Sunday, February 24, 2008
A great weekend full of talking, relaxing and diving
I had a very good weekend. Friday night I put together a group of five hyper-opinionated writers: Brad Ruszala, Zaldy Dandan, Ken Phillips, Angelo Villagomez and Bruce Bateman -- as well as one unabashed and equally opinionated Republican lawyer in Mike Ernest -- for a free wheeling four hour discussion over alcohol on all kinds of world matters from abortion to local politics to sports to Iraq and back again. Bruce pushed his bed time to almost 9. That is indeed p.m. Toward the end of the night there was one funny moment, one of many truly, when we realized that 3/4 of this remaining cabal had been called "racist" by Jane Mack and the fourth, Mike Ernest, had been called "a shit" by her. The overall discussion was open, honest, from all over the political spectrum, most decidedly not just small talk and I think everyone had a good time. I certainly hope and plan to do it again.
On Saturday, I spent the afternoon at the Mandi Spa with my very pregnant wife. We now have less than two months to go in this new baby production, though I really should say she, since Cynthia is most definitely the star of that show. I'm the assistant coach at best I suppose, but I will try to model myself on Winston Wolf and "fix problems." As I mentioned in my Best of Saipan post, Mandi Spa is the nicest, most underutilized location on the island. Drinking white wine in a hot tub with that view for the price I paid is pretty good living. I joined up again with the spa on the teacher's plan, and it has been a joy -- especially since I hadn't been doing any diving yet this year, which leads me to Sunday.
I hopped on the Saipan Aquajet with my buddy Brad Derksen and we dove the Shipwreck and Ice Cream. Conditions on the north side of the island are still a little rough and there are few if any trips available there until April, but this was a nice, easy relaxing morning dive, and one of the great things about living in Saipan. The joys of this kind of morning I tried to capture in this post.
I saw three Eagle Rays and one very active eel roaming around. I also saw a bunch of very large fish, as well as the usual bounty of small and colorful fish. The clearing of my head during these dives gave me two ideas for books I'm interested in writing. That idea circulating in my head may very well be my project for next year, and it will be another thing I've wanted to do for a while, but have put off. This play in two weeks, and the comedy show perhaps a month later being two others. I also even came up with a possible business to put up here. Every year I've been here there has been a big project. The first was just living on a tropical island and getting acquainted. Years two and three were working on my master's and getting married. Years four and five dealt with getting Cynthia's green card, adopting kids and having my own child. Every year has integrated travel, writing and meeting new and interesting people. It was a great day and a great weekend.