I have been back in California for a few weeks now after packing up my Vancouver apartment at UBC. The weather has been perfect here, as usual. How dull. I took a cruise on the Norwegian Sun from Vancouver to San Francisco. You can move via car, plane, train, but me, I moved via ship.
I did a set in front of a large, lukewarm audience in the talent show on the last day. Probably my biggest, lukewarmiest audience yet. I feel like they hated me, but I’m too scared to listen to the tape. I record all my shows, but am generally too scared to listen to them. I think that’s a pretty common reaction.
Cruises are fun, relaxing and nice. I recommend them. On the last day, I always have this feeling of sadness about it ending too soon. The staff is generally wonderful and upbeat, but there is something inescapably weird about it. It’s all too much fun, too nicely orchestrated, everything subtly controlled, like Disneyland, or like how Las Vegas allegedly pumps oxygen into the casinos to help keep people awake. There must be gallons of marketing and behavioral research at corporate headquarters. All this neat stuff is happening – great food, activities, music, entertainment – and you see the people directly providing all this. But what’s missing is the man behind the curtain. Obviously someone must be planning all this, but you never see who. It’s almost eerie.
But hey, that’s what vacations are all about: being manipulated into having a good time.