Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The NEW Conner News

I'm a little late on this post...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Earth to Audrey

I saw this article on MSNBC and (since I'm at the age where I think about this a lot) I was intrigued. Am I concerned about growing older? Assuming good health, how bothered am I by wrinkles, gray hair, and saggy skin?

I bought a birthday card once (many years ago now) for my husband's brother-in-law that said, "You're at the age where your knees look up and say... (inside) AVALANCHE!" I thought it was hilariously funny--now I know it's also true. Maybe a little too true to be as funny as I once thought. Hmmm. What to do.

I used to say that when I get to the end of the road I want to look like I've been somewhere. I needn't have worried. My eyelids are sagging. The corners of my mouth are drooping. My face started thinning out about 12 years ago. There's excessive skin under my jaw. My eyes seem to be lighter--that washed out look blue eyes get sometimes. What little eyebrows I ever had are totally out of the picture. And I think my ears are getting bigger. "You look like your mother." has taken on oh so much more meaning... Ah well. (Good thing I have a good-lookin' mother!)

Here's my "beauty" regimen at 49 years and 10 months:
I wash my face with water. Just water. Grammie B. did it and so shall I. :)
I have recently (day before yesterday) started using a toner to "minimize the appearance of pores."
I always use a facial moisturizer in the morning. It's called Myra E and runs about $2.75. I think it's a product of the Philippines, but I haven't noticed that I look any whiter, so I'm not sure.
I pull out the gray hairs that I can see. I try not to look too closely.
I get my hair cut whenever I get to the point that I "can't stand it anymore" and about twice a year I have a hot oil treatment. At the salon. No kidding.
My eyebrows are put on with a brush, I use a little eyeliner and lipstick. On Sundays I go all out and add mascara.

I do drink lots of water--probably 8 to 12 cups a day--and try to remember to smile. Some beauty tips work for everybody. (Thanks for the reminder Audrey.)

I don't think I'd ever try anything along the lines of cosmetic surgery, injections, etc., but you know what they say...never say never. After seeing some of the celebrities in the article referenced above I think I'd break all the mirrors in the house first.

Are you concerned about signs of aging?


I just got this email forward from a friend.

For those of you who have been watching the news and may have wondered....

Some Mormon women sing...

Some Mormon women dance...

Some Mormon women write scary stories...

Some Mormon women have lots of money and really great hair...

I know hundreds of Mormon women. They do all kinds of different things and live all different kinds of lives.

This woman served as a leader in the Mormon church. She recently spoke to teenage girls worldwide. She encouraged them to stand up to peer pressure, strengthen their families and serve others. (Click here for more.)

None of the Mormon women I know look like this...

None of them are marrying off their teenage daughters and-- although some may joke about wanting a sister-wife (preferably one who is really fat & ugly, does bathrooms and changes diapers)--none of them really want to share their husband with anyone.


Some Mormon guys can throw a ball...

Some Mormon guys yell at the ball...

Some Mormon guys make scary movies...

Some Mormon guys have a lot of money and really great hair...

I know hundreds of Mormon guys. They do all kinds of different things and live all kinds of different lives.

This is one of the leaders of the Mormon church. Last Sunday he spoke about honoring women, especially mothers, and gave advice to husbands and children about how to treat the women in their lives. (For the whole story, click here.)

None of the Mormon men I know look like this...

The Mormon men I know are honest and hard-working. They don't cheat, smoke, drink or gamble. And TRUST ME....the last thing any of them want is another wife.

Friday, April 18, 2008

My 2 Cents

Okay, well, yes. Even though everything in the previous post is true, the tone was set more by the fact that I was tired and just felt like complaining.

It looks like there won't be an island-wide blackout--at least not this weekend. According to this morning's paper, CUC (Commonwealth Utility Corp.) was able to buy another 1300+ barrels of fuel to help tide us over. There will be rolling blackouts, probably for an indefinite period, but we've gotten used to those and they're not really that big of a deal as long as CUC sticks to the schedule (ahem). It's usually only for a couple of hours a day. Sometimes twice a day....

Actually, this could turn out to be a time of opportunities. The major problem here on island is the government. The government is run by the indigenous minority--the majority of the people here are non-resident (hence non-voting) contract workers. People get into office--and there are a few exceptions--by courting the votes of their extended family with promises of jobs or forgiveness of debts (including tax debts), and sometimes with just cases of beer. I think generally they make good on the job promises because the government is bloated with deadwood employees who haven't got the skills or education to do anything even if they had the gumption. Which they don't.

In the effort to come up with enough jobs to fill those promises, the government has made itself the provider of many services that would be better supplied by private companies (i.e., utilities). Initially, this may also have been because there was nobody else interested in supplying the service, but over time it became the status quo. The heads of these services departments are appointed by the governor so there is a massive turnover every four years. For instance, the head of the health department may be a Health Administrator or a medical doctor or just someone the governor really owes and is stupid enough to think they can run a hospital/public health department. CUC is supposedly a semi-autonomous agency, but ultimately the governor can run the show and pretty much does.

So the problems we have now with CUC, PSS (public school system), CHC (health), etc., are the results of years of inconsistent, politically-driven leadership. Every time someone gets in that seems to know what they're doing, they often get booted when a new governor comes regardless of if they are in the process of getting things on track or not.

So, the opportunity part. What I think is that if things get bad enough (and you'd think we'd have been there and back again by now), that the government will have to let go of some of the services they've been hanging on to (like hemo, emergency medical services, utilities, etc.), and let private companies have at it. If the government would get out of the private businesses way (like putting exhorbitant fees on RFP's for privatization of power), then maybe we can still pull out of this mess.

I also think that the time may ripe for more non-native islander legislators. I've heard one idea of getting rid of everyone on Capital Hill and hiring something along the lines of a city manager/professional management company to come in and take over.

Islanders are much more complacent than people in the U.S., but maybe as they lose desired services, prices climb higher and higher, and many of those who were "gifted" jobs lose them they will let go of the "family" voting and get real.

How much is a rain barrel anyway?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

State of The Commonwealth

We went to the movies tonight. All of us. In fact pretty much the whole island community. The occasion? Closing night. Tomorrow the movie theater will close. Maybe for 30 days or maybe for good. The Tribune said the theater was due to "inexplicably shut down." We had a laugh about that. The Variety said "insurmountable utilities cost" and just generally the poor economy here on Saipan. That's pretty much what we all figured.

There may not be any school tomorrow. There may not be any power tomorrow. The public utility was unable to pay for enough fuel to last until the next scheduled delivery and they expect to run out tomorrow. Of course, with nobody having any power that they have to pay for this could become a never-ending cycle. Will they ever have enough money to supply the whole island again? Case wrote a report for the hospital detailing the foreseeable problems that would be caused by an extended power outage. The big problem will be water, which is a problem here even on good days. Cholera (among other things) may take a little jump, but hey, at least we won't freeze to death.

And the governor has postponed his State of The Commonwealth address until May 3. Why bother?