I also found out today out that there is apparently a positive side to global warming: archaeological discoveries in the melting ice.
In matters of my erstwhile home, Harry Blalock is joining the long list of folks exiting Saipan. My buddy Zaldy Dandan is always spot on in assessing the nonsense of CNMI life, but Harry has also been quietly doing amazing spot on analysis in his Food For Thought blog. How much longer until the only two people left on Saipan are Bruce Bateman and Lil Hammerhead? How sad things have become in my former home. At the same time, the people got what they voted for -- no accountability as they cling to the stubborn hope that it will suddenly be 1992 again and the same old nonsense will work.
Locally, I've written before about what a bunch of mindless ninnies this country has become, but I've noticed a new piece of evidence that is worse in some ways than the no water on airplanes thing and the five shoe checks. I've been carded every time I've had a drink here. I went to watch the Thursday night NFL season opener with some colleagues and they carded me. I bought a margarita at the DMB concert and the same thing happened. If you look less than forty, you get carded in Arizona. The waitress told me that the alcohol board comes in regularly and checks if they actively card 36 year olds who just ordered the first round. What a silly, silly country we have become.
In October, I get some time off from school, and I may make a journey to Sedona and Las Vegas. Vegas is about a five hour drive from Phoenix, and there are other stops on the way like Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon to break that up. I found a couple of cheap Vegas hotel deals on Expedia. There really is so much to do out here that it is amazing. Tomorrow we're heading out to see an Imax film on the Grand Canyon after the NFL season kicks off. The football schedule is much more convenient here, and especially nice on Pacific Time.
In local culinary adventures, I made a lobster ravioli in a sherry cream sauce that disappointed. I wasn't satisfied with the Chicken Marsala I made with it, either. I did make a fabulous turkey dinner last weekend, which now only costs ten bucks being back in civilization. I also made a pasta with squid and mussels in a marinara sauce that rocked, and a pizza with fresh mozzarella that was damn good with my new pizza stone. Trader Joes is another sight for sore eyes. I got fresh mozzarella on the cheap there, some organic french roast coffee and some Thai and Indian curries in a bottle that were both good.
Access to events is also getting me excited. I've seen Dave Matthews and Bill Maher since I got here. I'll catch the Dallas Cowboys here in October. Coldplay comes in November, as does Doug Stanhope. If there is a dive spot in Mexico I can drive to, I've heard Rocky Point is weak, I'll really be happy. Since I may not dive for almost a year, I'm going to try to make up for it and go on a Red Sea liveaboard off Cairo when school lets up. I've been reading a lot of Egyptian history and am really eager to see Egypt. Anthony Bourdain has a great travel/food show on and did a piece on Egypt that intrigued.
On the local level, my kids have adjusted real well to a new school in a new country. Carl, despite being by far the smallest kid in his class, is apparently the top basketball player, and Alex is drawing raves for his artistic ability as a kindergartner. My beautiful daughter continues to get more animated. She moves around more and more. She makes cooing duck noises for about 30 minutes when she wakes up each morning, and I've already come to loath Barney with a degree of intensity normally reserved only for George W. Bush or the Boston Red Sox.
Finally, I found it beyond revolting that people who should be voices for the environment and marine conservation, Sylvan Igisomar and Dr. John Joyner, are out whoring for an incompetent, unpopular moron like Ben Fitial in this idiotic stand against a marine monument in the Marianas. Sometimes I am amazed at how cheaply people sell themselves out. I must, however, give props to that outfit John Joyner is wearing in this video.