10:35 PM Eastern
I know I said that I would post something late last week, after I got home from the Bahamas cruise, but that damn 2,5 got in the way. See, I got a bit of a toothache as the cruise wound down, and figured I’d see my dentist when I got home. But we arrived Thursday afternoon and my guy takes Fridays off, so I had to wait until Monday.
Only Sunday night it felt as though the left side of my face exploded.
One trip to the late-night dental emergency clinic later, I was on antibiotics and a quite lovely painkiller named Teradol (which I wholly endorse, though only under a physician’s care, of course), and I’m booked for a root canal on Thursday afternoon, which could lead to quite an interesting time later that evening at the Blue Jays’ annual State of the Franchise event.
Anyway, I’ve kind of been out of it for the last few days, and I’m still not feeling great, so please forgive the “radio silence”, as it were.
The Blue Jays made a little bit of noise while I was away, and I have already commented on the Jeremy Reed signing from the ship. Shawn Hill is an interesting get, though. The Mississaugian had a terrific right arm, but had a repeat Tommy John last year, so the Jays are really looking at him for 2011 and beyond. They control him through the end of the 2013 season, when he’ll only be 32, assuming he doesn’t get any big-league time this year (and he shouldn’t pitch competitively until after the all-star break, anyway), so he adds to the list of post-hype former top prospects that Alex Anthopoulos has brought in, hoping to unearth a hidden gem. Merkin Valdez falls into that category, too – he’s probably five years removed from that top prospect designation. But they’re all zero-risk moves. Hey, if you sign enough of them, you might get one to break through.
But enough about that, let’s talk about the cruise. It was a fun-filled four days, for sure. My lovely bride and I took part in a lot of the contests on the ship, winning the Sports Trivia (it’s not cheating, there were only three or four baseball questions) and finishing a strong second in the Famous Faces quiz (they give you a sheet with 20 small head-shots and you have to name them). We got 19 out of the 20 in that one, and I’m pretty sure the woman who claimed to have won cheated. Problem is, they let you give your own score based on the honour system, and I know that when Derek Jeter was revealed as one of the answers, I heard her whisper “I put Derek Cheevers, but that’s close enough.” More on Jeter later.
As I alluded to in the previous post, I was pretty disappointed by the 80s-music tribute show, though I should have known I would be since it was called “Far From Over”. Seriously – who names a show after the theme song from a Sly Stallone arm-wrestling flick? And then opens the show with said tune? Though I have to say those scrappy kids probably did a better job with it than Frank Stallone himself did. Still, the songs were good, but there seemed to be a lot of dancing-by-numbers going on – you could almost see them going “1 and 2 and 3 and 4″ in their heads.
One thing that has always bothered me about these shows, and I know they’re supposed to be lounge-y and Vegas-y type things, but really – you have the sheet music, it probably has the lyrics on it. Why are they getting the words wrong? There were four songs on which I recognized that they screwed up the words: Relax (“when you wanna go” instead of come, which may have been cleaning it up for the kiddies, but they didn’t clean up the rest of it), Endless Love (“you’re every move I make” instead of every step), Don’t Lose My Number (“Billy, Billy don’t you…..” instead of will he, Billy don’t you…..) and another one that I can’t remember one week hence. I will never understand this. Sorry for taking up so much of this space on it, but it really bothers me. By the way, after an online search, I’m starting to doubt myself on the Don’t Lose That Number line – but I’ll just say that everyone else has it wrong, so never mind that one.
The highlight of the trip was most definitely Atlantis. The resort/hotel and casino complex/beach/waterpark on Paradise Island in The Bahamas is easily the best resort I’ve ever seen. The lazy river was like riding White Water Canyon in an inner tube, and one circuit took 25 minutes. There are nine waterslides (the biggest one a 120-foot vertical drop), the best of which finishes up in a clear tube in the middle of a shark tank. The aquarium is spectacular. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a winter vacation, though I imagine it’s ridiculously expensive. We spent a day there, on an excursion put together by the ship, and it cost us $150 US each.
The only problem with Atlantis was that we were there on the wrong day. Our day there was Tuesday, which in a vacuum, is just lovely. But that week, Michael Jordan was arriving Wednesday o kick off his golf tournament. Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez were showing up on Thursday to captain opposing teams in a celebrity softball game. And Jerry Seinfeld was to cap the week by doing a stand-up show Saturday night. Damn timing.
We spent the day before hanging out at the beach in Freeport, which was really nice and relaxing. I spent a good amount of time in the shallower waters stalking what I believed to be a blue eel, but now that I’ve looked at pictures of actual eels, that’s likely not what it was. It was something, though, skinny, blue, almost transparent. Weird. Off the beach, there was a guy with a synthesizer that was trying to sound like steel drums, and it seemed like every reggae/calypso type tune he was playing was one that I knew only because it had once been parodied by Allen Sherman. Very strange experience, indeed.
There were also plenty of good times at the onboard casino. I played in two poker tournaments, finishing second once and tying for second another time, and I made it to the final table in the blackjack tourney as well, though I fell short there.
The lowlight of the trip? Easy. Some drunken pseudo-Romeo pounding on our door at 3:15 one morning, looking for Jennifer, the newly-found love of his life. I don’t know who I hate more – the guy for demanding entry to the room after being told there was no such woman there (I mean seriously – even if you met a girl and think you got her room number, if a guy answers the door at 3 AM, isn’t that enough of a hint to get the hell out of there?) or the girl for giving him my room number to get him to go away. After our initial exchange, he said he would just wait outside the room. He knocked again about five minutes later, and after I once again explained that she wasn’t there, and that he might have the wrong floor, or room number, he looked as though he was lost in thought for a bit, completely perplexed, then totally dejected as he slunk away. Poor guy. Idiot.
Overall, a solid trip, though again I would heartily recommend Princess over Carnival (those being the only two cruise lines on which I’ve been). Princess has better food, more variety, a far nicer presentation, just better in general.
So now I have two weeks at home before heading off to Whistler to take part in our coverage of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games – that should be a blast. After that, home for less than a week before heading down to Spring Training to help fill you in on all the goings-on down there.
The next you hear from me will be after the annual State of the French Fries, featuring Paul Beeston, Cito Gaston and Alex Anthopoulos. I will likely be heavily drugged, though – just letting you know in advance.
Rational, reasonable comments are always welcome!