Saturday, October 01, 2005

DZER's dreams of a doggie

I've been giving this a lot of thought lately. I want a dog. I've had dogs my whole life, but when my mom moved to the states five years ago and I moved into an apartment, I was suddenly dogless for the first time that I could remember. My uncle took our family dog, because he was an outside dog and there was no way he would be able to live in my apartment.

But I really miss having a dog. I miss how they love you unconditionally, no matter what. I miss how happy a dog is to see you, no matter if you've been gone an hour or two days. I miss they way a dog leans into a good scratch. I even miss the barking and the occasional wet-dog smells.

So I'm pretty sure I'm going to get a dog. Now I just have to clean up the apartment a bit things currently laying around won't get eaten up or otherwise destroyed. And I have to decide on what kind of dog I want and whether I want to spend any money on one.

My family has never spent money to purchase dogs. We've had mutts or other dogs that were given to us. My father would probably roll over in his grave if I spent the hundreds of dollars most dogs cost, definitely if the dog cost more than $1,000. I really can't understand how a pet could cost that much, or why people would spend that much on an animal. I can see spending money on food for them, or medical treatment, but just to have one? How can you spend several months rent on a pooch?

So, the plan is to get the apartment cleaned over the next week (baby steps are good). Then, on the weekend, I will take a trip up to the animal shelter and see if I can find a dog that fits my temperament and living style. I don't want a hyper dog, or a yap-yap dog. I want a smallish to medium pooch that's relatively laid-back; a low-maintenance hound.

This also will represent the next step in my "get healthy" plan. I quit smoking almost a year ago. I'm eating healthier — not totally healthy, but healthier; more fruit and vegetables in the diet, less fried food, smaller portions, etc., though not all the time. But definitely more healthy than before.

But now I have to start exercising. And I need a real motivation to exercise. I mean, really, what's the point of walking when you can drive? Why walk around in circles? Why walk in place on a machine?

But walking a dog, now that makes sense. The dog needs to be walked. You have to go along with the dog because, well, it's a dumb dog. It might get lost, or stolen, or hurt if you're not there to supervise. So, if I get a dog, I will have to go walking, and thus get exercise, but it will be exercise with a purpose.

Yes, I know it's sad that I need that kind of rationale to work out, but there you go. The only reason I exercised in my youth was so I could play sports. I couldn't suit up for the football team without exercising and running and lifting weights. Same with baseball. Now, I need a dog in order to walk. So what? At least it will get me out there and exercising.

Yay! I'm gonna get a doggie!!

Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• Guam has a lot of stray dogs, which are called "boonie dogs." While the problem isn't as bad as some places, where the dogs are feral and dangerous, it is still rather significant, and efforts to round up strays are continuous in most villages.

Friday, September 30, 2005

How observant are you?

Think you have great powers of observation? Think you see and know more than others? Then prove it — the average person only gets seven of the following 25 questions right. This is based on U.S. info (sorry Canadians and other foreigners), so use all lobes of your brain. This can be more difficult than it looks — it just shows how little most of us really see!

There are 25 questions about things we see most every day or have known about all our lives. How many can you get right? These little simple questions are harder than you think. It just shows how little we pay attention to the commonplace things of life.

Write down your answers and check answers (on the bottom) but not until AFTER completing all the questions.

By the way … I got 21, heh-heh.


If not, just have fun!

Here we go!

1. On a standard traffic light, is the green on the top or bottom?

2. How many states are there in the USA? (Don't laugh, some people don't know.)

3. In which hand is the Statue of Liberty's torch?

4. What six colors are on the classic Campbell's soup label?

5. What two numbers on the telephone dial don't have letters by them?

6. When you walk does your left arm swing with your right or left leg? (Don't you dare get up to see!)

7. How many matches are in a standard book?

8. On the United States flag is the top stripe red or white?

9. What is the lowest number on the FM dial? (Don't look at that dial!)

10. Which way does water go down the drain, counter or clockwise? (Get out of the bathroom!)

11. Which way does a "no smoking" sign's slash run?

12. How many channels on a VHF TV dial?

13. On which side of a women's blouse are the buttons?

14. Which way do fans rotate?

15. How many sides does a stop sign have?

16. Do books have even-numbered pages on the right or left side?

17 How many lug nuts are on a standard car wheel?

18. How many sides are there on a standard pencil?

19. Sleepy, Happy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey, Doc. Who's missing?

20. How many hot dog buns are in a standard package?

21. On which playing card is the card maker's trademark?

22. On which side of a Venetian blind is the cord that adjusts the opening between the slats?

23. There are 12 buttons on a touch-tone phone. What 2 symbols bear no digits?

24. How many curves are there in the standard paper clip?

25. Does a merry-go-round turn counter or clockwise?

1. Bottom
2. 50
3. Right
4. Blue, red, white, yellow, black & gold
5. 1, 0
6. Right
7. 20
8. Red
9. 87.7
10. Clockwise (north of the equator)
11. From lower right to upper left
12. 12 (there is no #1)
13. Left
14. Clockwise as you look at it from the front.
15. 8
16. Left
17. 5
18. 6
19. Bashful
20. 8
21. Ace of spades
22. Left
23. * and #
24. 3
25. Counter

Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• The most popular cold appetizer from the Chamorro menu is kelaguen. It can be made with chicken, beef, deer, fish, octopus, shrimp — even Spam! The basic mix is the meat/fish/etc., grated coconut (fresh, not that packaged stuff for baking, it's too sweet), lemon juice (fresh squeezed best), diced onions and green onions, finely chopped super-hot boonie peppers and salt. Here's the thing — the main ingredient in the kelaguen isn't fully cooked. Only chicken is cooked at all, about 3/4 of the way through. Beef and seafood isn't cooked, period. The ingredients are mixed and the key is letting the citric acid "cook" the food, so you have to let it set for some time before consuming. Best served nice and chilly out of the fridge, with corn or flour tortillas.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Things that I've done that I'm pretty sure you haven't ...

If you have, let me know.

1. Lived with a bisexual stripper and my mother at the same time (And no, they were not one and the same! Freaks!).

2. Eaten half-raw shrimp that I caught fresh out of a jungle river.

3. Eaten pugua (betel nut) with pupulu (pepper leaf).

4. Been personally introduced to the president of a foreign nation.

5. Written for both the top selling newspaper and magazine of my hometown.

6. Won a Truman Scholarship.

7. Walked on the moon.

8. OK, No. 7 is bullshit.

9. Scored a touchdown, an extra point, punted and recorded a sack all in one high school football game.

10. Broken the bones of three similar-aged children (unintentionally).

11. Eaten live grasshoppers and a gecko on a dare/bet.

12. Been listed as the top player of a stand-up arcade game in a national video game magazine.

13. Experienced/been through more than 10 typhoons, including at least four supertyphoons, and at least one earthquake registering higher than 7.5 on the Richter scale.

14. Put a boring list of things I've done that you likely haven't done on my blog.

15. Killed a man just to watch the look on his face as he realized he was dying.

16. OK, I never did No. 15.


I swear.

Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• Guam is the largest per-capita consumer of Spam.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

morning people

Ugh. Can't understand them. How can anyone be happy and chipper and peppy and all zippety-doo-dah in the morning.

What genetic fault do these people have? Don't they know that mornings are meant for sleeping in, especially early in the morning? How can they not see that thanks to technology, especially artificial lights, there's no reason to live a life according to the rising and setting of the sun. Seriously, why are we sticking with these farmer hours? Why the hell is there still a daylight savings time? Why do we send our kids to school based on an agrarian calendar?

Back to the peppy people. Seriously again, what the fuck? These are the folks whistling in traffic, or while waiting for the waitress to get back with their eggs — sunny-side up, of course! Male versions of this breed often make the double-click noise with their tongue while doing the finger-gun motion pointing at you thingy.

They sing-song their greetings: Gooooood moooor-ning! Often they do this while asking inane questions: Isn't it a beeeeee-yooo-tiiii-ful morning??

What's so good about it? I'm not even that chipper when I wake up early to play golf for free.

They have pithy and overly friendly greetings (courtesy of a recent Chrissie morning):

Them: How are you this bright and cheery?

Her: *grumble* fine. you?

Them: Ooh! sun is shinin', bees are buzzin'!

Yikes! Thankfully I don't have anyone THAT bad in my office — but that's just because my office is filled mostly with jaded journalists. Plus, I don't have to be there first thing, thank god.

The worst are the Monday morning Morning People — "Good morning! How was your weekend? Mine was spect-TAC-ular!"

It makes me want to call them at midnight: Hey!! How's your night so far? What? Sleeping? On such a beautiful night? Hello? Hello?"

Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• Guam is where America's day begins, thanks to the International Date Line. But does the day have to start sooooo early?

and lunch was ...

... a ham and brie on french roll sammich, eaten at home.

Fancy lunch on Friday ... it's payday, baby!

conundrum ...

Only 11:15 a.m. here but already thinking about lunch. I really should start to eat something light when I get up so I'm not so monstrously hungry come lunch time, or the hour leading up to it, for that matter.

I'm hungry, but don't know what I'm hungry for.

• Japanese? Teppanyaki with the sushi buffet?

• Italian? A big bowl of pasta with a creamy sauce and garlic bread?

• Steak? A nice ribeye or N.Y. strip?

• Korean? Maybe galbi ribs with lotsa kimchee?

• Thai? Some pahd tahi with tom ka kai?

• Chinese? Orange chicken, spicy beef and some dim sum?

• Fast food? Takeout monster burger with fries and a shake?

• Vietnamese? Lemongrass chicken and fried lumpia wrapped in lettuce with noodles?

• Diner breakfast? Bacon and eggs with some toast?

• Sammich? Deli hero, Subway or make at home?

Fuck ... someone make a decision for me!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I wanna be in pictures ...

The vast majority of people, at least in the United States, love a happy ending. Hollywood knows this, which is why 95 percent of most movies have the happy ending. They'll distort the original story, novel or work to have theater-goers leave the cinema pleased with how things turn out.

This is especially true with romantic comedies. Just about everyone wants to see the guy get the girl, to see the girl get the guy, to have everything work out so the two can live happily ever after. It doesn't matter that she cheated on him with his best friend, or that he lied to her from the beginning. Nowhere is there more forgiveness than a romantic comedy — Jesus would have a hard time turning the other cheek so often.

Misunderstandings are always cleared up and resolved. The most bitter, cruel things said in the heat of the moment are forgotten. The loveable but not so attractive guy finds love. The good-hearted girl finds her soul mate.

Even when the end is tragic, it's ameliorated. The woman dies, but the man realizes that her love for him has redeemed him, and that he'll be able to love again. The man is crippled, but the woman still wants to marry him and be with him forever.

It really is till death do they part. Wedding vows remain sancrosact. And even if they don't, they work things out.

My problem is that I'm a romantic. But I'm also a realist (though most call it pessimism). I know that had most of these instances happened in REAL life instead of in REEL life, half the time the guy wouldn't have stood a chance from the get-go. And yet I still can't help hoping. There is a lot more pain and heartache and strife and rancor, and almost never is there anything even remotely close to a happy ending. He doesn't come back to her. She doesn't run to the airport to catch him before the plane leaves. The intervening man or woman never reveals that they lied about the whole thing, that it really was a misunderstanding.

In real life, people fall out of love, and usually it is one person, and the other person is blindsided by that revelation. Flabbersgasted. Stunned. Unbelieving. And it doesn't matter what the other person does, he or she can't change the one person's feelings. There may be flashes of hope, but almost always that's only in the mind of the person who's no longer loved. Oh, the one person still LOVES the other person; he or she just isn't IN LOVE with that other person.

So why do we all buy into the bullshit that Hollywood peddles? How are we able to suspend disbelief so easily during an hour-and-a-half long movie? Why do we sigh with relief when the guy gets the girl? Why do we cry tears of happiness when the girl gets the guy?

I want to write and direct a movie. I've tentatively titled it, "I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship," or "I Love You, But Not In That Way," or "You're Like a Brother to Me," or something along those lines. The movie will be about a guy getting shot down again and again by women who should be lucky to have a guy like him — but he's not handsome or athletic. He makes a succession of women he meets laugh, he treats them with respect and kindness, he's thoughtful and loving. And everyone tells him how he's a great guy and they wish they could meet someone just like him (but not him), and that how he's going to make "some" woman very happy one day, but not with them. They'll want to remain his friend and he will graciously agree, and he will die a little inside everytime one of the women friends introduce him to the man/men they end up with, and he'll be their shoulder to cry on when those men treat them wrong, hit them, cheat on them, etc. But they'll keep going back to the same kind of guy.

Until he meets the perfect woman, the woman who meshes with him like a glove on a hand. It's so obvious they belong together, that they complement each other perfectly, that they should have the type of relationship everyone dreams of but never thinks can happen.

All the way up to the part where she tells him: "I love you, I do ... but not in that way."

Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• Guam and Micronesia comprise the second-most popular wedding destination for Japanese, behind Hawaii. About 52 percent of all overseas Japanese weddings are in Hawaii, but almost 30 percent are in Guam and Micronesia.

Monday, September 26, 2005

serendipity is sultry, sumptuous sunsets ...

I had to pull over to a side road to take a picture of this sunset. I wish I would have had the time to drive out to this spot where you get a great view of the sun setting over the ocean, but I knew I didn't have that kind of time.

*sigh* Ain't it bee-yoo-tiful? took the second just as insurance for the first one. Also, to make you folks who live in areas with crappy sunsets even more jealous. What I need is a digital camera on which I can control the shutter speed. That way I can take the photos a little later, when all the colors are exploding and melding together, but when there's not enough sunlight to capture with this digital.

Had one of those blah days at the office. Things actually went quick, but I had to wait awhile for something to get checked, which led to me leaving the office later than I like for the class at the university I'm helping to teach, which meant speeding like a bat outta hell. I was lucky to find parking.

Then, one of the guest speakers for the class didn't show up, so I had to wing it a bit for that part. Then the next class went kinda smooth.

And then, on the way home, after a quick stop at the store for my healthy salad meal (which was nice, thanks to a vidalia vinaigrette salad dressing), I got the above sunset. The rest of the day just kind of faded away. I was driving toward this beauty for a while, hoping it would hold out until I got to a vantage point where I could better appreciate it — fewer cars, no power poles and power lines — and it was nice and did just that.

Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• Guam has some top-notch, mind-blowing, awe-inspiring, kick-ass sunsets.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Sharing some of my island's beauty ...

This is the cathedral-basilica located in Guam's capital city, Hagåtña. The land on which the cathedral is built was given to the Catholic Church in the mid-1600s by Chief Quipuha, one of the more noted Chamorro maga'lahi, and the first in such postion to convert to Catholicism.

The cathedral was destroyed in the bombing of Guam in 1944 as the United States softened up Japanese strongholds for the invasion and subsequent liberation of the island. The new building is near other historical sites/parks and is often visited by tourists to the island. I was lucky enough to catch this picture in the early afternoon on a relatively cloudless sky.

These are just some flowers on a bush outside the restaurant I had lunch at earlier today. I told you guys I would be taking my new digital with me all the time to take more pictures, and so you get to enjoy pretty little flowers.

I seem to remember promising someone that once my digital camera came in, I would take some pictures of hibiscus flowers for them. Well, I try to live up to my promises, so here you go. This photo was taken in one of the parks near the cathedral-basilica.

Here's a close-up view of the hibiscus. The flowers all seem to be reaching the end of their life cycles — they were pretty much all wilted and near death. But I still managed to find one that wasn't in too bad of condition.