Thursday, March 29, 2007

The New Spanish Armada

First the Queen Mary, now the Spanish Navy. For three days, the Spanish ship Alvaro de Bazan docked in Pago Pago harbor. At first I thought they got lost, but it turns out they meant to visit American Samoa, go figure. It seems they are on a goodwill tour around the world. The ship has 202 people on board, and they toured the island. We saw them everywhere. At first we were confused where all these new palagis came from, but the Spanish gave it away. Not sure who might visit next - perhaps the Bolivian Navy? Find Bolivia on a map or talk to a Chilean, then you will get the joke.

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Mainland in March

I'm back from my whirlwind tour of Mainland USA. It started in San Francisco. Two really good friends (Dusty and Jodi) flew into town so we could hang out. Dusty's brother Casey lives in San Fran, so the four of us played around for the weekend. The four of us sans Dusty the photographer. Jodi and I in our hip sunglasses. At beach, exciting for Dusty (living in Minnesota) and Jodi (living in New York), but I was just cold. I am use to the ocean being the same temperature as a bath. Yes, I am spoiled. Highlights include the Tour of the Filoli Estate. It has really pretty gardens and the house is cool as well.However, I think we were most excited by the fact that the TV series Dynasty used the Estate as the Carrington Mansion. We even attempted to reenact the cat fight between Krystle and Alexis in the lily pond. Good times. The rest of the weekend was spent exploring the city at night (aka drinking at bars). I got to use my American Samoan driver's license - the license looks like a bad, a real bad, fake ID. I actually had to show my American Samoan library card to prove that the place actually existed.
The rest of my week in San Fran was spent interviewing candidates for the 2007-08 and 2008-09 law clerk position for the High Court. I learned that many of the applicants found my blog and reviewed it before the interview. Therefore, I will only make the following comment about the interviews: we interviewed many, many qualified candidates and we will be making our decision shortly. After the interviews, I went to North Carolina to see the folks. We celebrated Mom's Birthday on Friday (March 16). I will not mention age, but it was a big one. On the 21st, we celebrated Pop's birthday. Good times. Unlike the previous week, I did not have to think or do anything, and my activities consisted of eating, sleeping and watching cable television.Finally, I flew to Chicago to see a bunch of my friends in the windy city. Travis was kind enough to let me crash at his place. The weekend was a bit of a blur - tried to see as many people as I could within a 72 hour period.
I was not too excited for the nine hour flight from Chicago to Honolulu. However, the airlines gods were smiling upon me and I got upgraded to business class. sweet. I actually sat in the upper deck of the 747. I was in no rush for the flight to end. Even though my flight attendant did not have finger puppets, we had a good time. It turns out that she use to work for Pan Am and regularly flew to Pago. She knew all about the island, and it appears that not a lot has changed in the last 20 years. Even the Hawaiian Airline flight was uneventful and early! When I got home, my hot water smelled of sulfur, the geckos had explosive diarrhea in the guest room and a pair of sandals had grown mold on them. Can I get back on business class? Nevertheless, I am happy to be back on the lava rock I call home.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Off Island

I am going "off island" for two weeks. Justice Richmond and I will be interviewing candidates for the law clerk position in San Francisco. Nothing like interviewing people to be your replacement. After the interviews I am heading to North Carolina to see the folks for a little bit then to Chicago to see some friends. Good times. I am looking forward to it, but it better warm up (especially in Chicago) or I am not going to be happy.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A Samoan Trim

At the end of my driveway, I have a large bush. I attempt to trim it back with my english shears, but the sucker grows very fast and I am very slow in my trimming. I decided that I would ask our the Housing Maintaince Office to trim it for me. I explained that situation - that this large bush is growing into my driveway making parking difficulty - and asked them to "trim" the bush back a bit. This was the result.They did what I asked, they trimed the bush back from my driveway. I might have trimmed the other side to balance the look, but, hey, at least I did not have to trim it.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

An Oriental Feast

It is always nice when there is truth in advertising. Hong Kong says that their meals are oriental feasts, and I have to agree. A few weeks ago, we discovered the "Meal for Two" at Hong Kong House. This is the Meal for Two. Yes, in Samoa this is for two people, and we didn't even get the soup. For us, this translates into a meal for five with leftovers.


Everyone loves a good old fashion surprise party. It is no different in Am Sam. Kim organized a surprise party for her hubby Mike's 30th Birthday. I think the most impressive part of the surprise party was that everyone actually showed up on time - that is an amazing feat for us. Mike aka King Keyser was very surprised - we were lucky that he had stuff in his hands, cause I think he might have taken a swing at one of us believing he were robbers. Having a party at the Keyser is pretty cool. They live in the "Beverly Hills" section of Am Sam. No fake walls for them, they even have a second floor. More importantly for us, they have a pool table. Of course when you get the group together, we normally end up playing Texas Hold'em. Guess who won? Me. Sweet. It was pretty cool to end up with $80 at the end of the night - gambling is illegal in Am Sam so of course this is just hypothetical money. Right. It was one of our longer games - we finally finished around 4:15 am. yes, am. The final two was the birthday boy and me. Perhaps I should have allowed the birthday boy to win, but he did get cake for his birthday - and technically, it was not his birthday anymore. I sure hope this does not impact future invites to the Keyser's place.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

West Side Story

My street is currently in the middle of a dog fight - not aerial combat, but literally, wild dogs fighting. It started with the departure of Mr. & Mrs. Kava. Ed the Dog, the smartest dog you may ever meet, hung around their house. Once the Kavas left, we wanted to try to attract her to our street. If you are going to have wild dogs in the neighborhood, Ed is the one you want. She also runs with "Grandpa" and "Dirty Petunia" who are not as cool as Ed, but what are you going to do. We started enticing her with food, Fred actually bought real dog food. Ed didn't know what to do with that stuff, but once Grandpa had some (he will eat anything), Ed was okay with it. Well our plan worked - they are chilling by the Castros on a regular basis. But our current street dogs were none to pleased about Ed's posse moving in on their territory. Hence the current fighting. Grandpa took one in the ear and Dirty used a different tacit. And Ed, well she is just Ed