When you get stuck along Beach Road, better take the Middle Road. This is a website for those who choose to tread Saipan's off the beaten path. * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * +

Apr 30, 2007

He Said, She Said: Flaming hot at Flame Tree

The Reveler: Whoa! Did you see this Geek Goddess? Isn't this the hunk of burning love Robert Jordan?
Geek Goddess: How could I have missed this?! Why of all days did I decide to sleep in on Sunday? Argh!

The Reveler: Oooh, isn't he cute!
Geek Goddess: Yes, OH YES! And how he shakes his cute little booty! Makes you want to pinch it a bit, doesn't it?

The Reveler: He should've taken his shirt off. That would be something else.
Geek Goddess: I'm sure you would have drooled!

The Reveler: Who says white men can't hula? Now, I'm feeling hot, hot, hot here.
Geek Goddess: Finally, an appropriate statement (laughs).
The Reveler: Now, don't you start it Geek....hmp.

Apr 29, 2007

Artistic implants, anyone?

Spotted this at the Flame Tree Arts Festival. I did not get one, but can't say I wasn't tempted.

Apr 28, 2007

Relight Our Fire

Well, the title is just to get your attention once again. I must admit that I was truly insensitive about the previous post especially when I learned that the Nepalese national who burned himself almost to death inside the Labor Office this week, was there to really catch the Labor Officials' attention because he's been coming back and forth to the Labor Office to follow up on his claims from his previous case he won. He has been waiting for his claims worth $5K that his previous employer that filed for bankruptcy owes him. However, the Labor Office was about to deport him back to Nepal.

The poor guy is a member of the Dekada Group, a group that fights for citizenship here in the CNMI. His group asked me to spread the word to help the poor guy. I know, when karma hits me, it's big time. Again, pardon my French before. Those who want to help, let me know and I will give you the contact number.

The Reveler

Apr 27, 2007

Flame Tree Festival

It's the Flame Tree Arts Festival and surprisingly, though, it moved to the Civic Center, there were like a thousand people who trooped the opening ceremony last night. Parking was something one would hope for a stroke of luck.

It's great to feel the island culture of having fun and being exposed to different cultures here in the Commonwealth. The governor was not present during the opening ceremony. Could it be he was having his therapy at night? They said he was in another engagement. Preparing for his Commonwealth Address today, I guess.

Something to look forward to. The Flame Tree Arts Festival for its first night, did a "Pretty Darn Good" job!

The Reveler

Apr 25, 2007

Relight My Fire

What could lead a man to set himself on fire? Both newspapers today bannered the Nepalese that scared the hell out of Labor and Immigration officials' wits when he poured or should I say, showered himself with kerosene inside the Labor Office and lit himself literally in flames.

The poor guy sustained third degree burns and his face was badly charred. KSPN News showed this on TV, btw.

He was set to be deported back to Nepal. The poor guy has been here for 10 years.

The Reveler

Apr 24, 2007

Pun in the sun!

I'm sitting in a bar with some friends one Friday night. We're drinking beer and listening to our friend's latest travel tales. The Reveler interrupts. He scratches his bottom and asks in a tone that signals of a silly joke, "What do you call the first Japanese who did what I'm doing?" We hazard some guesses, but no success. He puts us out of our misery, "Itchy bun."

At work one time, The Reveler pauses to ask, "Did you know that The Police made a song about a local family?" I give him the what-are-ef-are you-talking-about look. He responds, "Well, didn't they sing A-yu-yu-yu, A-ya-ya-ya...?"

One Sunday afternoon, we're enumerating the types of phobias we know. The Reveler says, "What about the fear of soap?" We're sure there's a term for it, but we don't know what exactly. So he tells us, "Heno de phobia."

Over wine and nuts another Sunday afternoon, the discussion is about local politics and immigration. The Reveler decides it's time for what is now known among us friends as an itchy bun joke. He asks, "What would you call it if wild animals took control over the CNMI?" Everyone is clueless. He gives it up, "Feralization."

The Reveler is the punniest person I know. Not a day goes by that he doesn't come up with a pun out of whatever topic that springs up in the conversation. That's why I was amazed when I found out recently, from the book Cork Boat, that there's actually a contest for puns. Author John Pollack, a former speechwriter for President Clinton and builder of the world's first cork boat, is the 1995 champion of the O'Henry Pun-off World Championships. The competition is held every May in Austin, Texas.

Here are some puns from the contest website:

Ascent...An aroma.
Brisket...To speed something up.
Castrate...To evaluate all the actors in a movie or play.
Dollop...To dress up attractively.
Exposed...A retired model.
Forthcoming...Three visits weren't enough.
Germination...The birthplace of Beethoven.
Hi-fidelity...A devoted couple.
Hotel...A place where you trade dollars for quarters.
Institute...A spontaneous session of wind and brass instruments.
Logarithm...Tapping out the beat of a tune on a tree trunk.

The Yoko club? Oh no.
The Peter Pan club? Never. Never.
The quarterback club? I'll pass.
The compulsive rhymers club? Okey-dokey.
The Spanish optometrists club? Si.
The pregnancy club? That's conceivable.
The self-esteem builders club? They probably won't accept me.
The agoraphobics society? Only if they meet at my house.

Apr 23, 2007

Only in Saipan

This one`s for the books. In today`s Variety, a 19-year-old man who burglarized a warehouse in Gualo Rai tried to sell a stolen pressure washer to an employee of the same warehouse he burglarized. He was arrested and charged by the Attorney General`s Office. The warehouse employee easily recognized the pressure washer for he had used it for more than eight years.

It`s a small world after all. But his stupidity and the warehouse employee`s alertness helped the AGO solve the crime.

Death Threats for the Gov.

According to today's news, the CNMI Governor received death threats over the phone last week and the perpetrator was immediately apprehended.

My friend commented, "The Governor gets a death threat? Like he still needs it?" I know, I know, lame remarks. Oh, I didn't mean the Governor is lame, he's just limping....

The press secretary said the current government just inherited these problems from the previous government, so let's not blame the government now.

The Reveler

Apr 21, 2007

The "L" Word

Much to my disappointment that the L Word TV series on Showtime has been on air since January this year, due to MCV couldn't get in our place of residence due cabling problem, so they say....

Well, what can we think of words that start with the letter "L" which can best describe the CNMI's "L"ocal government?

*Late bloomers
*Leave (as employees are always itching to leave and take a leave? Not anymore, I guess due to so many holidays and austerity holidays in the government)

hmm...what else....

The Reveler
Banner taken from L Word Official Website (LWordOnline.com)

Apr 19, 2007

School in October?

Whoa! Hold on! The Public School System, which follows the federal education standards will start the next school year in October and not in August? That's the decision that PSS and Board of Education officials decided if the current government proceeded with their budget cuts to PSS.

I guess students, as we were young before, would initially be happy that their vacation is going to be extended; however, they wouldn't realize what they'd be missing in the end. The public schools here really need more attention in education. According to studies before (reports from NMC) that the CNMI, though English is the major language or at least the official one, students are "bad" speakers and writers of the language. This didn't come from me, ok. It was NMC's report before.

Poor teachers. Some are from off island, who wanted an adventure in the Pacific. Now, they're up for a huge one, i guess.... Two months without pay? How are they going to pay their rent with that cut? Would their landlords allow them to skip payment for two months? Would the government include them to avail food stamps? If I were a teacher, would I remain on this island?

God forbid.

The Reveler

Apr 18, 2007

Bowling for Columbine 2

Imagine this, i was just trying to finish college, earn some money and support a family when one demented soul barged in with his gun and aired shots at me and at other students attending a class. My parents would've been devastated.

Let us pray for the souls of those 33 that perished due to a killing rampage at Virginia Tech in the US yesterday.

The Reveler

Apr 15, 2007

Best positions in bed

I`m sorry to disappoint you but I meant the best and most common sleeping positions, and what your sleeping position tells about yourself. It`s not so much about sleeping with the lights on or off, or with music on or off, but whether you sleep on your back, your belly, your side, or in a fetal position for a good night`s sleep.

Sleep experts have found a link between a person`s sleeping position and his personality traits. Preferred sleeping positions, according to sleep experts, are seen as a sort of "subconscious body language that reflects our inner traits."

The fetal position -- It`s when you curl up on your side, holding a pillow. This is the most popular sleeping position. According to sleep experts, the personality of these sleepers tends to be shy and sensitive, though they may present a tough exterior to the world.

MayoClinic.com, meanwhile, says that if you have a problem with your spine, it`s best to sleep on your side with your legs drawn up slightly toward your chest and a pillow between your legs.

The soldier position -- It`s when you sleep flat on your back with arms at your sides. According to experts, those who sleep in this position have a quiet and reserved personality who sets high standards.

If you have low back pain, according to Mayo Clinic, it`s best to lie on your back, and place a pillow under your knees to help maintain the normal curve of your lower back.

The starfish position -- It`s when you`re lying on your back with arms and legs outstretched. If sleep experts are to believed, this indicates a good listener who makes friends easily, but prefers not to be the center of attention.

But both the starfish and soldier sleeping positions are more likely to lead to snoring and an overall bad nights' sleep.

The freefall position -- Flat on your stomach with arms at the head or ears. Indicates a brash and gregarious exterior who may inwardly be nervous and sensitive to criticism. But, the freefall position aids digestion, experts say.

Sleeping on your abdomen can also be hard on your back, says Mayo Clinic. If you can't sleep any other way, reduce the strain on your back by placing a pillow under your pelvis and lower abdomen. This position may be helpful if you have degenerative disease or a herniated disk in the central portion of your spine.

The log position -- It`s when you are on your side with legs outstretched and arms at your sides. Indicates a social, easygoing personality, say sleep experts.

The yearner position -- It`s similar to the log position, but with arms outstretched. Said to indicate a suspicious and cynical personality.

Your preferred sleeping position may be as difficult to change as your personality itself so there`s no need to rush to change to a healthier position. But if you have a persistent back pain and your sleeping position won`t help, you may need to visit a clinic, a chiropractor or a certified massage parlor .

A warning though. On Saipan, be careful with establishments that pose as massage parlors for they may only be front for sleazy businesses. Just to be on the safe side, try massage parlors in hotels, or their spas.

And if you can`t fall asleep after 30 minutes, get out of bed, experts say, and find something to do to help you relax like reading a book (or writing a blog) until you fall asleep. Don`t lie in bed and “try to fall asleep” for hours because this simply creates a more and more stressful situation, making it less likely for you to fall asleep.

24 x 7 workhours

Yes. Due to the deteriorating tourism industry in the CNMI, hotels have cut off hours of work. Saipan Grand Hotel reportedly reduced workforce and reduced employees work hours from 48 hours a week to 24 hours a week. Now the employees are saying the hotel is really open "24 x 7" i.e. 24 hours a week.

Hyatt Regency Saipan reportedly has closed down two wings due to low occupancy.

Saigon Restaurant moved to a more unpopular place and a small place.

This place used to be "Sai-Fun" now it has become "Sai-Pun." No "Fun" intended.

oh well...

The Reveler

Apr 13, 2007

Scarier than Friday the 13th

If you’re not superstitious, then it should not bother you that it’s Friday the 13th today.

Think of it as nothing scarier than not getting your paycheck given the sorry state of the economy. (How come big businesses close, but not the small massage parlors, karaoke bars and porn shops?)

They tell you to be extra careful today because of, well, the date. But you should be more careful if you park your car somewhere prone to burglars.

Friday the 13th is not fraught with peril. The bloated CNMI government is. It could cut your salary by 10 percent (which it already did, and plans to cut some more), while continuing to hire consultants, special assistants, etc. Now that’s scary.

It takes a year to save hundreds of thousands of taxpayers money by cutting ordinary employees’ wages, and just a few signatures to hire consultants worth more than double the savings from ‘austerity Fridays’.

In fact, you were more scared when you received the first power bill since CUC increased its rates by over 100 percent. But the bad services haven`t changed.

If you lose in the lottery today, it’s not bad luck.

Sure you can make jokes about Friday the 13th but not when you’re about to fill your car fuel tank. Another 8 cents a gallon increase today.

Don’t let Friday the 13th stop you from leaving the house. You have work today.

Apr 12, 2007

Fly by night or not?

Is that a fly giving the woman a massage in this ad? Really, somebody actually thinks this is effective marketing?

Maybe I just don't get it. If you know of any explanation for this, please give me a buzz.

Apr 11, 2007

Text and the City

"Hi! Gud pm! How R U?"

It`s probably okay if this is from an e-mail, an IM or a `text` message, but it`s not. It`s how some young people greet each other nowadays.

Talk about the (not-so-scientific) link between the "texting" or SMS culture and an eroding sentence construction, especially in areas vying to become the world`s second texting capital. We know who`s number 1.

Texting or the SMS culture may be another challenge for adults teaching their kids how to properly construct and write an English sentence. (I can only imagine what a teacher may be thinking after receiving "10Q" from a student, to mean "thank you" or "4gv" to mean "forgive" or "sorry.")

It`s also probably a challenge for those who don`t belong in the `text generation`.

But when you think of it, those who are in their 40s, 50s, 60s may take advantage of the `text` culture.

Here are samples of what they could use:

14drd -- one for the road or a drink before you go

2bctnd -- to be continued or we'll talk about it later

2d4 -- to die for, or to like, or to love something very much

2day -- today

2g4u -- too good for you

2Ht2Hndl -- too hot to handle

2l8 -- too late

2nite -- tonight

3sum -- threesome

4yeo -- for your eyes only

8 -- ate, past tense of the verb 'to eat'

911 -- emergency, call me

These are just those with numbers. We haven`t talked about "C U" and the like...

I would love to, but I GTG...

Apr 9, 2007

When Roads Could Kill

Why did the dogs cross the street?
To test if motorists on Saipan were reckless.

Why did the cats cross the street?
To test if dogs were right about the motorists.

Why do we have so many road kills last week?
Because the animals were trying to look for shelter from the typhoon.

Seriously, are these dogs and cats the dumbest domesticated animals in the planet or Saipan has the dumbest drivers on earth?

I believe I saw seven road kills last week.

I don't mean to be "whatever" here, but in the past my Chinese speaking partner who's an American was in this supermarket in San Jose when two Chinese women were talking about how luscious dogs are on the island. Then, my partner couldn't help it and spoke to them in Mandarin and verified, "Do you really actually eat dogs here?" Then the two Chinese women were so surprised that he could speak in Mandarin. The two Chinese women laughed. Believe it or not, they confirmed to him that they indeed eat dogs here.

I just don't know if they take those that are being run over on the road...

The Reveler

Apr 8, 2007

Disney as an equal opportunity wedding planner

News reports say the "Happiest Place on Earth" has changed its policy and is now selling "fairy tale weddings" to same-sex couples. Gays and lesbians were previously allowed to exchange their vows at rented rooms, but they were barred from using Disney's wedding ceremony package or holding the event at locations at Disneyland and Disney World.

Of course, Disney has no authority to marry anyone--at least not in any way that is legally recognized. But for a price (about $8,000 or more), Disney could let you ride the Cinderella coach to your wedding, arrive to the sound of trumpets, and have Mickey and Minnie Mouse as your wedding guests.

A Disney official has been quoted as saying the change is "consistent with our policy of creating a welcoming, respectful and inclusive environment for all of our guests." It is probably more like "consistent with our policy of generating profit as the key objective."

Nevertheless, it is brave of "family oriented" Disney to take this stand on the controversial subject of gay marriage. It deserves the pride of the gay community.

Piracy at the Caribbean, not!

China will be sued for piracy of American movies? Does that mean Sunleader here in the CNMI won't be able to sell them? Have you been to Sunleader in San Antonio and Garapan? DVDs and CDs galore baby! Here are some titles you won't forget when you splurge with these $5 DVDs:

*The Grunge 2 (This is hilarious. It's Sarah Michelle Gellar's The Grudge 2)
*Children of Min (I guess Clive Owen is Ho Chi Min here)
*Road to Rendition (Tom Hanks rendered a very good performance here)
*Shane Ward (A double CD of British Idol's debut album, the second CD when you listen to it, it's Robbie Williams)

Here's the news on CNN about US suing China:
CNN: NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The United States is set to file a formal trade complaint against China after prodding the Chinese for months to crack down on pirated copies of American movies, music and software, news reports said Saturday.

The move, expected next week in a filing at the World Trade Organization, is likely to escalate trade tensions between the two countries. The Senate Finance Committee is looking into tougher legislation on China's trade terms.

The Bush administration will file two cases challenging China's lax enforcement of its own antipiracy laws and its tight restrictions on the distribution of foreign movies, music and printed material, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The complaints come after years of work in Washington to build a case against China over alleged intellectual-property abuses, which hit U.S. exports ranging from auto parts to movies to books to scientific journals, the newspaper said.

The Reveler

Apr 7, 2007

F&B 911: Sabo Coffee and Tea Shop

Good news to coffee and tea addicts, this one-week old coffee and tea shop called Sabo is another great news to Saipan for having a real feel of coffee shop. Loved the interior. They even have umbrellas outside for a better coffee and tea experience. Well, great if there's no vog. Sabo is located at the heart of Garapan, along the Cpl Derence Jack Road adjacent Flex Colours Salon (Behind Winchell's).

This shop has huge potential for a great hangout among coffee and tea aficionados. They sell different kinds of tea, from rose to jasmine to chrysanthemums and so many others. The coffee they serve is a Seattle's Best coffee paired with cookies ($5) or with cheese cake ($7). Mind you they don't serve refills. Wi-Fi is coming out soon. No sandwiches yet and other heavier meals.

Accessories and ethnic jewelry from the Philippines are on display too...

Owners are Chinese and Japanese entrepreneurs.

The Reveler

Apr 6, 2007

The Eggs Files

“How do you want your egg?” asks the waitress.
“Over easy,” says The Reveler.
“How about you?”
“Sunny side up,” Geek Goddess says.
“And you?” the waitress asks me.
“Scrambled please.”
It’s always been like that…

That’s why we came up with a theory that maybe, or somehow, how you want your egg done says something about your personality.

But besides trying to be profound here (and before things get a bit sexual which we always end up talking about over brunch)--with eggs and personality--this Eggs Files is in keeping with Easter celebrations because of all the symbols associated with Easter, the egg is the most identifiable.

Did you know that there’s World Egg Day? The second Friday of October.

…and that May is "National Egg Month?” This is the time of the year to celebrate the many benefits of the egg. Among other things, eggs contain the highest quality protein you can buy, and have 13 essential vitamins and minerals. An egg yolk is one of the few foods that contain Vitamin D

A mother hen turns over her egg about 50 times per day so the yolk won't stick to the sides of the shell.

An average hen lays 300 to 325 eggs a year. A hen starts laying eggs at 19 weeks of age.

As a hen grows older she produces larger eggs.

At the time of the French Revolution, the clever French already knew 685 different ways of preparing eggs.

Out of the blue, while preparing food, two friends asked why is there brown and white egg? Was it because of temperature? The kind of chicken? Which one’s healthier?

Finally, the questions are answered: White-shelled eggs are produced by hens with white feathers and ear lobes. Hens with red feathers and red ear lobes produce brown-shelled eggs. There is no difference in nutrition between white and brown eggs.

If an egg is accidentally dropped on the floor, then sprinkle it heavily with salt for easy clean up.

But I won’t end my Eggs Files without asking the age-old question: Which came first? Chicken or egg?

If you believe in the Bible, the chicken came first. You may have a different view if you have a different religion. And in the science of evolution, both chickens and eggs came before man. Since both the birds and the eggs were on earth first, “historians weren't around to record which came first.”

A chicken can't be born without a chicken egg and a chicken egg can't be laid without a chicken. Both chickens and eggs are important!

And lastly, do you need to wash the egg before cooking it?

Good Friday? Have a...what?

Have a happy...Good Friday?

I was down at Blockbuster and the ever friendly staff there greeted me and asked me how my Good Friday was. She greeted me with "Happy...oh how do you say it? Do you ever say it, Happy Good Friday?"

Well, I just told her, I believe there's none. I mean Catholics don't greet each other on Good Friday. I told her, just don't smile on this day. She laughed.

On another note, the Middle Roaders went up Mt. Tapochao. We were late and by 10am people were scarce up there. I kind of concurred that Good Friday tradition on Saipan is just a 2 to 4-hour tradition.

"It's hot up there, that's why," some said.

Oh well, Happy Black Saturday everyone!

Now that's another story.

The Reveler

Apr 5, 2007

Adam and Eva Air

Ahoy there!

Welcome to Saipan! Just recently, the entire Saipan government was ecstatic with the arrival of over 200 tourists or visitors from Taipei on board the charter flight of Eva Air, a Taiwanese Airline. Reports said that CNMI governor didn't actually sleep just to welcome the visitors Wednesday dawn. Shall we expect him to be on leave tomorrow? Yeah right, it's Good Friday.

Another reason of the CNMI economy why it opposes federal takeover of its immigration department. Dear god, let's not get into this discussion....

The Reveler

Apr 4, 2007

Happy Anniversary Beautify CNMI!

Ok. Ok. This is not Beautify CNMI! blog. I just want to congratulate them for a year of hard work and environmental advocacy. Let's support their event on April 20!

From Angelo Villagomez - To commemorate this milestone, we are planning a Beautify CNMI! one year anniversary fundraiser on Friday, April 20th. Please mark your calendars!

The fundraiser will be at the Aqua Resort on April 20th at 7:30 PM. The price is $25 for adults and $12.50 for children (very affordable!). Admission includes the Seafood Night Buffet with draft beer and champagne, a raffle ticket, and other surprises. There will also be a presentation of several Beautify CNMI Environmental Stewardship awards and a presentation of all the work we have accomplished (and the fun we had) together in the last year.

I will have information on where to buy tickets soon. Please RSVP with me via email so that we have an idea of how many people to expect.


The Reveler

Apr 3, 2007

An ode to coffee

Coffee, like love, is an addiction. Like a lover, coffee shares with you life`s joys, frustrations, miseries and victories. And like passion, it drives you wild, elevates your mind, heightens your senses.

Revolutionary ideas, critical thinking come out in between sips of coffee. Over cups of coffee, lovers, friends and families share ideas from the most mundane to the most profound--the memories of yesterday, the absurdities of today, the hopes for the future. Over cups of coffee, you tell the story of your life. Your secrets. Your regrets.

That smell of coffee in the morning? You sure woke up on the right side of bed. On a rainy day or a stormy weather like today, you wish you`d have that good cup of coffee while reading a book at home. On a waiting game? Coffee. Writer`s block? Coffee. Need to be awake? Need to be in focus? Sharpen your mind?

While many have discriminating tastes, others don`t bother. It don`t matter to some sipping brewed coffee, espresso, caffe latte, cappuccino or instant, or whether they`re in Italy, Brazil, New York or on Saipan while doing so. After all, “coffee,” according to Algerian Islamic scholar Abd-Al-Kadir in 1587, “is the common man`s gold and, like gold, it brings to every man the feeling of luxury and nobility.”

Coffee, as one writer says, is one of the essential pleasures of life but very few people know much about it.

Here are some interesting facts from food journalist Jon Thorn`s book, “The Coffee Companion”:

Japan may be the only country in the world to celebrate an official Coffee Day. It falls on Oct. 1.

The Arabica coffee tree originated in Ethiopia, where it grew wild. The name “coffee” derives from the Ethiopian town of Kaffa. To this day, Ethiopia remains as Africa`s major exporter of Arabica beans.

Finland is the world`s leading coffee consumer, with some 5.7 million drinkers each consuming more than 25 pounds of green coffee annually.

Street cafes are so much part of French life that it would be difficult to imagine a visit to a French city without stopping to enjoy a refreshing cup. Other cities around the world try to become street café capitals, too.

The world`s first commercial espresso machines were manufactured in Milan in the early years of the 20th century.

The coffee “revolution” in the U.S. began in the 1970s in Seattle, possibly
because that city enjoys good, clean water, and Starbucks quickly became the city`s second most famous export; Boeing being the first.

Kona Kai Farms on the Kona Coast in Hawaii contain the only coffee grown in the United States, and it is coffee that is highly prized for its wonderful aroma and

“It would be surprising if Cuba did not produce good coffee to accompany its fine cigars.”

Here on Saipan, among the places for a good coffee experience that are not necessarily elitists – Coffee Care on Capital Hill, Java Joe`s in Dandan, Wild Bills in Garapan.

Also, many coffee shops and restaurants on Saipan now offer Wi-Fi. But please if you have to use your laptop to surf the Net for an hour or two in a food establishment, try to order something other than coffee.

Apr 2, 2007

Ready for Kong Rey

When Supertyphoon Chaba hit Saipan three years ago, I was left for days with no money (ATMs offline), no power (electric poles down), and no water (pumps can't run without power). I didn't mind it too much. It was nothing I hadn't been through before.

What made the experience unbearable was that there was nothing to do.

If Typhoon Kong Rey indeed passes right over the island, then we can be in for trouble—that is, waterless, powerless and, yes, Internetless days. Now, it's always been my fantasy to pass on in the most glamorous way possible. Death by boredom doesn't qualify, does it?

So I made a typhoon preparedness checklist and so far it includes:
  • A fully charged laptop
  • Half a dozen magazines (last week's Newsweek from the library, old issues of Time that I borrowed from The Reveler, a just-arrived and still-unpaid-for copy of National Geographic Traveler, etc.)
  • A Calvin and Hobbes book to keep me up and Thomas L. Friedman's The World Is Flat to help me doze off
  • A reading lamp that runs on AA batteries
  • A music player that runs on double As
  • A DVD player that runs on double As
  • Lots of double As
  • A car with a full gas tank for the trip to the store, in case I run out of double As...

Tsunami Whammy

What a great way to find out about the "Tsunami Alert" due to the earthquake in Solomon Islands where according to CNN 60 buildings collapsed, than to be at Lao Lao Bay for an appointment. What a beautiful beach out there, however, during my meeting I couldn't help look at giant waves on that side of the island. Scary...

Anyway, imagine an earthquake and tsunami hit the Solomon Islands. What a stroke of luck.

The Reveler

Photo Essay: Vigil of Hope

Thursday vigil for the three Northern Marianas College students that drowned at the Forbidden Islands two weeks ago. Some 100 students, parents and faculty, and the community members offered prayers and candles to the victims.

Text By The Reveler
Photos By TacDer

Apr 1, 2007

Media acquisitions

Saipan Tribune owner Tan family will acquire Marianas Variety and Pacific Times for an undisclosed amount. Marianas Variety and Pacific Times have been having financial difficulty to a point where employees` salaries have been reduced by 10 percent since 2006 and have always been delayed in payment of workers` wages. Tan Holdings, meanwhile, after the closure of its controversial garment factory and a halt in equally controversial poker operations, has focused its resources on hotels and newspapers, among other things, thus the planned acquisition of Marianas Variety, which turned 35 years old on March 16, and newcomer Pacific Times. MCV, meanwhile is up for sale.

Gotcha there ha? This is only a joke. The acquisitions and closure are not true. It`s April 1 after all. Happy April Fool`s Day!

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who`s the fattest of them all?

Did you know that eight of the top 10 countries with the greatest percentage of overweight people in the world are in the Pacific region? That`s according to estimates by the World Health Organization.

Nauru tops the list of 194 countries, with an alarming 94.5 percent of its adult population classified as such.

The top five countries with the fattest people are as follows:

1. Nauru
2. The Federated States of Micronesia (Yap, Chuuk, Kosrae and Pohnpei)
3. Cook Islands
4. Niue
5. Tonga

The WHO said 90 percent of each of these countries` population is overweight.

The CNMI and Guam were not ranked separate from the United States, which is top nine on the list. The U.S., according to the WHO, has 74.1 percent of those over 15 years old considered overweight.

The local population of the CNMI and Guam may have also ranked high on the list if they were considered separate from the U.S., given the studies done, for example, by the CNMI Department of Public Health on the number of children and adults who are obese or overweight.

Completing the top 10 list are:

6. Samoa
7. Palau
8. Kuwait
9. United States
10. Kiribati

Experts, according to Forbes Magazine, say it is not surprising that people across the globe are increasingly becoming overweight because of urbanization and the influx of Western ways of life including myriad fast food choices, little exercise and stressful jobs. (The third one doesn`t really count in the Pacific?)

“This change in lifestyle is most evident in the South Pacific. On the list of `fattest` countries, eight of the top 10 are in the Pacific region,” said Forbes Magazine. “In the last 50 years, this area has established significant economic ties with the U.S. and New Zealand, which caused a surge in Western imports and a significant change in diet.”

It pays to know something. And regardless of whether or not the CNMI and Guam are on the list, these two territories need to do more to prevent and treat obesity. While the governments have been doing education awareness campaign, they`re not enough. Local government funding for health programs, for example, is limited. Community and government officials` participation in health and fitness programs are also limited.

Others on the list:

11. Dominica
12. Barbados
13. Argentina
14. Egypt
15. Malta
16. Greece
17. New Zealand
18. United Arab Emirates
19. Mexico
20. Trinidad and Tobago

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About this site

This site is the Saipan Middle Roaders' blog--the wannabes, the frustrated ones, and the repressed ones...

There are several thoughts that have been written on paper, online or on the walls of every NMI building's bathrooms.

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