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As I may have mentioned before, I am a huge fan of cruises. Although I haven't gone on one yet this year, I usually go on at least one or two every year. Where the cruise actually goes is wholly unimportant to me. Half the time I sleep through the stops anyway, and just stay on the boat. I just like having no cell phone, having great food available 24/7, and sitting on the back of the boat watching the waves.

It takes a certain type of person to enjoy a cruise. Usually that person is an old person. My friend Jonah and I are the two exceptions. I think we've gone on two cruises together, and each time we were the only people remotely close to our age. So much for meeting the hot ladies pirate-style.

On one such cruise we woke up at our usual time - 3pm. The boat was docked in Mexico, and was leaving at 5:30, meaning that everyone had to be on the boat at 5.

Hines Ward

On Stuff in a Notebook

Hines Ward is a cool dude. No, really, I saw him speak. In case you don't know who Hines Ward is, he's a former half-Korean, half-black, American NFL player who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He saw two Super Bowl wins, was the Super Bowl MVP, made four Pro Bowl appearances, and had 1000 receptions. He talked about growing up, and challenges he faced as a biracial child. He talked about making it to the NFL, and how he doesn't have an ACL. He talked about giving back to the people who supported him, and he talked about how he's a mama's boy. He also talked a lot about choices.

Hines talked about the good choices and the bad choices he made throughout his life. He said he made bad choices when he joined the NFL, like spending his first paycheck on a Mercedes convertible (although he did buy a house for his mom, too). He said he bought all sorts of things that he didn't need. He made a lot of bad choices, but he says he kept smiling because he knew that he had to learn from his mistakes. He said he didn't mind making mistakes because he learned from them. He also said football gave him a lot of great things. It gave him a family, the opportunity to be on Dancing With the Stars and The Walking Dead, as well as in Batman The Dark Knight Rises and Celebrity Cook-Off. He is able to spend time with charities and he started his own foundation, the Hines Ward Helping Hands Foundation, which helps biracial kids living in South Korea. His motto for life is Will Always Rise above Difficulty (or WARD).

People always recognize Hines Ward because of his smile, but he said he hopes people get to know the man behind the smile.

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