Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Book Report

Normally, I wouldn't post a blurb like this but I have just finished a book that really touched me. Yesterday, I started "Marley & Me; life and love with the world's worst dog" by John Grogan. I finished it about 20 minutes ago, less than 36 hours from when I started it.

I identified with this book from the beginning. It seemed as though the author was describing our dog's older brother. Only our dog was a "pound dog" and has no lineage to speak of, unlike Marley who is a papered yellow Lab. All of the antics that the writer described were playing out in my head like a little mini movie. I felt like I actually saw this dog as a mischevioius puppy, it's headstrong adolescence and adulthood, and finally it's seemingly brief retirement years. I felt the pain of the owners as they watched their beloved family member gradually decline. It also made me think of Little Red...it has been almost one month since Mom put her to sleep.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever been owned by a dog or for anyone who hopes that they have a dog to call their own. I am now going to go search for a slightly used copy to send to a family member. Because I am keeping mine to read again sometime.


Monday, April 10, 2006

Lost in translation

Saipan has a large immigrant population. Mainly Chinese. They come here because they don't need a visa or anything and they come here to work in the Garment Manufacturing industry. They make clothes by Liz Claiborne, Abercrombie, Polo, etc. The rest of the population is made up of: Filipino's, native Chamorro & Carolinian's, Russians, some Japanese & Korean's, and some Thai. Very few Americans. They call us "Haolies" (pronounced like howl-ie).

That is where it gets interesting...going out into the public areas where locals shop and do business. DH & really didn't have much planned for yesterday so we were driving around and saw an ACE hardware store. Imagine our excitement! And it was big. Well, I have been saying all week that I want to find the library. I had heard that it was a good one with up to date books and magazines...that is like a second home for me, a library. I could spend days in there. Just throw me a cheeseburger or a pizza every couple of days and I will crawl back into my little hidey-hole to read. Well, we pull into the ACE parking lot and on our left is a small "Bestseller Books" bookstore. It is a small chain that has some nice books and crazy prices. Well, I said to DH, "Do you think that they know where the library is?" (Meaning, ask the bookstore clerk) So, in we went. I perused the magazines to get the latest update on why Jessica left Nick and where the spawn of pukey homewrecker Angelina will be born, and then went to the counter and asked the clerk the all important question. I kid you not, this is how it went:

Me: "Excuse me, but do you know where the library is around here?" ( I knew it was in the area, the phone book said "Susupe", it just didn't give a street address)

Him: "Library?...What is this Library?"

Me: *now looking even more puzzled than the clerk as I try to explain what a library is* "Hmm, a Library...where they have books that you can check out...books" (while making a square shape with my fingers for some stupid reason)

Him: "I know no Library."

Me: "Okay thanks."

Seriously...I was baffled and still am. We happened to spot the library about an hour later as we drove down the road.

I could have just called them and made it easier on everyone. :)

Another example:

DH & I were in search of something different to eat the other night. We eat out every meal (since we are homeless and living in a hotel) and it is getting old. Sad to say, I know. Boo hoo for us. So, we went to this place called "Bobby Cadillac's" (another chain...there is one in Guam that we never ate at) because I was hungry for pizza. It is kind of like a casual deli. We went to the counter and decided on a pizza and DH put the order in with the clerk. Here is how it went:

Her: "Can I help you?"

DH: "Yeah, I'd like a large Bobby Cadillac Combo pizza"

Her: "Thin or Regular crust?"

DH: "Regular please"

Her: "Pick up or Dine in?"

DH: "Pick up"

Her: *in a very shocked and alarmed tone* "Pick up what do you mean, PICK UP?"

DH: (now looking puzzled) "We will take it with us, carry out"

Seriously...I almost busted a gut trying not to laugh right there in her face. He was just repeating the phrase that she used. It was funny then and it is funny now.

I finally finished a 4 My Boys Design..."Bless Us" It is cute, I think that I might use it for my Christmas in July exchange piece.

I tried to do a Prairie Schooler bookmark but decided that I need to use the recommended 32 ct fabric not my 28...and I want to swap our some colors. So, it is on the back burner for now.

I have to work on my "Joy" tree this week.

House hunting

We have seen some interesting places. Would you believe that people would rather signt a 55 year lease on a house than a 2 year lease? Crazy. We found a cute one that is very private and could be nice...just needs some work. I guess we will see if the owner is interested in doing more to it for an extra $200 per month for 2 years. That would bring us up to our housing limit.


Can anyone tell me why my sidebar is at the bottom of my blog? I haven't done any adjustments to my template or anyting. It seems like the green area is wider than it should be, which in turn pushes the sidebar. I have been thinking about buying a blog design like ones I see on other blogs. Might wait on that though.

Maybe this week DH will upload some pictures for me so I can post them.

Here are some pictures that I found that I will link from the web:

This is the island...Saipan lagoon is on the top part of the picture, it is the lighter aqua color.


Monday, April 03, 2006

We made it!

Well, here we are in Saipan and it is absolutely gorgeous! Clean, flowers everywhere...it makes me think of how Hawaii might have been about 30 years ago or so before it became way touristy. We went sightseeing for the past 2 days just to get a feel for the island and it is amazing! You can see Tinian when you are down at the south end of the island. I guess that when you want to go gambling, you just get on a ferry to Tinian...they have casinos over there. The flight from Guam was treacherous. Disclaimer: I HATE FLYING!!! Okay, now if I were to like flying, maybe it wouldn't have been so bad. It was a Continental plane, but it only held about 40 people. And it had propellers! Thank goodness it only took about 40 minutes.

The island is small (about 12.5 miles long and 5.5 miles wide and has a total land area of 46.5 square miles which is about the size of San Francisco), but doesn't seem crowded like Guam is. This is a pretty decent site to learn a bit more about the island. The guy seems to know what he is talking about since he lived here for about as long as I have been alive. The only thing that would be different is the price of gas. Regular unleaded is now $3.05/gallon as of yesterday. And I have no idea what a big mac costs over here but I bet it is more than $2.85. I think that it would be expensive to be an alcoholic here. A case of beer (cans) is $22. That seems a little higher than the States, but I am not sure how much since I don't really drink beer. Guess it is still cheaper than going out to the bar and paying for each beer. I did notice in the newspaper that the employment wage is a crying shame. Most jobs seem to start out at $3.05/hr. Now, for an electrical engineer you would get $7.05/hr and for a computer programmer, you would get $7.00/hr. Pathetic. I am considering going back to work as a nurse but certainly not if I am only going to get $7.00/hr. That's about what I made as a CNA 10 years ago!

The resort where we are staying, Aqua Resort Club Saipan, is absolutely gorgeous!! I highly recommend if you are ever on this partof the planet to check it out! All remodeled recently. Lush garden areas, great views, tropical decorating that isn't cheesy looking, free breakfast. And the staff is great! The bell boy that hauled our suitcases up 2 flights of stairs refused a tip!!! That was very strange to say the least.

I haven't picked up a needle in a few days... :( I think that I might get some stitching time in today since it is pretty overcast and DH is at work. I have probably read about 5 back issues of Martha Stewart Living magazine. DH bought me a lot of them off ebay and had them sent here. I have to say that she rocks in the domestication department. Of course it helps to have zillions of peons working for you every single day. Too bad she doesn't need a peon in Western Pacific to contribute. :)

If I can sneak my camera in here (the business center of the hotel) and plug in my usb cord, then maybe I can upload some pictures we took of the island. Might not be able to though. There are always people in here.

Oh, one more interesting tidbit before I bore you to tears...supposedly, Saipan is the place where Amelia Earhart crashed and was taken as a POW by the Japanese during WWII. And eventually killed. My Dad has this whole theory on it and has read tons of stuff about Amelia. I told DH that if we have a baby while we are here and it is a girl, we should name her Amelia. He still wants to stick with Merial.

Now, I am going to see if my blogroll is working, or even if my sidebar shows up so I can catch up with everyone!