I’d been telling the Tanis all week about the toads we have around the condo, but we hadn’t seen any yet. But when we all came home late one night after a few beers (OK, many beers) and spotted this bugger, we were on his tail! Toads don’t have tails, and there were all those beers, so things got confusing. We ran after him as he hopped around the building, flashing our cameras with wild abandon hoping he’d be caught on camera. And he was! I’m glad, because he’s a cute one. Look at that stomach! I should point out that it was mainly Kate and me doing the chasing, out of fairness to The Professor and KJ, who were just amused from afar. Little did I know there were more toads in my future…
BBQ time! Our Christmas fiesta was such a hit that we saw no reason not to repeat the affair. The Professor’s colleagues and their families all got together at ye olde fiesta shelter in the name of excessive food consumption. Peep the sweet keg cooling system in the sewer pipe in the background of the photo above.
Everyone contributed something, but the stars of the show were Those That Cook The Meat. Delicious times.
With my trusty (albeit tiny) Opinel and a regular butter knife, The Professor opened this coconut. It was tasty (thanks, Aaron!) but what a pain in the neck to open. I’m putting this up as testament to how much we need a machete in this household. And hmm, seems like both my and The Professor’s birthdays are coming up. JUST SAYING.
And just a cheesy grin for my Saipanda mug.
A group of us —neighbors and friends— decided to potluck on Christmas day down at the complex’s Fiesta Shelter. On Guam, a fiesta is any party with lots of food, and I think we certainly came through! I’m pretty sure each family brought enough for everyone, so it was quite the spread. Lots of yummy dishes all around, but the first step, of course, is to ensure that the keg is properly set up in the shade.
Of course bacon provides the perfect tone to our fiesta. Cue the devils on horseback! Our Festivus plans kind of fell by the wayside and we just focused on the eating, drinking and staying cool.
Drinking beer in the pool is my new Christmas tradition!
A shame to waste the heads, perhaps, but the atulai we picked up the day before was delicious anyway!
Some coconuts had to be sacrificed for our fiesta purposes.
My chicken was good, until the minor grill fire created some extra charring. All in all, it was a great way to get together with everyone who was far away from their usual Christmas crowd.
I will soon share some Christmas decoration gems from around the island, but I’ll start close to home: Our Rental Office is in the holiday spirit! You have your Christmas giraffe and your Christmas palm tree. This season’s going to be interesting, especially since we’ve reserved the Fiesta Shelter for our Festivus celebration. So much more to come!
I did score some pumpkin blossoms from a stand that was also selling this bunny. I’m only assuming that it was for a pet; the vendor’s son explained that they were just selling it and what happened to it afterward was not their business. Well, I could hold it in the meantime, I guess.
Peep the bananas (the local ones are tiny, sweet and keep forever; what a shame that people pass them up at PayLess for the Ecuadorian ones), and all that yummy pickled stuff on the counter. The bunny is not into being held by yours truly.
The market was crawling with boonie dogs; this one was a cutester.
On my way out, I picked up a nice papaya for $1/lb. because it was underripe (perfect, since I like them to decorate the condo for a few days anyway). I’ll be back, but about three hours earlier…
This guy was riding up and down in the elevator the other night. A decent three-incher. Based on transportation choice, I’m guessing he wasn’t related to to the praying mantis on the car a few weeks ago. And it looks like the elevator was not the way to go, since I saw him lying lifeless in the hallway the next day.
Although I have not started an actual day job, I did spend the week doing enough stuff (mainly, looking for translation gigs and weening myself off baseball) to warrant a TGIF out on the town. In our case, that meant going down the hill with our awesome neighbors to the Sunset Grill in Asan for some seaside brisket and drinks. It was an early dinner, since the sun sets at around 6 pm, and just what the doctor ordered (if the doctor commonly prescribes Malibu and/or Myer’s).
Saturday, I picked up a full package at MDA. I am now the proud owner of a snorkel, fins, a mask and booties. So of course Sunday, we had to try it all out with some friends. Like my trip to Gun Beach, I was again blown away by the amount of fish I saw. Don’t think I’ll ever get enough butterfly fish, parrot fish, trigger fish, or neon fish of any kind. But I KNOW I’ll never get over the huge royal purple starfish. There were no diminishing returns there; the 25th one I spotted was just as cool as the first. Not to mention the giant clam, which looks like an animatronic version of itself. I can’t wait to start scuba classes, by which time I will have to have a waterproof camera situation in place.
The Professor is very excited about the new projector thing that he got “me” to watch World Series games on. He insisted on measuring the picture and it’s about 108 inches, only held back by the width of the room and therefore the distance from which the picture can be projected. HD-capable, but since we’re running the PC TV, that’s a no-go at present. Those are mostly his words; I’m mainly amused that now the Barefoot Contessa is huge so I can surf this site while it’s on.
The Professor decided to get “me” a present, but since his “it’s for you to watch the Giants on” excuse evaporated in Arlington yesterday, we’re able to admit to each other that it’s his new toy. I’m sure there are technical specifications that I should be impressed by, but basically it’s a shiny thing that plugs into our PC TV and magically makes a picture on the wall that is as big as the wall. Or the screens at the Opera Plaza cinema in SF. It would have been so epic to watch postseason baseball games on this, but we are not dwelling on that because we do not want to think about cardiovascular issues associated with not having won yesterday. We are also happy that our alcohol consumption was curbed by having to drive to and from the brewpub for the games.
This projector was actually scheduled to arrive yesterday, but since Guam was closed, today it was. He got home and got it all set up and I have to say that seeing House Hunters International in 100-inch diagonal is awesome. We watched about 5 minutes of it, and then the power went out. Double awesome! It had been “cool” (under 90) all evening, so all the windows and doors were open to let in any possible breeze. But suddenly the removal of the possibility of using the A/C made it unbearably hot. And the crushingly loud noise from the emergency generator made it unpleasant to have everything open. Off to the pool!
Not a bad deal, to be poolside on a breezy afternoon, hanging out with our neighbors wading in the kiddie pool and watching the Navy guys do cannonballs in the adult pool. Awesome! I leaned back in the chaise lounge and opened up the paper to read yet more about the Giants’ win when I noticed it was really windy. I got about halfway through my fifteenth baseball article of the day when the storm hit. Double awesome! I took brief cover under the fiesta shelter, but it was just too wet and, well, cold. It makes me a bit nervous to think that being slightly damp when it’s 80 degrees outside means that I’m cold; returning to SF is going to be a rude awakening.
Back in the condo, we did what people love to do during power outages: debate the reason of the outage and place wagers on when power will come back. Those conversations usually involve a lot of “how would we possibly know” and “better be soon because I’m starting to feel weird without e-mail access”. I am happy to say that all is back on now and we are celebrating by enjoying some A/C (set to a low 81 degrees) and watching Syfy. This is a network that shows very little reality television, so I guess my honeymoon’s over. It’s nice to not hear the neighbor’s barking beagle, I suppose.
Thanks to the thoughtfulness of my former officemates, I am now the happy owner of two coasters that my former boss brought back from Paris. We needed coasters! And I always need things from France…
And I don’t really think I would want to. (View from the lanai.)
I’ve seen bugs of 4-inches or more around here, but this one was actively trying to get into the Fitness Room. Not an excuse not to go, but food for thought nonetheless.
1. Use the building-provided shopping cart to wheel materials to lanai.
2. Power off A/C unit. The lanai door is going to be open and we do not want to waste energy. Mainly, we do not want to pay the very high rates for the wasted energy.
3. Discuss with our favorite turtle-riding octopus which plants should go in which pots.
4. Come sow away, come sow away, come sow away with me!
5. Wait for salad. Too early to start making dressing?
…especially in the face of kitchen ants.
I was quite troubled by the lack of recycling and widespread Styrofoam use. But the ants were just too much for me, and I decided to do something about them. Something chemical and something serious. Something that worked. Now I have my work surfaces back in the kitchen and they’ve all gone to that big bowl of sugar in the sky.
Thanks, toxic poison, for making my home cleaner! (Irony intended.)