riding a pretty great day-drunk-turned-just-plain-drunk and kept overly apologizing to those around me that they might see my butt cheeks a bit. Considering I was dancing like someone paid me and I was wearing nothing but a short robe over my ill-fitting bathing suit. At one point, the firemen came over to talk to my roommate (again, she’s pretty and lovely) while I stood back and made weird comments about STDs (like you do). I caught the eye of a lady who had nabbed a bar seat, and she laughed as we both made the “Ew, no” face at each other. (Shout out, Sara and Starr). Then, later as I was dancing with reckless abandon she mouthed “you’re hilarious” to me. While I always enjoy hearing about my own hilarity, I had to pause and decide whether being hilarious while dancing is a good thing.

Adore and gore...that's us.

Adore and gore…that’s us.

I’d like to take this time to remind everyone that this was my first cruise, so I was not privy to past information like, say, the groups of people that regularly get called up to the stage to lead the crowd in a rousing bout of “The Wobble”. I was doing the wobble in a group (near a group) of ladies and then the “wobble girls” got called to the stage. So I followed. It was only when I was standing on the platform, wondering how I was going to heave my ass up onto the stage that I realized I was the thing that did not belong. These girls had a pre-existing thing that I was not a part of. And I ALMOST climbed up on that stage with them and wobbled my white butt all over the place. Almost. I tried to cover it by pretending I was just trying to help them get up the side that had no stairs, but let’s be honest. I fucked up. I felt like an asshole as I slowly slunk back down to my spot in the crowd. Pouting visibly and exclaiming that I also knew how to do that damn dance. But alas, my moment on the stage never came.

Ok, so this is neither the Wobble Girls nor my booty, but it IS a good booty and it WAS on stage. (Shoutout Melissa)

Ok, so this is neither the Wobble Girls nor my booty, but it IS a good booty and it WAS on stage. (Shoutout Melissa)

In retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t get on stage that night. I was wearing only a bathrobe, after all. Nobody wants to see mama’s special treat. It’s just…not the same.


*Edited with clarification from the small Scot himself, after I drunkenly fumbled the info.