May 27, 2006
Here I am posing with some of Barbara's art work at our school book and art fair.
This week has been a quiet one for us here in Saipan.
It was my last week of “regular” classes and I was scrambling to get everything in. In addition I devoted about two hours everyday to having the students take their SAT-10 achievement tests (not to be confused with S.A.T.s). On Wednesday, we had our annual book and art fair at the school.
Last night we dropped by the wedding reception of my friend Dan, the Hollywood actor, writer and director, who implausibly moved to Saipan three years ago. He married his girlfriend, Ji Hua in a simple ceremony yesterday afternoon at the mayor’s office and then invited friends to celebrate with them at Hamilton’s, one of the oldest restaurants on Saipan—our island’s own version of “Cheers.” The place feels as if it’s been put together piecemeal over the years by combining several residential structures. In one building is the restaurant “proper.” Another building houses another small dining area and a tiny bar. In between the two building is a patio-like area with more tables. Even the location seems accidental. It’s not on a main street, there are no large signs, no vast parking lot. This legendary and popular places is buried in a residential area. You drive around behind some homes, down what seems like someone’s driveway, until you arrive at what looks like someone’s house. Except it’s Hamilton’s.
Dan and I became friends through his involvement with Journeys, the TV drama I helped create and direct a couple of years ago (and which now languishes in a rough cut somewhere, still unseen due to lack of funds). In many ways we couldn’t be more different. He is of Jewish heritage, but a Buddhist by choice, born in New York, found early success in Hollywood, even earning a People’s Choice Award for his role in the 80’s mini-series The Blue and the Gray. Stardom just barely passed him by, and in recent years the roles have been fewer and further between. He was teaching acting in Los Angeles when the opportunity to come to Saipan appeared. Dan is funny, compassionate, and passionate about what he does. Ji Hua seems to be the perfect match for Dan. While he is the consummate artist, perhaps a bit flighty and temperamental at times, she is solid, grounded, and no nonsense. She is kind and gentle, but you sense that this is a very strong, independent woman. I wish them all the best and I’m glad we could share in their joy.
I wish I had pictures but as a new blogger, I’ve not yet learned the value of having a camera with me at all times. A friend, Niles, is supposed to e-mail me some of his pictures but I have a feeling he forgot. But, if he remembers, I’ll add a photo from the party to this entry.
We’re winding down to the end of the year, and the next two weeks will be very busy. Here’s a preview of what’s coming: Sunday is preschool graduation. Monday will be a busy day at the school (there are no classes because of Memorial Day, but this is the perfect opportunity to get some grading done). I’ll be meeting with my new directorial team for REAL Christian Theater and our manager for lunch, and taking out two of my former students who are graduating from high school for dinner as a graduation gift. On Tuesday is kindergarten graduation, Wednesday is rehearsal for my 8th graders’ graduation, Thursday is 8th grade graduation, and Friday is the last day of school. Saturday night is our staff party, next Sunday is the 25th wedding anniversary celebration of Manny and Kathleen, two members of our church. Monday we’re taking the 8th graders to Pacific Islands Club, a hotel near our school with a water park to spend the night. Tuesday we’ll be at the water park all day. Wednesday, we’re aiming to have our final meeting with our Marriage Encounter group, and Thursday I’ll be taking another group of my former students out for dinner as a graduation gift. Friday, June 9 is the first day in the next two weeks where we don’t have anything planned (yet). And on Wednesday, June 14 I leave for the States!
Here's Babs and Kimo napping. I've finally broken down and allowed Kimo into the last sacred place left-our bed. I still don't like it, and I insist that she stay on Barbara's side of the bed, and to my relief Kimo generally doesn't like to stay on the bed very much. Usually she's not on the bed for more than 20 minutes at most at a time. Full disclosure: This picture is actually posed. I saw them sleeping, and thought awwww, isn't that sweet? But by the time I got the camera and got in posistion to take the photo all my preparations had awakened them and I had to get them to "re-enact" it. But it represents a "true picture" even if this one is "faked." Below is another picture after the "fake nap" one.
Be sure to check out my latest musings on The DaVinci Code in FAITH JOURNEYS!