24/7 free pizza and other miracles

Inside JoCo 2017, Part 2 of 3: embarking on a voyage to the Sea of Cortez with a ukelele, 1600 ubernerds, and the world’s most unreliable wifi. Seriously, remote Andean villages have better uptime.

You: Omg, are you okay?

Me: Barely. I mean, the wifi situation was rough I’m not gonna lie. Thankfully, the top notch entertainment, Hydropool, daily Wil Wheaton sightings, and 24/7 free pizza kept me from diving overboard and swimming back to the mainland. Which is helpful since I am not that strong of a swimmer. I mean I do okay. I workout. I could probably have gotten a half mile or so before sharks ate me. Did I mention the Hydropool?

Also, I really didn’t have time to contemplate whether or not I could survive a drop off the ship because these people are all about the programming. This is a sample daily schedule:


Now multiply that by this…


There was a lot to do is what I’m saying.

(TL;DR – what follows is a daily wrap up. Summary: more fun and weirdness in one week than most people have all year. Recommended. ~ Kg.)

The first day we didn’t really get onboard and settled until 3:00ish so there were only 5 happy hours scheduled. It’s important to ease into these things. Drinking with strangers is all well and good, but doing it in an 11-story labyrinth set on a constantly rocking platform takes practice, y’all.

By day 2, sea legs were in full force. I was an equilibrium machine. The ship’s layout was still a mystery to me though, since both port and starboard are decorated identically. The result is that in the many parts of the ship without windows, I was never quite sure whether I was headed fore or aft. UX issues; not my fault. I did manage to find the pool, the gym, and the lock picking class, so day 2 = success.

I also found this:


Idk. Literally. No. Idea.

On day 3 I received the worst haircut of my life. It really didn’t occur to me that the ship’s salon might not be the best place to get a trim. I spent the rest of the cruise wincing every time I looked in the mirror which thankfully wasn’t often since there are almost no mirrors on the ship. Now I know why. Also: Cards Against Humanity Live, a live Song Exploder taping featuring Aimee Mann, and the Creative Stabbery workshop, which turned out to be not at all what I expected. Really sorry guys. That should heal right up.

We might also have been in Cabo San Lucas:


And on the fourth day, JoCoachella.

Day 5: Two words, FREE BOOKS. Each day, goodie bags show up in my room with various toys and food and musical instruments. Today, two novels. I was so excited I spent the whole day on my balcony reading and watching the sea go by.


I hadn’t really paced myself up to that point, so a peopling break was required. Bliss and sunburn ensued. Also: Choose Your Own Adventure Story Time with Wil Wheaton was apparently a thing.

Day 6: More hackathons, all you can eat pizza, zero wifi, multiple happy hours, and a 4-foot gilt pineapple:


If only my luggage was bigger… ah well, missed opportunities. Note: it is generally frowned upon to steal the decor off the ship. As the ms Westerdam was headed to Italy for a redesign after it dropped us off in San Diego, I like to think it would have been less “stealing” and more “helping prep for the overhaul”.

Also onboard today: Your Guide to Giving Zero Fucks with Jean Grae, Craig’s List Podcast live taping, and a Pagan Star Circle. Obviously.

Day 7: Alexander JAMilton = A. Hamm singalong. My people. Probably also a bunch of other stuff, I mean my god who could even keep up anymore. I surrendered to the Hydropool, aka All That Is Good and Right In The Universe.

Day 8: And then just like that, I woke up back in San Diego.


It is entirely possible this whole week was just a very weird hallucination. I’ll remember you always, giant golden pineapple of my dreams!



Inside JoCo series:

Part 1: …And then we commandeered a yacht
Part 2: 24/7 free pizza and other miracles |   (You are here)
Part 3: Pics or it didn’t happen