February 28, 2015
Well, it’s been nearly three weeks since we got back from the JoCo Cruise, and I still haven’t shown you anything from it! Sorry!
Part of the reason I haven’t is because there is so much out there to choose from! As of now, there are slightly over one hundred YouTube videos and several thousand photographs that were taken during those eight days! I guess that’s what happens when you put 900 geeks on a boat! That, and 8-bit Zelda art created in stateroom windows using Post-It notes. 😉
So… I’m going to break the cruise stuff down into four blog posts. Today’s will be the longest. I just want to give you an overview, in case you aren’t familiar with the JoCo Cruise at all.
JoCo stands for Jonathan Coulton. Here he is with Kristin at the Fezstravaganza.
JoCo quit his day job as a computer programmer ten years ago in order to pursue a music career. His songs are geeky and funny and sad and sometimes disturbing, but always wonderful. 🙂 He has a huge fan base, and five years ago he decided to take a bunch of them on a cruise! This year was the fifth year of that cruise, affectionately known by many as “The Nerd Boat.”
In addition to all the usual cruise boat fare and the island stops, the JoCo Cruise offers daily performances by JoCo and a bunch of other performers, a 24-hour game room with an impressive game library, and a contingent of writers who give talks about what they do. And, of course, those 900 nerds who are tons of fun! One of those 900 was Gina, who I’ve written about before. Her brother was having a birthday shortly after the cruise, so she tried to get every performer to wish him a happy birthday. I figure this is as good a way as any to give you a sense of the talent on the boat.
It’s really great, because many of us are sort of introvert / socially awkward kinds of people, but JoCo has worked really hard to make this a welcoming event for everyone. There’s an orientation for new “Sea Monkeys,” as we’re called and a mixer on the first day specifically for veteran Sea Monkeys to welcome newbies. And everyone is very friendly and forgiving of social faux pas. Here’s the booklet we all got upon arrival. It lists all sorts of interesting things, including all the main events. There were many more events held rather informally and known as the “shadow cruise.”
When we got home, Andy asked me what my favorite thing was of the whole cruise. I decided it was the zombies. 🙂 Let me explain. One of JoCo’s songs is called “Re: Your Brains,” and is a silly song about all his office mates becoming zombies and wanting him to let them in to eat his brains. Whenever JoCo sings this song, the entire audience starts backing up until they’re all huddled at the back of the venue. Then when he gets to the part where he sings, “All we want to do is eat your brains…” the audience storms the stage pretending to be zombies. It’s the funniest thing ever. See for yourself:
If you look really carefully and quickly, you can see me filming this at 4:04. 🙂 But that is not Kristin in the bandana up front. 🙂
I also love the audience participation in the second half of that medley, “I Feel Fantastic.” In this one, everyone jumps up and down. They also know the words so well that JoCo actually stops singing and the audience finished the song. I love that stuff!
If you’d like to see more of the craziness that is this cruise, you should check out Greg Benson’s Vlogs. In Part 1, you will see the randomly appointed queen of the cruise (who did an amazing job of being queen, BTW!), the Confraternity of the Blessed Sea Monkeys (otherwise known as the amazing singing interns–college students JoCo brought along to help run the event), another rendition of “Re: Your Brains” (this time you can see Kristin if you look carefully!), Wil Wheaton and his wife in steam punk formalwear, our friend Leila in the pyramid fez and pirate garb, and the great staff who got into the Fezstravaganza spirit by wearing ice buckets on their heads. LOL! In Part 2, you will see the googly eyes somebody put on the Ben & Jerry’s cow, the winner of the Fancy Pants Parade, St. Maartens, some great rehearsal footage, and the preparation for the group photo where the crowd again turns into zombies! In Part 3, you will see Puerto Rico, the dancing staff of Johnny Rockets, a sample of the beautiful skies we were treated to, a ukelele melee, drunk Celebrity Artemis (Artemis is a game where you pretend you are the crew of a starship), and muppets. And finally, in Part 4, you will see Haiti, more rehearsals, an example of what the dining area is like (and you can see Kristin and I as Greg walks by!), a private party, and the 13th performance of “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift (David Rees was the DJ for a dance night in which he jokingly played the song 12 times, so it was hilarious when he then sang it live on the last day).
Well, that’s about all I’m going to say today. This is already way too long! But I am going to give you a few more links. Steve Petrucelli (aka Batman) was the unofficial photographer for the event and did a great job! Here are his nearly 1000 photos. And Melissa Lareau captured a large percentage of the performances and put them on her YouTube channel. But there is one performance she didn’t capture that is worth seeing. These guys are amazing!