Welcome to the our coverage of the week we’re spending on the high seas with a bunch of lesbians, celesbians, and the fine ladies of Sweet Lesbian Travel. Bookmark this page, ’cause this’ll be the hot spot for up-to-the-minute iPhone photos, transcribed tweets, invented happenings and cut-and-pasted emails from A;ex, our designer, and Riese, our CEO of Ideas, as well as co-passengers. Members of the Autostraddle Team and Interns will be the “go-between” for this terrifically entertaining adventure. They have no idea what they’re doing, which will be exactly as exciting as it sounds. Ready? Let’s party, pirates!
November 15th, 2009
Yesterday was insane from morning ’til dawn: celesbians, inter-team miscommunications, early morning pantsless lesbian comedian interviews, wet t-shirt contests, alcohol, a few chunks of time lost to the unfortunate combination of xanax & tequila, underpants dance parties, erotic thirds, packing, barely sleeping, transcribing, gossiping, tanning, napping, eating, eating, and more drinking and eating. Brooke talked to every lesbian businesswoman in the world and then disappeared again, Jess got the full scoop from Jill Bennett & Cathy DeBuono, and we’ll get all that and so much more to you ASAP.
Right now we’re in New Orleans, doing laundry at my brother’s house and catching up on NSFW Sunday, eating, pretending that we slept, and watching BAD ROMANCE. Also, my brain hurts.
November 13th, 2009
Riese: Today we went to Cozumel and nobody got hurt! Also my largest head wound is covered by my bangs, and though my nose is bruised it’s not that bad, so I have decide to continue to drink, smoke, and take illegal medications from offshore pharmacies. You can click the photo to enlarge but really you have to touch it. I didn’t wake up with black eyes, so that’s always good.
We were going to wake up early, but instead Julia slept in our bed wearing transparent underwear, which goes to show when you win an Autostraddle contest we really roll out the stops for ya.
The “Champagne and Bubbles” party was last night, which meant we got fancy and all the butches got decked out in super traditional tuxedos and their femme girlfriends were all girly and it was like prom, and then there were all the young press punks/performers in our whatevers hipster gear.
This morning per ushe we chose the road best straddled & less traveled by, and Alex, Jess, Julia (our contest winner) and Chris (Julia’s straight friend) ended up in a van with five Cali cruiser kids sporting alternative lifestyle haircuts, all heading for the beach before having to get back to the ship! We met Sabrina, a photographer for Go! Magazine who hopefully will be our friend now b/c she lives in Brooklyn.
Everyone said go to Coconut Beach, b/c they have drinks in coconuts. I said whatevs! A lot of people had feelings about the lack of snorkeling & the abundance of brewsky-downing breeders at the next beach that Victor The Taxi Man drove us to. I had three feelings: GUACAMOLE IS YUMMY, I WANT TO SLEEP IN THE SUNSHINE, THE WATER IS BLUE!
Here’s what Brooke did today!
Brooke: Today my friend Courtney and I decided we wanted to explore”The Real Cozumel”. We rented an ATV at $40 for the day and off we went. Little did we know that everytime the ATV went under 20 km/hr the engine would make incessant gunshot noises. This coupled with the fact that we were two young blonde girls driving around the city in our recently purchased Cozumel baseball caps made it really easy for us to blend in. First, we went to a tourist trap called Paradise Beach for an hour.
Then we left there, drove downtown and ended up at a restaurant/bar called “Copa de Cabana” on 65th Avenue (I have no idea how we got here) that was filled with locals. There was a live band and lots of good food. They didn’t understand a word we said and apparently don’t have menus…so they ended up serving us everything they could make. Now we’re back on the ship and there are plenty of girls living it up by the pool and jacuzzi but I’m off to nap in preparation for the Sweet & Sassy theme party tonight. That’s all for now!
November 12th, 2009
Riese & Alex Go to Roatán, Honduras, and Riese Gets a Concussion
Riese: Right off the boat are stores and other places for us to put our money down. Mario is American, and the woman he works for rented scooters to me and Alex at 60 for the afternoon. The map says we could take it for a ride around the island of Roatàn to both beautiful and eclectic beaches. Eclectic is usually code for anything from illegal to homosexual to just interesting, and it’s bright & sunny and so we take it.
Mario takes us past the tourist shops to the parking lot out back where he squabbles in Spanish with two Mexican guys about where the last scooter went. Mario makes some phone calls while Alex and I worry about the time and say we like the sunshine. Mario tells us to head up the road to the “yellow building” where we could find Blake who’d get us a scooter.
We exit the pier area into the Roatan streets. The sidewalks are narrow beside wide roads trafficked by trucks and bicycles and people and Alex keeps reminding me to stay on the path as children as tall as my waist approach us from many angles, sometimes with bracelets and sometimes just with hands, or they poke us and look at us with wide, sun-beaten, urgent eyes, and offer us things we don’t need for money we don’t have. Literally, the ATM didn’t work.
A teenaged boy in a yellow University of Michigan alumni t-shirt, a Lakers hat, flip-flops and giant denim shorts picks up pace with Alex & me. He knows everyone so he takes us to Blake. Blake has a scooter but no helmets. They try to fix this for a while but we decide not to take chances with our brains and instead we get our money back and decide just to hang out with Samson because we are only alive for so long and have a lot to learn about the world.
Samson takes us to get three cold local beers instead, they’re icy and delicious and we’re thirsty. He tells us most of the island is poor and there’s no food, but the other side of the island is beautiful beaches, and over 8,000 Americans live there too, in nice big houses that look nothing like the neighborhoods we’re in.
He’s very matter of fact about the whole thing; his life and the lives of people around him. They’ve been waiting for our ship he says, because the Royal Caribbean cruise that came yesterday was too small and they depend on cruise traffic for income.
When we get back, Jess will tell us about her afternoon and wonder if we were in the same country. Samson’s 17 and wants to be an engineer but doesn’t know how he’s going to afford college on the mainland, which is the only place he’s ever been.
While school’s out, like now, he “hustles” tourists and offers to show them around or sell them “green stuff,” and keep them safe. Everyone knows everyone. A girl rides by on her bicycle and Samson says she’s the hottest girl on the island. Samson’s going to take us to where he lives.
We go back behind the run-down stores that line the main street to more residential areas. We hop across places where the recent rains flooded, balancing skipping on driftwood and rocks. Through an alley lined with barbed wire fences, and I ask him if this is the part where he shoots us in the head. He says that only happens on the mainland.
We take a barbed-wire lined alley to his house which he shares with a bunch of cousins, siblings, his Mom. He goes to get something and we wait with his 2-year-old cousin while other kids play or climb the construction site where Samson’s cousin is building a new house. The little girl, shy and squirmy on a wooden staircase, keeps lifting her white dress to us, and her brother tells us, “she thinks she’s a lady.”
Samson comes back and we go out back to his backyard to smoke and we ask him questions about his life and school and stuff. Everyone looks happy though, to have a sunny day after rain and to have drinks or something to smoke, but we don’t see anyone eating. His brother warns us not to touch Samson’s dog, Demon, because he bites people.
Alex points out that we’re probably the only people on the ship who would willingly spend our afternoon this way, and I laugh, thinking about that show where tourists get stolen. We give Samson my Yankees hat, because he tells us that there’s not enough food for everyone on the island but they still buy Yankees hats for $80, and that our Chuck Taylors are worth $140 and everyone wears American clothes they buy. I let him know according to his t-shirt we’re both U-Mich alumni. Beers are 3 for $5, though. We give away all our money to people there and to Samson.
Here in all of Honduras including Roatan, 68% of the population lives on below $2 a day and 70% of girls first sexual experience is with a family member.
On the way back, past his house and the alleys and the soccer field and back out to downtown and down to the pier where our ship is, Alex has both of our beers in one hand and she asks me if I want one and I turn back to her, having only mentally registered the existence of one half of the cement gate we’re passing under, and that side is tall enough for me to get through without ducking, which is why I don’t notice the slope and the jutting rock at my eye level until my face collides with it; specifically the top of my nose and a piece of my forehead (that’s where my two visible injuries are).
So today we went to Honduras and I got a concussion, is what happened.
Brooke snags a spot on a sponsored Community Service Excursion
(all cruisers have the option of purchasing service excursions instead of traditional excursions, these include relaxation/vacationing and community service projects, it’s one of the most awesomest things about Sweet, and the money goes right into the work & the community)
Brooke: Today I went on one of the community service excursions put together by Sweet. We went to a local E-Learning Center for kids where about 30 of us repainted the interior walls, set up new computers (purchased by some Sweet cruisers) and cataloged hundreds of their books.
Afterwards, we were taken to a local restaurant where we were served chicken, rice and beans and chocolate cake (I love dessert)! It was an amazing experience and the group was so inspired that we put together a quick pool and came up with a $600 donation to give to the center on the spot. Another interesting point, Cam, the woman who started the center, funds it off of crab races and donations.
November 11th, 2009
11 PM We’ll get some photos for you from last night’s comedy show which was hilarious, with Nicol Paone, Gloria Bigelow, Kate McKinnon and etc and it was really funny. Afterwards we decided to aggressively socialize with people and interrobanged everyone to set up interviews. There was a press conference which we have photos of too and videos. MORE LATER GUYS
Alex: I’m happy to report that
A) I’m quite intoxicated,
B) because we were just at a comedy show starring some really funny gay ladies and we will have clips for you tomorrow, and
C) I have SO many photografs to share with y’all!
Today Jess and I went to the Mayan ruins!
I made a transaction with a man selling coconuts.
Yesterday in Mexico, Riese, myself and Jess experienced a withdrawal from twitter like no other. “I WISH I COULD TWEET THIS RIGHT NOW ALL CAPS” I exclaimed… and then the “tweet paper” was born:
Riese: Because I have no money, Alex & Jessica conquered the Mayan ruins this morning while I went to the gym, drank coffee, looked out the window, worked on my resumè, and pondered how to find people in Belize without cell-phone service.
Tonight at 10 p.m., Club Skirts Dinah Shore somehow intends to help us “find out why [Dinah Shore] is the biggest lesbian party on earth” by throwing a small party in a little nightclub on one end of a cruise ship. This can mean only one thing: Lady Gaga is coming, and clearly I will be there wearing my white pants, perhaps there will be a wet t-shirt contest. OMG Alex has my free soda card, and I need a soda!
Riese: Just now I was trying to make Alex and Julia (she won the cruise prize AND OH WHAT A PRIZE IT IS) laugh by climbing up the stairs in a backwards crab and then vaulting to a stand from the lotus position but my foot was slippery and I failed, and then like five celesbians walked by, and I was like ‘hey what’s up, my name is Chris Farley and I am here to entertain you’ and I leaned slickly on the elevator like The Fonz. I was like ok, that’s cool, stroll on up to your room with your balcony, me and Alex have our little cave to get back to.
Also there was an ’80s party and my fly was unzipped for some of it, except it wasn’t my fly, it was Alex’s fly, ’cause I borrowed her white pants, so she should’ve been on top of that shit. You’ll get to see that in the photos, I hope there are a lot of photos. Also Kelli O’Donnell is fully here, which is funny, like it wouldn’t be a gay cruise if it wasn’t for Kelli! I don’t think anyone here wants to be our friends, so tomorrow we might just have to start interrobanging everyone and make people talk to us!
November 10th, 2009
In Costa Maya the men want you to buy jewelery and don’t understand that we don’t buy jewelery, no really, we know looking is free but really it’s not gonna happen. Instead we paid $5 to have a strange monkey jump on our shoulders while we took photographs.
Brooke was hopping up and down in her girl scout shorts excited about going to the ruins. Gimme Sugar was hanging out at the big pool with the large tropical drinks.
This totally sketchasorous woman told us we could go to the most beautiful beach in the whole world for $25, and that it had bathrooms, a shower, other facilities, and an all-you-can-drink open bar.
We were like SOLD, and I was secretly hoping it would be the sketchiest shit on earth but it totally was not! Except for the part when we were alone in the slums of Costa Maya in a van with a Mexican which we read about in a magazine as being how Good Girls Go Bad.
See I like unpredictable things, that’s all. It would either be terrible, awesome, or terrible/AWESOME, and it was. It was really calm and relaxing. When did I start wanting to feel calm or relaxed? Hour massage for twenty dollars. I wanted to die there, on the massage table, and just get massages and drink Dos Equis for all of time.
Look, we also have a photo from the sick day that Jess took of our butts:
“It looks like one of those scary guys from Eyes Wide Shut with the cloaks!” -Jess
“IT’S A FUCKING PENGUIN.” – Riese
1:32 PM We got to Mexico and took pictures with a really awesome monkey! MORE LATER!
Riese via twitter: HELLO MEXICO I WOULD LIKE SOME CHEAP CORONA AND A TAN AND A MAYAN RUIN PLZ THX
Alex: I thoroughly enjoyed Erin Foley. Girl is hilar. Also, they had peach cobbler at the buffet which I also liked very much… with vanilla ice cream on top. We’ve met and hung out with our contest winner, Julia — she’s so cute you guys! Maybe we’ll take a picture and post it on the world wide webs and exploit her like we do to all our friends! It’s just a matter of time…
11:34 AM We’re in Mexico, bitches!
“Can we talk about last night?” Erin began. “Because I’m OBSESSED WITH IT.” Here’s a few video clips from last night’s Erin Foley show, in one of them she’s talking about her girlfriend Nicol Paone:
November 9th, 2009
7:35 PM Thoughts I had last night when I thought we were going to die, by Riese:
1. If this boat goes down with Jill Bennett and Cathy DeBuono on it, will SheWired implode? SheWired is excellent etc., but just saying, that’s like The Jackson 5 without Michael. RIP.
2. If this boat goes down with me, Alex, Brooke and Intern Jess on it, Intern Sarah will have to lead Autostraddle by herself forever, which will be funny and overwhelming and she’ll probs have a panic attack since Jess has all the Xanax.
3. If this boat goes down, Big Gay Sketch Show will need to hire two new girls to replace Kate McKinnon and Nicol Paone and they won’t be able to hire me because I will also have drowned.
4. Who survived, Jack or Rose? Rose. Why did Rose survive and not Jack? Because he was poor? Because rose was the beautiful belle of the ball? Are we going to die on scraps of wood while Jill Bennett sails to Cancun on a giant pink yacht because she’s so pretty? Didn’t the old lady throw it into the ocean at the end?
5. (Best explained by convo the next morning):
Riese: Alex did you at any point last night think to yourself, ‘Fuck I wish we hadn’t missed the lifejacket drill’?
Alex: OMG YES! I was like, I don’t know where W3 is! I don’t know what to do!
Riese: The one time, fuckin’ a!!!
6. If this boat goes down, lesbian culture will have to re-invent itself, led by Julie Goldman and Karmen Kregloe and Uh Huh Her.
7. If we can float on guitars, that’s good because there are a lot of guitars here.
8. My Mom hates me for not being able to call her on her birthday because the boat took off early to escape the storm (FAIL), so if this boat goes down, I will die with my Mom mad at me.
9. If this boat goes down, it would make Laneia’s already terrible week so terrible that I don’t know how she would make it through, luckily I believe in G-d, therefore I believe He will protect us and most importantly, Laneia, from further FML situations.
10. If I’m wrong about that, and we do drown, Maggie Gallagher is going to cream all over the sinking of the lesbian boat.
11. WHERE THE FUCK IS SIMON THE CRUISE DIRECTOR I COULD USE A BLOODY ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT OUR FATE
Alex via twitter: I hope that for living through hell on this boat today (thanks for Hurricane Ida) that 40 virgins await us at the Costa Maya port tomorrow
Alex: I feel bad I haven’t provided a new funny graphic or picture to share yet! I guess if you wanted to see a picture of Riese and I passed out face-down on various beds, toilets and surfaces throughout the boat that could be arranged. But for your sake and our dignity, we’ll be sure to handle this tomorrow when we’re actually able to walk on the ground we stand on.
Oh I forgot! Erin Foley is performing tonight and we’re excited. We’re looking to get a video clip of that to entertain y’all with!
Riese: There are three lesbians standing in the library talking about how they are gonna go watch The Steelers on the TV. Turns out lying by the pool is the only tsunami-suitable activity. Although Brooke has now been to allegedly a number of promising network events, our main activity for the day was “not throwing up on anyone” and so far so good. Pretty soon exciting things will happen once we are comfortable in any position besides “prone.”
10:36 AM – THE SKY IS FALLING
Riese: The Gathering Storm has arrived. Everything is canceled, everyone is nauseous and barfing and lying on the floor. The boat is rocking back and forth like crazy. Last night we woke up at 4 a.m. thinking we were going to die, but then we decided we weren’t going to die, instead we were going to exist in purgatorial misery for all of time. It started getting rocky last night when we were dancing, which I think at least for me made me seem like a better dancer, and that was fine, and then we went to bed, but then it got really bad, and now we woke up. I want to make funny jokes, but I have to go lie down now. They say it should get better by the end of the day when we get to Mexico.
November 8th, 2009
Alex: I wish everyone who read Autostraddle was on this cruise!! (Note to self for future travel ventures… srsly.) I am drunk already and Kate McKinnon is our new BFF like Paris Hilton got that one time.
Riese: Hello world! We’re on a boat with A LOT OF OTHER PEOPLE. LIKE THERE ARE LESBIAN FEMALES EVERYWHERE.
Firstly, earlier this week Intern Nicole came to my apartment and made me sign a form donating all of my organs including my skin and eyes when I die. Coincidentally, now we are aboard the death ship heading into the eye of the Hurricane Ida, like Rocky Balboa. Luckily if I die outside of New York City I get to keep my corneas, but I want you to know that anyone who wants my liver can keep it. I think it can handle about one more drink and another upper before collapsing completely, but hey who doesn’t want an extra day when times get tough. So far it seems the ratio of press/entertainers/celesbians to actual passengers is 1:1.
We said HAY to Kate McKinnon, met the ladies of The Lesbian Lounge, took some Xanax, got Intern Jess a press pass, refused to accept her insistence that she doesn’t want to be called an Intern b/c she is too old, explained that Interns are more important than anyone else on the team besides Tinkerbell, ate some food that made my stomach hurt, missed the life jacket drill, got called to the principal’s office for sneaking liquor onto the cruise, stood in line with a bunch of other bad girls who’d also been caught by the X-ray machine, and then the boat took off into the great murky somewhere. We are already “rocking and rolling,” as Simon the Cruise Director explained. He’s the same guy who does Rosie cruises. 2:33 PM
Alex via twitter: Cargo shorts everywhere.
November 7th, 2009
Hello Autostraddlers! Alex, Riese, Brooke and Intern Jess have left the building and the interns are taking over! Have you noticed? If not, they must be doing a fantastic job. Anyhow, we clearly are going to be keeping you abreast of all our fun high seas adventures!