Caribbean Cruise & Hollywood, Fl Jan/Feb 2017 Part 11

2/7/7 11:55am
America Social Pub, Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

My moleskine notebook is almost full. I have a couple sheets of paper folded up in case I need a back up.

Caribbean Cruise & Hollywood, Fl Jan/Feb 2017 Part 10

2/6/17 2:20pm 
The Taco Spot, Hollywood Beach, Florida

Caribbean Cruise & Hollywood, Fl Jan/Feb 2017 Part 9

2/5/7 1:25pm 
The Taco Spot, Hollywood Beach, Florida

I found no party last night, but wandered the length of the boardwalk to the south (about a mile and a half). Maybe tonight, I’ll go north.

I went to bed around midnight and woke up at 9:30 this morning. I ate a bowl of cereal for breakfast, put on my swimming trunks and headed to the beach. I stopped off to buy a cheap beach mat on the way.

Caribbean Cruise & Hollywood, Fl Jan/Feb 2017 Part 8

2/4/17 1:15pm
Hard Rock Café bar, Hard Rock Café Hotel and Casino, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

I woke up hard around 8am and slowly got myself up, brushed my teeth, dressed, and packed the last of my things in my man bag. Then, I did one last check of my state room before turning off the lights and closing the door for the final time.

Caribbean Cruise & Hollywood, Fl Jan/Feb 2017 Part 7

2/3/17 6:40pm 
Carnival Conquest, Aft Deck, Somewhere between the Caribbean ocean and Florida

Caribbean Cruise & Hollywood, Fl Jan/Feb 2017 Part 6

2/2/17 9:45pm 
Lido Deck, Carnival Conquest, Caribbean Ocean

Caribbean Cruise & Hollywood, Fl Jan/Feb 2017 Part 5

2/1/17 11:58pm 
Lido Deck, Carnival Conquest, Caribbean Ocean

"Oh. I get it.

The Mega Deck Party is not a Mega Party on the Deck. Rather it’s a party (a term, which is used quite loosely) on the deck, which is mega in size. In other words, the deck is mega. The party is... not. There are a few people here and there hanging out, but not much is going on…"

I wrote this at 10:54pm. Just after taking this picture:

It was six minutes before the Mega Deck Party was to begin. I walked to the Red Frog Rum Bar and ordered a pina colada. I put my man bag down. Then, the DJ started. The cruise director and a bunch of the cruise staff came out on the deck and within in minutes an actual mega party broke out!

Caribbean Cruise & Hollywood, Fl Jan/Feb 2017 Part 4

2/1/17 10:05am
Margaritaville, Georgetown, Grand Cayman Island

There was a lot of loud thumping music last night when I returned to my stateroom. Sleep did not come easily, but it came. I awoke chilled and stuffed up. I took a shower, because that seemed to help my sinuses last time and it helped a lot this time as well.

There were announcements from the cruise director, Eric, every twenty minutes or so about tenders and where to board them. You see, there is no pier at Grand Cayman and the ships just sort of float around off the coast while these small boats (tenders) bring people back and forth to the port.

I dressed quickly, because I was excited about Grand Cayman, and went up to the Lido deck for breakfast, which was cheesy eggs again and two glasses of orange “juice” (in quotes because it’s more orange flavored juice than actual orange juice).

Caribbean Cruise & Hollywood, Fl Jan/Feb 2017 Part 3

1/31/17 10:25am
Aft Deck (inside), Carnival Conquest, Caribbean Ocean

I woke up around 9am feeling like I’d been hit by a truck. The extra Allegra makes me feel like I’m in a jar of molasses or that I’m a bear that’s been tranq… uil… ized…

I spent about a half an hour getting dressed before I went in search of more allergy meds that are not Allegra. They did not have anything in the Fun Shop, but they directed me to go to the Medical Center where they have various meds.

I waited about five minutes while the male, Russian nurse explained the pain scale to someone who appeared to be Filipino. The Filipino man kept saying his pain was a 10 out of 10, despite not appearing to be in any pain at all. The nurse, in a Russian accent: “You are in the worst pain of your life? You don’t appear to be someone who is in the worst pain in their life. Do you understand ‘worst pain of your life?’”

Caribbean Cruise & Hollywood, Fl Jan/Feb 2017 Part 2

1/30/17 12:30pm Key Lime Pie Company, Just off Duval St, Key West, Florida
I slept fairly well despite loud thumping music coming from the lounge one floor below me. When booking this room, I was aware of the lounge and possible noise issue, but the lounge on my last cruise was lame and the parties died down by 10pm each night if they even lasted that long. On this ship, there are comedy shows in the lounge and for some reason they require thumping music.
I awoke just before 8am and I turned over to go back to sleep. However, the cruise director came on the loud speaker and said that we have docked and are ready for Key West, which excited me.

I laid in bed for about twenty minutes (I’m a 
slow waker) and then started my morning
routine. I put on long pants and a long sleeve
shirt and packed shorts in my man bag. I wore
sandals and went to the Lido Buffet for 
I ate on the enclosed aft deck (I think that’s what
they are calling it). Then I walked to the top 
deck to check out the view…

Caribbean Cruise & Hollywood, Fl Jan/Feb 2017 Part 1

1/28/17 3:15pm
Albany International Airport, Albany, New York

I am sitting in the Albany airport sipping a Jade Citrus Green Tea while watching a plane taxi down the runway and pull up to the terminal. I don’t think it’s my plane. It’s just under two hours until my flight so it’s likely not my plane. I am going to Fort Lauderdale, Florida (after a changing planes in Baltimore) for a Carnival Cruise to the Western Caribbean.

I am very… hmmmm. Nothing. I am very nothing, I suppose. The excitement of an adventure is balanced out by the anxiety of any number of things that could go wrong. I am self soothing by breathing deeply, closing my eyes, and mentally walking myself through various scenarios where things go wrong and are easily fixed, despite the fact that they likely won’t go wrong to begin with. I’m doing this to calm myself. It’s working, but also subduing the positive excitement. Although writing about this in real-time is helping a little bit and I’m starting to smile (without…

Conor Oberst, Upstate Concert Hall July 2017

Conor Oberst is my favorite songwriter. He sings about mental illness and melancholy, heartbreak and self help. His lyrics are clever and poetic, and they hit me hard in the place where my heart is supposed to be. I saw him play with Dawes -- who are another favorite of mine -- a few years ago at Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY. A good friend had actually won tickets and gave them to me and another friend. It was a great concert, but Conor Oberst has written his best stuff since then and I got to hear it live on July 22, 2017 at Upstate Concert Hall.

Daytona Beach Sept 2016, Part 3

September 7, 2016 9:00pm
Daytona Beach Resort, Daytona Beach, Fl

I had a tough time waking up this morning for no known reason whatsoever and my stomach felt sort of off. All this vacation food has caught up with me, I think.

Daytona Beach Sept 2016 Part 2

September 5, 2016 9:30pm
Daytona Beach Resort, Daytona Beach, Florida

I spent most of today laying by the pool or floating in the pool. I attempted some boogie boarding; the waves were much more intense than yesterday, but I literally couldn't catch a break... seriously, literally.

Anyways, the ocean wiped me out... wipe out? Never mind.

Daytona Beach Sept 2016 Part 1

9/3/16 7:50am Plane, somewhere over the east coast.

I woke up so early this morning that it should really be referred to as "last night..."
I woke up "last night" at an ungodly hour to catch my flight to Florida. I had prepared myself for the early morning two days in advance by forcing myself to wake up earlier and earlier each day so that I would be so insanely exhausted Friday evening that I would fall asleep early enough to get enough sleep before the flight. 

Since I normally go to bed at 12:30am and wake around 9:30am, going to bed early enough to get 7 hours of sleep before waking up at 3am is not an easy feat.

I packed my suitcase the night before.
Lots of plaid, of course.
(Somehow, I managed to fit all of my things into that tiny suitcase...)

And I set my alarm three times (just to be safe).

Surprisingly, I actually woke up before the alarm. I did some last minute packing, put my bags in the car, and drove to my dad's. Once there, I helped him load up h…

J. Fred MocLegoman

For the past two months, I have been working on creating a Lego mini figure ("minifig") of myself for the purpose of... well... there really is no purpose. I wanted to. That's why I did it. I named him J. Fred MocLegoman. (MOC, in Lego fan lingo, stands for My Own Creation).

I started out by ordering a custom head and torso from I designed the face by photoshopping two Lego heads that I found on the internet (one with glasses that looked like mine and one with a beard that closely resembled mine). I sent the photoshopped picture along with a picture of my plaid shirt to and, a few weeks later, received this:

Fare Thee Well

June 12, 2003: I was sitting at a picnic table in Saratoga Springs, strumming my guitar and "singing." (I use quotes because I didn't know how to sing at the time). I was terrified and could barely keep my fingers from shaking as they attempted to form chords on the fret board. In between singing, I took deep breaths in feeble attempts to calm my nerves.

A few weeks previous to that evening, I passed through a set of "ragged, wooden double doors,"* walked the length of a cramped hallway, and ascended the steps of the legendary Caffe Lena for the first time.

I had read about the Caffe in a newspaper article that I probably should have missed. Typically, you see, we didn't get the Schenectady Gazette. For some reason, one was delivered to my dad's house, where I lived, and was sitting on the dining room table. One of the middle sections was slightly out of sync with the rest of the paper and part of the headline was visible: Open Mic.

Around that time, I…

Time. Specifically, There Isn't Really Enough of It.

I have barely touched my guitar in two weeks. Last night, I played six or so songs in a row and that was the most action the six strings have seen in a while. I just don't have the time.

Tomorrow, I am leaving the job that I worked at for six years to pursue other adventures. The new adventure (job) is outside of Albany, which would make my commute from where I currently live to be about an hour and five minutes. So, I'm looking at apartments in Albany and the surrounding areas.

Apartment hunting has been tedious and I've only just started. I've also cleaned my current apartment from top to bottom to take some pictures for my landlord, so he can put up an ad and get someone moved in.

So, I'm spending my time looking at apartment ads, contacting apartment people, and going out and looking at apartments. There are some really crappy places out there with high rent prices. There are also some really nice places for affordable rents. Finding the latter is complicated…

For the Worse

I came across an old blog entry that I had written while searching for an entry about a concert I supposedly attended some time ago. I usually write about all the concerts that I attend and I save tickets, photographs, and other artifacts in scrap books. Someone asked me who opened for Train at the Palace. I couldn't find the answer and I'm not sure which is is more disturbing to me: That I don't have a ticket or blog entry about the concert or that at one time I liked Train.

Anyways, the blog entry I'm talking about is this one here. A brief summary would be: A whole bunch of women that I had been in contact with at one point or another all disappeared from the earth.

I read this blog entry, as I often do when some time has gone by, as if I hadn't written it. And I laughed because I'm hysterical sometimes.

I recalled my mindset around the time that I wrote it. I was fresh in the dating scene after a long hiatus and was really, seriously surprised at how rude…

But, Some Are. (RE: "Not All Who Wander Are Lost") Part IV

By the time you read this, I am most likely in Virginia Beach with some friends. This trip was more planned than my Hard Rock Cafe road trip. There are four of us and we are riding in a car together. Four. Of. Us. I really enjoy being on the road with nothing but my thoughts and a great playlist. When you travel with three other people, however, you have three other brains coming up with thoughts and three other playlists, leading to a lot of arguments over whose music choices are the least tolerable. The upside is that you have others to take over driving duties from time to time and, if you brought ear plugs, you can attempt to nap through intolerable playlists.

I suppose I'll write about VA Beach when I get back, but let me move on to the exciting conclusion to the Hard Rock Cafe road trip.

This posting is a continuation of earlier postings. Read those first:
Part I
Part II
Part III

(The itinerary)