A Few of My Favourite Things...

I. Mango
So, it being mango season, I came in to the office to find a tiny mango sitting by my keyboard. It turns out to be a 'pressie' from Sr. Ana. I've been kind of squeezing this tiny fruit and smelling the oil in the skin. It's a bit intoxicating. I think it should be bottled and sold. But, then again, that may be the lack of sleep speaking. I don't know. You tell me.

II. Bossman
Fr. Alberto finally made it in to the office this morning. Poor Bossman managed to contract a flu on his way home! Hmm... Swine flu? He did say he was hangin' with the pigs! I'm not quite sure what that means. Being that he was in Italy in a retreat with a hundred other priests. You make of it what you will. I'll just credit it to him being Alberto! Either way, it was just nice to see him back again. I missed that little man! My brother in Christ. My confidant. To answer a special friend who put it to me one day, yes, I do love him. Just, you know, don't read too much in to that!

III. Pizza
Today's lunch menu: Pizza and Pepsi!
Company: Liza, Rhianna, and John (Calling for Liza).
Topics put up for discussion: The closure of Ordot Dump and the possible replacements(both to be discussed at a later time). SP.ED. careers. Volunteering with the Special Olympics. Kept women. Haolies.

John would really like me to reconsider my decision not to go in to Special Education. I, personally, don't think I have a personality that's strong enough to deal with the situations that arise in a Sp.Ed. classroom. I need to research a bit more on it and see if it's something that I may be able to do. For a while, though, I've had my heart set on Elementary Education. There's so much advice being given to me at the moment. From majoring in English to taking journalism classes to rethinking my Chamoru specialisation. *scream*

Kept Woman = A woman that just needs to tåpang her be'be. A bit crude. But, that's what Liza calls them. For those non-Chamoru speakers, tåpang means to wash and be'be is a little bit rude! In other words, a kept woman is a woman who doesn't need to worry about anything at all. Kind of like Karen from Will & Grace.

Haolie = Caucasian. Though, it's not just any Caucasian. You see, when a local calls someone a haolie, it's not exactly a term of endearment. We usually use it as a derogatory term. Someone who is not only white. But, who has the mentality that he/she is better than the locals. Someone who is not tolerant of the local customs and lifestyle. Someone so stuck on being unhappy to be on a tiny 'nothing' island in the middle of nowhere. John is not a haolie! *laugh* Of course, there are cases in which we joke and call a perfectly fine Caucasian a haolie. So, if you are a foreigner and you hear yourself being called a haolie, be mindful of the context in which it is used. We may be so comfortable with you that we think you can take a joke or we may be calling you inconsiderate.

IV. Coffee, Compliments, and Friends!
After a tiny bout of irritation, frustration, and depression, I've found that it is possible to cheer up. This is mostly credited to Jacque paying me a surprise visit whilst delivering an unexpected yet much appreciated iced coffee and paying me a compliment on top of being able to talk to Zack about anything under the sun. I absolutely love my friends and appreciate the patience it has required to tolerate me these days. *laugh* Most of you don't know Zack. He's my brother from another mother! He lives in Virginia but is from Ghana and puts up with all my ranting and venting(i.e., whining!). Honestly, there are days that go by where I don't know what to do and all I need to get is a 'Jess attack' and it all looks better. There's only a hand full of people that have that effect on me. The ladies(you know who you are), Zack, James, Andy(both), the sisters(again, you know who you are). Of course, all of you are in my life because of a higher power. So, I thank God for you and I thank you for being in my life.


To Torpid Tuesdays

Date: Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Time: 2:36pm
Location: 13.2°N 144.6°E
Current Weather Conditions: 82° F (Though, I think they're lying), Cloudy and drizzling. Or.. in the proper terminology: Partly cloudy with isolated showers. In Guam terminology: B.M.W.

After coming in from a small break out in the prayer garden, I decided that today's weather is causing me to be properly torpid, lethargic, sluggish... whatever word you choose to make 'lazy' sound a little less apathetic. It's either the weather or I have swine flu! *gasp*

This little topic on the news yesterday made me think back to when I was working in the spa in 2003 and we had the whole SARS epidemic. It was crazy! Everyone and their dogs were wearing surgical masks and thinking that every little sniffle or cough would lead to the next SARS case. Have we learned our lessons from mass panic? Nope! It was quite entertaining working in the hospitality industry and in therapeutic massage during that time. On the one hand, we had therapists having nervous breakdowns because they thought they'd contracted the virus. On the other, we had people like myself, who thought that all the uproar was a bit silly and uncalled for. There was no middle ground back then. I don't know, it's a bit early to judge if there's a middle ground today.

Anyway... back to the topic! Torpid Tuesdays! It's a lovely day to just lounge, listen to music, read a good book, chat with old friends and just be glad that it's no longer Monday! Maybe take advantage of the mango season and be creative with the ripe nectar of the gods! Hmm... I think I know what I'll do after work.

While I'm on a 'T' roll... What about Twitter? I've been hearing all about 'tweeting' and how absolutely 'addictive' it is. So, I decided to check it out. Don't know what all the hype is about, yet. Maybe one day I'll grow to appreciate it.

Here's to Torpid Tuesdays and looking forward to a Wondrous Wednesday!


The Rock

After spending most of the weekend speaking to friends who live in both the mainland US and in the UK, I've come to two conclusions.

First, tickets to Guam from anywhere else in the world are ridiculously over-priced. That doesn't just work one way though! Being one who would aboslutely love see the world, I have had my eye on ticket prices for the past year or so. It's kind of nuts! It's like... we entice the rest of the world to come here and then BAM! You're stuck! Sorry... No 'Get Out Of Jail Free' cards. Those are reserved for the gov't officials that mess up ;)

Second, I live in what 99% of the world thinks of as paradise. I joke that the other 1% actually lives here. You see, being raised here on Guam, we have the mentality that we are stuck on 'the rock'. We hit a dead end in education and in the professional world. So, what you have are star struck, money hungry teenagers who see no future on 'the rock'. That being said, we choose to leave. To go where the lights shine bright. Where you can drive for days and still not see the ocean. Where you can party and no one will know who you are and word won't get to your family about how wild you are being.

But, you see, we always end up coming back home. Because, to a Chamorro... to someone born and raised in the culture... Guam will always be home. It will always be that place that we can come to and drive five long minutes to the nearest beach. Where we can go to the store at any time of the day in our pj's and run in to someone we know and it will be perfectly normal. It will always be that place where we can drive to Chotde's in the middle of the morning and get a nice warm spicey(and I'm not talkin' American spicey) empanada. It will always be the place where family is family. Where you are not kicked out of the house at 18 and expected to know exactly how to fend for yourself. In short... Guam will always be GUAM.
I never understood how truly tied I was to this island. But, having been back home for a year and a half, I have come to realise... You know that saying we have here? 'You can take the girl/boy from the island, but you can't take the island from the girl/boy.' That saying is absolutely true. Because, no matter how far we run from the island, this 'rock', as we so loathfully called it as adolescents, it is still our comfort zone. This lovely island paradise will always be our roots and we should always be proud of where we came from and what our people represent. When we feel stuck on this 'rock', always remember that there are billions of people who'd rather be here.


On this day...

On this date, 4 years ago, my sister, Olivia Blas, married Frank Peredo. I would like to wish them a Happy Anniversary and thank them for all that they have done for me. To Frank, I would like to give my gratitude. Thank you for loving my sister. For taking care of her. For helping her in her journey of faith. I have no idea how you've made it this far! But, I truly believe that the two of you are meant for each other. I thank you for being patient with my sister.

To my sister, Therese(Olivia), thank you for enduring in this relationship. I know Frank is not my blood brother. But, thank you for taking care of him, also! Seeing the love and patience(or lack there of) that the two of you have for each other gives me hope for a Christian marriage. I see the trials that you face and the faith in which you are sustained and it helps me to see the importance of cooperation, compromise, and obedience.

This time, 4 years ago, also marked a turning point in my life. When I came home for the wedding, I was able to fully experience celebrations in the Way. Something I once saw as foreign, strange, and unorthodox suddenly seemed appealing and full of love and faith, like home. People whom I though were standoffish, snooty, and strange welcomed me like family. People who I thought loved and trusted me proved to be the opposite. In that trip home, I was able to truly open my eyes and see my life for what it was. To see the void that I thought was being filled and how it was, in reality, still an empty gaping hole.

So, you see, I have so much for which I have to thank Frank & Therese. Not only did they allow me to take part in their wedding. But, in the years that followed, they prayed for me and I can't even begin to explain how much that has helped. When I needed to come back home, they were there to help me, along with the rest of my family. When I felt that God had turned his ear from me, it was my sister that was able to get through to me and tell me that he really hadn't. So, thank you, my sister and brother... for all that you have done for me and continue doing for me today.



I had a rare conversation with my father this morning about politics. You see, Carl Gutierrez is running for governor again under the same 'Sunshine' platform. While, to many of his supporters, this seems to be a good idea, to me, it's just another opportunity to drive our island in to a deeper hole. Come on people, he was in office for eight years! EIGHT long years! In the time he was in office, his supporters were rewarded so unjustly and our island was thrown in to a deficit larger than we'd ever seen before. What good could possibly come of his being elected again? Do you really think that the sun will shine brighter?? And really, do we need more sunshine?

I admit, the current administration hasn't been much better. I was one of those who supported the current administration when they were running. In my eyes, anyone was going to do a better job. How wrong I was! Yes, Camacho had a lot to do in order to help the island. None of which he was worthy of doing. It will be interesting to see who will be running in the upcoming gubernatorial race. Hopefully, we have some worthy candidates who are capable of stepping up to the plate and helping our island rather than driving us deeper in to debt. Maybe we'll be able to see our tax money being put to good use and our retirees taken care of for once.

I haven't heard much about who's running for senator. But, again, hopefully they are capable of representing the people of Guam to the fullest extent. I commend the Congresswoman for the work she has been doing for our people. No, I'm not saying this just because Andy works there. I believe that she is working for our people. We may not see her here on Guam. But, her presence is seen in congress. I suspect that in the next year, we will see an extra push from those who are planning on running again. Get the footwork done people! Work for us even when it's not an election year! Let the people know that you are working for them.


Sunday! Sunday... Sundaaaay!

You ever regret a decision you made and the rescinded it? I did that this weekend. On Saturday, I made the decision to spend some time with old friends rather than going to Eucharist with the communities in Barrigada. Halfway through the movie, I was thinking... I missed Eucharist for this? You see, we went to watch Observe and Report. While it did have a few funny moments and the company was great, I didn't think it was worth missing celebration with my community and the brothers/sisters that I haven't seen since Easter.

But, on Sunday, I was able to attend mass in the parish I was raised in. There's a different priest who is assigned there. But, it was all the same people that I've known since I was a kid(not the goat kind). The choir welcomed me with open arms and smiles, Kev nearly fainted to see me there, the music and atmosphere was the same as I remembered. But, that's not what made me rescind my regret from the night before. What did manage to do it was listening to Fr. Felix's homily on the Divine Mercy. I can't quote exactly what it was without going directly to him and requesting a copy of the homily. But, I can relay the message pretty easily. The part that really got my attention was the message that Jesus delivered to St. Faustina about sinners. He said that a sinner, even in his dying breath, if he were to cry out to Jesus for his mercy, that sinner will not be denied the love of our Father.

You see, this came to me at an important part of my life. Right before mass, I was talking to Andy about feeling unworthy of the love of God. About how I still struggle with knowing my life and the things that I've done and continue doing. How, in my pathetic reality, the man knows me and still loves me. Still sees me as worthy of graces and happiness. Of love. This isn't the only reason though. You see... for those of you that know my history and know me as a sister, you know the struggles that I face today. So, to hear this message and everything else that Fr. Felix said... it made me realize that there was a reason that I found myself in Mangilao at that particular time.

So, while I did miss out on the dancing. the singing, and the echoing, I am glad to have found myself there yesterday. It definitely wasn't the same. I felt that I was missing out on something deeper. But, I heard the message that I was meant to hear. I still miss my sisters. Don't worry. I haven't forgotten about you. I'm on a journey to find Jess. I need your prayers. Thank you. Oh... and yes, I still belong to Barrigada. Much to the dismay of my old Mangilao crew.



So, I know that this site's been around for ages! The name is probably trademarked or copy written, or registered and I shouldn't be using it as a blog title. But, I won't tell if you won't!Anyway, it's a new obsession for me. Well, not really an obsession. But, it keeps me entertained while I'm putting off work. If you haven't seen it already, feel free to visit FMyLife. We, here on Guam, seem to be a little behind when it comes to stumbling upon sites like this. But, when we get there, we catch on pretty quickly!

I find that when I feel that my life seems ridiculous, all I have to do is log on to this site and things are put back in to perspective. I realize that a lot of this has to be made up. I mean, come on! You leave your sunroof open and the car is drenched, you grab a towel, drive off, and have a bird poop on your head. Who has that kind of luck? It's just nuts! But, it's still fun to read all that. I suppose it gives me comfort. I know it sounds sinister and mean. But, hey... this gal is only human!

On to other news!

For those of you that work in the Hagåtña area, I had lunch at The Main Street Deli and Bakery. I highly recommend them! There is a wide variety of choices on the menu and their prices aren't too bad, either. OH! And they have that tea that Cap used to serve! It's pathetic that a lot of the restaurants are switching to Lipton or some other cheap brand. The coffee isn't too bad either. The only issue I had was that they forgot that we'd ordered drinks. So, by the time we finished our lunch, our drinks were served. It's a little slow. But, it's run by a family. So, it's kind of expected. More gushing? I can keep going, if you so please. Okay, okay... Just one more comment on the cafe... Their pan tosta kicks dåggan! Okay, I lied, one more comment. The ambiance at the cafe is so comfortable! Huge tables, comfy seats, chess boards, mancala (or for us Chamorros, chonka). It's like the nice Starbucks cafes near the college campuses in the states.

I had a chance to have lunch with my sister. Something that I rarely do these days. It makes me want to be in her presence more often. I guess you can say that she grounds me in a way that my other 'sisters' can't really do. They come close. But, you know... she's blood, ladies. Oh! And she's an identical twin of my brother! (OK, so, she's older by 9 years) But, that's a story better told in person.

I got an email today about the Obama administration warning the authorities of the activities of pro-lifers. I was somewhat disturbed by this. You see, I am an avid supporter of the Esperansa act and I deeply value the right to life that all babies have. I realize that there are extremists out there who will go to no ends to make their view heard. But, it works both ways. If pro-lifers have the capability to get out of hand at demonstrations, it is only fair that the other side be treated in the same way.

Which brings me to a phone call I received yesterday, here in the office. I answered in the usual way and I thought that maybe they didn't hear me. So, I waited a second before repeating myself a little more audible than the first time around. I heard the person talking as if continuing a conversation she was having before she called. She was saying things like "He used a condom", "I told him to pull out", and "The only person I'd let do that to me is you." It is my first experience with a call like this since I've started working here. I don't consider myself a prude, in any way. But, that was a little bizarre and uncalled for. Needless to say, I hung up. It's times like this that I wish we had caller ID here in the office. I suppose that when calls come in about abuse or anything like that, it's essential to have the caller remain anonymous unless they choose to reveal themselves. But, I don't know. Don't mind the rant!

There was one more point that I wanted to touch on. But, I think that this post is as random as I can manage at this time! So, I will get to the other topic in another post. Maybe when I get home tonight or tomorrow. If this wasn't random enough, I'll throw in one more tiny fact about today. It's been an unbelievably hot day and I chose it to wear a turtle neck sweater to work. So, I'm dying here, people! Buñechu'(meaning... you deserve it, for those English speakers out there)!


Those three little words...

It's amazing how three tiny words have so much power. They can make you smile, make you laugh, cry... They have the power to make your day wonderful or to make it miserable. It's puzzling how three tiny words can do it.

I've recently come to realize that I became dependent on these words. It was like, my world would brighten just at the mere thought of it. There didn't have to be an utterance. It was just the thought.

FOUR tiny letters... How can four, otherwise, insignificant letters hold so much emotion? How can you use just four letters to describe the jumble of emotions going on in your heart... in your mind? The plethora of thoughts going on all at once.

I'd always heard that big things come in small packages. But, until recently, I'd put that thought aside. Today, while missing those three little words... Those four tiny, insignificant letters, I realized it was true. I'm not claiming to understand ANYthing of those four little letters. I'm not claiming that I know exactly how to describe the feeling. I don't. But, I think it's important that I admit that I don't.

And... I'm back!

So, this is my fourth and FINAL attempt at making my presence known in cyberspace. For those of you who used to read my sites, you know that I tend to ramble. Hence, the title of my blog today! For those who are new to my world, Hafa Adai!

In case you were wondering:
1. A babbling, foolish person.
2. Blather.

I've been unbelievably busy these days. So, I figured that I'd give this one more shot in order to keep important people(like you) informed and up to date with my wonderful(the epitome of) world.

How's that for my first entry? I'm not on my own machine. So, I will put a little more thought in to my babble when I am back at home.