Saturday, June 10, 2006

the tree is out there ...

Have you ever had a supernatural experience? A strange encounter that is totally inexplicable? Heird weird noises, seen eerie things? Had a run-in with a ghost or a specter?

When I was a kid, my dad often took us out to the jungles of Guam on the weekend. We would pick pugua, or betel nut, for personal consumption of Pop and his relatives, and also to sell to others. We'd also trudge along and through the small rivers, catching shrimp and eel for the dinner table, often taking our lunch break at a waterfall pool -- usually Sigua Falls -- "sigua" means "sweet" and the water there, thanks to natural filtration, is very sweet.

If you've ever been to a tropical rain forest -- which is what Guam's jungles are -- knows that they are very different from temperate forests with the big, tall trees, like most U.S. forests are. The ground in a tropical rain forest are covered by fallen leaves of different kinds, old tree limbs and the like. In short, it is far from neat or clean.

But one day, while still early on in our boonie stomping, we came through some dense underbrush to this spot in the jungle. In the center of this semi-open space under the canopy was this huge banyan tree, which are said to be the dwelling places of taotaomo-na -- think of capricious, sometimes malignant spirits inhabiting giant, towering bodies. They are beings to be feared and respected.

This turned out to be just one of those trees.

How did we know?

There was a perfect circle around the tree clear of any and all debris, with a diameter of about 30 feet. Just dirt. Like it had been swept.

My dad said something called "g├ągao," which means to ask permission. If you respectfully ask permission of the taotaomo'na, they will allow you to pass unmolested (get your minds out of the gutter, dirty girls!). He said it, we passed -- quietly and respectfully -- and waited till we got way beyond the tree before we picked anymore betel nut.

*cue spooky music*

Taotaomo'na translates into "people of the past." Chamorros believe the taotaomo'na are spirits of our ancient ancestors that live in the forests of Guam. They can be capricious, and either help you out or hurt you. There are many people who have reported being touched by a taotaomo'na, leaving them with large bruises shaped like fingerprints.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do ...

OK, so I had this great post all planned out.

It was going to have it all -- humor, sex, wittiness, fun, brilliant insight, thoughtfulness, etc.

It was going to be totally gripping, a real page-turner ... OK, scroll-downer, I guess would be more appropriate.

It would shock the world, change lives, foster the development of mankind, spawn a new religion.

But then, I got a phone call.

Poker game.

Try to continue on despite the lost hope that was to be the GREATEST POST OF ALL TIME.

Until later, I leave you with this:

Ugh ... it turns out that I should have stayed home and done that amazing post. Fucking bleah™.

Lil Deeze says ...

Thursday, June 08, 2006

DZER goes five-by-five

Age 5 ...
• Living in Tucson, Arizona
• Fully recovered from spinal surgery
• Comes face to face with rattlesnake
• Starts fire in alley that almost burns down neighborhood
• Learns to ride bicycle
Age 10 ...
• Living in Okinawa, Japan
• Plays baseball and football
• Comes face to face with habu viper
• Builds bicycles from discarded bikes, sells them to neighborhood kids
• Gets published for the first time in print
Age 15 ...
• Living in Abilene, Texas
• Plays defensive tackle for city champion junior high football team
• Rides bicycle to school every day
• Helps Pop kill rattlesnakes in backyard
• Gets name in national magazine for top score in video game "Popeye"
Age 20 ...
• Living in Latte Heights, Guam
• Attending the University of Guam
• Freelance writing for the newspaper
• Regularly winning beer chugging contests
• Gets heart broken
Age 25 ...
• Living in Windward Hills, Guam
• Sports editor of the newspaper
• Buys first vehicle on my own — 1994 Nissan King Cab SE-V6
• Is on the board of the Guam Darts Association
• Been playing golf for two years
Age 30 ...
• Living in Yona, Guam
• Is known by name at multiple strip clubs
• Now has twin godsons
• Gets heart broken
• Am a regular chatter in "The Ladies Room" in Chathouse
Age 35 ...
• Living in Anigua, Guam
• Is editorial editor of the newspaper
• Still driving around that same old truck
• Quits smoking
• Starts losing a little weight
Age 40 ...
• Slow the hell down! I'm ONLY 37 ... sheesh!

By the way ... newish post up over at My Favorite Person's blog, which qualifies as a rare event! LOL ... Check it out!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

parking idiots ... and the early HNT from Guam ...

Have you ever noticed how many people just can't park? It doesn't matter if it's a diagonal slot at the grocery store, a straight-in slot at the mall, a reserved space in which they've been parking for months, if not years, or if it's a parallel job on the street.

So many people just can't do it right.

They pull into a slot in the parking garage that they've been in hundreds of time, in a car they've driven for years, and still can't get closer to the wall than three or four feet -- doesn't matter if they're backing in or parking front side in. They simply don't realize or feel the dimensions of their vehicles. That's understandable when you're in a new car or an unfamiliar vehicle. But how can you not know your own car?

This is my spot. It's close to a wall and on the first level up from the ground, which makes it impossible to just pull into. I have to drive perpendicular to the spot, reverse, then pull in —- basically, I have to execute a modified reverse three-point turn. I hate the assholes that follow me up the ramp right on my tail, especially long-time parking garage users who should know that this is where my rather distinctive pickup belongs. Although a part of me does love making them wait, looking at my reverse lights as I prevent them from moving around me. Assholes.

And I hate people who take up two slots. I don't care how wide your vehicle is, you get one slot, asshole. Don't take up two spots, especially if you're in a tiny car. Especially if it's anywhere near the doors. You want to take up two spaces to protect your car from dings? Then take your ass to the remote areas of the lot and do it there.

I also despise it when you do a good job parking, leaving yourself and your passenger, if any, plenty of room on each side. You park correctly, well inside the parking demarcation lines. You come out of the store and some asshole has parked about six inches away from your driver's side door. For some of you slender fucks out there, it might not be a big deal. But to me, you might as well have welded the door shut. What the hell is up with that?

And how can you parallel park, get out of your car, notice that you've left a motorcycle lane between your passenger side and the curb, and not rectify your parking error? How the hell did you pass your driving test to get your license?

It's already hell out there because of the legion of idiots who are allowed to "drive" on our roads ... do you have to exacerbate the problem by not learning how to park right?

*feeling the tension and rage diffuse from my soul*

OK ... on to more important matters: THE EARLY HALF-NEKKID THURSDAY FROM GUAM!

My "fake" shoes. When I want my feet to be extra comfy, I slip into these ... well, slippers. They look enough like shoes that I can get away with wearing them, which I do ... often. Heh.

To find out more about Half-Nekkid Thursday,
check out the link, baby:

Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• Guam has no parking meters. Zip. Zero. Zilch.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

on being late, poker and tummy rumblings ...

It has been pointed out to me that I'm late on my posting today. I guess that much is evident, for those of you who come here at a regular time to check out the Diatribe.

I just got caught up a bit with things and didn't get around to posting when I did have the chance.

Got off work, did laundry, came home for a little bit, then back to work to finish things up, then to the weekly poker game, which I haven't been to in two weeks. I got there late and had to sit in on the small table, the waiting-for-a-spot-to-open-on-the-big-table table. Luckily, I went on a bit of a rush and knocked out five of the six people on the small table and a spot eventually opened up for me on the big table.

Ran my initial $80 up to about $250, but some bad beats took it down for me a bit, but then I hit a couple of pots and ended up leaving with about $100 more than when I started. Not bad for about two hours of work, huh?

Basically, it means I'll probably buy a nice, thick steak to cook at home for dinner tomorrow. Or splurge on too much Chinese food (to make sure I have leftovers ... heh).

Writing about food only serves to remind me that I'm hungry. I had a small Greek salad around 6 p.m. and it was good enough for a while, but now I starvin' like Marvin for a Cool J song. Which wouldn't be so bad, but I'm not sure what I'm hungry for. Maybe I'll just nuke some hot dogs. Or make some soup. Hmm ...

Stay tuned for a later post where DZER will reveal what he ate!


Monday, June 05, 2006

a long, drawn out post ...

Artful Dodger has recently begun posting Sex Blogger Funnies!, which are blog-related cartoons, and he's doing a good job with them.

But they got me thinking about my drawing -- rather, the lack of it for a long time. You see, ever since I was a kid I loved drawing. Art (not Dodger) was one of my favorite subjects; it just allowed you to be so creative.

I drew all the time and all over the place. I'd draw on my folders, in my class notes, in sketch books ... pretty much any white space. I used pencils, pens, charcoal, crayons, colored pencils, markers, etc. A drawing of mine, "Time," which was basically a bunch of clocks and watches, was published in this annual Department of Defense Schools' book of art and writing when I was in the fifth grade. I submitted drawings to CarTOONS, hoping to see my crazy car published in their fan art section.

In high school during my senior year, I drew some cartoon sharks for logos and as our Class of '87 mascot. I was also into "graffiti," but mostly on paper. I would do people's names -- usually girls -- using different techniques to make it look like chrome or something else cool and neat that they'd like. Yeah, I'd try pretty much anything back in the high school days; but which of us guys wouldn't?

I pretty much stopped when I got to my second or third year of college and met this amazing artist by the name of Jesse. Now I just kind of drew and sketched and doodled. Jesse was an ARTIST. His comic book type characters were amazing, as was his other work. I was lucky to work with him at the newspaper and, for a time, at a local lifestyle magazine. He did some brilliant stuff at both places and kept getting better. In fact, he's actually gone on to big success, doing animation and stuff for some big cartoon series -- nationally televised stuff.

I think he reads this blog now and the, so hey Jesse! Mad props!

While it was great meeting Jesse and becoming friends -- and feeding him at Casa George -- it also served to show me that I was a rank amateur. I didn't think about it then, but I never really had any artist training and education -- no real classes about techniques or anatomy or any of that; I kind of just drew by feel. But at the time I decided that I would never really be an artist, that my strengths lay with writing, and so I pretty much gave up drawing.

Oh, I did and still do doodle during long meetings, or any other time I'm sitting around with time to kill and some blank paper and any kind of writing implement. But nothing that could be considered in any way "art."

But lately I've been reading a couple of art books -- one on sketching and one called "Anatomy for Artists" -- that have got me thinking about drawing again. In fact, this weekend, after I get paid Friday, I was planning on heading to the office supply store to get some graphite pencils of various degrees of hardness, a gum eraser, a regular eraser, a little pencil sharpener and some sketch pads.

And Artful Dodger's toons have served to add further fuel to the fire. I've even volunteered to contribute some cartoons. *gulp*

So, now and then, you just might see some sketches and drawings appear in this space, depending on how brave and daring I'm feeling on any given day.

Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• Ancient Chamorros did some cave paintings, though not many -- most caves here are limestone, and it could be they got covered up or eroded because of all the water seepage. The paintings are basically petroglyphs, and have been enjoying a resurgence as modern artists replicate them or do their own take on the drawings.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

a fairly boring weekend ...

Sometimes, a weekend spent doing nothing really productive is nice. Sometimes, it pretty much sucks. At other times, it simply IS.

This weekend was one of the ones that was kind of sucky. There was so much potential that went unfulfilled.

I knew it was going to trend toward suckiness on Friday, when the roof of my mouth was all sore and irritated. That's a clear sign of impending cold/sickness. I sucked on soothing throat drops. I took cold medicine. Still got sick.

On Saturday the roof of the mouth wasn't as bad, but I had sinus pressure and a runny nose. Repeated the throat drops and cold medicine routine. Went to work to knock out the weekend stuff. Slept in late on Sunday -- woke up at 8 a.m. and puttered around for a bit, checking the whole 4 messages on my post from yesterday, then said "fuck it" and went back to bed until close to noon.

Ended up, later on in the afternoon, going to watch "The Break Up." Eh; it was OK ... not as good as other recent romantic-comedies. I would say, wait for the DVD.

I also watched a couple of DVDs: "Something New," which was a cute little movie, and "Nanny McPhee," which was fun.

Unforunately this weekend, My Favorite Person also wasn't feeling well this weekend, which mean the hours of fun I was hoping to have playing Neverwinter Nights didn't happen. We played a tiny bit both my Saturday and Sunday, but got no real time playing. Oh well, such is life, no?

I put off laundry again until tomorrow after work; I still have one of the new pairs of pants and a new shirt to wear to work Monday, but once I get off it's over to the laundry place. Fucking bleah™.

I will likely go out to the kitchen and do dishes in a little bit, so that will be something.

I also did manage to get some writing done. There's a brand-new post up on DZEROTICA. The post is a part of:

Specifically, for the special of the month:


Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• Guam has two multiplex-style theaters: one at Guam Premier Outlets (spelling is theirs!); another at the Micronesia Mall. All of us who live further south are anxiously awaiting for the Agana Shopping Center to finish construction on their multiplex theaters -- then movies will be just five minutes away!