Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Whoa, finally an update

I've been back in Samoa for over a week now, but I did have a nice couple week break in the real world.

First though, WOOOOHOOOOOOO! OBAMA!!! I'm really happy about that. Finally; finally a president who is interested in trying to do the right thing and won't embarrass the country on a regular basis.

thanks for the picture Liz

I've been avoiding updating because it takes so long and since I haven't updated in so long it is going to take longer...a vicious cycle. So, I'm just going to mostly keep this to an update about the mainland. Goings on in Samoa such as dead dog disposal, Halloween, and of course bad sports (other than as relates to this post).

Sorry if I have not responded to anyone on here, I haven't even been able to get myself to look at the blog.

So, I flew home with the intention of surprising my dad for his 60th birthday, attending Jerry's bachelor party, seeing my friends and family, enjoying the real world, and watching some big Husky victories. 3.5 out of 5 was the result on that one.

First I had a layover for 10 hours in Honolulu and my friend Risa who used to live in Samoa was nice enough to guide me to a restaurant with real food and beer. That was great after being out of the states for 20 months and not even off Tutuila at all for 6 months.

I got to Vegas at about midnight and it was great to see everyone there, except it also sort of sucked because Jerry couldn't make his own bachelor party, though through nobody's fault. I don't have any pictures from Vegas and hardly any from my house because my computer wasn't reading my memory card. I don't even have any pictures of my mom, so here's one of her in Samoa enjoying the best Samoa has to offer (sorry about that taste, world):

It was also great because in Vegas they have things that American Samoa does not. Things like fresh food, things to do aside from go to the beach or thrash through jungle (nothing wrong with that, but some variety would be nice).

After a great weekend in Vegas, Meg picked me up at the airport and took me to her house. On the way, we stopped at a Trader Joes. I spent about 5 minutes in the cheese aisle and could not make a decision. Crazy... more than 5 kinds of cheese. Plus, no mold on any of it? WTF is going on here?

The next day, Meg had our dad meet us for lunch. My mom took a half day off and met us as well. When he walked in, I was there. I think he was pretty surprised. Mom did a spectacular job of keeping this a secret. She knew for months about this and was able to not give it away. Very impressive. So that worked out great.

(not an action shot of the surprise)

The rest of the first week, I mostly just hung out in Castle Rock and enjoyed being someplace that worked and where you can get things, and it was cool to be home and hang out with my parents. I saw a few friends in the CR area. I also went to the Pastime Saloon to check it out. It is a little different; not quite as good, but still very classy as you can see by just looking at the bathroom:

I visited my grandpa and Helen:

and also saw my grandma. Plus I avoided getting bit by Big Panther (a real hazard) the whole time I was home:

The first weekend, we went up to Seattle to go out to dinner at Rovers for my dad's birthday. It was super super good. The next day we all went to the Washington-Oregon State football game. There, at Husky Stadium, the Huskies got a nice big beatdown from the Beavers. It was just awful. I knew we sucked, but seeing it in person really makes it clear. Embarassing.

Afterwards, my parents and my sister and I went to get a couple beers. Incredibly, bars have beers other than Coors Light and Vailima. Even more incredible, outside the bar within a 1/2 block you can get middle eastern, Thai, and Indian food, which we did (all) and took it back to my parents' hotel for a great dinner.

The next week was more hanging out at home. Great still.

Then, it was back up to Seattle for the Washington- Notre Dame game.

On the way I got to hang out at Shane's for an evening. That was fun. Then the next day I met him for lunch at one of his favorite local bars. Check out the kind of shots you can get at that bar:

Oh, man. This was the worst sporting event I have ever attended. At least OSU is a decent team. ND sucks and they still just demolished us. It is lucky Wazzu is around or this UW team might be the worst Pac-10 team in 10 years.

Great weather:

Bad team:

I did get to wear my purple safari at least:

Here's the feeling about the state of Husky football:

After the game, we went to the Crazy Moose (Meg's favorite) Casino. I ended up talking to a Samoan dealer and got a big box full of decks of cards for free. Plus I won some money.

Then I had a long trip back to Samoa. Thankfully this was broken up by meeting Michael Marsik in Hawaii, who was nice enough to drive me around. It was great to see him, as I missed his going away from Samoa party while I was gone. In addition, I got to have a few Guinesses on tap, which I know won't happen again for a few months.

I was dreading coming back to Samoa, but was glad to be back. It was great to see Naomi

(in replacement clown outfit)

and great to see all my friends here. Plus, Samoa can be a pretty nice place to live as long as you get away periodically. 6 months is too long without a break. Way way way way too long. If you live here, do not, DO NOT let yourself go 6 months straight on Tutuila. At least go to Western, but probably a trip to NZ or HI or the mainland is necessary about every 6 months anyway to remain sane and happy.

It was great to see everyone. Special thanks to my parents, Adrian, Carolyn, and Meg for housing and feeing me. I really appreciate it and had a wonderful time.

Live show review:
Believe (in Vegas, w/ Criss Angel): 2
There are some cool effects, but the storyline is SUPER, ultra dumb. C.Angel is a maximum douche. There is hardly any magic in this magic show. Lots of suck. Do NOT go see it. Even if the other Cirque shows are $50 more, go see them.

Sports review:
Husky football: 0