Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Families Can Study Together Forever...

...through Anna Bodine's plan...

So, the other night we had a married couple in our branch over for diner. He is a professor at the University of Guam (UOG). After dazzling him with my hi-tech lifestyle, he made the off-hand remark that if I only had a Masters he could offer me a job. I'm sure it was mostly in jest, but that moment something stuck in Anna's mind.

Anna has now decided that it's time for me to get my MBA. Ironically, I had just barely paid off my student loans from my bachelor's degree last week. Time to crawl back into debt, I guess.

It may seem that Anna is solely thinking long term and preparing us for financial security down the road. Well, yes, that too. But tonight her true and foremost motive came out.

Anna is supposed to be getting her Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credentials. She should be half way done and have 2 of the 4 tests completed. Rather, she's only studied a handful of the times she said she would and is not even starting to apply for the testing dates. She quickly gets bored after minutes of studying and really can't seem to motivate herself. I've tried everything I can think of to motivate her. Cooking, dish washing, free time, plenty of space, even bribes have not done the trick. She's has asked me to sit there and watch her study, but not talk or move because that will distract her. No matter how much you love someone, that gets old, real fast.

As soon as this whole MBA idea came up, she's had a quickness in her step. Every day she spends five minutes on the subject with my trying to push it along. Today she pulled out a stack of books to prepare me for the GMAT entrance exam that I have to take first. She got my chair all ready and couldn't wait for me to sit there and study with her. To her dismay, I had some things to do and no sense of urgency for the test, so I declined the offer to start. She then went back to unmotivated, reluctant study-girl.

This whole time, all she seems to be able to focus on are ways to get me to study with her. I think that if I were to study in the UOG library, she'd probably have me put off the MBA. I hope she actually finishes her CPA by the time I get my Masters. If not, I'll have no choice but to become "Dr. Jared." Could you imagine me a doctor? "Please, call me Dr. Jared." Now that's an odd sounding combination of words...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I Married My Mom...!?

It's now a bit over one year that I have been married to Anna. And I have to say, it's been great. But, over that time, I have had discovery after discovery that led me to one very disturbing conclusion. That old adage about a guy marrying a girl like his mother has unfortunately seemed to manifest itself in my life.

Want a list? Here we go.

  • Naturally black hair
  • Talks to herself, even when others can hear it
  • Would rather sit quietly in the car alone than turn on the radio
  • Practical to a fault
  • Has a black thumb - accidentally kills more plants than successfully grows
  • Has never burned a CD
  • Goes on mad cleaning sprees occasionally and brings you along - like it or not
  • Passive Aggressive
  • The instant something goes wrong, instinctively yells out the name of her spouse
  • Skeptical of just about everything
  • Occasionally is seen "exercising" in the bedroom in a manner that looks more like an outdated 50's dance
  • Her jokes are not "funny haha" but rather "funny Hmmm"
  • Facts are only relevant when they support your preconceived notions
  • When trying to yell something a far distance, the sound just gets higher in pitch - neither one can be heard from a distance (except by animals)
  • Believes not all wives's tales are true, just the ones she grew up with

I could name more if I took some more time. Don't take me the wrong way, I love all of these things about Anna (except the cleaning spree). And there are some things both have in common that anybody can appreciate.

  • Loving
  • Caring
  • Sincere
  • Honest
  • Trustworthy
  • Understands me
  • Loves me

This is not to say that I'm going Oedipal or anything like that. Just one of those funny quirks of life that I have stumbled into. I've asked Anna to tell me in what ways I'm like her dad. The only one she could think of was that we both like Hi-tech stuff. Well, at least I won't have to be freaked out by her accidentally calling me "daddy" one day...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bu-hu for Hulu...

I'm not quite sure how I stumbled upon it. One day during my constant search for technological enlightenment, I discovered a site called Hulu. This site is one of the many new services that offers high quality video streaming of some of the best TV shows available. Nearly any TV show I ever have a hankerin' for is there. And, it's all free. The interface is nice. The selection is good. The service is speedy. What's not to love?

I send in my request to be part of the exclusive membership. I was approved and rushed to the URL of new opportunities. I filled out my customer number, added my zip code and viola! I was on.

Oh the selection! What to watch first? Classic Simpsons humor? Edgy Family Guy moments? Gripping Prison Break suspense? How about exploring new shows like "Total Recall 2070"? In less than five minutes my decision making efforts proved fruitless.

Attempt after attempt brought the same result: "Unfortunately, this video is not currently available in your country or region. We apologize for the inconvenience." Quothe the Simpsons, "D'oh!"

Just as I think I can enjoy some of the perks of American ingenuity my locale stops me short again. As usual, I had to send an email to support explaining that Guam is in fact part of the very same United States that they know and love. My email is below.

I live in Guam (96913). It is part of the US and is American soil. We have 110 power, use the United States Postal Service, drive on the right side of the road and even hate our local DMV as much as any US city. But often we are the forgotten "little guys" that appear not to be on the fringe of the US, but rather, part of some foreign entity. Sadly, Hulu is part of the mistaken many. The elation of my recent registration was quickly hampered by the denial of service for each requested video. Oh the humanity!

Please, do what you can to ensure that us red-blooded Americans who enjoy Hollywood hilarity and dicey drama get the privilege of joining you in the mirth and merriment of the small screen.


Jared Bodine, Guam resident and true American.

I haven't heard back yet, but I hope my creative writing and light tone might just win over enough hearts to get the job done. I have had to explain the situation of Guam's political alignment so often that I've decided to prepare a form letter that may be used for any occasion.

I figure by the time I have it completed and succeed in getting all major US enterprises to recognize Guam, I'll have left the island, created my own company, and will have left "GU" off the pull down list for "State."