Friday, October 17, 2008

to be or not to be

A Red Sox fan. I had to make a big decision this evening. Should I call my mom in Maine from my temporary home in Southern CA and alert her to the fact the 'Sox managed to come from behind and tie the game, when I knew well and good she was probably fed up with the entire season by the fifth inning when they were on the verge of elimination, and most likely deep in post season slumber. Hah. Made the call, and we both enjoyed the trans-continental victory together.

A note: My mom and I enjoyed watching the sox come so close back in '75 and I still feel the bruises on my legs from her reaction to the Carleton Fisk drive to the fair side of the foul pole in right field. I was more than happy to share this game with her from a distance. Still, I wish I was with her this evening. Even if she does still insist on plying the popcorn with parmesean cheese. Love you mom and go sox.

Domestic political news. Nada..I don't want to talk about it. Mongolian news. It has snowed up in Erdenet twice now, but the Pupmpkin is loving the white stuff and Erdene has a line on an apartment downtown. An apartment will get her and the lad out of the ger and snow and into a warm place with a hot bath. Taxes are done on my side and the visa process can begin. Lord, I miss them so much, but me being here will move things along much faster. Me being there would really screw us up. Turns out; money earned overseas means nothing to the INS. Good side is; I only need to make twenty thousand dollars this fall to smooth things over. Bad news is; they average the earnings over three years and last year for my contribution to the US Gross National Product was a zero, but there are waivers. Oh well, we are moving forward and I have an excellent case for a waiver. I'm going to throw in some pictures just for the heck of it. I may start a thread on obtaining an immediant relative visa, but we'll see how it goes. I just hope it isn't a thread leaning towards; don't try this.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

It rained in Southern California

From Sunday’s Union-Tribune. ..“An unusually heavy rainstorm for October, raced through the metro area on early Sunday morning. Rainfall totaled 0.18 of an inch at Lindbergh Field“. Say what? Even in arid Ulan Baatar two-tenths of an inch wouldn’t receive a mention. My niece goes to as many Padre’s games as they can find tickets for, but needed to have the term “rain delay” explained. Tough place to live. I’m not even going to start on the size of the mangoes in the grocery. Or, even the grocery store itself. At least I don’t stand around like a stunned beast, bewildered by the choices, as often as I used to.

I'm also treated to fine meals by my sisters. The two lovely ladies in the above picture are my sisters who live here. The observant viewer might notice they look alike. Points to you. They are twins, one year and three months younger than myself and my very best friends. A past resident or observant visitor to San Diego might notice the hotel Del Coronado in the background. Site for the filming of "Some like it hot". Sarah Palin take a seat in the back of the room. My sisters are up on their foreign policy, have possesed passports since high school, and are hot. Anyway, brunch at the 'Del is a must do.

The weather is fantastic. Shh. Don’t tell Erdene, as she still has a Mongolian winter to weather. Ouch. I’m torn between loving my surroundings and feeling totally bummed that Erdene and lad aren’t here to share them with me. I am able to talk with them regularly and at a decent rate. Mongolia to the US is fifty cents a minute, US mainland to .mn is around six and a half cents. Pumpkin is usually the first one to grab the phone and I just love hearing his gabble. Having to redail after he hit’s the end call button is a small price to pay for a little connection to his cuteness.Great picture, eh? He looks a lot older than the age of eighteen months when this snap was taken.

Here's another just for the record

One view of the weather which contrasts greatly to Saipan is the cool ocean breeze in the evenings. I’m used to cooler weather on the hills in Saipan, but here the hills often bake in the sun and are regularly washed by the desert breezes from the east. The descent from the badlands to a cool ocean breeze is a blessing not usually noted on a typical coral island. There aren’t any comparisons to be drawn between Mongolia and coastal southern California. None. However, should I venture to Death Valley, I may find some. I see some flowers here which are familiar to Saipan. I really hope we can live here.
Erdene will just love the surroundings. Not that Maine isn’t all that, but maybe baby steps will help on the transition.

Speaking of transitions. California car

Boats in a Maine harbor.

If that isn't enough, the expressways are a bit of a shocker. I’m used to a few poorly paved roads and the odd mad dog. Yesterday, I dodged a poorly secured surfboard lying in my lane. Yep, I’m not in Kansas anymore.