Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dancing "Thriller" at 6am!

What can I say, halloween was a roaring success here on the fabulous island of Guam. We may not have fall leaves, cool weather and the smell of logs on the fireplace but we do have fallen coconuts, warm island breezes and a faint smell of salty sea air!

The day began at 430am, I got up in costume (80's style) for a Halloween 5K with my running group, complete with a warmup to "Thriller" at 6am. We may not have been the fastest group but we sure were the most entertaining. While many runners were sprinting to the finish line to claim a coveted t-shirt (which are never guaranteed to every participant!) we danced, pranced, leaped, jumped and twirled our way through the course. Julie and our coach Noemie would simulate Michael Jackson's "Thriller" while jumping over cones, and would run up the stairs of the courthouse to the tune  of "Rocky" while bemused runners carried on. I became quite proficient at traffic cone leaps. I got a cheer every time I hurtled one. How's that for encouragement?

So it was a fun, relaxed race and after checking out the costumes (President and Mrs Obama, a marine dressed as a Hooters waitress (complete with a sock), the cast of Pacman, and three teenage guys (who we are guessing want to be the famed Jonas brothers) wearing speedos and signs over them that said "Censored". So fun!

Later on I put on my costume and Cheddar put on hers. Or rather I painted hers, Smurfstyle.

So what do you think?

My little Smurfette had a grand time. We joined our neighbor Stephanie to hand out candy to trick-o-treaters. She lives on Rota Drive, which is THE happenin' place for Halloween. Also known as the Big Wig street, most of the base's top ranking brass live there so of course, would you expect anything less than supremo candy bars? It was like a tsunami of children, six o' clock hit and bam! Kids were coming in droves. Stephanie and I couldn't even sit down, we were too busy handing out candy to children by the dozen. Cheddar kept busy by "inspecting" everyone's candy bucket.

Once all the kids retreated home into sugar comas I finished my costume and headed downtown to a halloween party with some of my buds from the squadron. I dressed as "Miss March", a proud member of the Calendar Girls this year. Each of us dressed as a month, it was hilarious. I dressed in a green swimsuit with a white skirt, green top and boots. Then I pinned a couple dozen shamrock cutouts to my outfit! I don't have pictures yet but will post them as soon as they become available. But I will say that it was a pretty interesting time. There is no lack of creativity with these people, we had Waldo, Flash the Superhero, Chick Magnet, a beer drinking chicken and Mr Guam, my friend Chris dressed in a cardboard cutout of the island where everyone wrote a memory of theirs on the board. To put it kindly, it was a colorful plethora of "memories".

By midnight I was sacked. No late night for me, I was up early this morning baking for a church luncheon and BBQ with my running girls later.

No rest for the weary!

I apologize for the crooked pictures, Iphoto isn't working with me today. :)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Martha Stewart strikes again...

I think I have hit a new low. I know I'm pretty crafty but I'm pretty sure I could have found something else to do with my abundance of time out here. I received a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter in my "Boo Got You!" present a couple weeks back. Wondering what I should do with it I thought it might be fun to make dog biscuits. Cool? I think so. But after taking a good look at my dog, it is pretty clear the pooper is getting starting to look a little round, I attribute that to a few too many pig ears. Not wanting the biscuits to go to waste I figured I would just give them away to the neighbor dogs. 

So I finish making these biscuits. Cheddar's pudgy mouth was drooling with anticipation as I scooped, poured and stirred together oats, cornmeal, milk and peanut butter. When the adorable little gourds were done my mind decided to get creative (sometimes I can't help it!). I bagged a couple at a time and tied them with an orange ribbon. And here's where it goes over the edge. I printed out little tags that say "Happy Halloween! Love, Cheddar" and then made Cheddar "sign" them with her inked paw. She was a tad unhappy about that. :)

So when all was said and done I bagged them up and sent them off to the neighbors. One can only wonder what silly thing I come up with next? :0)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Truly Terrible Tarague Hill

I love weekends! Not as much as I did when I was working but still, they rock! It began 430am. I wouldn't say this was fun but boy am I glad it's done! I drove down to Tarague beach for running camp. Not having much of a clue as to what was on tap for that day I was pretty relaxed. So like every day we start running down the road that parallels the beach. Not bad, it's pitch black of course so we've got flashlights and reflective gear. We get to the famous Sanders Slope. I say famous because this narrow little road goes from sea level to 600 feet, the highest part of the island in about 1/2 mile. I have never seen such a steep grade before, Colin's car can't even climb it! So we start climbing and about 1/3 of the way into it, I call back to Noemie, our coach in a meek little voice "uh Noemie? "Yes?" "So uh, how far are we going to go this morning?" "All the way Caitleeen (she's french)" "No (pant pant) really, (pant) how far?" "To the top! Keep running!" "(pant)Whaaat??" I yell. "YOU CANNOT STOP KEEP RUNNING!!!!!" (for such a cute little woman, she can scare the pants off you). Seriously there was probably about three inches between my steps as I climbed. Good thing it was dark, I looked PATHETIC! Combine that with cars speeding down the road, I was a mess. Somehow we made it to the top, we all survived it. I only managed to step on one slimy creature (I'm thinking a frog), not bad. The run back down was glorious. I felt like a speed racer, it was fantastic! Somehow the two miles back was nothing compared to that monster hill, amazing how your perspective changes sometimes!

So after I recovered from my torturous run we all went to the Osterhaus's house for Make-Your-Own Calzone night. Wow, Mike could seriously put my Nana to the test. They were fantastic! We played Balderdash afterwards, this is definitely a game you need to play with guys, there is no shortage of creativity in those heads of theirs, reminds me of those times in college when we would put off studying for as long as possible. [Sigh] Those were the days!

Today we all gathered in the "Quad" for football. The quad is the stretch of grass that lies behind our house. Several of our neighbors are from the squadron so naturally, we clearly feel it's our property! Today all the dogs showed up. We had Skipper, Cash, Oscar, Cheddar and Dawson (note, all 60lbs and up) all milling (er, sprinting madly) about the field. The game was more entertaining than College Game day, imagine trying to run down the field for a block as three dogs jump, spin and bounce...right in front of you. Oscar, a tank of a black lab decided to play linebacker and blitzed the QB every time. Poor Levi ran for a catch...straight into Oscar, both executed some Olympic quality somersaults leaving Levi sprawled on the ground and Oscar bounding back up to get the ball. The dog is pure rubber.

My team won of course (why wouldn't we?) and we polished off the evening with brats, burgers and chips. YUM! What is even better is that the ocean breeze swept in and kicked the pants off the humidity, praise the Lord!! The dogs of course were still panting and drooling, but this time by the grill. Relentless I say!

Now it is off to bed, I must rise and shine at 4:30am for my last week of running camp!

Displaying my vote in a rousing game of Balderdash!

Some of us gals after some fabulous calzones!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fall? Where's Fall?

So it's been awhile. I guess I haven't been in much of a "blogging" mood so here's a recap on a typical October in Guam:

  • I've woken up at 4:30AM EVERY Monday, Wednesday & Friday for running camp since September 8th, as hard as it still is to get up, I find myself wide awake at 5am on the other days. :) But it has been an excellent form of discipline for my procrastinating self!
  • Watched the first air show Guam has had in six years. AAFB treated 10,000 locals to some spectacular flying on behalf of the Navy and Air Force. The Thunderbirds made a gracious appearance and rocked the socks off the island. I was humored to read an article in the paper three days later, I swear this the type of stuff that humors us on a regular basis.
  • Trained for the Ko'Ko's Half Marathon (today) of which I was able to do 8 miles of. My knees haven't been too kind to me however it is still better than the six I thought I'd do. I was up at 3:30AM to run that puppy (even in October it is HHOOTTTT), it has become very clear that I must become a morning person to thrive on this island.
  • Last Thursday I ran into the Under Secretary of the Navy & the "Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps", General Amos. This four star sportin' Marine came right up to my friends at I as we were leaving Top of the Rock to talk to us! He discovered we were Navy (he was very excited about that) and he talked about his experience as a pilot  flying both fighters & helos! He wanted to make sure the AF was treating us Navy folk well and announced he was escorting the SEC around Guam that day.
  • Blew a tire on my seven month old car...
  • Started organizing a big Christmas party for the squadron including food and toys for 100+ kids, crafts, games and of course, Santa's grand entrance in a helicopter! Stay tuned for the madness...
  • No scary typhoons this month! Woohoo!
So that's a peek into the last couple of weeks of my life. I talked to Colin a couple of days ago, he is doing very well. Despite the endless routine out there, he loves the flying and people he's with. We're just over two months in, well 63 days to be exact! I'm fortunate to have my favorite holidays on the horizon and I think that will help pass the time more quickly. Before I know it, the love of my life will be home!

Until later...

2009 Air Show

Jolene & I baking in the sun on the tarmac.

Cheddar's two week roommate, Perdita. She and her siblings stayed with some of us on base until their doggy parents (aka Mason, Sarah & Caleb) could get their A/C fixed. As usual Cheddar got over her territorial toy issues and welcomed her new friend in.

I grew weak, I started letting Cheddar hang out on the couch....

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Mother Nature Education

So we managed to escape the brunt of the latest tropical storm "Parma" but it looks like we might get another visit from Mother Nature on Saturday morning. Typhoon Melor is racing towards the Marianas Islands. They think it will pass to the north, sparing us the worst of what she has to offer but these things change their minds every ten minutes, or so it seems. I must say I'm learning a lot about weather out here! Being a native San Diegan I thought I was cool because we could boast having 4 "micro-climates" in one city. I'm learning terms like "tropical disturbance", "super typhoon", "vertical wind shear" and my favorite: "tropical depression" - something we like to think we feel when the cabin fever gets the best of us! I'm also learning that even the best technology cannot accurately predict weather patterns. Yesterday we were supposed to be hit with 45+ mph winds from Parma (the scheduled air show was cancelled), the whole island was on both Tropical Storm alert and a Tsunami alert, from the earthquake near Samoa. As a result, both the weather and the roads  were more calm than my dog during her morning nap. Crazy!

So we'll have to see what Melor is in the mood for. I'm supposed to do the Strides For Life 5K on Saturday morning so I'm bummed I may have to settle for the treadmill, such as life. In the meantime, check out this latest picture below. Does that spell DOOM or what??