Saturday, January 11, 2014

10 Years of January

The Saipan Blog was not always called The Saipan Blog.  I got into blogging in 2004 because several of my friends were into it.  My first blog was terrible (I won't mention the name since it has long been deleted), and even got me fired.  The parlance at the time referred to it as being 'dooced.' 

I started the blog you are reading right now when I started the application process for the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Programme in Japan.  I called my new blog JET Applicant.  Not very inspired, I know.

I didn't get into the JET Programme, but I did move to Japan in November 2005.  Living in the town of Takaoka in Toyama prefecture, this blog came to be know as Livin' La Vida Takaoka.

Japan didn't work out.  I moved to Saipan a few short months after my father passed away and this blog became the Saipan Blog.

In honor of 10 years of blogging, I am going to do a look back on what I was doing during each of the 12 months during the last 10 years.  I will start with January.

In 2005 I was working two full time jobs.  I worked for the League of Conservation Voters in their Orlando office during the day and Roy's restaurant at night.  In January I took a few days off to drive up to Washington, DC with my good friend Steve Leopoldo to protest the reelection of George W. Bush.  Mostly this month I was waiting to see if I would get an interview for the JET Programme.

In January 2006 I was living in snowy Takaoka and had every intention to stay there for several years teaching English.  I spent my days trying to learn Japanese and soaking up all the little bits of amazing that make Japan the wonder that it is.  I really liked Japan, but the universe had other plans for me.

In January 2007 I was single and had a new best friend and partner in crime named Brad.  I had my Beautify CNMI! volunteer activities going full blast and I had just been hired by the Mariana Islands Nature Alliance as their first executive director.  I was a regular island boy.  And I made this video.  And someone in the White House read a letter I wrote, which I thought was very exciting at the time.

I started working for Pew in January.  I spent my last few days working for the Mariana Islands Nature Alliance while in Pohnpei.  In 2008 there was a thriving blogger community in Saipan and we had a lot of fun in those days before Facebook became popular.  This was the start of my third year in Saipan and I started to notice how transient the island's population is as many friends started leaving.  That's when I started thinking about leaving.

Having protested his second inauguration in 2005, on January 6, 2009, George W. Bush put pen to paper and declared the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument.  Delegate Kilili was also sworn in as the Commonwealth's first representative in Congress.  After the declaration, I spent a few days in Florida with the family, came back up for President Obama's inauguration, and then spent a few days in Pohnpei at the Micronesians in Island Conservation Learning Network retreat.

After losing my bid to become mayor of Saipan, I decided to move back to the mainland.  One week after leaving I was the first person to call on Ben Fitial to resign I kept on fighting for the monument, although most people in Saipan didn't know about it.  But mostly I worked at adjusting to life back in the mainland.

This year I decided I was fat and wanted to do something about it.  Starting at 217 lbs. I set out to run 2011 miles in 2011.  I did pretty well until I started traveling.  I went to Guam and Saipan in January to help them pass their shark laws.  I also changed the url of this blog to

I published 70 blog posts in January 2011, but only 105 blog posts in all of 2012.  I posted only 7 in January.  I starting running again, this time calling it 2012 in 2012.  I did well enough in the beginning.

There was no 2013 in 2013.  I dropped off completely.  As did my blogging.  I posted only 3 times in January.  Edz and I were invited to Delegate Sablan's swearing-in ceremony and we both went to the inauguration and froze our tooshies off.  Much of my attention at work was focused on Shark Stanley and CITES.

This January I am in Pohnpei again.  Next weekend I'll be in San Diego.  I weigh 230 lbs. now, but that's probably because I haven't run regularly in a two and a half years, right around the time I became a married man.  I should really start exercising more.  I'm a manager on Pew's shark campaign now, and my life is so different from what it was 10 years ago.  I really miss Saipan.  I miss the beach, I miss my friends, and I miss the island lifestyle.  I marked four years in the mainland this month and I haven't lived somewhere longer than four years except for the 10 years I lived in Massachusetts as a child.  If Edz and I don't get up and move, we'll probably start to settle down.  That's a scary thought for me.

I have so few readers these days that I only expect John Gourley and my mother to read what I have written. But this has been a really fun exercise!.  I miss blogging as much as I used to, but Facebook, Twitter, and oh yes, my job and my family, take up much of my bandwidth these days.  Most of my thoughts end up on Facebook, but it is not as easy to look back on Facebook as it is with the blogs.  I think that's a strong argument for me to blog more.

I look forward to reminiscing on 10 years of Februarys with you next month.

1 comment:

Deece said...

I still read you. But now that Google Reader is gone, it isn't as convenient to comment through Feedly. It was nice to step back through your blog. I remember when I started reading it back in late 2005\early 2006. I always enjoy looking back through my own blog. After abandoning my monthly review post for five years, I finally wrote one earlier this month. 2013 was a terrible blogging year for me too. But I'm hopeful for 2014. Cheers.