Saturday, April 22, 2006

it's all greek to me ...

As many of you, the regular readers of my blog (now at 11.7 and climbing!!), know, I'm something of a gourmand — I love a good meal. I like to try different cuisines, though I am somewhat picky about some ingredients (beans and most fish and seafood). So when I heard of a new restaurant, called Caspian Grill, which featured Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, I thought I would try it out.

Now Guam doesn't have a lot of European cuisine spots. I mean, there are some Italian restaurants, some French or French-inspired/fused places, and even one that's French and Spanish, for the most part. But you don't see things like Hungarian or other Eastern European cuisines, the only German restaurant that was here (and it rocked! *sigh*) closed after not too long. We have tons of Asian restaurants, which I guess is natural being so close to Asia.

So, my point is that I've never really had a lot of Greek food. There was a Greek restaurant here before, a gyro house, mostly, but it too didn't last long. And this one Italian restaurant had some kebabs and filafels and couscous and what not.

So, basically, I don't really know what GOOD Greek/Mediterranean cuisine is. I know if I eat something and it tastes good that I'll like it, but I couldn't make the same kind of judgments I can about Chamorro food, or American food, or other foods with which I'm very familiar.

That being said, I liked my meal. I had a Greek salad with just the right amount of feta. Then I had a steak gyro. It was good; I really like the homemade flat bread. What worried me was that the waitstaff didn't pronounce the food items the way I've heard before, and some of the spelling was weird.

For example, the waitress pronounced gyro as "jye-roe." I've always heard it as "yee-ro," with a silent G. Oh, and baklava was spelled something like "bahg-lava." LOL ... and they were out of it :(

I'll have to go back sometime and try the kebabs ... I'm a big fan of meat on a stick! Heh.

Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• While Spring is in the air for most of you, Guam doesn't have a Spring. Most of your have four seasons (or close to it); we have two seasons — Rainy Season (July-December) and "Dry" Season (rest of the year). And dry really isn't dry-dry ... it's usually just not AS rainy.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

dude ... it's like ... awesome ... heh

On Guam, there are several stretches of road that are popular for roadsive "waves" and rallies. It all started with political campaigns. Candidates and their supporters stand alongside a heavily traveled roadway, holding signs and banners, and wave to passing motorists. It's actually a very effective campaign strategy here on Guam, where it's small and everyone knows everyone — or, at least, knows someone who knows someone else.

Then others picked up on it. There are roadside waves to promote environmentalism and recycling, or to let people know about the dangers of cancer or some other disease — pretty much just as a way to get information or spread awareness about something to the public.

Sometimes, it's religious zealots out "spreading the word" with megaphones and clapping and crap.

This is what I saw yesterday while out on an afternoon break — three young kids out with signs to promote the legalization of pot. LOL ... Luckily, I had my camera handy to share this with you. Unfortunately, I didn't have the window all the way down and I was moving and the sun was behind them, but it's not a bad photo considering all that. Hope it gives you guys a kick, like it did for me. :)

And now for something completely different:
• I think a really good idea for a restaurant would be something called "Cafeteria." It would be like a school cafeteria, but better food and a little more of a selection, but still relatively cheap. Oh, and it should have hot, sexy lunch ladies.

Sometimes I just want some cafeteria-style food. Maybe my memories are just wishful, but there were some dishes that were sooooo good. I loved spaghetti day. And chili con carne day — I didn't like chili con carne, but I liked the ice-cream cup. And burger day was always a good day.

• What I really want is a restaurant that cooks food that my mom and dad would cook. It's really hard to find eateries that offer plain, homestyle food sometimes. They always want to jazz it up. There's this place I love near where I work, but it's only open in the morning and afternoon — it closes around 3 p.m. So if I'm craving that cuisine for dinner, I'm shit outta luck.

• One of the best feelings in the world is waking up and looking at your alarm clock and knowing you still have a couple of hours before you really have to get up, then snuggling back into the covers and dozing off.

• I have two $2 bills. I've had them since the 1970s. I wish I had more — I really like $2 bills.

• I haven't played poker now for more than a week. I've passed up three different opportunities to play cards. It really sucks when you have enough money to get through to the next payday, but not enough to be able to afford throwing any of it away in card games. It really sucks not having discretionary income.

• There are new sunset pictures — complete with a Shakespeare sonnett (a little something for you, ell) up over at DZER's Guam Pics

Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• One of Guam's main industries, back before World War II, was the producation of copra. The island boasted several coconut plantations. The Chamorro word for coconut is "niyok."

the early HNT from Guam ... a little late

OK ... I know I said the next post I made wouldn't be whiney-bitchy, but it was. And now, the HNT isn't any barrel of sunshine either.

However, I think it best captures my current mood, situation and feelings.

Fucking bleah™.

That's right, bitches ... I trademarked it!


So maybe the NEXT post will be non-whiney/bitchy/complaining.

I'll see what I can do ... bu don't hold your breath.

Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• On Guam, the exchange rate is one U.S. dollar for every Guam dollar.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I load 16 tons, and what do I get?

This post comes to you from the office.

Yep ... it's 11:02 at I'm the office. Got into the office a little before 11 a.m. For the mathematically challenged, that's 12 hours. Oh, I got a break for a lunch and one for dinner, but it's still 12 hours. From Monday through Sunday, I still full days Thursday and Friday.

Oh yeah ... and I have to be in here on Saturday too, for much longer than my usual couple of hours.


Well ... still have about a half hour to go there. Gonna try to finish up and get out of there.

I'll try to post again when I get home. Maybe even might be able to summon the energy for the usual early HNT from Guam. But who knows?


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

the week of wonderful continues ...

So I hit the snooze alarm a few times, thinking I deserve a little more sleep after the past few days I've had. Finally get up, shower, get dressed.

Still plenty of time to make it into the office.

Get downstairs, slide into truck, insert key into ignition and turn.


Not a sound.

No urrr-urrr-urrrrrr.

No clicking.


I knew what it was, even as I didn't want to admit it. I call a friend to come get me and, while he's here, try to jumpstart my truck. No luck.

It's the starter. I just know it is. Fuck.

Into the office, do a meeting, a couple of other things, then get friend to drive me back at lunch time, call a tow truck. $35 to get it to a repair shop about a 1/4 mile away. Shit.

Owner of the shop agrees. Starter.

Lucky I go to this guy for tires and alignment and other issues. He only charges me $65 labor. Part is $217. At least it's an easy job and they're done with it before 4 p.m.

Just not the best time to have to shell out more than $300 — day after paying off taxes and penalties plus a full week and a half till next payday.

Oh well. I like grilled cheese, tuna and other homemade sammiches. Good thing, since that's about all I'll be eating for a little while.

Hell, at least all the bills for the month are paid off already and any new ones that come in will wait till payday. Could be much worse.

And, you know what? I've had this truck since April 1994. It's 12 years old. This is the second time the starter's gone. I'm on the fourth battery. The air conditioning and radio haven't worked for a looooooong time. But it still runs well. It gets me around. It's totally paid for. So I am grateful for all the years it's given me ... and will continue to give me.

OK ... tomorrow I vow to write something fun, funny and/or uplifting. This is the last bitch-and-whine post you'll see here for a little bit.

Or at least until the next time I get fucked by the cosmos.


Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• Today, on Guam, was Tuesday. Sorry, that's all I got for today.

Monday, April 17, 2006

another bulleted list of travails and woes ...

I think my godson took this picture of me after I'd had a few alcoholic beverages ... why else would I have such a beatific smile upon my mug considering all the sickness and pain I've been dealing with since Friday? LOL ... the little guy is good at taking pictures ... he lined up all his plastic guns, one at a time, and took photos of that ... LOL

Update on the tidings of woe and despair:

• The flu/sinus infection thing isn't as bad as it was over the weekend ... but my head's still cloudy.

• I am experiencing a very bad case of 'roid rage. Don't inquire further. Please. I beg of you.

• I tweaked my neck after just 15 minutes at work, and it's been achey and hurting in that dull ache kind of way — until I turn or lift my head, then it becomes short, stabbing, shooting pains.

• I paid off last year's taxes, including $130 in penalties and interests. Ugh. But I did manage to file the extension for THIS year. Whew!!

• I still owe taxes for this year and gotta pay 'em sometime. Bleah.

• Wrote checks for rent, power and water. The bank account is feeling a bit light, and will until NEXT Friday. No poker, no paid-for golf, no extraneous expenses — like the $5 coffees — this week.

• My No. 2's last day before vacation was today. Next two weeks = hell on Earth.

• Got to go home early today because I wasn't feeling well. Small thing, but nice.

• Both my bosses are back, which is actually refreshing.

• I bought those Country Crock side dishes and tried out the garlic mashed potatoes for dinner tonight — it rocked!! I can't wait to try out the mac and cheese.

My Favorite Person has ordered me an online game, Neverwinter Nights, the second such game she's bestowed upon me. The last one resurrected my gaming addiction, and this one is sure to add to it a bit. But in a good way. Heh.

• I just finished watching "The Wedding Singer." Fun movie. :)

Bleah. Back to reality.

Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• Two major Guam rock formations are named after animals — Bear Rock, in Inarajan, and Camel Rock, which sits offshore in Asan.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Sunday ...

OK, so Saturday night was a total bitch. This flu/sinus/infection thing was totally kicking my ass. It took me hours to finally fall to sleep fully; I fucking hate that.

I woke up "early" Sunday (around 10:30 a.m. — that's early for me!) because it was Easter brunch day. I had time to go get my head shaved so I'd look all nice and clean for pics, then drove down to LeoPalace Resort. This is one of the most gorgeous parts of Guam, and the resort does a great job in making sure it stays clean and well-kept and filled with great landscaping and flowers and stuff.

The view at the top is at the back of the main hotel, the Belvedere. It sports a fountain, lots of flowers and shade around it, and had teeming fish in the water. Back a little ways is one of the 9-hole courses of the resort. On the right is a zoomed-in pic of the panther statue you can see in the top picture on the right side.

Brunch with the godsons and the family was fabulous. You know what comes next ... the menu.

• Salads: About 6-7 different kinds, from basic greens to potato, seafood and other mixed, creamy salads. Plus an array of fruit — cantaloupe, honeydew, strawberries, pineapple, etc.

• Japanese food: Sashimi, multiple kinds of sushi, tempura shrimp and vegetables with tempura dipping sauce, cold soba, a few other items, and a ramen soup station.

• Seafood: Cold cooked shrimp, snowcrab, scallops and a few other delicacies that I didn't pay much attention to, because I don't do the seafood thing.

• Main buffet line: Shrimp fried rice, scrambled eggs, ham, bacon, sausage links, fried chicken, fried fish, pancit (noodles dish) and a couple other main courses. I didn't really spend too much time at this station either.

• Roast pig carving station: Whole roast pig. Mmmm ... the meat was so tender and juicy and buttery. I got lucky and got a nice piece of crispy skin. Yummy-most.

• Omelet station: cheese, mushrooms, onions, bacon, ham, peppers ... you choose what you want in and on your omelet and they make it for you. Wonderful.

• Prime rib station: Lovely prime rib, cooked perfectly. With some spicy fina'denne'.

• Teppan station: Teppanyaki — shrimp, scallops, salmon and prime tenderloin steak ... you pick what you want them to cook and they mix it with vegetables and the teppan chef cooks it up. Very tasty.

• Bread station: French bread, rolls, cinammon rolls, Danishes, and other bread delights.

• Dessert station: Cakes galore, including strawberry shortcake, custards, a few Asian and Pacific kinds of desserts, like mochi rice cakes, jello dishes and puddings, chocolate treats and ice cream.

• Drink station: Orange juice, pineapple juice, iced tea, champagne, beer, red wine ... all you can drink. Heh.

I'm sure I missed some dishes and foods there. I pretty much concentrated on roast pig, prime rib, tempura shrimp, rice and bread ... then a few desserts.

Then home ... slept away most of the afternoon after dosing up on alka-seltzer plus cold medicine and some sinus medication (sleep is best to fight sickness) ... up for a little bit and did some reading.

It's about time to go get some food — starve a fever, feed a cold, they say — and then, I think, more sleep. Monday is a work day, after all!

Oh yeah ...
• A few new pics up over at DZER's Guam Pics.

Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• Three of the four nine-hole courses at LeoPalace Resort were designed by Jack Nicklaus (E) and Arnold Palmer (C & D).