Friday, August 31, 2012

Officially the Mayor of Nobody

This is Pagan.  Nobody lives there.
Every week I look forward to my congressional update from Delegate Gregorio Camacho 'Kilili' Sablan.  Today's issue had news from the 2010 Census.  In addition to data that shows more than 1 in 5 people left the islands between 2000 and 2010, there are no longer any residents living in the Northern Islands.  Thus there are more people working in the Northern Islands Mayors Office on Saipan than there are residents, because any number is larger than zero.  It is time to close down the Northern Islands Mayors Office.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Monterey Bay Aquarium

This is probably the worst blog ever written about the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but my tattoo looks pretty cool in short sleeves, doesn't it?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Rollin' With the Homies Through Napa Valley

I'm always the guy with the camera.  No matter the situation, whether it's a soccer game, vacation, work function, or hanging around the house, I somehow always end up being the one taking all the pictures.  On top of that, my wife is Asian.  Therefore she makes sure the lens is focused on her at all times.

I hear, "Baby, take my picture," much more than I hear, "Baby, I love you" or "Baby, don't worry, I'll pick up your socks."  She also spends a lot of time harvesting her vegetables.

On Facebook.  And, no, I don't think you are supposed to pick the grapes off the vines in Napa Valley.

So anyway, I've had a demi-decade long Internet relationship with a certain West Coast blogger and on occasion we are able to get together and consume mass quantities.  Mostly of food, but we enjoy adult beverages when they are available.  This particular blogger, and his partner of two years, surprised Edz and I with a day in Napa riding inside an honest to goodness frickin' limo!  Happy belated wedding, indeed!  How awesome is that?

I think there are people that make careers at driving around Napa and giving their impressions about the grape juice that gets produced there.  I am not one of those people and this is not one of those blogs.  This was a straight up 10 hour booze cruise.  Please take your smooth oak finish and cork it!

However, like good little napasters we tasted and purchased bottles of our favorites.  I also purchased some overpriced kalamata olive tapenade for a grilled salmon I'll probably never make, and I'll get to the beef jerkey at the end.

We gorged at an Italian restaurant for lunch.  By this point I'd lost count of how much wine we'd had, but we still managed to polish off another bottle over our roasted pepper and caprese salad appetizer.

And then to put the icing on this happy belated wedding gift cake, we stopped at Angelo's Famous Beef & Turkey Jerkey.  And yes, they sell Boneless Stuffed BBQ Pigs Any Size.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Edz and her friend the harbor seal

Edz complained last night that my last post only had one picture of her.  Every morning I wake up and look in the mirror and say to myself, "Alright, Angelo, what are you going to do today to make Edz happy?"  So today I decided to post these photos of Edz.  That's Edz on the left next to her friend Blanco the Harbor Seal (Edz is the one with the dark skin).

Edz and Blanco met at the Monterey Bay Aquarium last Friday and became fast friends.  They rolled around in the kelp and had the time of their lives.

After a couple hours of playing, Blanco's mom, Mrs. Taba, told them they had to get out of the water.  The two of them climbed up onto the rocks.

I'm just kidding.  That's not really Edz.  That's just another harbor seal.  This is Edz:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Walking in John Muir's Footsteps

The entire West Coast is somewhat of a mystery to me.  I've made a few stops over the years, and I watched almost every episode of the OC, but I don't pretend to have an understanding of California Living.  Maybe I should save this for another blog...

Edz and I visited Muir Woods National Monument last Thursday.  I had meetings in San Francisco on Tuesday and Wednesday and we decided to spend the weekend in the Bay Area.  This was our first adventure.

While it is amazing to stroll through this forest of redwoods and to think of the conservation giants that walked it before me, I could help but be sad.  The entire coast of California used to be like this and this is all that remains.  As someone who works on endangered species issues, I couldn't help but think that this is the future of our natural world.

But this garners half a tick on my bucket list.  Now I have to go see the giant sequoias.

We rented a car for two days so that we could drive north to Muir Woods on Thursday and then south to Monterey Bay on Friday.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Silver Beckham Happy to See Edz

Why I would choose a silver statue of David Beckham to represent the first post of our San Francisco adventure, I really can't say.  Oh, it's because Edz thinks she'll win $1000 if I post this to twitter with #HMBeckham.  I'll admit, Edz was behaving naughty around the statue.  Nothing like a 10 foot Brit to get a Filipina all hot and bothered, especially when he's painted silver.  But she behaved herself when I snapped these photos.

Stay tuned for some droll, uninspired ramblings about visiting Muir Woods, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Napa Valley.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Let's Go Malling!

Edz met this squirrel north of the White House on her first day in America.  There's a joke in there somewhere.

In the last few days we've dropped at least $1000 at Tyson's Corner and over $500 at Ikea.  I've never lived in a house with so many new pink things.  Edz is getting settling in, too.  We stayed in bed until 8 AM this morning, the first time all week she wasn't up at 4 AM.

We're heading to San Francisco on Tuesday.  I'll be in meetings the first two days, but she'll likely roam the city.  I'm excited to go to my first American Jollibee.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Eden in America

I can see Kilili from here!
It has been two and one half years since I left Saipan, and the girl I left behind, the woman I now call my wife, the co-owner of my credit card, has finally joined me in Washington, DC.  Edz arrived on Monday morning and has been soaking up the freedom ever since.

This is her life, so I'll never adequately describe everything she's experiencing.  That story will be up to her to tell.  But there have been a few moments from the last few days I've particularly enjoyed, so this is my version.

Squirrel!  Edz really likes squirrels, I've discovered.  For those of you living on the East Coast, this may be hard to understand.  There are no squirrels in Saipan or the Philippines.  There are only giant rats.  While squirrels are just rats with fluffy tails, a squirrel is also one of the main characters on Sponge Bob, among other famous squirrels.  This makes them very, very exciting.

So anyway, we had a very productive first day.  We went to Bestbuy and Tyson's Corner and purchased a new iPad and a pink dress.  Then we went to visit the Obamas.  And afterwards we had dinner with some Shark Defenders.

I took off Monday, but have worked the last few days.  We're going to head to Ikea this weekend (super exciting!), and then we're off to San Francisco for a week followed by a visit to another former Godfather's Angel who lives a few hours away.  Stay tuned! 

Monday, August 06, 2012

Good Korea Emerges as New World Super Power

It is no secret that no matter how good you think you are at something, there is a three year old Korean kid who is better.  I've had the chance to do a bit good of travel over the last couple of years (Japan, Korea, Fiji, Philippines, Fiji, Palau, Marshalls, Micronesia, Bahamas, to name a few) and I've witnessed the waining influence of the United States.  I think we've finally reached the point where we're not the most awesome thing on the planet.  This new video from PSY, a rapper in South Korea marks the end of our superiority.  It was a good run while it lasted.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Kilili to Run Unopposed?

With five days before the deadline, the Saipan Tribune reports that only 31 candidates have registered for this year's election.  This is amazing.  Up for grabs are 20 positions in the House, 3 in the Senate, several for Board of Education, and Delegate.  It looks like none of the parties will have a full slate, and in all likelihood, Independent is about to become the largest political party in the Northern Marianas.  Noticeably absent from the list of registered candidates is Ignacia Tudela Demapan.  Taking into account the latest controversy surrounding Attorney General Ed Buckingham and the Administration, I wonder if she's having second thoughts?

And the question on everyone's mind, of course, is will Tina Sablan, Glen Hunter, Ambrose Bennett, Winnie Atalig, and Ed Propst run for office this year?