Sea Change

April 27th, 2016

The cruise is now nearing the half-way mark. Because we spent our first full day at sea, I’ve already given three of my four talks on Shakespeare. I’ll post more details about those in a later thread.

I’m having a lot of fun. Everyone has been so nice to me and very appreciative of the talks. Fellow passengers will come over to me and start conversations about Shakespeare, which has been the best part. There has also been other Shakespeare-related entertainment. The cruise had asked me to select four appropriately-themed movies, and their screenings have been additional opportunities to engage with the Shakespeare fans on the ship. For those interested, I chose the following movies:

    Richard III (1995) with Ian McKellen and Annette Bening
    Much Ado about Nothing (1993) with Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson
    Macbeth (2015) with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard
    Shakespeare in Love (1998) with Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow

There is also a group of three talented actors who are performing scenes from Shakespeare throughout the ship. These scenes are popular among the passengers, and they make the theme of the cruise more ubiquitous.

And, oh yeah, in addition to all of the Shakespeare stuff, I’m also on a cruise. The lifestyle keeps you quite busy and very well fed. The staff is almost as big as the passenger manifest, and they are highly professional and courteous. This is my first cruise, so the experience is somewhat of a sea change for me.

I also had a chance to visit Oslo, where we stopped for two days. I went to go see the Nobel Peace Museum, which had a thought-provoking exhibit about the targets that are used in the military of different countries around the world. They also have an exhibit showing the various people who have won Nobel Peace Prizes though the years.

Our next stop is Helsingor, the real-life setting of Hamlet, though Shakespeare referred to it by the Anglicized version of the name: Elsinore. I’ll be escorting a shore excursion to provide some Hamlet perspective on the trip. But I’ve never been there myself, so it should be a great trip for me as well. I’ll keep you posted.

The End

To Unpathed Waters, Undreamed Shores

April 23rd, 2016

Another April 23 is now upon us. Each year, on this day, we celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday, acknowledging occasionally that he also died on this date. But as this year marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, focus has shifted to the more morbid milestone. And since it was Shakespeare who taught us, in many ways, what it means to us as humans to face our mortality, it seems only fitting to celebrate his legacy on the anniversary of his death.

Celebrity Cruises is marking the occasion with a ten-day Shakespeare-themed cruise, and they have invited me to serve as the resident expert on all things Shakespearean. I’ll be giving a series of four talks onboard the ship, moderating a round-table discussion, and escorting a shore excursion to Kronberg Castle, the real-life inspiration for Hamlet’s Elsinore.

Naturally, I’m extremely excited about the opportunity. I’m not generally one to seek out opportunities to travel, but the chance to geek out on Shakespeare for ten days with some like-minded fellow passengers will be a unique experience. And so, I am resurrecting the blog, so I have a place to chronicle my journey.

I’m writing this from London, and the cruise will embark this evening from Southampton. We will be visiting Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, ending up in Amsterdam on May 2. I’ll post updates here when I can. For example, here is a picture of me at the British Museum last night.

I’ll post more updates when time allows. Till then, unto Southampton do we shift our scene.

The End

Thursday Morning Riddle

March 24th, 2016

I’m a fixture in bathrooms with faucet and bin;
Set your teeth in a task; let ideas settle in;
To succumb to depression; descend into sin;
And to take out a sub for a Battleship win!

Who am I?

UPDATE: Riddle solved by Alex. See comments for answer.

The End

Thursday Morning Riddle

March 17th, 2016

I’m a lingerie line for those younger in age;
I’m a feline in movies; Ms. Moore on the stage;
I’m a sweet lemonade; I put Drive on the page;
And at work, I’m a slip that can threaten your wage.

Who am I?

UPDATE: Riddle solved by Asher. See comments for answer.

The End

Thursday Morning Riddle

March 10th, 2016

I am planted in gardens and sold by the packet;
I’m placing a team in a tournament bracket;
Coax rain from a cloud when with ice you attack it;
And cash for a startup from those who would back it.

Who am I?

UPDATE: Riddle solved by Asher. See comments for answer.

The End

Thursday Morning Riddle

January 21st, 2016

I’m the years of a youth; an auxiliary ship;
I am money that’s legal; a sensitive lip;
To present resignation, or give a pink slip;
I am loving affection; or fried chicken strip.

Who am I?

UPDATE: Riddle solved by Alex. See comments for answer.

The End

Thursday Morning Riddle

December 17th, 2015

I’m your usual preference to ask for a date;
I’m to cast in a role only based on one trait;
I can classify blood that you need or donate;
And you count words per minute to measure my rate.

Who am I?

UPDATE: Riddle solved by Alex. See comments for answer.

The End

Thursday Morning Riddle

November 12th, 2015

I’m to let loose your tongue to spread word or defame;
To reproach with a finger when calling out shame;
I’m a mischievous wit; I’m a footballer’s flame;
And I’m shaking your tail to convey that you’re tame.

Who am I?

UPDATE: Riddle solved by Asher. See comments for answer.

The End

Shakespeare Anagram: Richard III

October 31st, 2015

From Richard III:

Since you will buckle fortune on my back,
To bear her burden, whe’r I will or no,
I must have patience to endure the load

Shift around the letters, and it becomes:

We’re unrelieved Ryan buckled and “without ambition” will become Speaker of the House.

But not our concern, Hillary.

The End

Thursday Morning Riddle

October 1st, 2015

I’m to end a night’s sleep as you rise up in bed;
I’m the waves left behind when a ship moves ahead;
I’m the group name for vultures that’s used when they’ve fed;
And a party that’s held to watch over the dead.

Who am I?

UPDATE: Riddle solved by Alex. See comments for answer.

The End