Tuesday, December 28, 2010

JesusMariaJose--i essitan Chamoru

For the record: sometimes I had a hard time understanding my grandmother when I was younger due to her accent. In the past two years I finally parsed out her two favorite sayings: "Kalakas!" ("Disgusting!"--usually in reference to cats who would defecate in her garden, and poop in general) and "JesusMariaJose!" ("JesusMaryJoseph!"--as in the High Holy Familia--usually in reference to something unappealing, like, let's say, adulterous spouses and/or ugly hairstyles).

So this joke's out for iyo-ku Nanan Biha, yan todu i i man'amko ni umessitan. Got any more? I'd love to collect some, and I'm bugging my Saipanese che'lus to do the same.


Auntie Uncha heard strange sounds coming from her daughter's bedroom in the middle of the night, so she went to go check on her. To her shock, there was no daughter where she was supposed to be--namely, in bed and sleeping!

Ilek-ña si Auntie Uncha, "JesusMariaJose!"

From under the bed came a panicky voice, "GUAHU si Jesus! Månnge' si Maria yan si Jose?!"

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Felis nochebuena, felis pascua, felis navidad, tiempon minagof, etc. etc.

Ginen si Walter A. Manglona yan i man'amko giya Saipan. (Like the spaceships in his earlier video, I don't get why he would ask for a Maserati because Saipan has literally one road and the speed limit is 35, but whatever.) Umespiha yu' i kanta "Puengi Yu'os," lao ti siña gi Youtube.

Na'maolek i ha'ani-hamyo!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Two odes for a dead boonie dog

Never was boonie dog more persistent
Chasing cars he was sure quite consistent
He peed on my car
But did not wander far
For this dog's loyalty was infinite.


Guard dog ferocious I never did fear
On his left side a flippy flop ear
He sprawled in the street,
Humped all dogs in heat,
But no bark could I ever hold more dear.

(Photo lifted from Guam Animals In Need Facebook page. This dog is different than Woofie in that Woofie had significantly less fur, more of a limp, and generally liked to play dead when he wasn't being . . . dead. Damn I miss this dog.)

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Okay, I take back the unkind words I wrote in the previous post about Ernest the Pretty Good whoring it up with the mangy dog from the corner who pees on my car. That mangy dog just died in the backyard. Rest in peace, Woofie. May you have all the cars you could chase/mark in heaven.

Triste yu'. SAD.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Destroyer of Christmas mirth and cheer

Don't be fooled by the tail that's wagging so fast the camera can't even capture it. Ernest the Mostly Awesome has been downgraded to Ernest the Pretty Good on account of: 1) Whoring it up with the mangy dog up the street who pees on my car, and 2) Chewing through the extension chord for the outdoor lights, thereby depriving our neighbors of festive twinkle. In hindsight it's a good thing we didn't get a light-up nativity scene. Given Ernest's penchant for chewing on plastic things, it would be less than stellar to wake up to a decapitated wise man.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tiempon Minagof

This is the first time I've been in a house with a Christmas tree in twelve years. While the idea of using a palm tree crossed my mind, previous attempts at keeping it alive in our radon-infested house seemed for naught.

In general, the whole concept of decorating one's tropical home with snowflake and reindeer-themed ornaments seems silly to me, so as you can see in the bottom righthand corner, I took some liberties and used a Palauan basket for holding pine needles (to bring out the smell of a real Christmas tree, as per The Boyfriend's request) and glass/styrofoam balls.

And in addition, poinsettia here is $35 per plant. Given our propensity for not using the air con and the fact that said poinsettia would meet certain doom in about two hours, we're going with the plastic glittery kind! 'Cause we're nothing if not classy this holiday season.

Of course, this being Guåhan, the more traditional and/or Katoliku familia Chamoru might ask where the balen (nativity scene) is, to which I would have an awkward time professing the atheist persuasion without totally sounding like a Christmas-murdering douche. My family here, to my knowledge, hasn't done the balen plus lumot (moss) thing in a while, so that's on my list for next year. I'm sure someone has a spare set of baby Jesus and kings they might be willing to part with. And in the interim, those two bell-ringing penguins on a tea tray will have to do for now.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Come on in . . . or not

(Photo from Don Farrell's collection at Guampedia, you can see more here!)

The Boyfriend and I haven't had many guests at our house. First, it's a certifiable health hazard since we got a little slack with the cleaning when work lives got way tinane'ne'ne'. Second--and this is what embarrasses me--I only realize now that I've had a bit of shame about my neighborhood, unacknowledged, so much so I didn't even know I had it until I spent some time reading (some) military wives' blogs. I got over it.

You see: the barking pack of flea-bitten boonie dogs down the street. I hear: an awesome security system.

You see: the tall weeds. I feel: rainy season in full swing, and in the meantime, my banana plants are doing just fine, thanks.

You see: a small house. I live: in a place that's manageable, where when I open the doors the cross breezes air it out mad fast.

You see: concrete building materials. I know: strength in a typhoon.

You see: little square boxes. I get: that all together, the inhabitants form a clan/i familia/a network, on a road whose namesake marks history and foresight.

You see: a ghetto canopy over a driveway. I cherish: the nights spent underneath those playing cards, saying prayers, or barbecuing.

You buy: Paradise/Talo Verde/Anonymous Rancho Whatever Estates, whose brochures cry out "Just like the States!" I pity: a place with no signs of life.