NKOTB Cruise 2017 (Part 3: Burgers and a Game Show)

(Read parts 1 and 2 here)

Leaving Sail Away with a smirk, Rae and I decided to grab burgers and take them down to our cabin to finish the door and to fix our faces, since surely our luggage would have been delivered by then. I stupidly left all my makeup in my large suitcase and was at the mercy of my melting face until it arrived. If I’m going to eat a burger, I want it to be the nastiest, messiest, calorie-rich burger in all the land, so I loaded that baby up with onions, mushrooms, mayo, pickles, and everything I could fit until it was a leaning tower of disgusting that I then decided to shove into my face while I walked. I don’t know, guys. I’m just SUCH a girly girl. You know? I was perfecting the Guy Fieri “hunch” while walking, and wiping away an errant mayonnaise blob as we turned the corner to the elevator bay and ran right into Mr. Jordan Knight. Rae and I just sort of looked at him, looked at each other, looked at our burgers, shrugged and ducked into an elevator so he didn’t realize we ate food like dumb humans. Everyone knows attractive people don’t eat food. Or poop.

I'm either a girly girl or a boy-y boy, I guess.

I’m either a girly girl or a boy-y boy, I guess. (Left is me during a blatant thirst-bid and Right is me in my drag king boyband getup.)

Once safely back in our cabin, we pushed our beds together to create more luggage space, and to cement our growing Sapphic undertones, obviously. Then I sat on my bed and shoved more burger pile into my face, directly in front of the open door. And then Z came back to see us. Right then. So now TWO men knew I ate food. What a disaster. We invited Z in, because it was already too late to keep up appearances. We chatted with him for awhile and learned that he was Donnie’s personal security detail, both on the cruise and on the set of Blue Bloods. Interesting. This seemed like a potentially valuable relationship. It’s my life goal to play a dead body on television. Blue Bloods seems like as good an opportunity as any. Let’s do this. I’m REALLY talented when it comes to laying somewhere, motionless. Just ask any sexual partner I’ve ever had. While we were schooling Z on the ins and outs of Blockhead culture (he’s SUCH a noob), Jenn came to see us and completed the Trouble Trifecta experience for Z. He’s a very nice man, for sure. Maybe too nice, since I had to remind him that I am a comedian after every self-deprecating joke I made. Which is honestly every time I speak. So. That got exhausting for all of us.

“Down time”, which is a laughable term for this cruise, is a little blurry for me what with all the vodka and rampant seasickness. But I do know that we all got ready for the Blockhead Ball before heading to the game show. Obviously, if you have late dining, you have to be prepared to haul ass to Lido immediately after whatever theater show you’ve just gone to. No wardrobe changes in between or you’ll end up relegated to the weird spot by the bathrooms, behind the pool. It’s like sitting in the bleachers during a school dance. Nobody talks to you, but you did it to yourself. My ball outfit was a vintage (1991) “Drugs Suck” t-shirt from Donnie’s anti-drug but pro-mullet crusade, and a scratchy floor-length gold skirt made of suicidal sequins. I broke the cardinal rule of ordering things online and didn’t try the skirt on in the weeks leading up to the cruise, so of course it was just a little too big. In order for my body to look decent in clothing, I need that clothing to hug my waist and to NOT MOVE. Because. I had part of my colon removed surgically (it was elective. I read a Buzzfeed list that said thigh gaps are out and intestinal gaps are in, so I booked an appointment right away), and now my belly button looks like it has a butthole of its very own. My skirt was threatening to show everyone this bellybutton butthole. So I secured it with an over-sized Joey Mac pin from the 80s. Like you do.

My body is too big to fit into a selfie. So. Just trust me about my outfit, Ok?

My body is too big to fit into a selfie. So. Just trust me about my outfit, Ok?

Once we had our faces beaten and our uncomfortable outfits secured, we realized our cabin smelled a lot like hamburger. Nothin’ sexier than the smell of ground meat and a splash of body spray. Not really knowing what to do with the rest of our burgers and uneaten, flaccid fries, we stashed the plates in the bathroom and pretended they didn’t exist. Which is honestly how I live my life in general. No sooner had we stashed the rotting cow-carcass, than did Z come back to see us (Rae) in our (her) BH Ball outfit(s). It was then that Ana asked him if her boobs distracted from the rest of her outfit, to which he responded that yes, yes they did. Fairly. She then asked him how she might get her hands on some VIP party bracelets. And he said, “keep hanging out with these two, some will magically appear”, very cryptically. I wasn’t sure if he was implying he had a thing for closeup magic, or if he was going to slip some under our door, or what. But I wanted answers. And I wanted into that night’s after party. But I didn’t want him to know that. So I gave him a sarcastic, “Oh yeah?” And moved on with my life.

Rae and I made some drinks with our $75 bottle of Skyy Vodka and headed to our first theater show of the weekend, the Game Show. And then we realized we were in the nosebleeds in the back of the theater, but don’t worry. There was a giant pole DIRECTLY in front of us. But um. Aren’t obstructed view seats supposed to come with the cheaper cabins? And aren’t you supposed to know if you might have those? We were not pleased. I had to get really friendly with the girl to my left as I leaned on her right breast for an hour, trying to catch a glimpse of Daddy’s Special Treat. For the love of everything holy, Joe was in a towel and was struggling to sit cross-legged on the damn stage and I had an OBSTRUCTED VIEW. Did I wrong someone in this life? Was this Karmic retribution? I didn’t even bother with silly questions such as, “Why are you in a towel, Joe?” Because, do you. Be nude. We love you and your surely over-hyped underwear monster.

What a view!

What a view!

Between Jordan lightly choking Donnie and all the drag queen runway walks, I ended up being delighted despite the obstructed view. Especially during the saga of Jon’s broken nose. I’ll not share details here on the internet since he took such great pains to make sure nobody had a camera out. I respect your pseudo-privacy, Jon. And I’ve been in a similar situation, bruh. Gotta watch the dosage. It’ll sneak up on ya. However, it was nearing the end of the game show and literally no game showing had happened. I was starting to feel bad for the excited BHs who got picked to be up there, on a team that was for no reason. But I couldn’t be salty. Not when my boo Brandon gets a chance to do his thing on stage. I want to say right here and now that I’m pretty sure Brandon is a witch. I can’t even walk down a sidewalk and maintain a conversation without getting winded. But somehow he can shake his groove thang and RAP without missing a goddamn beat. Witchcraft. Teach me your ways, witchy Brandon.

Listen, I told you guys my experience this year was weird. But if you’re into it, stick with me. Several more installments to come.

 

 

 

NKOTB Cruise 2017 (Part 2: Embarkation)

(You can read Part One here if you haven’t already.)

Thursday morning crept in and I was only mostly hungover, so I was in a pretty good place to begin the cruise adventure. The TT (that’s what I’m shortening “Trouble Trifecta” to from now on because it’s easier and it sounds like titty which I find hilarious) and our faithful fourth, Ana, checked out of the haunted AirBnB, said goodbye to the headless horseman or whatever, and set out in search of some brunch. One of these years I should probably try to get to port early so I can do that whole, “I saw Joe at embarkation and now I’m pregnant with spotlight-seeking twins!” thing, but I am not a morning person and my face is pretty frightening without at least two pounds of carefully placed makeup. And again, lines. I hate standing in line.

Literally our view from the living room window of the AirBnB. Like.

Literally our view from the living room window of the AirBnB. Like.

We sidled up to port sometime between 2 and 3pm, wine bottles in hand and a vague memory of our attempted (and foiled) vodka smuggling from last year hanging over me, and there was NO line. We waltzed right on. And NOBODY even glanced at my damn wine bottle. It could have been filled to the brim with cocaine and I would’ve walked it right onboard. But no. It was just stupid Cabernet Sauvignon. I did have my blue lipstick on, though. I wasn’t going to take any chances. As far as I knew, Donnie was face-blind to me and could only see the color blue, so you better believe I led with those #blukaki babies. I had it on for the infamous interview (and fans hated it with a weird passion) and I had it on when he recognized me and grabbed me in the crowd during the tour this summer. So. Yeah. It was a thing. A thing I’d like to discontinue because of waning makeup trends, but still.

Ok, so this is from the summer tour, but it's proof that the lipstick works.

Ok, so this is from the summer tour, but it’s proof that the lipstick works.

Once aboard, we lost Ana and Jenn, so Rae and I headed to deck 7 to survey the land and get our door decor up. Since our door decor was literally just one poster that we recycled from last year, it wasn’t a tall order. While standing in the doorway, I saw a dude wander past, said a cordial hello, and when he turned to say hello back I realized he was super foxy, so I revised my hello to sound more like, “hell-ohhh” and he smiled and did the same. Good start. Off to a good start. The countdown to the dreaded muster drill was upon us, and Rae and I wanted to take a lap before standing in excruciating heat for the rest of our lives, so we headed for the elevators where we ran into Mr. Hello again. Me, my Spanx leggings and my Lay-Z shirt were giving it all we had in the flirt department before we realized he was a member of security. And that he clearly had eyes for my roomie and not me or my big butt at all. But that didn’t stop me from answering with, “we’ll leave the door open for you” when he said he knew where our room was. Mr. Hello introduced himself with only one letter. We’ll call him Z. I said goodbye coyly (for no reason, since he was giving me nothing) and we headed up to muster miserably.

Mother-effing muster, you guys. I know it’s a necessary evil, and honestly, it’s not even the thing itself that’s annoying. It’s the other women. Particularly this loathsome foursome in front of me who had somehow managed to get wasted before sail-away. Was I a little jealous? Of course. But I got over it when I realized they might not have any bones in their bodies. Because they couldn’t manage to stand up by themselves without grabbing on each other and switching places every five seconds and making me roll my eyes so hard I got permanent vertigo. Andrea Barber (you know, Kimmy Gibbler?) was standing directly in front of them and I was just waiting for her to get an errant elbow to the back of the knee or something. Truthfully, I’d be curious to see her react to that. But she stayed perfectly calm and unbothered. Bless her heart. I was groaning audibly and making “can you believe this?” gestures to everyone around me. The only saving grace was a peppy lady who ran up to me to take a selfie, thus fanning my pseudo-celeb delusions and placating me for the time being. Thank you, Kristy. You saved those women from my vengeful tongue. Tim the fireman knows what my angry rhetoric can do. Don’t ask him about it, though. He’s still very salty.

Snark-saving selfies with Facebook people.

Snark-saving selfies with Facebook people.

Finally released from that sweaty deck-hell, Rae and I trudged slowly up to Lido to get situated for the Sail Away party. Half of my eyebrows had melted off, but my blue lips were still intact and we were somewhat visible from the stage, so I had high hopes. Still. The moment would come. The moment of recognition and “Oh man, I can’t believe you haven’t been showered in special treatment yet!” I was waiting. Waiting, half-heartedly dancing and sweating the previous two days’ alcohol consumption out onto lido deck. While I read a message from Jenn that said, “I can see you and your face is literally melting”, the guys made their way down to the center stage. Donnie walked right past Rae, who was right in front of me, grabbed her and kissed her on the cheek and kept on walkin’ as I stared lasers into his face.

I kept dancing, pretending like my skin hadn’t turned to actual liquid, and then I happened to glance toward the stage just as Mr. Wahlberg aggressively pointed at me, and when I didn’t believe he was actually pointing at me, nodded, mouthed “yes, you” and then smiled and waved back at me in recognition. Bless that man. I mean, it wasn’t the royal treatment, it didn’t save me from the sweaty cesspool that is the lido deck crowd, but it did make me smile. And I hate smiling. So that means a lot.

(Read part 3 here)

 

NKOTB Cruise 2017 (Sarcastic Expectations)

I’ve been staring at this blinking cursor for four days now. I can’t seem to find the words to begin the recaps of this year’s New Kids on the Block cruise. I’m not sure if it’s because this year was my second, making me a wise and seasoned veteran, or if it’s because I already set a precedent and I’m terrified of living up to my own hype. I feel the need to add a disclaimer that these blogs are a reflection of my personal experience and mine alone. And my experience this year was weird. Here we go:

The “Trouble Trifecta” formed out of my friendship with Jenn and Rae from last year was only made stronger by Facebook group messages and theme planning this year. We spoke in some way almost every day, whether sending links for things to buy on Amazon or to squeal about Donnie acknowledging one or all of us on social media. And let’s be honest, there was a lot to squeal about after that viral-ish interview video my comedy partner and I managed to pull off. Shout out to Megan for carrying me into brief BH fame. (Follow Inaccurate & Inappropriate on all the things if you don’t already.)

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I spent the past six months really celebrating social media and literally pimping myself out to willing Blockhead sisters in the form of promised butt grabs and boob signage. I posted videos and blogs and tweeted and pretty much pretended I was a celebrity because in my head, a handful of people on the ship potentially recognizing me from the internet was the most famous I’m ever going to get and I wanted to fucking bask in it. I’m a struggling comedian, after all, and I’ll take the crumbs. You say, “I loved your blogs last year” and I hear “I’m the president of your fan club” because I’m a slight narcissist and I don’t really listen. And my girls pumped me the eff up. We were ready. We had matching theme outfits. We had glitter. We had way too much spandex. We had inflated senses of self and selective body image blindness. I’m honestly surprised we didn’t have theme music and wind machines. Which is how I imagine the “mean girls” enter every room and every hallway ever. Champagne in hand. Hair blowing in exactly the right direction. Boobs and butts propped up by invisible doting handmaidens. The whole thing. That’s what I saw in my head. That was my plan. That is not what happened.

The Trouble Trifecta take The French Quarter dogs by storm.

The Trouble Trifecta take The French Quarter dogs by storm.

So there I was on Tuesday morning, head full of expectation baggage and hands full of actual over-sized baggage, trudging through Louis Armstrong Airport and straight into the arms of my booty twin, Jenn, who I hadn’t seen in person since last year’s cruise. And nobody had approached me yet. Like. You guys. Was I not pseudo-famous? Would Donnie Wahlberg not recognize me and whisk me away to be giggling besties forever? Was everything about to come crashing down? No, surely not. It was only Tuesday. And I wasn’t even wearing my blue lipstick. The cruise wasn’t even for another two whole days. I’m sure my elaborate and delusional plans would all fall into place just as those recurring dreams I was having showed me. It would all come down to the pre-party in New Orleans on Wednesday night. That was when my face and my face alone would set the dominoes of the perfect cruise-experience into falling motion. Right? RIGHT?!

The pre-party arrived and my crew and I were ill-prepared. We rolled up later than expected because Rae had just arrived, and our haunted AirBnB only had one mirror and it was placed at the top of the stairs, presumably to lure ghosts into an alternate realm. It’s hard to beat your face when Margaret LeFaoueauox from the massacre of 1767 is asking to borrow your highlighter. Once I looked enough like an extra from The Birdcage, we headed out and got in the longest line I’ve ever seen. I hate standing in lines. It’s a thing. A thing directly related to my ego and impatience. But at least five people had approached me to ask where they knew me from in the past day, so I rode that feeling and sucked it up and dutifully stood. Everything would be fine. Donnie would be there. Donnie makes everything better. Even standing in lines. The other guys are all amazing as well (marginally) but they don’t know me and frankly, every interaction I’ve ever had with Jordan has been painfully awkward. So Donnie remains my saving grace. Surely once he saw my familiar face, my crew and I would be plucked from the masses and situated comfortably in VIP. Surely.

I always end up looking like a drag queen. A really hot drag queen, but a drag queen nonetheless.

I always end up looking like a drag queen. A really hot drag queen, but a drag queen nonetheless.

Nope.

I didn’t go to the pre-party last year because, well, I didn’t want to. I went this year for exactly the aforementioned reason. To be seen. I did get to speak to a few BH ladies who I’d interacted with on Facebook through my I&I persona, and that was lovely. But I was not prepared for an elbow-throwing crowd so early into the week. I couldn’t even see what was happening on the stage, and all the guys sounded like the parents from Charlie Brown. I even tried to wait in a clusterfuck of girls to get a selfie with Danny, but gave up after it became apparent I’d have to shove someone to get in there. I’m not a shover. If my facial expression doesn’t move someone, then I guess I’m the one who’s moving, or we’re going to stand there and stare at each other for all of eternity.

Disillusioned and very irritated, we left to hit up Bourbon Street for a self-esteem boost and a bunch of liquor, grasping at the hope that the pre-party was not a bad omen for the weekend to come.

Stay tuned for parts 2-who knows, when I promise I’ll actually talk about the cruise.

 

 

Ain’t Nobody Do it Like Aaron Can (Begrudgingly)

Since getting passed over for media credentials, I decided I wasn’t going to bother with Aaron Carter’s show at the Intersection on June 7th. I don’t have extra money and I’d seen him before. My brain doesn’t need to hear “That’s How I Beat Shaq” for the thousandth time. I’ve heard it so much that I’m pretty sure I know how to play basketball, now. But when a friend offered me two free tickets, and I didn’t really have anything else going on, I couldn’t say no. I grabbed one of my favorite Stella’s servers, who happened to be a big fan when she was a kid, and we headed to Tin Can to wait out the line and get sufficiently lubricated for the evening to come. Because that was the only way I was going to get through it.

I know what you’re thinking. How can someone who throws herself into all things NKOTB be annoyed by the Aaron Carters of this world? I didn’t start out that way. Truly. I was excited to see him three years ago. I love nostalgia when it works. Then I had to reevaluate my life. A lot. Because his show is basically a sorority tour with a lackluster drummer, a begrudging keyboard and a laptop. And good for him for sustaining that and making a living doing what he seems to barely tolerate. I should be so lucky. Disclaimer over.

This was before the hair incident.

This was before the hair incident.

Since I was two giant vodka/waters and two shots deep, I decided to take notes during the show. I’m sure that looked strange, since furiously typing with your head down isn’t hidden very well in a crowd of less than 100. But I was confident I could multi-task. I’m a millennial, after all. But not nearly as millennial as the literal sorority girls who made up the rest of the audience. I’m not using “sorority” in a pejorative way (as far as you know). It’s just the nicest way I know how to describe them. And trust me, it’s an ongoing feminist struggle to give many of them the benefit of the doubt.

Speaking of women I couldn’t relate to, the opening act was so embarrassing I actually had a dream about it and woke up empathetically blushing. Word on the street (the back of the crowd) was that she was a last minute addition to fill a drop-out spot. I’m sure it was her big break so I don’t want to stomp on it or whatever, but damn. The whole thing smacked of Brittany Murphy in 8 Mile in all the most cringe-worthy ways. She pranced, she sort of sang, and the poor girl tried to hype up the few people near the stage who were doing their best to not look visibly bored. It was a whole thing. I can’t remember her name, but it doesn’t even matter because when I tried to Google it before the show, literally nothing came up. Stuff comes up when you Google MY name. So. I guess I should try to get paid or something.

My notes barely make sense (what with the vodka) so hang in there with me. I do know that Aaron did a “remix” of “I Want Candy” and then for some reason talked about Justin a lot. He never said Timberlake, but I have to assume that’s who he meant. Or Bieber? Certainly not Jeffre (the one nobody remembers is in 98 Degrees), because why? It was the most confusing round of name-dropping I’ve ever heard. He was throwing out knowing looks and nodding and I have no idea what was happening. Thankfully, someone cut the awkward by yelling “Ain’t nobody do it like Aaron can!” from the back of the crowd. That’s a line from “Aaron’s Party”, if you’re unfamiliar. This same person would go on to yell that same phrase about 13 more times throughout the show, and Aaron looked more and more like he wanted to just say “fuck it” and get a job at Best Buy every time. He hates us. All of us. He hates that we only care about Shaq and 12-year-old Aaron and that nobody takes his “Caribbean House” beats seriously. It’s painfully clear.

Jeffre's got my vote.

Jeffre’s got my vote.

Before playing one of those fun “Caribbean House” mixes (a term he swears he invented) he asked the audience if we’ve ever heard of the Florida Keys. It was at this point I stopped trying to control my facial expressions and just let the eyebrows loose. Not long after, Aaron started making equally upsetting faces back at me. At least I think it was to me. I wasn’t wearing my glasses. It would have just been mean if it they were directed at anyone else. I was flabbergasted. But then mildly entertained for the five minutes he spent trying to get his sunglasses unstuck from his hair. He had some girl with M-stamped hands help him, but she just made it worse. I’m sure she’s thought about that every hour since then. Then he had a weird knot in his hair for the rest of the show and when he asked if it looked ok, I’m the only one who said no. It didn’t. He deserved to know.

“Ain’t nobody do it like Aaron can” girl was the star of my show. She had a manic desperation that I related to way too seriously. She was me in a past life. Thicker than all her friends and working hard to bridge the thigh gap. And obviously she was drunk. Not regular drunk, but newly 21 and confusing adjectives like “obnoxious” and “sexy”. It happens. This same girl pantomimed over the top sympathy as Aaron spoke about his dad’s recent death (genuinely sad) and played a recording of the last voicemail his father left him, as the intro to a confusingly upbeat song. She looked like she was about to start sobbing but when the beat dropped, she snapped, spun around and took an extremely chipper selfie with AC in the background while I stared, whiplash creeping.

Emily and I went outside several times for her smoke breaks and I don’t think I could have made it through the (maybe 35-minute) set without those breaks. I’ve never been so grateful for someone else’s habit. It was…confusing. At one point, without anyone asking him about it, Aaron started explaining why he couldn’t do a backflip on that stage. Again, nobody asked him to do a backflip. But, now that we’ve brought it up, he couldn’t because the ceiling was too low (no it wasn’t) but if we keep coming back to his shows, we will definitely see him do a “25-foot flip”. He guarantees it. I don’t know about you, but this is something I didn’t know I needed in my life, and I’ll be damned if I die without seeing Aaron Carter do a vertical, 25-foot jump. I guess that’s how he beat Shaq.

 

 

 

 

 

Aaron Carter (Still) Hates My Guts

I’ve been joking a lot about how Aaron Carter and I are always in a fight, and while it is hyperbolic, it’s also kind of true. If you’re new here (here meaning the internet or my Facebook or my life), you’ll need a little background information before we move on. Don’t get self conscious, it’s totally fine. We’ll all just wait for you to catch up. Take your time.

Do you even know who I am?

Do you even know who I am?

A couple of years ago, I saw AC play at The Intersection, and even splurged for a Meet ‘N Greet pass so I could add to my “awkward meet ‘n greet photo” collection. My genius idea was to ask him if I could hold him on my hip like a baby. Which I certainly did ask him. And he did not care for it. You can read about it here if you’re curious. (I know you are.) That was when the feud began for him. It began for me when he played my girl Lizzie McGuire, the outfit repeater. There were a couple of Twitter-tiffs here and there over the years when I got way too much pure enjoyment out of watching him have public meltdowns over hotel incidentals, or people being “mean” to him. But we really took our hostile relationship to the next level over the past couple of weeks.

He said no to the whole baby thing, and then stuck a Sharpie in my ear. So.

He said no to the whole baby thing, and then stuck a Sharpie in my ear. So.

If you have no idea who I am and somehow slept-walked your way to this blog, you may have missed the closest I’ll ever come to a viral video. I know I said it was ok to play catch-up before, but I lied. It’s not. Get on board. My bizzy-partner and I have a weekly web-series called Inaccurate & Inappropriate. Now you know. A few weeks ago, we got too lazy to pre-record and edit a video for the week so we decided to do a live-feed of us wandering around the local arena on the day New Kids on the Block were slated to play there. And we caught magic. Magic is what I call Donnie Wahlberg so my boyfriend doesn’t get mad when I accidentally say it out loud. We managed to get Donnie to give a five-minute interview on our show, live to our followers. And when Donnie himself shared it on Facebook, it took off. To a whopping 162k views. That’s a lot of people who have now seen my bottom chin wiggle.

Kevin Smith, ladies and gentlemen.

Kevin Smith, ladies and gentlemen.

Since we were obviously so famous after that video’s success, we decided we’d try to make lightning strike a third time (Donnie was #2. We also managed a super quick question sesh with Kevin Smith before that) and request media credentials for Aaron Carter’s show here in Grand Rapids. We had high hopes of completing the nostalgia-trifecta but were unfortunately turned down by Aaron’s publicist, some white guy named Chad. Because of course that’s his name. To express our disappointment, and because I giggled a teensy bit that Aaron Carter was “passing” on the opportunity to have two unknown non-fans interview him for no reason, I screenshotted the email and posted it to our Facebook page. And then Chad threw a fit. He saw it. He did not like it. He screenshotted my screenshot and emailed me immediately, threatening legal action and expressing his disappointment in “the way we do business”. Ok, Chad. Get a fidget spinner and calm down. So I took the post down. Not because I was scared of legal repercussions, but because I’m not trying to get in a fight with a record label full of khaki-wearing Chads. I don’t have the energy.

Aaron doesn't understand sarcasm.

Aaron doesn’t understand sarcasm.

I hadn’t bought tickets to see AC this time around, because…I didn’t want to. But a friend of mine won two, and also didn’t want to go. So she gave them to me and as she pressed them into my hand, she made me promise to write a blog. This isn’t it. This is the preface. The concert recap is next. I apologize ahead of time.

Douches At Sea: A Lengthy Rant

Cabins for the 2017 New Kids on the Block Cruise are selling fast, admittedly, mostly to women reliving their glory days of boyband-loving and carefree bopping. Some of them bring their husbands, some of them leave everything about their real life behind, but all of them come to escape and to be a huge dork of a fan with three thousand other huge fan dorks. It’s a safe space. Except if there’s a selfie on the table, obviously. Then it’s every woman for herself. I’ll cut a bitch–I mean, a Blockhead Sister.

However, there are a few single (presumably straight) men who have caught wind of the idea of a boat full of hormonally charged women, hoping to get near one of five famous guys for 4 days straight, and they’ve taken advantage. It’s mostly innocuous, like my friends the Scots. Sure, I assumed they were sexual predators at first, but they were nothing but nice to me and never even tried to touch my boobs. They just talked to me like I was a human person. You know, because I am. But there was another gruesome twosome. The “Firemen”. Oh, the firemen. I’m sure you remember them stirring up lady-boners in the Cruise-groups on Facebook, by simply posting that they are in fact single men who will be on the cruise. The frenzy is understandable. In an isolated situation, even if you’re Patton Oswalt’s literal twin, you can catch some V. Because there’s no context. If you’re an attainable single man surrounded by women who have been squirming in their boyband-adjacent seats for three days, you’re gonna clean up.

Unless you’re a disgusting asshole, like our pal Tim (the short one). Because. We’re women first and foremost. Sure, we’re fangirls. We’re a little crazy. I’ll admit that. But we are humans who have every right not to like you. You are not guaranteed a vagina just because you paid money to be a cougar-hunter. It’s not a safari. It’s a niche-fandom chartered cruise, you fucking douche. Yeah. I’m switching it up and speaking right to you now. Because it seems like you have a lot of anger toward women. You know, like someone who feels entitled to women’s bodies has. It’s called rejection-rage. And it’s a particularly scary form of misogyny. Because, as you like to remind people constantly, you’re a former Marine, right? And a firefighter. So, you must have a ton of muscled power underneath your generic “bro” wardrobe, right? So, you could theoretically hurt us, if you really wanted to, right? Which it seems like you do.

Not an isolated post.

Not an isolated post.

You post a lot of angry things about women. Or so I’ve heard. I’m not friends with you on Facebook, thank god. But that’s because my profile picture failed to lift your dick while you were scrolling through, jotting down serial killer notes about who you were for sure going to nail on the ship, right? Right. It’s cool, man. I’m not for everyone. And certainly not for you. But I know a few women you DID jot down and contact prior to the cruise. And I also know that those women did not actually fuck you. I’m sure you must be so hurt and confused about that. Especially while your friend basically just had to walk through a group of girls and could end up with three unwanted pregnancies. You had to actually try. And you failed. Hard. A lifetime of that has to be pretty rough on a guy. But the thing is. That’s not our fault. It’s yours. You literal troll.

I’m not sure what your background is, or what trials and tribulations you’ve had to overcome as an affluent, straight white male in America (must be tough), but obviously you haven’t had access to proper education, so allow me to break a few things down for you. First, it’s 2017. I feel like you aren’t sure in which decade you’re living because of the “most girls bang on the first date” comment. I sometimes bang without a date. What a slut, right? But you know, I guess it’s because I like sex but don’t generally like the company of men. I wonder why that is? Maybe it’s because fuckboys like you refer to us as if we’re a species of domesticated animal. In heat? Really? And, please, for my own peace of mind, which sexual organs are you referring to? The ones that are at “max stimulation”, that is. I can assure you I’m not walking around with an engorged clitoris at the mere prospect of new NKOTB opportunities. And even if I were (Ed Sheeran has gotten me there this week, not going to lie) that has absolutely nothing to do with you or whoever it is you’re “schooling” via your Trump-esque Facebook posts, you thin-skinned delusional narcissist.

So, my little Trump-dicked friend, I’ll be using all my energy to send into the universe to hope upon hope that you are stupid enough to strut onto that boat again this year. Do it. Because I’ll be there. And I fucking dare you.

Why Do I Lust After Ed Sheeran? Really Asking.

I’m obsessed with Ed Sheeran. This is not news. In fact, I likely spam everyone’s newsfeed with my daily hashtagged swooning over the ginger crooner. And I’m not sorry. But I am confused. Because. He’s objectively not sexy. But yet, he very much is. He’s a walking conundrum and he’s really messing with my head, my sexuality and my damn place in this universe. So I need to hash it out. And since this is the internet, this seems like the perfect place to do it.

I want to start with the loop pedal, because honestly, I had never even heard of this device until I saw a YouTube video about five years ago where he did “You Need Me” in one take, and I’ve never been the same. Even the awkward-sounding sharp intake of breath in between phrases makes me clench my thighs. There’s something about the way he just handles his damn business by himself that really speaks to me. Ideally, it’d speak to me with a face that wasn’t covered in copper fuzzies, which is my first counterpoint. I get why he grows the face fuzz. He needs it to look like an adult man. That cabbage patch nose isn’t doing him any favors in the “grownup” department. But if he could just swipe on some castor oil every day, or something, I think it would help fill that fuzz out into a full-fledged beard. I saw a Facebook ad that said castor oil regrows hair. If you haven’t seen that, it’s likely because you don’t post about body hair frequently on Facebook. So. Good for you. Keep that up.

Are you SO CONFUSED yet?!

Are you SO CONFUSED yet?!

And the guitar. You put any guy behind a guitar (aside from like…the Kid Rocks of this world) and I’ll think about it for at least a second. But Ed can really play in the same way that made me briefly lust after John Mayer. It’s that powerful. It’s just. He seems so short. I’m not sure if it’s his accent combined with his general “college guy in 2006″ wardrobe and the aforementioned face fuzzies, but he gives off a hobbit vibe. I looked it up though, and at least according to his Wikipedia page, he’s 5’8”. But so am I. Without heels. Which I’d want to wear so he could gallantly carry them for me when they started to hurt my feet. We’ve all seen the picture. Modern “chivalry” and feminism in ONE PHOTO, people. ONE. Sometimes I hook up with dudes just because they’re tall. That’s it. That’s all it takes. So you can imagine my struggle with those under 5’9″. It’s not my fault. I just can’t facilitate a sexual situation while fighting the urge to hold someone on my hip like a toddler.

London, UK - Ed Sheeran gives up his sneakers for girlfriend Cherry Seaborn as he carries her broken heels and leaves the BRITs afterparty barefoot. *SHOT ON 02/22/17* AKM-GSI      February 23, 2017 To License These Photos, Please Contact : Maria Buda (917) 242-1505 mbuda@akmgsi.com sales@akmgsi.com or Mark Satter (317) 691-9592 msatter@akmgsi.com sales@akmgsi.com www.akmgsi.com

But, are his feet that small, tho?

But he does have that accent. The one where “can’t” sounds a lot like that jarring nickname for a lady’s downstairs. And if you think I’ve done some things just because a guy is tall, you wouldn’t believe what’s happened just because of an accent. Specific accents. Not like…southern accents. Those have connotations. But the British accent can convince me of a lot of things. And he uses it to rap a little. If you’ve never known the lust that follows a British white man rapping, you’ve obviously never encountered 5ive, the late 90s Brit Boyband who apparently don’t understand how numbers and letters work. You’ve truly missed out. Please look up “Slam Dunk Da Funk” immediately. I’ll wait.

And he’s got all those tattoos. I’m a sucker for tattoos. Cover yourself in them and I’ll cover you just like Tom Collins and Angel mean when they sing it in RENT. Like, sexually. With my body. I thought he just had tattoos all over his arms, but then I saw the video for “Shape Of You” (Oh my gawd, that sawng) and I almost started crying. Not from emotions but from sheer lack of knowing what else to do with my body’s moisture. He got in shape, you guys. The shape of him is now full of edges and apparently his torso is also newly covered in tattoos and I am here for it. Hard. But at the same time, his name is Ed. Do you even know ONE guy named Ed who isn’t your actual grandfather? Even if you call him Edward, instead, it still calls up images of someone wearing too many layers for the weather, sipping tea in the corner of a dusty bookshop. Which is fine for different reasons, but definitely not the purely animalistic way I feel toward Ed Sheeran. In fact, I have to say his name with a British accent in my head to even maintain my ferection.

Are you SO CONFUSED yet?!

LOOK AT HIM! JUST. LOOK!

I don’t know, man. He’s got those sexy beats and says things like “grab on my waist and put that body on me” but he’s so, so white. Like. Dangerously pale. I was googling pictures of “shirtless Ed Sheeran” just now (for research purposes) and was so concerned that he maybe didn’t have enough sunblock on while he was on that yacht with Taylor Swift. Which is another thing. He loves cats and he’s a feminist and his voice is beautiful but he’s super close friends with Tay “The Snake” Swift and I just don’t know how I feel about that. He seems like he’d be cool to hang out with, like he’d riff and we could flirt/make fun of each other for hours. But then, he’s friends with Swift-face. So. What even is that?

Ed Sheeran is both the love of my life and the bane of my existence. He sings about having a house with some kids and I daydream for an hour about the literal suburbs and a bunch of the palest children this side of “The Others”. He’s ruining my life. I don’t understand my feelings. I need help. His new album drops this month, and there are rumors of a 2017 tour, so I suspect this will get much, much worse before it gets better. Please help me.

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.