Thursday, October 21, 2010

Looking forward to Arin Greenwood's new novel

Arin Greenwood has a new novel inspired by the Saipan lifestyle coming out called "Tropical Depression," and I am really looking forward to reading it. Arin is a great writer, a versed traveler and, most importantly, a genuinely nice person. I remember back when I was on the island I googled Bali one day and read something she wrote about it. (If you Google her you will find a diverse list of topics expatiated on.) Either the article or the bio tag mentioned she lived in Saipan, and while everyone seems to know everyone in Saipan, I don't think I had met her at the time. I was so happy to see such a raconteur living right on my little island that I emailed her and expressed that I would love to meet her. We got to be friends and had several great conversations over the years. She was one of those people that island people I thought cool like Zaldy Dandan, Mike Ernest and Galvin Guerrero really liked her as well.

As for the subject material, I can relate. Lots of us dream of going off to live on a tropical island. Some of us do it. It's not always what you think, it definitely doesn't suck, and there is usually no shortage of memorable stories and characters. My five years in Saipan are probably the most memorable, pivotal and happiest five years of my life -- despite the many problems there.

A while back Arin did share with me an early partial draft of her novel, which comes out in November, and I know I am looking forward to reading the full treatment. Even though I am not writing about or from Saipan these days, I would like to think this blog is still a valid resource to those interested in life in the CNMI. I still get the occasional email about prospects for living there. Arin's book will include a great take on the various missionaries, mercenaries and misfits that have had Saipan sand in their shoes I'm sure. I will update the Amazon link here as soon as it is available.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Best of 2010 on Facebook

Being educated but not wealthy in this country is kind of like being McMurphy on the basketball court in "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest." Your teammates are easily distracted morons.

Anytime you see a stand up comedian take out a guitar that is a guarantee it is time to change the channel.

I'm calling bullshit on blenders right now. Grate, chop, blend, mix. They all just make the thing spin round and round just the same.

The New York Times is on Twitter. To quote the late great Mitch Hedberg: "I saw a human pyramid once. It was very unnecessary."

Did you ever watch tv all day and feel like you accomplished something because you now have more space on your dvr?

Starting to think Wal Mart needs to add stop lights and a traffic cop to handle all the motorized traffic.

If you can't put a mosque in lower Manhatten, can you put a Catholic Church near a day care center?

Add walking away from my two-year-old daughter this morning at the sitter as she clung to me for dear life with tears streaming down and cries bellowing "daddy" - because she had a slight fever and some congestion - onto my life's worst experiences list.

I will soon get paid like $1000 bucks out of the left over Obama stimulus money to schools for an educational training I attended. On one hand I'm truly grateful, and on the other I know it is 0.00001 of what Goldman Sachs was handed. I should also mention that unlike them I didn't have a hand in blowing a multi-trillion dollar hole in the economy.

So this 8 year old is playing in the park with my baby girl for a while, and then suddenly decides she wants nothing to do with her, walks off and then starts complaining to me that my two year old is following her around. I can't say at this precise moment I wanted this eight year old hurt or anything, but it would felt good to squeeze a little lemon in her eye or something.

One of the wisest things I've read in a while and I read it here on Facebook. Thanks to Zaldy Dandan. "Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others."

Just got my first Arizona summer power bill as a homeowner. I now know how the Gimp in Pulp Fiction felt.

The NFL is a mistress, MLB is a wife.

Camping in Prescott, AZ

I spent a night camping with a colleague of mine out in Lynx Lake Campground in Prescott, AZ. To state the case mildy, I am not much of the outdoorsman, but I want to know more and get more comfortable. I love the concept, but I really don't have it in my upbringing. The net result was that I had a very good time. The number of meteors one sees in the night sky really staggers. The number of camp conveniences seem to work against the very purpose, but comfort was something that weighed on my mind. I was sitting with my buddy and we discussed what life was like for thousands of years. We were saying that if this were even 80 years ago we would be in serious danger that someone would come along and just take what we had and leave us for dead. We'd be standing a post with guns hoping we wouldn't get ambushed. I thought about the logistics of armies over the ages and was really amazed just contemplating it all. What a hard, rugged existence full of stress that must have been. There are some things I don't much get. I saw someone with a portable satellite dish, which makes me wonder what exactly their point is in camping. Are we really getting back to nature?

One interesting note is that much like my one other foray into camping, a skunk got involved. My buddy brought his dog, and this much protective four legged friend didn't like it entering our domain. So he chased the skunk, which sprayed and let's just say that the skunk severely outshined the fart contest my buddy, my son Alex and I were having.

The atmosphere was nice, the weather was cool, the pine smelled idyllic. I'll be out there again. Prescott is only a two hour drive from Phoenix, so it is convenient. It was nice to see some trees for a change.