Two and a half weeks, that’s what’s left of this contract. It’s scary and exciting and good all rolled into one. I have truly loved this contract; Hawaii has been amazing, as have the ship and crew. And now we are focusing on going back to Chicago to somewhat of the unknown.
We do know that Rance and I will be performing not once, but twice in the Chicago Improv Festival 2010 with our show The R&D Project Presents: Silent Treatment. Our first show will be Tuesday, April 20th @ 10m at the iO Theater. And our second show will be at 7pm at The Playground Theater. If you’re in town please come out and support us, we’d love to see some familiar faces in the audience.
After that we’ll do a little traveling while we wait for our sublet to become available. We’re planning a trip to see the Grand Canyon since neither one of us has seen it yet. We’re hoping to setup up some improv workshops along the way to subsidize our traveling costs and also get a taste of improv in other cities. It’s always exciting to see what’s cooking in a different improv pot.
Two and a half weeks, it doesn’t seem very long all; I am going to miss you Hawaii.
This past Saturday my friends Mike and Jill were in Honolulu visiting Mike’s bruddah David. It was great seeing faces from home and laughing and play catch up with their lives.
Jill and Mike enjoy the Honolulu sunshine
At one point when we were driving around we stumbled on a pink house with an odd design element of a Hello Kitty glitter heart and a Mickey Mouse bending over to show off his butt. We of course had to stop and get photos.
Kiss my what?
David then took us to a neighborhood health food eatery that is known locally for it’s Asai? Berry and granola bowls. I made a serious error in judgment by not ordering one. What was I thinking? I ordered a smoothie which was good but not the mana of the granola bowl.
We ended up at a fun hangout and had some drinks and more bits. At one point I asked Mike what he did for a living which started a train of questions from me when he responded a “soy bean trader”. He truied his best to break it down for me and basically how I understand it is that my friend Mike plays Pit for a living. Amazing.
I am the queen of losing stuff: My engagement ring, my phone and now this week it’s my camera. The great news is that the phone and ring found their way back to me so maybe I’m more just the queen of temporarily losing things.
This past Monday after a fantastic day of whale watching, where I was able to catch a full grown adult whale breaching out of the water, I misplaced my camera somewhere on this ship. I remember coming back and showing Piero the great pictures…and then? Well then, I don’t remember what I did with it. However, last night I got word that a server up in the Aloha Cafe has a camera belonging to someone in Second C!ty. I’m guessing she was able to come to that conclusion after looking at the photos.
Normally when crew finds something they are instructed to take it to the reception desk immediately. Which is where both Rance and I have checked over the past couple of days. For some reason that didn’t happen in this case; maybe she just wants to return it to me personally. I’m hoping I can figure out who this person is tonight and get my camera back so I can post some of those great whale watching pictures real soon.
Last week Mike had a visitor on board whom none of us had met beforehand but turned out to be like a warm snuggie on a cold winter’s eve. Simply put, he was just great. On Tuesday of last week, Piero, Rance, Mike, Danny and I rented a car to visit the Volcano National Park. Jen and Larrance had done the tour a few weeks ago when her mom was onboard and didn’t need to do it again.
The boys in Hilo -- otherwise known as J Crew Catalogue
What we didn’t take into consideration is that Hilo is the day after our show and we were no longer anonymous. We also timed our visit perfectly with the excursion buses from the ship. They LOVED our show, it was a little overwhelming how effusive they were all week long. Especially on Hilo, as I had gotten up early that morning with Jen to teach the youth counselors some improv games they use with the kids. It was just one of those days where I never really felt like I woke up.
At one point while the five of us where enjoying the view from an area called the Steam Field we hear the voice of a woman, gasp in wonderment we all look out over in the direction of the calderal to see what she’s seen only to hear her exclaim, “Oh look, it’s the Second C!ty!!” And then she makes a B-line directly for me and says “My friend loved you!! You were so great!” And sure enough as soon as she says that, the friend arrives.
Steaming Caldera of Lava pales in comparison to Second C!ty cast.
“Oh my god, it’s you!! Can you make that face for me me? The one you do as the blow up doll? How do you do that? Did you have to train for a long time?” I want to take a picture of that face! Come on I’ll pay you, I think I have a nickle around her somewhere”
Now the truth is I DON’T want to do it. I have about a million comebacks that I want to say but don’t, because of course she’s a guest and I know she’s just excited. I love the thought that I went to school to learn how to make a blow up doll face. My mind is still in that foggy, not awake state and I don’t want to be mean, but I also don’t want to be forced into this photograph. But clearly she is not giving up. I finally relent knowing she isn’t going to take no for an answer, on the flip side she’ll probably never develop these photographs. I do not receive a nickle.
After that she asks for a photo of all of us, which really attracts a crowd and all of a sudden like monkeys at the zoo we have a mini-wall of paparazzi taking our photos. Fortunately I snapped a photo of them as well, just for a little proof.
Last Honolulu after climbing to the summit of Diamond Head in a poor shoe choice, (see previous post) we met up with Rance and headed to Chinatown for the annual Chinese New Year Parade. Now, I’m not a huge fan of parades, normally they’re early in the morning and it’s cold outside and the band music is so loud. Geeze, I sound like I’m a 60 year old woman. But you can’t pass up a parade that doesn’t start until 3:30pm (now that’s Hawaii time) and with a limited number of bands and tons of Chinese Dancing Lions and Dragons.
Is this the Groucho Marx of Chinese Dragons?
In this parade I would say in descending order of number of entrants it was Chinese Dancing Lions, Princesses riding in Corvettes, Chinese Dragons, Politicians, Martial Art Schools, Bands, Radio Stations, with Senior Center exercise groups being represented only once. I could have gone for more of that. The group would occasional stop their slow stroll on the parade route and show off their exercise routine that mainly consisted of low kicks with hands on hips.
The rare walking princess. What I didn't capture are 4"inch high heeled shoes she wore for the two hour parade. Amazing.
Not in attendance were floats or horses which means there also was no horse poop which was a welcome relief, especially because the smells of Chinatown are sometimes all you need
I liked the Dancing Lions the most in part because there were so many people playing the support role. You can only be the butt of a lion for so long before your legs and back give out and someone else has to come in and switch out. I kept wondering if you worked your way up to be the head of a Lion after playing the part of the butt for a certain length of time, if so I’m hoping I can stop playing the butt part in my life and get to be the head of the lion soon.
We'll see if I'm still smiling on the way back down.
Several years ago on a quick visit to Honolulu for a wedding I ventured out on my own and hiked to the top of Diamond Head. So you would think having done it before, given the opportunity to do it again, I would make the smart choice of appropriate footwear and plenty of sunscreen. You would be wrong on both accounts.
Last Saturday Piero, Jen, Larrance and I set out on adventure to get to the top of Diamond Head. Rance was busy doing headshots for some local actors and Mike was meeting a friend at the airport. Piero did some research and found a city bus that would take us to the turnoff to Diamond Head State Park and all we would have to do is walk about a 1/2 mile up the road to get to the entrance to the park itself. So instead of paying a huge sum of money for a taxi or rental car we paid $2.25 to the number 3 bus and enjoyed a 45 minute ride to take us six miles. Along the way we got to see bad neighborhoods, good neighborhoods and a guy who woke up out of a sound sleep so angry that he slammed his fist into the pole in front of him and yelled. Talk about night terrors!
I’ve gotten pretty comfortable walking around in flip-flops. They’re my shoe of choice on this itinerary, in fact it’s most people’s shoe of choice here in Hawaii. They’re for any occasion!! If you have foot issues this is not the place for you or you need to just get over it and get with the program.
Still hanging on to my flip-flops
But during the planning process for the day when I slipped on my wafer thin flip-flops with absolutely no foot support for a hike up 760 feet to the summit of an inactive volcano you could say I wasn’t thinking right. I don’t think I whispered a voice of complaint during the very hot hike up, but I did realize quickly that the action of upward stepping really makes you grip tight with the little piggies to hold onto a useless shoe. Also, when the smooth paved surface gives way to rocky pathways with jutting rocks and craggy surfaces a little cushioning would be nice.
We made it to the top and took lots of pictures, did even more bits and I came home with bruises on the bottom of my feet and a sunburn on the back of my neck where sunscreen didn’t seem needed. Take it from me, I’ve learned my lesson this time around, I won’t need to go a third time.
Piero with the less fashion forward but smarter shoe choice.
The 2nd Officer on board this ship is multi-talented and sometimes (by choice) works backstage at our show. It’s so great, I mean here’s a guy who is basically fourth in command of the entire ship and during his limited downtime he offers to come work our show when the tech crew is short handed, because he says, “it’s fun.”
A few weeks ago during pre-show, I planted a seed and asked if it would be possible to get the cast up on the bridge. Sure enough, James asked the captain on what looked to be a week when there were few other guests and the captain graciously agreed to grant us access. It was really amazing to see the view of the Napali coast from up there. Tea was served, whales were spouting and breaching, and a good time was had be all.
James leaves for vacation this week, what a great gift he gave to all of us his last week on board. So, thanks James for the view, and the laughs backstage. You will be missed.
The cast minus Mike enjoy an afternoon af tea, whale watching and Napali Coast from the Bridge.
I’ve heard it since getting on the ship, winter is prime whale watching season. And yes, it’s true we’ve seen evidence of whales for the past month and a half. We even went out on a whale watching boat and were amazed at how close a whale came to the vessel. But today, today was something entirely different. Sitting in port at Hilo Bay with the back of the ship looking out over the water, we watched as some 20-30 whales were jumping, and and fin slapping, and diving, it was incredible! It is supposedly the time of the season that the momma whales start teaching the babies to breach (which is when they rise and break through the surface of the water head first) and school is in session!
I hope I can get some of this action on film, but today was all about taken it in first person.
I’ve a great job, but one of the drawbacks is having a curfew. It’s kind of like being on house arrest, only this house has much better food, a good view from the living room and someone comes in and changes my sheets once a week. So, while I was so close to watching the premier of the final season of “Lost” on Queen’s beach in Honolulu I had to leave early to get new pillows and get my butt on board this ship. Even if I didn’t have to leave early I might have as the organizers had an episode of “Modern Family” planned before premiering “Lost”.
For all you “Lost” fans, here’s how the setup looked via video and photo perspective.
There's a lot of hot sweaty people packed on that beach
I know, I know, it’s been almost a full two weeks since I posted on my blog. These past two weeks have been a frustrating time for the internet and me. I thought for sure that maybe we’d broken up for good, that the internet didn’t want to have anything more to do with me, and my constant neediness was pushing it away. But today after a good ol’ knock-down-drag-out fight with me and the internet’s representative from AT&T, I think we got things settled. Though I still feel a little hurt from being rejected, I’m ready to put it all behind me and move on.
So what have I been doing all this time? Well, there was Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Rance, Piero, Mike and I rented a car in Kauai and drove all over the island. It was really the first time, I’d seen anything much past the port and boy is it a beautiful island. More than any other island the dirt in Kauai is that deep, rich colored red, which also makes the photos stunning.
I still contend this is a bad haircut, but a beautiful view
We finished off the day by meeting Richard and Steven the two guys who found my phone in Kauai around Christmas time. We met them up in their part of the island on the north side in a little town called Hanalei (you know where Puff the Magic Dragon lives). They were GREAT! Just so fun and laid back and we made tentative plans to have dinner at their house in the next few weeks and we’re going to put our heads together and hopefully pull of a benefit show for the theater scene here in Hawaii.
Our good friend Tamara Nolte also came aboard and stayed with Mikey for a week. It was so much fun to have her on board, even though her arrival was made difficult due to mechanical failure on her plane. She wasn’t able to get into Honolulu until after we left port, which meant she had to take another flight from Honolulu to Hilo the next morning. But being the super trooper that she is she got here and was ready to take it all in. Mike got her signed up with us on a crew excursion to Akaka Falls in Hilo and she immediately fit right in with the crew and had a blast.
Akaka Falls on Hilo
Tamara shows off her triathelete form on banyan tree roots.
The next day we took her to Black Rock on Ka’anapali in Maui for her first ever snorkeling adventure. We had another ship in port that day so it was a little more crowded than it would be normally for us but it was near perfect conditions. We even got to snorkel with a huge sea turtle…it was amazing. Tamara brought with her a huge bag of Garret’s Popcorn which I personally could not get enough of. It was the Chicago mix of cheese and caramel and it was delectable.
After snorkeling we took Tamara to the top of Heleakala for sunset. This time the cloud cover was a little lower and we got there a little earlier so we got to see the inside crater, which looked like some sort of mars landscape. From our vantage point you could see the hiking trails into the caldera but then after watching two tiny little specks making their way out we realized just how long and tiring that trail must be. It does not look to be for the faint of heart or unprepared.
Crater of Haleakala
Afterwards Mike and I took Tamara to our favorite pizza place on the island and devoured not one but two pizza’s between the three of us, and yet I still wonder why I can’t lose these 5 lbs.
The rest of the week, was pretty low-key for me. Tamara and Mike had a great adventure in Kauai on an open air helicopter ride. I wish I could have gone but I’m still recovering financially from my quick trip to Portland. But I hope to get it in before leaving this contract. I think Mike and Tamara sold us on the idea that it’s a worthwhile trip.
Yesterday, after saying good-bye to Tamara, a few of us hopped on a bus to Waikiki to check out the setup for the final season of “Lost” premier happening at sunset on the beach. I’m sure if I watched the show it would have been amazing, I left early but fortunately Piero stayed long enough to see most of the major stars of the show on the red carpet. He got some great photos and had a great experience. I’m still not dying to see the show, but maybe this week I’ll start. Maybe.
Deanna will be joining the workshop cast for The Onion Live! As part of the development process she'll be working with producers from Second City, director Mick Napier, the talented writers from The Onion and a cast of performers during the month of May.
The Onion Live! Workshop Show
Second City - 8pm
May 8th, 15th, 22nd 29th & June 5th
"A Place in the Woods" by Erik Gernand
Gorilla Tango Theater - 8pm
May 12th & 13th
This Much is True
Mrs. Murphy & Son's Irish Bistro - 7:30pm
3905 N Lincoln