Cruise Report

By JoCo March 5, 2014

Last post was October 16th?!?! Holy cripes. No idea if there are even people on the internet anymore, but if there are, I apologize for how quiet I’ve become of late. To you robots I DO NOT apologize.

I’m almost fully recovered from JoCo Cruise Crazy 4, which got back to Florida this Saturday. I slept for about 20 hours straight and now I think I’m OK. Though as usual, life without warm sun, fruity drinks, and unlimited food somehow seems unreasonably harsh. That will fade as my soul remembers that I live here in the real world (well, Brooklyn anyway).

First, a very big and deep thank you to the Sea Monkeys. We plan everything and make all the spreadsheets go, but you truly are at the heart of what makes the whole thing work. I had a great time, and honestly just being around that amazing community of people gives me a source of happy energy that lasts for a long time after we say goodbye. Great job.

Thanks to Paul and Storm and Drew and Anna and Scott and Leon and all the helper monkeys. There is a ton of work going on behind the scenes, and I am incredibly grateful to the many people who lend their hands and minds to the task. Thank you.

The performers. We were very lucky to have such a wonderful assembly of talent this year, people who were so good that they made me look like a dumb hack, and I didn’t mind a bit (actually, it’s not all that hard to make me look like a dumb hack, but you see what I mean). And the mix felt just right: old and new, nerdy and not. As usual, I was especially gratified to see so many performers who were entirely new to our crowd be so immediately cheered and accepted. It’s a nice feeling.

I encourage you to look into more stuff that these people do when they are not on my dumb boat. Just in case you were thinking about how you had to buy that album when you got to shore and have forgotten to do so, here’s a handy list of who was what and where you can go to find them:

Ben Acker and Ben Blacker of Thrilling Adventure Hour, made a brand new piece of radio comedy specifically for us to perform. Their show is available as a podcast on the Nerdist network and in iTunes, but also go see it live if you can.

Jim Boggia is an old friend who happens to be a complete monster of a guitar and ukulele player, not to mention a great songwriter with a great voice and I am so angry at him right now. Buy his stuff, it’s all great.

Hank Green does too many amazing things for me to list them all here, and he could have his own entire cruise if he wanted. For us he did some of his songs, and you should get them here. There are also his many YouTube channels, his record label, his online video convention VidCon, his Project for Awesome charity, his crowd funding site Subbable, and why don’t you just read wikipedia.

John Hodgman needs no introduction here I trust, though I will encourage you to check out Ragnarok, his amazing Netflix comedy special, and also the remarkable artifact that is his Ragnarok Survival Kit, which comes with mayonnaise and a rather beautiful urine flask. He also plays a mean DJ set, but only on cruise ships.

Grant Imahara, who, come on, am I really going to tell you about Grant Imahara WHO IS ON TELEVISION, specifically Mythbusters as if you don’t already know? Grant was the drunkest Artemis helmsman who has ever piloted a starship through an asteroid field (several times, and at high speed). I hope his hangover is over by now.

Paul and Storm. No comment. Kidding. After a weird and wonderfully successful Kickstarter campaign, you can expect to hear their new album Ball Pit very soon, along with the eight thousand other things they promised to their backers, and which will likely take them a couple of years to finish. They played some brand new songs on the ship, and boy howdy was it nice to see them back at work on Paul and Storm songs. It’s been too long fellas. Can’t wait to hear the rest of the album.

Emmer effing Pomplamoose. As I failed to adequately express when I introduced them, they are so good at making music videos that people sometimes forget to notice how good they are at making songs. You may know them for their covers, but please don’t neglect their original songs, which DO NOT EVEN NEED VIDEO to make them great. Also, they are as nice as delicious pie.

David Rees, who I hope you found at least a little confusing the first time he joined us onboard as our official pencil sharpener, continues to actually DO the projects that the rest of us merely think of and say “hey that would be funny.” Forget about artisanal pencil sharpening, forget about Get Your War On (both brilliant), because this Summer, we will have his brand new television show called Going Deep with David Rees with theme song by me.

John Roderick. Can you ever get enough John Roderick? Yes, you can actually, but I don’t think that has happened to you yet. Do not miss his many amazing Long Winters records, his podcast with Merlin Mann called Roderick on the Line, and whatever other stuff he’s got cooking up this year. That kid’s going places, mark my words.

Peter Sagal, yes THAT Peter Sagal, the one from the radio. Peter created a hilarious panel gameshow for us onboard, but you can find him more regularly hosting Ask Me Another, oops I mean Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. Peter also writes books, and runs fast.

I am getting tired of typing, but Nathan Sawaya simply blew me away with the life-sized LEGO sculpture of ME that he totally surprised me with onstage. My life gets weirder and weirder. Nathan is a sculptor, but with LEGO bricks, and his stuff is simply amazing to see. Right now he’s got an exhibition in Times Square called Art of the Brick that I can recommend very highly.

Paul F. Tompkins are you kidding me? I love that guy. If you live in LA you can see him live any time you like, but the rest of us have to get by with his interview show Speakeasy, the Dead Authors Podcast, the Pod F. Tompkast, the puppet panel show No You Shut Up on Fusion, and wherever else he pops up. The man is a national treasure.

Sara Watkins, and her brother Sean Watkins were just mind blowing, as I knew they would be. They sometimes appear together as the Watkins Family Hour, but they do their own solo stuff as well (Sara here, Sean here). They will soon be on tour with Nickel Creek, and I insist that you do not miss it if they come anywhere near you.

Wil Wheaton. Look at you! His books and audiobooks, his gaming show Tabletop on the Geek & Sundry network, and who am I kidding you already know all this. But still: he is the finest captain a science officer could ask for, even if he gets a little handsy.

Now that I see all that stuff together, it’s remarkable and maybe a little irresponsible that we packed all that into one cruise. Huge thanks to all the performers this year – you guys have really raised the bar. I hope you had as much fun as the rest of us did.

OK, I’m off to do mysterious things. More blogging in another six months or so.


elliomeg says

Thanks. That word is totally inadequate to acknowledge all the effort that goes into having an 850 person week long party. All the thanks to all of you. Can't wait for next year. :D

John says

Jonathan you said LEGOs, Nathan will be sooooo cross with you!

Gina says

Thanks to you Jonathan, for being the reason it all happens. And thanks to everyone who works to help make it amazing every year.

Zombiebender says

How I spent my February vacation... A+. And now put your hands together for waaaaarmmm breeeadd!

John says