“When anybody asks, 'What are you writing about now?' if I try to reply, the book-in-the-works sounds so idiotic to me that I think, 'Why am I trying to write that puerile junk?' So now I give up; if I could talk about it, I wouldn't have to write it."
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet


Celebrating 20 Years With My Geek!

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Geek and I celebrated our 20th anniversary (20 years.  Crazy!) in December by going on a Southern Caribbean Cruise.  It was warm, sunny, and the water was an impossible shade of greenish blue.  Yum.

While we were gone we missed a snowstorm that dumped 12+ inches of snow at our house.  My in-laws, who were stopping by to take care of our cats, had to shovel/snowblow our really long driveway and front walk.  I do feel a little bad about that – and very appreciative – but it's hard to regret having been soaking in the sunny skies and tropical breezes of the Caribbean instead of huddling inside during a blizzard.

We started out in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  We flew in the night before the ship departed, and when we woke up in the morning and looked out our hotel room window, we saw this:
Apparently they're not illegal there.

We had a good part of the day free to do some sight-seeing before boarding the ship, so we spent some time wandering the streets of Old San Juan.
SO many pigeons.  There were hundreds of them in this little park.

What a colorful city!

Along the way we encountered an old fort they call El Morro.  Outside the fort was a beautiful green park.
The day was perfect for kite flying or just lying in the grass.
Beautiful shore line.

Our first stop on the cruise was the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  We went on an excursion on a boat called the "Jolly Mon" that took us cruising around the island.  We saw flying fish (much smaller than I imagined them) and a sea turtle, swam in the clear blue water along a white sand beach, and soaked up the sun.

The "Jolly Mon" crew served us rum punch, and rum and Coke – very strong rum and Coke.  When someone asked about that, they told us that rum is cheaper than Coke there, so they tend to go heavier on the rum.
My Geek looking all cute and stuff, enjoying the sun, the breeze, and a little Coke with a lot of rum.

Our next stop was St. Kitt's.  We hit the island to do some souvenir shopping.
The Geek at St. Kitt's.

In Dominica we went on a hike through the rainforest, which is a forest where it rains, like, all the time.  Imagine that.
Heading into the rainforest.

It was wet and muddy, and I didn't mind one bit.  (Okay, I might have minded just a little when we were boarding the ship again at the end of the day and I was walking around in muddy, dirty clothes.  Just a little.)  It was warm, and the forest was beautiful and tropical.  What's not to like?
So very green.

At the end of our hike we came to a waterfall that emptied into the "Emerald Pool".  It was very cold, very rocky, and very clear.  We sat in it for a bit before moving on.
Waterfall into the Emerald Pool.  But wait, look up ...

 ... and there's the rest of the waterfall.

See that rope leading up that impossibly steep hill?  It led to another waterfall on the other side.  My Geek and a few other people took a quick trip to see it.  I would love to say I did too, but instead I chickened out and waited for them, along with most of the group.
Crazy, horrifying rope of death!
Our tour guide called this a buttercup.  Very pretty, but certainly not what we call buttercups around here.

Other than that, we lounged around the ship or on beaches and islands, reading books, eating way too much food, drinking – um, more than usual – and just generally relaxing.
Looking across the pool deck on the ship to St. Kitt's on the other side.

I thought I might do a "view from my beach chair" series, but these two are all I got.  Left: reading on the deck of the ship.  Right: relaxing under a palm umbrella on a black sand beach in Dominica. 

This storm passed by while we watched from the ship.

Islands, islands, and more beautiful islands.

 I've decided that cruises are pretty much the best vacation there is.  You don't have to make your bed, or do laundry, or drive anywhere, or plan anything.  It's all done for you.  The extent of the choices you have to make are what to order off that night's menu (and there's no worrying about price because no matter what you choose, from the chicken to the steak to the lobster, it's all included in the price of your cruise), whether you want to go to the big show in the theater that night, what shore excursions you might want to go on, and whether or not to make another run to the buffet.

Oh, and you get to dress up all fancy a couple of nights, which, of course, is so much fun – even if you do forget that one of the dresses you planned to wear might be a few sizes too big and hang on you like a gunny sack, so you have to wear the same dress for both fancy dress nights.  At least it was a new dress – and new shoes.  SO much fun.

Yup.  I love cruises.

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Workout Vocalizations

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The Geek has been working out in the mornings.  He's doing Tae Bo.  A classic.  I actually bought the DVD for myself several years ago.  I did it a few times – maybe ever so slightly more than a few – but never enough to get really good at it.  And by that I mean, I never once made it through the entire workout without collapsing on the couch like a big sweaty puddle of half-set jello.

But the Geek does.  He makes it through.  He's quite the trooper.  And by that I mean that I admire him for it because I don't even try doing Tae Bo anymore.  The extent of my workouts these days is taking the dog for a walk through the snow.  And then on the icy driveway where I fear for my life – okay, maybe just my tailbone's life – as she drags me behind her.

But back to the Geek and his valiant feats of Tae Bo.

I noticed one morning that he was talking while he worked out.  At first I thought he was talking to me, but when I turned around he was focused on the TV and his workout.  He seemed to be mumbling stuff about the particular move he was doing.  Every now and then I'll walk through the room and hear him talking to himself, correcting his own form or something.

At first I thought it was kind of silly.  Not "Ha ha!  You talk to yourself.  You're such a dork," kind of silly.  I'm not quite that mean.  More like "Isn't he cute," kind of silly. 

But then I remembered back in the day when I used to use that Tae Bo DVD.  And I remembered that I used to talk while I worked out too.  And I remembered just how silly I must have sounded.  And in this case by silly I mean totally-whacked-out-crazy-ridiculous.  As I recall, the things I said were rather less sensible than telling myself to get that leg a little higher or go left instead of right.

No.  I said things like, "Shut up, you stupid man.  My leg IS up.  Yes, actually it is because that is as far as it goes so just SHUT UP and leave me alone!  I HATE you, Billy Blanks!  I really HATE you and would you PLEASE TELL THAT OBNOXIOUS CHICK IN THE FRONT ROW TO STOP SCREAMING!!!!"

Maybe it's a good thing I don't do Tae Bo anymore.  On my current "workouts" I never yell at the instructor.  There isn't one.  The only one with me is the dog and I never tell her I hate her or to shut up.  Nope.  I just scream incoherently in terror while I slide across the ice, hanging on for dear life to the end of her leash.

That does count as a workout.  Doesn't it?

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