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.


Mike said...

I had fun. Ready for round II whenever.

Next time, you should invite Jane and/or that Hammerhead person.

lil_hammerhead said...

Jane's a bright woman.

Thanks.. let me know when the meetup is. Unless of course, that is priveleged information that is not subject to any blog sunshine laws. ;}

KAP said...

You just want to tell more bloggers they should get a life.

glend558 said...

Was it over 'beers' or 'sangrias'?

Mike said...

I, for one, had real drinks. The others, not so much.

Jane is bright, and Hammerhead is snarky. I'm sure you would both fit in well, irregardless..... :)

Jeff said...

It would be weird drinking with someone who would have to wear a Halloween costume to the event. I'm not referring to Jane Mack. Plus, if we keep it to the He Man Women Haters Club Bateman can keep farting with impunity.

lil_hammerhead said...

Your presumption that I am in costume is rather insulting. Mom says I'm gorgeous.

KAP said...

I'm surprised you didn't suggest a Darth Vader helmet.

Farting? I thought it was Anatahan.

And... I've got nothing but respect for Jane, excepting that she dropped my link. I think I got replaced by the Sudoku puzzles.

bradinthesand said...

i'm in for round ii. and for the record, i was drinking mojitos in support of jeff.

...and because they're damn good over there.

i don't need to get into the corona's that followed at godfather's and the flair.

whew! it cost me my saturday when i was sworn in as mayor of hangoverville.

i had a great time and hope for more of the same when the call comes over the batphone.

Jeff said...

I respect what Jane does professionally as well. Not sure I want to hang out with anyone who throws ists around so casually, though.
The Spanish run with the bulls, hunt big game and drink Sangria. There are other ways to be manly without shitty tasting beer?
How else can one hang on to their desperately desired anonymity without the costume?

Jeff said...

I met Richard Pierce a few months ago and found out he isn't wearing the Vader helmet anymore, and is a pretty cool guy to talk to. He's still a paid advocate for causes I'm not too keen on, but he doesn't act like a putz about it.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

I too, held sway with Mojito in hand. A drink I've been imbibing since long before it became a yuppy favorite. I don't know how long the drink has been around but I can remember sipping them while still an underage (not as big a deal as now) lad in Key West a century or so ago.

I enjoyed the round-table discussions and the bright and wildly different opinions. Let's do it again.

Sorry I missed the dive on ice cream. I went sailing instead. Sorry to say the winds were exceedingly light making for a lazy glide instead of a heeled over slash through the water event like last week when I went out. Still it was a lot of fun. I even drank the evil beer water. (:-))

No chance of having hammerhead show up next time. He/she hasen't the tooth for exposure to the 'sunshine' mentioned in the post above. Too bad, it would make for interesting conversation.

Now as for farting, I flatulently deny it.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

Dude, your wife is huge.

bradinthesand said...

"I don't know how long the drink has been around but I can remember sipping them while still an underage lad in Key West a century or so ago."

ah, to be young and gay...

ha ha ha. sorry bruce.

Melissa said...

Hey Jeff, next time Bruce may need a little conservative backup-- I'd be happy to join in the fray.