Sunday, April 17, 2011

Carpe Diem

I woke up this morning to a shaken e-mail from the head of the faculty senate, announcing that UNR President Milt Glick died of a massive stroke last night. Gary and I had seen him and his wife the night before at a concert. He looked great.

The mind reels. I can't help but wonder what role the state budget crisis played in this. The guy's been under incomprehensible pressure. Our bodies feel these things.

My immediate response -- surprise, surprise -- was to book a cruise in November for Gary's sixtieth birthday. It's a fourteen-day circle Hawaii trip, again on Holland America (on the same boat as our other two cruises, in fact; someday we'll get off the Oosterdam!). This goes well beyond decadent into financially irresponsible, but as I told Gary, "Life is short, and you only turn sixty once." And this cruise has been near the top of our wishlist.

We love Hawaii; we've already been to three of the four ports on the itinerary, but that means that we'll be able to make excellent use of our time without paying for shore excursions. I'm already looking forward to snorkeling again in our favorite spot in Waikiki, and then eating at one of our favorite Thai restaurants.

Gary cried when he found out. I asked if he was mad at me, but he's not: we have the money, after all. As he said, it's not like we'll be living in a refrigerator carton because of this.

I called my sister and said, "I just did something completely financially irresponsible."

"You booked a cruise," she said, without missing a beat.

What, me, predictable?

This is an expensive little addiction I've developed, but it's better for my health than other addictions. And at least now, having booked our next cruise, I can stop obsessively searching the cruise websites, which will give me more time to do more useful things.


  1. It takes something like this to shake us up and make us appreciate life and what we have.

  2. Good for you! (I love Hawaii also.) A totally appropriate response to devastating news. Life is short. And long. And everything in between. And sucking all the joy out of it that is possible is the best thing anyone can do. Go you.

    (You probably don't remember me, but I sat next to you at the GOH speeches at Wiscon a few years ago, enjoyed your company immensely, and as a consequence of which I started reading your blog, which gives me much food for thought.)


  3. Anonymous6:15 AM

    Dear Susan,

    I'm so sorry to hear this news - thank you for sharing it.


  4. i can't imagine why anyone WANTS to go on a cruise, but you like them, so good for you.

    promise to send us pictures.

    and you're right; life is short. might as well be having fun.

  5. Tanith -- I'm afraid I don't remember, no, but please don't take it personally. I remember less and less these days, and just hope it's not a permanent downward spiral!

    flask -- Yeah, well, that's kinda how we feel about camping! We like cruising because: a) We like being on the ocean: total escape! b) The ports can be nice too, especially when they offer snorkeling, and you get to see a variety of places without having to keep packing and unpacking; your hotel room moves with you. c) The food's AMAZING. d) There are lots of exercise options to help mitigate the effects of c, including a very nice gym and the classic stroll-around-the-deck (3 laps = 1 mile) while gazing out at the serene water. e) We meet interesting people. f) We get to listen to a string quartet every evening. g) Free room service -- which means free breakfast on our private balcony every morning -- and excellent service generally. h) Neither of the cruises we took felt crowded, although the second one was full, because the ship's so big and there are so many things to do and different places to hang out. F'rinstance: the second cruise had 250 kids on it. We don't enjoy being around a lot of kids, but we were barely conscious of any kids at all. The kids were elsewhere, having a swell time and being raucous, and we were being quiet and happy wherever we were hanging out. i) An excellent and very comfortable library/internet lounge/cafe/observation area. j) Sometimes the water's a little rough and you actually feel like you're on a boat. We like this -- Gary would like even more of it than we've had -- although some people, admittedly, don't. k) Cruising is infinitely more comfortable than air travel, and airplanes are too high for the passengers to be able to watch whales, sea lions, and dolphins easily. l) Adorable towel animals.

  6. P.S. I'll definitely send pictures!


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