Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Who says 60 is old?

I'm really going to try to make an effort to blog more, so I'm sitting in the computer room waiting for the satellite to come on (not sure why it's off this morning) and thought I would post a little something about our recent vacation.

We just returned from a 7-day cruise to the Western Carribbean - Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Costa Maya and Roatan in Honduras. We didn't have to adjust to the tropical weather as we had experienced that same weather through much of the summer at home this year. We were in 4 ports in 4 days and planned excursions for most of those ports. We decided to try snuba, which seems to be a cross between snorkeling and scuba diving - you are using a breathing hose, but can go under water to a depth of about 25 feet. We had to fill out a massive waiver form, which asked all sorts of questions, one of them being "have you had any recent surgery". Being raised to tell the truth, I noted that I had knee surgery in April (4 months ago). After consultation with 3 of the representatives from the tour company, they decided I couldn't participate because of the surgery - according to them they were concerned about the possibility of air bubbles in my leg and the development of a possible blood clot. Even though I work in a hospital, I'm not a medical person so what do I know?

The company was going to issue a credit for the tours and we needed to decide on something else to do that day. We were talking to one of the cruise staff who suggested we try another tour - a visit to an island with some reference to twister. We decided we would try that and off we went.

We boarded a speed boat with about 20 other people. The crew explained we would be traveling about 25 minutes to an island to spend several hours basking in the sun, enjoying the warm and very clear water of the Carribean and just relaxing. As were headed to the island, music was blaring and fortunately the songs were ones I was familiar with and even liked! Part of the tour included a buffet lunch and drinks (as if we needed more food since we were crusing). The crew explained that when we were getting close to the island, the captain would execute a move where the boat came to a halt and spin around 360 degrees and we would end up getting soaked from the water. Note - we were harnessed up very securely with a contraption that went over our shoulders, and then buckled down to the seat (and we had life preservers to contend with as well). They assured us that no one on the boat would escape the water.

Well, they were right. The first time the twister movement was made, we all got soaked. We were like little children - laughing and shouting for joy. They made this twister movement about 6 times before going to the island. What a riot - by the time we were finished, we were dripping wet and coulding stop laughing. One of the crew even lost his hat in the ocean on the way to the island.

Did I mention we were definitely the oldest participants on the tour? There were two cruise staff on board (one of them who suggested we take the tour) and they were having a great time. Several other people had heard the drama of our first tour being cancelled and they kept asking if we were okay and having a good time, which, of course, we were. We spent several hours on the island and then headed back to the ship. We got to enjoy the twister movement several more times before arriving at the dock. It was such a great tour and we really enjoyed ourselves. The cruise staff asked us if we liked the the tour and we told them it was fantastic. The other participants asked us if we liked it and we said it was a lots of fun. So, the 60+ couple and all the 20 and 30 somethings on a tour together, laughing and having a wonderful time - who knew?

When we got back on board the ship, I read the description of the excursion and, of course, there was a warning - people with back problems shouldn't participate. Well, guess what? I have those back problems and didn't notice any issues with my back after the experience. Good thing I didn't read about it before we left or it might have stopped me from signing up.

Lessons learned - don't be afraid to try new things no matter how old you are. We had a blast and would do it again in a heart beat.

I'll upload some pictures with some more cruise stories in my next post.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lights, Camera, Action

Just realizing how long it's been since I last posted. A couple of Saturdays ago I had a very unique experience. I work at a freestanding emergency department and ambulatory surgery center. A local producer contacted me to inquire about the possibility of using the surgery center for an independent film he is producing. I have worked with this producer before on a couple of projects celebrating the 25th and 30th anniversary of our center. I gave him permission to film on a Saturday and I asked the department manager of the surgery center to help out on the day of the shoot. Boy am I glad I did that. She was able to find things quickly that they asked for - I would never have known what some of the supplies were that they needed.

It was an interesting experience - I never realized how much stop and go there is to filmmaking. At some point the director asked my friend (who was dressed in her scrubs) to walk in the background while he was taping a shot. Next thing I knew, our security guard was walking in the background like he was doing his rounds. Finally, the producer asked me to sit at the front desk and greet the patient as she arrived for her procedure. Then he asked my friend to play the part of an anesthesiologist. Here we are - the nurse manager, security guard and myself all of a sudden being included in the filming. Of course, the professional actors were the ones used mainly, but we got a kick out of the whole process. It took all day to film (and from what I could tell there was additional filming in other parts of the city as well).

A couple of weeks later I received an email from the producer. He needed to return to do a couple of audio shots. Lo and behold he invites us all to his house for the premier of his film and it appears we didn't end up on the cutting room floor. It should be fun to see the final project and I hope it's successful for him. He has won a couple of Emmys from some of his other independent films but I can't wait to see how this film turns out.

I never thought I'd be in this situation and I have much more respect for all the actors and actresses out there (Kage among them) for their profession and what they have to do in order to make a living. Most of the cast were very down to earth, however there were a couple of people who really thought highly of themselves. It takes all kinds I guess. I wonder what my next adventure will be.....