On the platter for today:
Now it’s time for work though. I feel good. I slept for 10 hours last night; hopefully I am back on Guam time.
Last night was a bit off bar hopping with the usual cohorts. We finished up at Mac & Marti’s, a cigar bar in Tumon. It was my first visit to the place and I enjoyed it. I’ll be back for more. Probably on Wednesday actually.
I’m thinking about trying a new selection of bars and clubs from the old habits I’ve been in lately. Phu’s, Toy’s and Areebaba’s are all good places, but I am a little tired of the Thai girl bar scene. Mac & Marti’s, Trades, Santa Fe, and this new place called the Fishbowl are places I am more interested in. Basically all these places feature live music most nights, a relaxed atmosphere, and a bar that sells more than Miller Lite. On the downside, these places usually lack a pool table or dart board, favored diversions of mine.
Last night we all lamented the sad state of bars on Guam compared to the venerable Tahiti Rama and long defunct Signatures. Those were some good watering holes, with real character and many good times.
For the second week in a row, it looks like my fantasy football team is going down in defeat. That lets all the other mopes in the league catch up and join me in first place. Not cool. Especially since several of my key players are injured and my defense is falling apart. I might be fading heading into the middle of the season. Oh well, my dreams of fantasy glory is dwindling.
I had this crazy idea to renew my library card at the Guam Public Library yesterday. As always, the pathetic state of the library is enough to elicit tears. I used to have a library card, though I lost it several years ago. Something compelled me to stop off and get a new card. I walked inside and immediately smelled the familiar musty smell inherent it that building. No librarian was on duty at the front desk, which I found curious. I ventured upstairs to the reference desk and found nobody staffing there either. I assumed they were on break, so I just headed into the paltry stacks looking for Pale Fire, the book I wanted to check out. It wasn’t there, but I picked up a worn hardcover copy of Nabakov’s Dozen and gasped when the pages just fell out of the cover onto the floor. Every book in that library is in a similar state of distress. I think they all date from about 1955 to 1960, probably the last time the library had a budget to acquire books. I wandered to the periodicals section and looked at the magazines, none of which were current issues.I wandered back to the front desk after about 20 minutes and discovered no librarian had appeared. I left without my library card, but with a grim sense of the impending doom that faces this island. The library has been treated like a red-headed stepchild by each successive administration on Guam, and the neglect truly shows. The building is decrepit, the books are crumbling, the magazines are out of date, and the staffing is non-existent. Five one-room branch libraries exist in various villages around Guam, but those are in even worse condition. At this point it would probably make more sense to consolidate all collections and staff at the main library in Hag�t�a. The library is dying a slow death right now, and spreading the sparse collections and staff to man far flung branch offices is not a good solution.
I was out with some friends last night and I think we made the decision to go to Saipan next weekend. I vaguely recall making that decision. I hope it pans out, a little weekend get-away sounds good to me.
We ended up at this place called Casa last night. I used to frequent that bar in my younger days, but last night was the first time I’d been inside in six years. Still pretty much the same thing, with the same crowd. Only I am older now, and all the girls are younger.
I made reservations for Cairns, Australia yesterday. I wanted Bali, but the ticket dates were all wrong. Turns out it was a good thing. Bali has been wracked by explosions in the last 24 hours, all deliberate terrorist attacks. Dozens are dead, many more are injured. I never thought such a thing would happen in Bali, it is such a peaceful place.
I returned from a long journey yesterday evening. I enjoyed myself on the trip, that I can’t deny. But nothing compares to the feeling of coming home and flopping into your own bed at night. I am glad to be back home, even though it is messy and cluttered. It’s my place, a reflection of me.
The flights I took to get here were arduous. Next time I am flying Continental, and I am shooting for seat upgrades to Business First. That 12 hour flight from Los Angeles to Narita is just a killer. The last two hours I was going stir crazy on that airplane. My daggan was killing me in that seat. I hate flying coach, especially on those chock full flights that Northwest runs between Japan and the States. I’d rather take Continental and layover in Hawaii between 7 and 8 hour flights instead of the mammoth 14 hour run out of Japan. God that sucks.
And to add insult to injury, the return trip to Guam sucked up a week of vacation time. Two overnight layovers, one in Los Angeles and another in Narita. And both times I was too tired to go out and explore – I just took a shower and slept.
Another dinner out with a former Guam friend. Another evening of bittersweet remembrance.
I just can’t stay away from the Yardhouse – tonight was my third visit to one of those establishments. I met Sumiko and her boyfriend Go for dinner in Costa Mesa.
Tomorrow night I leave for St. Louis and the family. Updates will be infrequent for the next week.
My brother’s house is full of love.
I drove through the dusky landscape, through green orchards of avocadoes, across deserts and pine forests. There nestled against a wildlife preserve atop a hill was my brother’s house. Inside I found happy children, an expectant mother, and my brother. I met my godson for the first time in almost five years and I felt the awful isolation, the price I have paid for my life in the islands. I was amongst my family, blood of my blood, and I could see how much I missed living across the abyssal sea.
It was a bittersweet farewell to that family. I hope I get the chance to visit more often.