Friday, December 28, 2007

Speichers are gone

Jeff and Meredith have left the island now. That is pretty sad, but at least they are just moving to Hawaii, and they have done their time here.

It has kind of been a bloodbath of people leaving. I think soon it'll kind of be more constant for a while.
Risa, Maximo, Ayla, and Leti leave fairly soon, then nobody til summer I think.

J&M will be missed though. Meredith is great and Jeff might be the funniest guy I've ever met.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Christmas eve most of the palagis I know came over to my house.

There were tons of presents for a gift exchange.

And we had tons of food (with meat cartel prime rib and a deep fried turkey) and plenty to drink (including 2 kinds of mulled wine- Risa's was better than mine).

There was also a Christmas Eve Yard Bonfire:

Rich brought some fake snow for Cliff and Julia's kids Everett and Simon to play with:

Everett made a snow angel out of fake snow on top of fake grass:

Then we got to the gift exchange.

Ruth scored some vodka, but I think Maximo stole it from her later.

It was a very nice evening and I think everyone had a good time. If you can't be with your family for Christmas, this was a really good substitute.

Christmas morning, Sleep Giraffe got the pulatasi made from clown material that she wanted along with a giraffe bouncy ball to hit around:

Djali was dressed up like Santa, but looking for her presents:

Naomi's friends Dona:

and Caitlin:

came down to American Samoa for Christmas as well.

Djali was happy with her goat bouncy ball.

Merry Christmas!

Palagi Beach/ Bar Assn. Christmas Party

Sorry, I've been not only bad about blogging but also reading and returning emails. I had a few trials scheduled for the past several weeks and one of them actually went to trial. Luckily the jury found the guy guilty . But, now I don't have any trials until after I get back from New Zealand.

Every government department here is supposed to put on a Christmas singing program (pese) and perform it for the governor at the outdoor theater in town. This lasts about 5 hours per night for three nights. It is also usually mandatory that everyone go to practice beforehand. Some departments practiced far longer than the AG's office, but ours was 3 weeks, every work day. The first week, practice was from 1-4pm each day. Then it was 2-4 and finally, it was just 2-3 the last week. I could only make it to one practice because I was actually busy. I assumed that the memo we got that practice was "mandatory" did not include me putting off getting ready for jury trials to sing. (I'm probably wrong, but I didn't hear anything about it.) Anyway, every department has their own uniforms that they make up. Here is Amity with Alden- Alden is in his pese uniform:

and here is Risa in hers:

OK, here's mine (this picture was actually from Christmas Eve and stolen from Liz's blog, but same outfit):

As you can see, my getup is much more ridiculous and ugly than other uniforms. But that was kind of fun going down there and doing it. Everyone gets really into it. The only bad thing was I didn't get home til about midnight. We were supposed to go on at 8, but really went on about 11. I hadn't eaten yet either. Carl's Jr. saved me.

We also had our bar association Christmas party. Against my protests and without any consultation (I was on the Christmas party committee) it was booked at the Yacht Club. The Yacht Club is kind of cool because it has a section that is open air and by the water, but it is kind of not cool because their food is TERRRRRRIBLE. I got the "prime rib". It was actually cold roast beef. This came with a potato that must have been boiled for about 25 seconds and a dash of sour cream.

The "shrimp pasta" was the other option. It came with no sauce and three shrimps on top of the pasta. Seriously.
Doug picked up a girlfriend there though:

The Christmas decorating of churches here is insane. Check out this one for example:

The next day after that party, we went to Palagi Beach. I'd never been there before and was really impressed. You have to hike through the woods, traversing a small mudslide for about 30 minutes to get there.

Then you come out of the woods and it is just around a little point to the beach:

There was a really good turnout, the weather was great, the beach was great, and someone even packed a grill and charcoal.
Pirate Chris' brother Sean and Phil Murphy jumped off this rock:

If you keep walking past that beach, maybe 15 minutes later there's another smaller beach and an island off shore.

A little ways past that, there's another island not too far off shore. This is the most southwesterly point in the US. Between this island and the point of the "mainland", waves roll in. It is the only place I have seen so far in American Samoa where you can go out and play in the waves and not get smashed onto a reef. I was in there with the waves for a long time.

I think Palagi Beach is probably my new favorite place on the island.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


NFC West Champions 4 years in a row. If only the Seahawks could be as good as, say, the Raiders. The Raiders don't mess around. When they want a top 5 draft pick every year, they know how do get it done and they succeed. Today, the Raiders also clinched a Division Championship (for Green Bay)

My Vonage is fixed. 206.501.2135

I may have made a terrible scheduling error. I wasn't taking the Super Bowl into consideration when I made reservations months ago for hiking the Milford Track. I'll be on day 3 of the hike when the Seahawks take care of the Patriots. I'll have to figure something out.

Saturday, December 8, 2007


I can't believe the Huskies came back in that one. I was just sitting here listening to the Husky game. Man, that is just awful! To come back like that, then hit all those 3s, Brockman to tie up the ball, then Dentmon to hit that shot and have it overturned on a replay. I feel like I'm going to vomit.
Doesn't it seem like we have way more than our share of things like this?:
UConn 2x
Ortege Jenkins
M's 00 & 01
about 5 football losses this year
Super Bowl (I almost puked again)

Fun with Google Earth

Look how far away from anything this place is:
(click on these to zoom in)

Here's the general neighborhood. It is about a 3 hour flight from Apia to Suva, Fiji (not that I've been there yet):

Here's Tutuila with some places noted

You can even pick out my house:

I bought my first plastic Christmas tree ever.

They have real trees available here, but they're $75.

Movie Reviews:

Reno 911
It sucks. I wanted to like it because I like the show. I think they should have just kept it in Reno and just made a longer episode that they could swear in. 2.5

The Great Raid
This is a pretty good war movie. It isn't as good as Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers or anything, but it certainly is worth watching. Plus it covers a part of WWII that doesn't have tons of movies about it. 6.5

I think (after calming down a little) that giving him another year is the best thing for the program. They certainly blew lots of leads and chances and that was extremely frustrating. But, they also had the #1 toughest schedule in the country and if things would have gone a little differently (ahem, better 2nd half game coaching), they easily could have gone to a bowl game. Plus, the recruiting class looks really good. Hopefully we'll be much better next year. And if we're not better, hopefully Mora is still hanging around. Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and BYU for non-league next year is pretty tough again(ok, ND sucks; I mean really really really sucks). I think I'll try to make it back for Oklahoma or Notre Dame.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Overdue update

Let's see, its been a while. Since before Pololo. Pololo are worms or something like worms that come out of something (the reef I guess) on one or two nights on the full moon after Halloween. Everyone goes out to catch them and then eat them. It is kind of like a smelt run how everyone is out going crazy for something that (probably) is not actually very good to eat, but the locals convince themselves it is. So a bunch of us went out to try to get Palolo.

It was pouring down rain on a Wednesday night and the pololo was supposed to come out at about 130am. But the thing is that Pololo comes out kind of at the full moon. So we were up til 2, but the Pololo didn't actually come until the next day. Two days in a row out that late on a school night doesn't work. So I missed out on the supposed deliciousness of pololo.

Part of living in Lions Park is that yard service comes with your rent.
I came back the other day and it was a miracle: Yards were mowed. The housing guys don't really like to mow lawns or do anything except drink Vailima and not come to work usually (I'm just guessing this, but it is an educated guess).

They got tired before getting to my yard though:

Out by sliding rock is maybe the nicest setting for a basketball court in the world:

Here's the view from the edge:

Guess what made me so unhappy:

Yup, another electrocuted and rotting rat. Wonderful!

This was a big one. Incredibly disgusting.

We had another big loss to the Association. Sharon left the island. But, she did give me a cure to my rat problem:


I have a cat now.

This Saturday, a bunch of us went to a fa'fafine pageant. It was at the new Rex Lee Auditorium, the best venue in the Territory. It is even air conditioned- which alone makes it superior to every other venue on the island.

Fa'fafines are guys who were raised as women. This is very common here. The pageant was a big deal. The contestants easily put more work into their costumes and routines than I have seen anyone put into anything here.

Some pictures:

Shane, check this out: Lately they have been getting fresh ahi in stores. It is incredibly fresh and good.

Notice the size and price?

It is the best I've ever had (tied with some sashimi I had in Western Samoa)- just superb.

Pineapples are in season now. I bought a couple on the side of the road on the way home today. I cut one little one up so far and ate part and it is the best pineapple I have ever tasted. It is so sweet it tastes almost fake. I just took part of the pineapple and mixed it with fresh coconut juice and meat from a coconut that I just split open. Really, really, good.

I hear you are having some flooding in Washington eh? I saw pictures of Centralia. It looks almost as bad as the flooding that happened while I was in college. Is it?